" I am always amazed at the bond we share and appreciate the trust patients have in me to care for them. "
MAY 2022: CASSARY BRADY, DAY THERAPY NURSE
I was always drawn towards a career built on purpose and to positively impact people’s lives. My interest in human biology, science and psychology also led me to choosing a career in nursing. My stepdad, being a general and psychiatric trained nurse, also influenced me to follow a career in healthcare and to broaden my scope to travel.
I completed a four-year Bachelor of Science Nursing degree in University College Dublin in Ireland. I can clearly recall my first days on the floor as nerve-wrecking, exciting, challenging and overwhelming. Becoming a part of the nursing team was a very proud moment as I knew I was now in the position to put learning into practice and have the influence to positively impact or change a patient’s life. I will also always remember the understanding and guidance of senior nurses, as I would’ve been lost without them!
During my university training I had the opportunity to work as an intern on an Oncology and Haematology ward. I found myself exposed to the complexities of cancer care and how cancer diagnoses affect people’s lives and sense of mortality.I found it challenging but rewarding to be able to connect with people at their most vulnerable. I grew to respect and learn the complexities of cancer nursing and also found a great sense of privilege in providing palliative care. It was the need for such clinical expertise combined with the holistic nature of oncology nursing that led me to choose this area as my speciality.
I am relatively new to Peter Mac having worked here for the past six months after recently migrating from Ireland. I always had a desire to immigrate and live abroad, for some time I was working towards moving to America but things didn’t quite go to plan so I decided on Australia. I particularly chose Melbourne for the diversity in culture and great work & lifestyle balance. A huge attraction for me was also the chance to work at Peter Mac, as one of the leading cancer hospitals and with my passion for cancer nursing, I felt like it was an ideal match.
It was definitely daunting to move abroad alone, I didn’t know anyone in Melbourne prior to living here. I had no idea what to expect but I didn’t want to have any regrets and felt like it was worth taking the risk. Saying goodbye to friends and family is never easy but having their support and encouragement made all the difference. I have to say since arriving in Melbourne I have felt so safe and welcomed by everyone I have met. I’ve made friendships that I already feel will last a lifetime and it has really reinforced for me that taking the risk to move here was the right decision.
Working in Australia has really shown me a more balanced lifestyle that I have not had since I graduated as a nurse in Ireland. To have time and energy to study, socialise and even pursue other interests and hobbies aside from nursing has been amazing.
" There are many patients that stay with you. I have met some of the most kind, brave and inspiring people through the past four years. I am always amazed at the bond we share, and appreciate the trust patients have in me to care for them. A cancer diagnosis and time spent in hospital can be a lonely place but often I find we are in it together and it can become a shared and less isolating experience. "
I currently work on the busy and dynamic Day Therapy Unit at Peter Mac, supporting patients coming from the community for cancer treatment by providing education, administering chemotherapy and managing acute oncology emergencies. This is my first role at Peter Mac but I am hopeful to diversify to other roles in the future.
I would like to thank all my past and present patients for sharing their cancer journey with me. I am grateful for my family and friends for their constant support and encouragement, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Lastly, for anyone considering a career in oncology nursing or working abroad, I urge you to walk towards the challenge, you’ll probably surprise yourself and anything is always worth trying once. Life is far too precious to not follow your potential and purpose.