A passion for magic brings joy to nursing

Rob Ellinger

Rob Ellinger was part of the first cohort to undertake the Master of Clinical Nursing in 2013.

After finishing his degree, Rob worked at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, first in oncology, then in paediatric emergency. Rob is now based in the Michael Rice Centre, in Paediatric Oncology where he uses his talents in magic to care for children and young people diagnosed with cancer.

Rob has always had a keen interest in magic but his passion really started developing in 2010 after learning a simple ‘coin vanish’ from a friend. That one trick opened a doorway and he’s never looked back!

Over the last decade he has been honing his magic craft and has produced a number of Adelaide Fringe shows including Magic on the Edge in 2017, Card Play in 2018 and Magic McMagicface in 2019 and 2020. He co-created award-winning collaborations with scientist Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries as part of a Perform Your Science Event in 2018 and a full-length family show Science Vs Magic as part of National Science Week 2019. In 2022, he branched into the world of stand-up comedy, taking part in a variety show, again for the Adelaide Fringe. Occasionally he can be spotted performing roving magic around Adelaide, most recently at Womadelaide for the SA Museum.

Rob Ellinger

The catalyst for Rob’s nursing study pathway was personal. “Nursing appealed to me after I had to take care of my very unwell housemate and I realised that I enjoyed the act of caring for people, and that act of caring meant I didn’t mind the grossness factor. I also knew that I wanted a job where I felt the work I was doing was meaningful, so that even if I had a bad day, I wouldn’t be questioning the work itself. “

Reflecting on his time at University, Rob says his fondest memories are of sharing classes with the small cohort of students on the program and becoming a very close group.

"Time spent together was definitely my favourite part of the program."

His favourite teacher was Tamara Page. “She was very knowledgeable, nurturing and helpful, especially as we collectively managed the teething issues of a brand-new program.”

Rob also has fond memories of meeting his wife at a University dance event when he was a teacher at the Swing Dance Club. His wife is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University so Rob often returns to campus.

The highlight of Rob’s career so far has been working within the haematology/oncology department. His dedication, contribution and success working in Paediatric Oncology in the Michael Rice Centre at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital as a Clinical Nurse was recognised in October 2022 when he was awarded SA Health’s Excellence in Practice - Registered Nurse award.

Other achievements have been connected to his keen interest and studies in clinical hypnosis which as he says, “has been fascinating to implement into my nursing care. I have created a procedure for nurse led hypnosis in my department, the first of its kind within the hospital.”

In 2021 he completed his advanced training in clinical hypnosis through the South Australian Society of Hypnosis. He is now undertaking a hypnotherapy diploma with the Jacquin Hypnosis Academy and is involved in applying to have hypnotherapy training recognised as an advanced nursing practice.

Rob’s future career focus includes building his hypnosis training into a formal service either within Oncology or the broader hospital setting and working towards becoming a Level 2 Clinical Nurse.

So what advice can Rob give to current and future students?

“Say yes to opportunities and see where they lead. Don’t be afraid to ask people to act as references – especially towards the end of the degree. And don’t leave it until the last possible placement! I was lucky enough to find my niche pretty quickly, so I suppose my other advice is, if you find your niche don’t let people try to downplay it just because you haven’t tried everything else. On the flipside of that, if you haven’t found your niche don’t be afraid to try a bunch of different things until you do.”

We hope to hear more from Rob as a special guest speaker at one of our future ANSAN events.

For more details read more on our Adelaide Nursing School’s Alumni Network (ANSAN) website.

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