When Michael Jessup first walked into the Launceston General Hospital to begin his nurse training it was 1969 and things were done very differently.
He was the only male nurse among the cohort of 14.
"It was my mother who said, 'have you ever thought about doing nursing?'" he said.
"Male nurses were still very rare in those days, and the men I first met were post-war, who had been medics, and decided they enjoyed caring for people."
He considered accounting, but was told "your maths result aren't as good as you thought".
But he has no regrets about the career choice he has stuck with for more than five decades.
In those days, uniforms would be starched to such a degree that his trousers would stand up by themselves.
The starch in his collar would rub all of the skin off his neck.
It was not a glamorous time for the trainee nurses, with about 50 per cent dropping out before they were qualified.
"The girls that grew up in the city were more likely to say, 'this isn't for me'," he said.
"The girls who came in from the country to do their training could hack it better."
After training he was assigned to work in the surgical operating theatre, where he would do "everything, from whoa to go".
That stretched from cleaning, to assisting the anaesthetist, to being on call for emergencies.
He has also worked as a community nurse, caring for people in their own homes.
Later in his career he worked as a midwife at the former Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital - where he was the first male midwife in the building - before returning to the LGH in 2003.
He has always worked in Tasmania - except for six years in New South Wales.
He and his former wife, who has since died of cancer, decided to move when a storm blew the roof of their house in Queechy Road.
After some time at Blacktown District Hospital, he decided to take over as the sole nurse at a clinic in Hill End, near Bathurst.
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The site of the biggest gold nugget every discovered worldwide, Hill End then had a population of about 150 people.
The man who set up the clinic left because his family was struggling with the isolation of the small rural community.
"That's what I walked into with my wife and two little children," Mr Jessup laughed.
The clinic shared a building with an antique shop, with a dugout toilet in the backyard.
"My first week, I had a young shearer come in," he said.
"The publican knocked on the door with this guy, and this guy had his hand all wrapped up in a red towel. Apparently he had a crush on the local teacher.
"He'd got himself super drunk, and smashed his glass, and he'd driven it into the palm of his hand. The publican had seen the blood going everywhere, wrapped it up, grabbed this bloke and marched him down to my health centre.
"So, I've got this inebriated young shearer, with an armlock around the teacher - he wouldn't let her go. I used my blood pressure cuff as a tourniquet, put a pressure bandage around it, and put him in my car - because I had to act as an ambulance, too.
"I drove him into Bathurst. The only time he let go of that teacher was when he had to vomit, because I told him I wouldn't let him do it in my car.
"He didn't even need any local anaesthetic - I watched the surgeon sew him up. He didn't feel a thing.
"I've got so many stories from that time."
Now 70, Mr Jessup clearly does not want to retire.
"I've turned 70, I'm in the vulnerable category for COVID-19, and I was working in a vulnerable theatre ... I had discussions with my manager and I made the decision," he said.
"My legs just weren't coping in the theatre, and in an emergency situation, I just can't run any more. I'd have to be the pen and paper man and let the other nurses do all the hard work - and I didn't want to be a liability to my nursing team.
"I think I have done the right thing."
He is looking forward to spending time at his five-acre property near Mt Arthur, pursuing his hobby of photography, and riding his motorbike - with a group of fellow hospital staff who call themselves 'the Scalpels'.
He will also treasure the opportunity to spend quality time with his second wife, Linda, five children, and three grandchildren.
"I have really enjoyed every part of my career."