It's not really a medical option, but as far as the hundreds of people she has cared for, Rene Tatt's blood is worth bottling.
She left Koondrook as a teenager a lifetime ago, absolutely certain she wanted nothing else in life but to be a nurse - and dedicate her future to helping others.
Bendigo would be the winner there, first when she completed her training here and "donned the uniform" right through to her current role as a district health nurse, taking medical care and support to people in their homes.
And given the chance, she would do it all again - in a heartbeat.
Now 67, Rene has seen a lot and probably done even more.
"I always wanted to be a nurse," she said, "I went (straight) from school. I had to stay at school an extra 12 months so I was old enough."
Once qualified she worked at the hospital for a few years. It was there Rene was bitten by the travel bug and quickly found herself in Hobart where she also trained as a midwife.
"After I came back and worked at the base - Bendigo Hospital - again," Rene said.
"I was in charge of one of the wards - Kurmala Unit Two - for about three years before I got pregnant with my eldest and then couldn't do both so that's when I went over to the agency."
Rene's appointment as charge nurse of Kurmala made her the youngest charge nurse the hospital had ever had.
And she was pretty chuffed about that as well - "I think I would have been about 23 at the time; and it was the matron who actually asked me to do it, so that was even better".
"It was good but I love (district nursing) too. Being out with our clients in their homes, it's our privilege to be in their homes."
She says the transition to a district nursing role was seamless, her enthusiasm and her success did not miss a beat and she has continued to grow into the role.
The primary reason she made that switch 20 years ago was to provide better assistance to one of her existing patients.
"The client I was (working) with at the agency had come over to district nursing and said: 'well I'm not coming without her'," Rene laughed.
"He had to have a bougie tube put down - which is a tube through which you can swallow - and he said: 'Nobody else is doing it except Rene'.
"The GP wouldn't do it so he just said 'Rene'll do it'.
"So wherever we went, if he couldn't find anyone to do his tube, he came with us. He even came on holidays with us and came up to Mum and Dad's when I was off.
"He passed away - it'll be 19 years ago on the 20th of this month - and I was only (in district nursing) for a couple of years when that happened but I've been here ever since."
Bendigo's district nursing can be traced all the way back to 1951. On October 10 if we're being precise.
Sister Kath O'Connor was the first district nurse in the region and it proved so immediately essential within two years there was a team of five.
Together the nurses in just one year (1953 to 1954) the unit completed a total of 15,760 visits to 511 patients.
They undertook both 'basic' and 'technical' duties, which included everything from the hygiene of a patient to giving injections and dressing wounds.
Even administering insulin to patients before breakfast, the nurses would sometimes clock up to 25 patients a day.
By the 1980s, 2800 patient visits were made per month, and after 20 years as one of that amazing team, not much has changed according to Rene.
"At the moment I do five days in the office processing referrals, and five days on the road, which involves wound care, medication, helping somebody shower, anything they need help with," she added.
"We try and re-able people to get back to being independent with their care, get them back to doing what they want to do.
"That's our main aim - to heal things - so they can get back to what they want to do."
While her commitment to caring hasn't faltered in the past 50 years, the veteran nurse said with the field evolving as quickly as it does she always has something new to learn.
"(When I first) started a lot of the stock we had - we didn't have dressing packs - we had to sterilise everything," she said.
"We had big, long wards with about 12 or 14 down each side, just open wards.
"With the equipment that's changed, the dressings that've changed. When I came over here I had to learn all the new dressings because everything had changed so much."
The most notable change however, has been the nurse-to-patient ratios.
"One ward I had we had about three staff on for 40 patients," Rene said, "we just ran."
"And as I said, we didn't have all the equipment we have now. It was busy, really busy. I loved it"
And today, International Nurses Day, will just be another one on the frontline for Rene.
"Yes, it'll just be another day here, visiting clients - after all, they're the important ones."
And while the pandemic has highlighted the staffing shortages, wage shortages and general underappreciation of healthcare workers, Rene said she'd simply like to see nurses back in hospital training.
"They need the staff in there and if they could hospital train them then they'd have the staff," she says.
"I mean we were there in charge of wards in second year, and now the poor kids come out of uni and they have to do their 12 months and they're relying on other staff to help them.
"But as I said, if they trained them in the hospital they'd have all that knowledge. It would be nice, and I think it would benefit the students as well."
It clearly didn't hurt Rene and after those 50 long years they probably really should bottle her blood and see if they can make another one just like her.
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