I was born in Canberra and for the majority of my life lived in the surrounding countryside. I grew up with two sisters; we all climbed trees, caught wildlife like lizards, rode horses and had a very natural and authentic upbringing and childhood. I went to a country primary school and to high school in Canberra. I then went on to complete my first degree, a Bachelor of Medical Science, and an Honours year there. I wrote my thesis about Crohn's disease (a gastrointestinal disease) and studied patients’ red blood cells for differences in cell structure and release of hormones.
During my Honours year I worked in a hospital collecting samples and liaising and working with nursing staff; this gave me an insight into the nursing role in a hospital. The further along I went with my Honours study, I found myself looking forward to the day I would be able to be part of a nursing team and interact with patients. After finishing, I decided to chase that curiosity which led me to study a Bachelor of Nursing (Accelerated).
I wanted to move to Sydney from Canberra to study (mainly due to the lifestyle and lovely beaches!) but also to gain experience in a range of different hospitals and environments – something that studying in Canberra couldn’t give me. I researched which universities were best to study nursing at, and UTS came out on top!
The most rewarding aspect of the course I found was going on clinical placements and putting what I had learned into practice, which made me realise just how much I had learned during the term. I was proud of myself to be able to put what I had learned into action, and to see the resulting actions of mine in patients’ care.
I also found some of my clinical facilitators to be particularly memorable. In my last year of study, I had two facilitators who helped me immensely! They gave me advice, supported me and also made the experience more memorable.
To future students, I would say pace yourself during the degree. At times it can be quite overwhelming and tiring to be studying and going on practical, plus working a job and paying bills; but, it is achievable with the right attitude and knowing the importance of self-care. I would also add, that knowing is not enough, we must apply; and that willing is not enough, we must do – learning the skills in class is not enough, going on practical and applying them is when you really learn the skills of nursing.