At the start of year, the World Health Organisation coined 2020 the year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
Nurses have long been our unsung heroes in society, since well before a global pandemic thrust them into the spotlight. For hundreds of years, nurses have worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of others.
One quality which we consistently observe in our student nurses, is the passion that drives them to pursue their career. Jacki, former scholarship recipient and a recent Western graduate is no exception.
“The most special part was when we went up into really remote villages in the hills and there's no hospital. They have to walk for miles and miles to just be able to access the most basic of health care. So being able to bring the facilities and the stuff to them and be able to treat them, provide them with medication, advice, education as well to the women especially was something that I found a privilege."
“Nursing has always been something that I have been very passionate about”, she tells us. “I can't really picture myself doing any other field of occupation. It's something really special… being able to make even just the smallest of difference in my patients' lives.”
Jacki attributes the scholarship she received as having an integral role in her achievements at university, boosting confidence and giving her an extra reason to strive for success. Without the support of her scholarship, study would have been much more of a struggle and a life changing work placement in Nepal would have been impossible.
As Jacki and many students have reported, participating in a work placement field trip to a country such as Nepal provides invaluable experience and one that stays with students long after they graduate. Travelling to remote villages, far from home, where you must quickly learn to think on your feet while dealing with language barriers provides students a transformative educational experience that they take with them to their future careers.
"When we visited an elderly home… they didn’t speak a word of English. I could just see the gratitude. I had been able to provide safe and quality care, even though we weren’t able to verbally exchange words.”
Learning to provide health care in a culturally safe environment, as Jacki was required to do in Nepal, translates well into work in multicultural Western Sydney. Like so many Western Sydney University nursing graduates, Jacki will commence work in the Western Sydney health district, where she has lived her whole life.
Thanks to hard work and the benefit of a scholarship funded by the generosity of our donors, Jacki is giving back and truly making a difference.