Part-time cardiology, part-time pool nurse
I never wanted to do a job just to pay the bills I wanted to do something I was passionate about and enjoyed waking up to do. I’ve always enjoyed a workplace where you can continuously learn and develop new skills and nursing definitely offers that. I also have always enjoyed looking after people when they’re sick and feeling like I could make someone’s day a little brighter. There are photos of me as a kid looking after my sisters when they were sick and looking so happy trying to make them feel better!
Where do you work?
As a pool nurse I work in most departments – ED, ICU, Surgical, Orthopaedics, Stroke and rehab, the Renal Unit, Mental Health, Transfer, Circulating or in Recovery. I work where ever I’m needed three days of the week and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I work as a Cardiology nurse in the cardiac catheterisation (cath) lab. We prepare the patient for an angiogram (an x-ray of the heart’s blood vessels), then assist the Cardiologist who can check existing stents and diagnose patients if they have coronary artery disease or other medical conditions. We then monitor the patient for 2-4hrs. We work with about 4-6 angiogram patients a day.
What inspires you to go to work each day?
I honestly feel inspired most days that I could somehow make a difference in someone’s life. This could be just having a laugh with someone who might not have laughed in months, or listening long enough for a patient to feel they’re not alone, or supporting families through what could be the hardest times of their lives. It’s such a privilege to be there through patients’ most vulnerable times and make a positive difference to their end of life experience.
You get a lot of challenging days in nursing, you’re dealing with a lot of dynamics, but we also get many rewarding days that make you remember why you want to be a nurse. I’ve had many memorable moments with patients who I’ve nursed for months and seeing them in the community doing well is an amazing feeling. Those moments when I know the treatment we’ve given a patient has literally saved their life, they’re highlights you don’t forget and they help remind you why you’re here.
The best thing about being a nurse?
After taking an 18-month break from nursing to go to Canada I realised I would need to be a nurse for the rest of my life because there’s just something about nursing that gives my life so much purpose and I feel like I can make a difference in some small way. I have realised over time that is something important to me.
Has there been anyone you have worked with that has been influential in your career so far?
There have been a number of nurses that have influenced me and made me reflect on my own nursing practice. My mum’s nursing practice has probably been the most influential as we discuss things I get to see the passion she has for it. It isn’t just a job for her it’s part of who she is and I see the impact she has on patients’ and families’ lives.
My mum’s a medical case manager and she’s been nursing since she was 17. She knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was three years old. She loves her job and 40 years later you can see in her everyday she still loves it.
The awesome thing about nursing is there are so many different areas and paths you can take. Mum trained in Palmerston North and then moved to Europe were she did midwifery and now she helps with complex discharges which is always a challenge.
Plans for your career?
I really enjoy Intensive Care and Cardiac nursing. Now that travelling is not really an option for a while my plan is to focus on post-grad study and specialising in cardiac nursing.