Nurse urges community to play their part

Pic of Lena Pejcinovski, Nurse Unit Manager. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 210496_01

Tate Papworth

Three weeks ago Lena Pejcinovski was the nurse unit manager of Sunshine Hospital’s respiratory assessment clinic.

Now she’s overseeing the management of Western Health’s drive-through COVID19 testing site at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

The site is testing about 1000 people a day, sometime more with wait times averaging just shy of 30 minutes.

A proud resident of Melbourne’s west, Ms Pejcinovski has a clear message for her community: if you have even the slightest symptom, get tested.

“If you have any symptoms, any symptom at all, then get tested,” she said.

“Even the mildest of symptoms should be tested… you may think you usually get a sore throat, or sneeze a bit that this time of the year, but it’s so important you get it tested.”

There’s also been reports that the testing process itself is invasive and uncomfortable, but Ms Pejcinovski said the testing process at the showgrounds is far from that.

“Testing at the clinic involves a cotton bud which goes about 1cm into the nose for about 15 seconds… we don’t put it the whole way up.

“Then there’s a swab for the back of mouth… the whole process is one of the more tolerable tests.”

Ms Pejcinovski’s days are long – about 12 hours usually, but she says she’s proud to be playing her part.

“I live in the west, I’ve worked at Western Helath for 11 years and I’m quite humbled to be working and seen to be adding value in helping the community get tested and safe.”

The Melbourne Showgrounds testing site is open seven days a week from 9am-5pm.

Site entry is via Gate 4 off Langs Road.

For more information and other testing site locations visit: