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Georgia Gatens

Georgia Gatens

What would you like to specialise in?

I recently went to a seminar on cardiothoracic nursing and loved it. I would love to specialise in intensive care or cardiothoracics, however at this stage I’m still not completely set on one area of nursing. Nursing is so broad, who knows what I will be doing in five years, and hopefully once I start working I will be able to find my niche.

How did you find your first year of university?

Incredibly hard, university is completely different to high school. I actually completed my first year over two years, as most nursing courses are very intense and require enormous amounts of work. I was able to spread out my units while working a part-time job. I’m glad I did, otherwise I would’ve dropped out of university.

What have been the highlights of your course?

I have had many incredible highlights over my student years. I have had the opportunity to have an overseas placement in Vanuatu, where I was able to work in a rural hospital with nurses and doctors. It made me eternally grateful for the healthcare we have here in Australia and how amazing and resourceful the people were in Vanuatu. It was definitely an eye opener. I was also part of the committee of St Patrick’s Nursing Society (ACU) where we organised trivia nights and an amazing ball.

What have been the biggest learning curves you’ve experienced?

I think for me, seeking feedback from your peers and preceptors on anything related to nursing. In your student years, this is the time when you can ask as many questions as you wish and seek clarification. As a student I did this continuously and it helped me improve clinically.  Another one is take care of yourself; you are the most important person and if you need to have some down time, take it.

What advice would you give to other students/future grads?

I love to stay organised and this was an important skill, especially in my final year.

As well as finishing off your degree, you are expected to be on top of everything else, like applying for graduate programs, placement, assignments, interviews and just life in general. So make sure you are organised from the very beginning of the year as, before you know it, it will be July and you will be applying for graduate programs. Get yourself a diary or use your phone and put in important dates for everything.

Furthermore, when applying for graduate programs do your research. Use Google, go to information sessions hospitals hold, go to the ACN Nursing Expo, talk to graduates from different hospitals and use the resources you have around you, like family/friends/lecturers.

Start understanding computer match and how to apply for graduate programs. See if your university will be holding a graduate forum about graduate programs and go to the ANMF Undergraduate Student Study Day. It’s important you invest your time, as in the end all the hard work will pay off.

Most of all breathe, everything will work out in the end. Not obtaining a graduate year is not the end of the world!

What are your passions outside nursing?

As much as I’m passionate about nursing, I do have a life outside of it. I love to travel, every year I travel to at least one country. I have seen most of Asia and next on the agenda I think will be India/Sri Lanka.

What do you do to wind down?

For the past year, it was watching a movie or TV show like The Game of Thrones. I’m sad it won’t be returning until 2019, I will have to find another TV show to watch while working through my graduate year.

Georgia studied nursing at Australian Catholic University and began her graduate program at the Royal Melbourne Hospital last month. We’d love to profile you in the next edition! Email us your contact details.