JANE McLeish always knew she wanted to be a nurse.
From the moment she stepped up to high school at St Joseph's College, it was a career she knew she wanted to pursue.
“I chose all of my high school subjects around health and completed a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance through St Joseph’s,” she said.
“When I was 17, I had work experience at Echuca Community for the Aged and enjoyed it so much I applied for a casual job in the kitchen so I could continue my interaction with the residents.”
Her main aim was to work in a field where she could give back as much as she could.
“I really wanted a rewarding career that would allow me to care for people and to make a positive impact on their lives,” she said.
And as soon as she left high school and her home town, she was ready to start the journey into the medical field.
“I started my Bachelor of Nursing at La Trobe University in Bendigo and as the course progressed, I was able to transition into a personal care assistant role which confirmed my love for nursing,” she said.
“During the second year of my course, I was a part of the Echuca Regional Health (ERH) Registered Undergraduate Student of Nursing (RUSON) program that allowed me to work alongside registered nurse’s on the rehab ward for ten months while I studied.
“After completing the RUSON program at ERH I was certain that I wanted to be a nurse.”
Soon after, Jane was beginning her graduate year at ERH and couldn't be happier with her career choice.
“So far, I am really enjoying the interaction I get to have with patients,” she said.
“I currently work in an area where many of the same patients come in frequently for treatment, so it has been nice to create positive relationships with them.
“I love learning the specialised fields of both Haemodialysis and chemotherapy. I always learn something new every day.”
Like in any part of life, there are always challenges to be faced.
“One of the difficulties of being a new nurse is learning lots of new information and trying to retain it all, but thankfully, I am surrounded by a supportive team,” she said.
But Jane will always love her job and the work she does regardless of the ups and downs.
“It's great to have the privilege of being able to help people during vulnerable times in their lives,” she said.
“Whether it’s by administering their treatment, helping them with their activities of daily living or by simply being a hand to hold.”
And while things may look like they may be easing, the role of a nurse will always be an important one.
“I think that with everything that has been happening in the world lately, the importance of nurses has really shone through,” Jane said.
“I think nurses all over the world have done an amazing job in adapting to changes and keeping everyone safe.”
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