" I remember my first shift at Peter Mac. I instantly felt at home. "
MAY 2022: REBECCA TURNER - ENROLLED NURSE, CANCER IMAGING
As a young child I always had a fascination with nursing and knew I wanted to become a nurse. Going to hospital appointments with my parents, I was always interested in health care.
Things my family cringed at, I found intriguing.
I grew up in a small town called Bacchus Marsh about 50km out of Melbourne, living a relatively traditional childhood with my Mum, Dad and older brother.
I became a single mum at 17 and this gave me the determination to continue my studies and be the best I could be. To show my son that you can do anything you put your mind to - just as my parents had always told me.
My parents supported me to finish high school while caring for my baby. I stayed home for a year to focus on my son and then decided to begin studying part-time. I first completed Cert IV in Health and Science Foundations, which heightened my passion and enthusiasm for nursing and ultimately of my decision to complete my Diploma of Nursing.
I completed my Diploma of Nursing in May 2016 and was the recipient of the ANMF Student of the year for 2016. The following year I was asked to present at the ANMF Enrolled Nurse Study Day.
During my studies I had one particular nursing educator who I respected immensely. She had a real passion for nursing and had worked in many different areas. She was a doula, a palliative care nurse and a marriage celebrant. I remember her saying she was with people at the most important times of their lives and I found this to be such a beautiful sentiment.
My first nursing job was at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in oncology, haematology and palliative care. This is where I found my passion for oncology nursing. I never thought I would be working in oncology - I originally wanted to be a midwife and thought I would begin with a nursing degree and then return to study midwifery. However, my time at St Vincent’s Private showed me what an important area of nursing that oncology is. It made me feel like I was really making a difference to my patients.
I currently work as an Enrolled Nurse in Cancer Imaging. I have been working at Peter Mac for two years. Recently I applied for a promotion to an Advanced Enrolled Nurse Level 3.3 and was the first nurse to obtain this level at Peter Mac. An Advance Enrolled Nurse is a Nurse who is specialised in a particular area of Nursing and is the highest level and Enrolled Nurse can obtain. I have now become a preceptor for new Enrolled Nurses in Cancer Imaging. I enjoy being able to support the new Enrolled Nurses coming into Cancer Imaging, just as my colleagues did for me when I was new to the department.
" Enrolled Nurses are relatively new to Peter Mac and I look forward to being part of all the new opportunities created for us to work alongside the wonderful team of Registered Nurses. "
I remember my first shift at Peter Mac, walking into such an amazing vibrant building, I knew this was a special place. I was utterly overwhelmed to be starting nursing in Cancer Imaging, which was a totally new area of nursing for me. My past nursing experience was predominantly ward nursing. I instantly felt at home at Peter Mac, everyone was so welcoming and kind. I am very grateful to work with some of the most amazing nurses I have ever met - their caring nature and teamwork is really next to none.
I am passionate about oncology and palliative care and being there for someone during one of the most challenging times of their life. Supporting the patient during these times is extremely humbling and really helps you put things into perspective and makes you grateful for what you have.
Although I have many fond memories of patients from my nursing career, one particular moment that sticks with me was a patient whose family gathered by the bedside singing songs and playing guitar to soothe their family member. It was so very touching to observe. I am so grateful to have experienced many heartfelt moments and got to build a relationship with the patient and their family.
I aspire to return to study become a Registered Nurse once my son is older and more independent. Enrolled Nurses are both beneficial to the hospital and it’s also a great starting point for anyone considering a career in nursing.