Emergency Care Registered Nurse, Counties Manukau Health
Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)
Working in the emergency department means you see everyone who presents to the hospital, says AUT alumna Mardie Healey who now works for Counties Manukau Health at Middlemore Hospital.
“We’re the first point of entry into the hospital, and it’s constantly busy. Nurses are really valued as part of the medical team and have a huge involvement in initiating interventions. Doctors often rely on nurses to let them know who is really sick and needs to be prioritised, so there’s a lot of trust and teamwork between the professions.
“There’s a lot of autonomy for nurses in the emergency department, and they put of lot of work into training and upskilling you. I’m very proud of the skills I’ve developed, including doing plaster casts, putting in IV cannulas, taking bloods, and doing nitrous sedations and paediatric resus.”
The path to success
While there’s no doubt that she has found her dream career, nursing wasn’t always on the cards, Mardie admits.
“I was initially studying science but when I found out about the nursing degree I immediately became interested. I already had the science background, wanted to work with people and had a keen interest in the health sector. I wanted a career that would be challenging, and I liked that there are many different types of nursing jobs you can go into.”
Her AUT degree was great preparation for her work now, says Mardie who is of Cook Island and European descent.
“My degree included a lot of self-directed learning, which has been good for my ability to learn new things on my own as a new graduate. The work placements as part of the degree were like an internship, so I knew what to expect when I graduated. We were also encouraged to be proactive during our work placements, which is something I’ve also been able to use in my work now.”
Advice for other students
Having now been in the workplace for four years, Mardie has some great advice for future students.
“Don’t worry too much about the hurdles – you’ll definitely overcome them if you work hard for it. Learn to ask for help when you need it. This is a big thing nurses need to be able to do, and it takes a bit of confidence to be able to ask someone more senior than you for this, but at the end of the day your patient’s safety is a priority.”
Keeping up-to-date with the latest readings is essential too, Mardie adds.
“Read every article you can get your hands on. They’re up-to-date and make topics that are hard to learn much easier to understand. And lastly, take every opportunity that presents itself. It’s what I did and it led me to where I am today.”
Last updated: 14-Jul-2017 2.35pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.