Chantelle Ward, 28, was led to nursing at the age of 21 by an experience that gave her the determination to gain the skills needed to help people.
“I was in Eygpt, travelling in a taxi and there was a bad road accident. There was a man on the side of the road who was bleeding. I was helpless; there was nothing I could do. I held his hand and stayed with him until he passed away.
“The feeling of not knowing what to do, and of being unable to help people, was awful. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. That feeling lead me to come back to Australia and become a nurse,” she said.
I am a mature-aged student. I didn’t finish high school. I had a long path to university but I did it. I was determined.
And now Chantelle is studying the Bachelor of Nursing Fast Track course at the University of Tasmania’s Rozelle campus- and she is loving it.
“I really like how the lecturers that I had in first year are also my lecturers in second year. You build this relationship with your teachers, so as time goes on you feel more comfortable and confident in asking questions.
Because it is a small campus, you see people all the time. It’s a beautiful campus, it has beautiful grounds. You could be sitting outside and know all of the people around you. It’s really nice. It’s like a community or a family.
Chantelle has had a wide variety of fascinating placements, including in a mental health community centre, in oncology, and in a correctional facility. She said she loves the opportunity to choose her placements from a list.
“It gives you the power to choose what you want to learn and engage in.
“My first placement I was put into one of the best hospitals in Sydney, RPA. I was put on an orthopaedic trauma ward. From there I went to another fantastic hospital.
Placements is where UTAS shines. My placements have been absolutely wonderful. I can’t fault them. The facilitators have been fantastic.
Now she has found her calling, Chantelle knows she can assist people in need of medical help if the need arises. And sure enough, she was able to help a severely injured man she came across while out with a friend.
“He had badly cut his hand. He was bleeding, then he dropped to the ground, started vomiting, and went cold.
“Straight away my training kicked in, and I began the doctor ABC. I knew the symptoms and I knew what to do, and how to communicate effectively with the person on the other end of 000.
“The ambulance came and took him to hospital. It made me feel really good that I could help him.
That’s what UTAS gives you. The training is not just about working or placements, it’s gives you knowledge that you can apply to all situations. It’s invaluable.
And Chantelle isn’t shy about telling people about the benefits of studying.
“I try to recruit people. Every opportunity I get, I say ‘you should apply!’ I’ve even grabbed one of my colleagues’ phone, got her on the UTAS website, and said look here’s the ‘apply now’ button, the button you need to press!”
Fast track your nursing career with a two year Nursing degree at one of our Sydney campuses. Apply directly to the University of Tasmania to study in 2018.