Meet Steph, who was born into a lineage of registered nurses, but was determined not to follow the same path as her family. However, a turning point came when she worked for a community nursing organisation, which inspired her journey to become a registered nurse herself. Now, her life revolves around her nursing career as well as her family. She also pursues her passions as a fitness guru and a health and lifestyle content creator.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a Registered Nurse.
"My journey to becoming a Nurse has been quite the journey! Both my parents and many family members were RNs, and I initially resisted the idea of following in their footsteps. However, after working for a community nursing organisation in Tasmania, I was inspired by the care and compassion shown by the Nurses towards patients at the end of their life."
Describe your feelings towards being a Registered Nurse today compared to when you started your career.
"When I started my graduate position as an operating theatre nurse, I felt very anxious and overwhelmed. Despite my nursing degree, I had no practical experience with theatre skills. The first year of my nursing career was exhausting as I was learning so much on the job. But now, I feel confident working in theatre and, as a senior member of the team, I am able to teach and mentor new staff. Even after years of experience, I still learn something new every day.
"What brings me the greatest satisfaction and pride in my work is being able to help change a patient's life and provide comfort during their most vulnerable times."
How do you juggle your career with family time, you time and social media content creation?
"Time management is something that I take seriously and work hard at. I've found that getting up early in the morning helps me to start the day off on the right foot. I make time for myself to exercise and mentally prepare for the day ahead. This helps me to feel energised and focused, which is essential for managing my workload.
"I'm also very motivated to do my best in my work, which helps me to stay on top of my tasks and manage my time effectively. Even when things get busy or overwhelming, I try to stay focused on my priorities and use my time wisely. It's not always easy, but I've found that it's worth the effort to maintain good time management skills."
What topic in the nursing industry needs to have a light shined on it?
"Nurse burnout is a critical issue that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and healthcare systems are under immense pressure, and nurses are often pushed to their physical and emotional limits. Many nurses are working long hours in high-stress environments, and this can lead to burnout. This is concerning because nurse burnout can significantly impact patient safety and the quality of care they receive.
"As nurses, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients, and when there are staff shortages, we often agree to work additional shifts to ensure that patients are properly cared for. However, this can take a toll on our mental and physical health, and it is essential that healthcare organisations take steps to address nurse burnout and promote the well-being of their staff."
What is your career highlight?
"I recently completed my graduate diploma in Perioperative Nursing and gained numerous skills from working in this field. I strongly believe that being a Perioperative Nurse is one of the most rewarding, diverse and flexible careers out there."
What do you think your superpower is?
"I’m a multitasker. It's important to be versatile in the operating theatre as there are multiple roles that need to be performed and being able to switch between them is crucial. As a Perioperative Nurse, I have developed the skills needed to handle the different responsibilities of each role and can smoothly transition from one to the other as needed. Being a multitasker has certainly helped me to be efficient and effective in the fast-paced environment of the operating room."
Thank you, Steph, 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.