The Australian Country Hospital Heritage Association Inc (ACHHA) operates the Country Hospital Museum which has its own building within the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Entry fees quoted provide access to the entire Village. If you live locally, Village Market Days are a good time to visit because access to the entire Village collection costs just $2.00 per adult. The Country Hospital Museum features a wide range of displays reflecting the facilities available in country hospitals in the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The collection includes many items of equipment used in hospitals in earlier times, memorabilia, photographs, records and oral histories and other stories from nursing, medical, dental and pharmaceutical sources.
The Museum building, formerly the Mt Morgan Hospital Matron and Sisters’ Quarters, features displays set out in rooms typical of those found in country hospitals in the past. As well as a central gallery, the museum features an equipped general ward, an operating theatre, a doctor’s office; a dentist’s treatment room, a pharmacy display, an infant care room, pan and treatment rooms and a typical nurse’s bedroom. An Iron Lung donated to the Rockhampton Hospital by the Nuffield Foundation in 1938 takes pride of place on the veranda. Other major equipment includes early humidicribs, a rota bed used for treating spinal injuries, early dental chairs and an X-ray machine. A selection of historic photographs is displayed throughout the building. There are several mannequins dressed in uniforms typical of the past, and a doll display depicting a wide range of 20th Century nurses’ uniforms. During the commemorations of the centenary of World War One, displays which tell the stories of nurses in wartime have been enhanced. There are specific displays about the historic Westwood Sanatorium and the story of the Woorabinda Aboriginal Settlement and township.
While the basic layout of the museum is fixed, the Association is continuously developing a series of changing displays which will interest repeat visitors and highlight aspects of the collection.