The welcoming face of Westmead Hospital for 30 years has seen it all

Westmead Hospital switchboard and telephonist Carol Hollands.

Her warm, welcoming smile and friendly demeanor have greeted, directed, and helped hundreds of thousands of patients and visitors at Westmead Hospital’s reception desk for three decades.

Westmead Hospital receptionist and telephonist Carol Hollands has decided it was time to put the phone down and start her next journey – retirement.

“When I first applied for the job at Westmead Hospital in August 1990, the role was a maternity relief position and wasn’t supposed to be permanent,” Carol said.

“Thankfully that person didn’t return to work and here I am 30 years later.”

Carol Hollands at Westmead Hospital’s information desk.

Centrally located at the hospital’s main entrance Carol has seen it all. 

She’ll never forget the time a pregnant woman approached the reception counter asking for directions to the Birthing Unit. Carol asked which patient she was here to see and the lady advised the directions were for her.

Within seconds the pregnant lady went into labour and gave birth on the lounges at the main entrance.

“She was definitely in the right place at the right time as the Women’s Health Clinic staff came to her rescue,” Carol said.

“Over the years I’ve made lots of friends and really enjoyed helping people.

“I’ll miss the regular patients and their families who visit the hospital for dialysis or cancer treatments.”

The Rooty Hill resident looks forward to do what most of us have missed out on all year – travel.

“I plan to visit Cairns, Oberon, Batemans Bay and the Central Coast to see my family and friends. And hopefully next year, I can reschedule my trip to Greece,” Carol said.

Westmead Hospital switchboard manager Karen Edwards said Carol would be missed and had left a legacy and lasting impression after three decades.

“Carol was the first face people saw when they approached the information desk seeking directions,” Karen said.

“Her polite, friendly manner was always appreciated by patients, visitors and staff and her knowledge of the hospital was invaluable.

“We wish you all the best in your retirement Carol.”