Meet Alex. She grew up in Chile and pursued a path in linguistics and languages, but she always felt a gravitational pull towards a career in healthcare. Fast forward to the present, and Alex has established a successful career in nursing. Currently, she works in the acute medical ward after serving in the emergency department throughout the pandemic. In her challenging role, Alex embodies raw positive energy.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a Registered Nurse.
"I had always wanted to study nursing. However, as a young person fresh out of school, I decided to take an easier path and study Linguistics and Languages instead, as I had grown up in Chile and was already fluent in Spanish.
"After graduating, I got married and had two beautiful girls. I focused my attention on my family and launched a successful global business that makes baby carriers. Though nursing had always been at the back of my mind, I couldn't pursue it until January 2020 when the pandemic began. I enrolled in my local university and was accepted into the graduate entry pathway for nursing. Through the pandemic, I worked in the emergency department of a busy tertiary teaching hospital. This experience convinced me that I can do anything, and I know that nursing is where I am supposed to be now. I have no intention of changing careers again."
What advice would you tell your 18-year-old self?
"It doesn't matter what path you take or how long it takes to reach your destination; the most important thing is to enjoy the journey."
Who are those around you that have empowered you during your career?
"My husband, Tim, has been my biggest cheerleader throughout my career. He has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and when I considered re-enrolling as a mature-aged student, he urged me to go for it. We make a great team. Another significant motivator for me are my daughters. I want to demonstrate to them that they can pursue anything they desire at any point in their lives. It may sound corny, but life is a journey and I don't want to have any regrets or "what ifs" when my time is up."
What are the unexpected perks of being a nurse?
"I never expected it, but one of the greatest benefits of nursing has been the elderly population. Although they can be challenging, I have developed a real fondness for them. They have led fascinating lives, and I have learned so much just by listening to them. I find it incredibly rewarding to care for older patients, and they often provide me with my biggest laughs while on the ward."
What motivates you?
"What motivates me the most is the knowledge that the care I provide to my patients is making a positive impact on their outcomes and the well-being of their families. There is something incredibly gratifying about advocating for and assisting someone who is in a vulnerable state in their life, whether it is due to their medical condition or emotional state."
What do you think your superpower is?
"My superpower? Gosh, I have no idea. Maybe being able to persuade my non-compliant and delirious patients to take their medications is a superpower? Although, I suppose it could just be a skill that every great nurse has?"
Thank you, Alex, for sharing your unique, heart-warming story with us.
In celebration of World Health Worker Week, NNT is proud to present a very special edition of our Features from the Frontline series. Join influential faces from across the industry as they share their journeys, challenges and words of wisdom with you.