Registered Nurse, Counties Manukau District Health Board
Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)
For Tara Soe, it was a personal tragedy that made her realise that she was destined for a career in nursing.
“I specifically chose to study nursing because of my past experience of being a full-time caregiver to my late mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in high school. The nurses that contributed to her care inspired me to be a nurse. Their hard work and dedication to her healthcare is a reflection of what I want to be to those who are suffering.
“I’m Samoan and the youngest of eight children, and my sister’s positive university experience at AUT was one of the reasons that inspired me to apply to AUT myself. I was the second child in my large family to graduate from AUT, and graduating with my degree has been my greatest accomplishment; not only for me but for my family as well.”
Finding her path
She had many highlights throughout her time at AUT, says Tara who received a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and a Ministry of Health Scholarship to support her studies.
“I really enjoyed how practical and hands-on the nursing programme was. I got to meet lifetime friends, and was supported and motivated by my lecturers to be the best I can be.”
The clinical placements that are at the heart of the nursing degree were a great opportunity to experience different areas of nursing, Tara says.
“My favourite part of it all was being exposed to different areas of nursing while I was on my clinical placements. I never knew I had a passion to work in the surgical area of nursing but I was thankful for my clinical experiences that sparked this passion in me to be involved in this more fast-paced side of nursing.”
Caring for those in need
She loves waking up each day and knowing that she is serving her community, says Tara who is now a Registered Nurse working for the Counties Manukau District Health Board.
“This is a general surgical ward, specialising in colorectal surgery. It’s a fast-paced and intense environment, and one of the many things we do here is looking after patients who are here for bowel cancer, stomas, colectomy, ileostomy, appendicitis or cholecystitis. Being able to help and care for those in need is a highlight and a blessing.”
Her studies at AUT helped her become the nurse she is today, Tara says.
“I can honestly say AUT has helped mould me into the qualified Registered Nurse I am today. The greatest skill I‘ve learnt as a result of studying at AUT is the ability to connect theory with my clinical practice, and use critical thinking to solve problems in a more holistic approach when caring for my patients.”