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I’m in my third and final year of study. I’m doing a Bachelor of Nursing through Wintec.
I’m 30. I wanted to be a nurse when I was younger in high school. I enrolled but pulled out when I was 19. I just wasn’t ready.
I went off and worked for the Waikato Times for six years, in Classifieds.
I went overseas.
But it was really when my nana was dying of cancer, in 2006, that I realised I wanted to be a nurse. Seeing how they went above and beyond caring for her. It was one little thing that one nurse did that made me want to be a nurse.
Nana couldn’t eat and just wanted ice blocks, but wasn’t allowed sugar, so the nurse went home and got juice and froze it, and brought it to my nana. I thought that was really special.
Nurse training is hard work. It’s a lot of reading and juggling assignments.
We have two clinical placements a semester, seven in total. I’ve done community mental health and aged care and worked at Waikato Hospital in various settings as well.
I spent a bit of time at Taumarunui Hospital and it was awesome.
One day you can be working with mental health patients – we went out to visit people in their homes – and then up to Waikeria Prison and Springhill Prison – I sat in with the court liaison nurses. It wasn’t as scary as I thought.
At Taumarunui I got to be in the Emergency Department (ED). The first time I was there it was pretty intense.
There were patients who had had car accidents, heart attacks… one guy ripped his arm open with a chainsaw. That was really cool; I got to help stitch it up.
I had a great preceptor (nursing mentor) assigned to work with me though. A man came in that needed a dressing changed, and my preceptor laid out everything on a table and said ‘go for it’.
I’ve applied to go back to Taumarunui for my final placement. It’s great there, and being a smaller hospital you get more opportunities to do everything: ED, diabetes, HDU (high dependency unit), maternity.
There are competencies you have to pass; we have to meet Nursing Council requirements. I finish in April next year and have my State exams in July. If I pass those I’ll be a registered nurse.
" It’s a good career as you can nurse anywhere, so it’s good for travel..."
It’s a good career as you can nurse anywhere, so it’s good for travel.
I wanted a job where you walked through the door in the morning and wouldn’t be sure what is going to happen that day. You have to think on your feet as a nurse.
I think, to be a good nurse you have to be confident, patient and hardworking. It’s not the kind of job where you can clock-watch.
You have to be a good detective too. I hate not knowing something and try and find solutions.
You are constantly learning. They said to us in class, “the day you know everything is the day you should leave nursing” and I think that’s true.
For me, nursing is hands-on: caring for people, blood and guts, and making a difference… like that nurse did for my nana.
I always try and treat people well, with respect.
They tell us that if someone has a negative experience with healthcare it affects who they access healthcare in the future.
I work part-time in a rest home as a carer, in the dementia unit. It’s hard when a patient passes away, you always feel sad.
I just love people and being around people. I made the right choice for my career; now it’s just about getting through the assignments and study.
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