Why did you become a nurse? That is a question I LOVE answering. It’s not the usual, ‘oh I finished year 12 and decided to go to Uni and do nursing.’ It’s a story I hold deep in my heart. There is nothing wrong with the above statement! But my reason is a little different…
Let me take you back 10 years ago when I was 18 years old, I was driving like a mad women, running red lights towards our local hospital. I had a phone call from my dad that turned me into that lunatic driver, ‘Candice, it’s nana, she’s not well, you need to get here now.’ I rushed to the local ED to find my nana on stretcher in the hallway, I ran up to her, tears in my eyes, panic in my heart and cuddled her, sobbing into her neck. She told me she was sick, it wasn’t looking good. I stupidly panicked and told her I loved her, that I’d never forget her and promised to name my daughter after her. It was at that moment she stopped me in my tracks – pushed me back and said these exact words, ‘don’t be so BLOODY STUPID! I have a horrible name’ She wasn’t entirely wrong; Betty Peggy Olive Tarrant – what was my great grandma thinking?
Anyway, fast forward 3 weeks to the day my nana died. In the local private hospital (which I now work at – and still can’t bring myself to work in that ward) with the family around her. The care the nurses gave us, the care they gave my nana, touched my soul. She passed away peacefully with mum and I at her side, holding her hand. I walked out to the nurses and said I thought she was gone, they came in and confirmed it. The love they showed mum and I was something I can never thank them enough for and the compassion they showed my lifeless nana was beautiful. They still talked to her, touched her tenderly. I left the hospital at 3am a changed person.
I was enrolled into Uni to become an accountant, I am good with numbers and love business; but that night something inside me decided helping people make money was not what I wanted to do. I needed to give care to people the way the nurses gave care to my family and my nana. I applied to do nursing that year and started the following year. I wanted to care for dying people and their families.
So, why did I become a nurse? Because my nana died and the nurses were amazing.
I finished uni and ended up in Intensive Care. My passion. It’s not called Intensive Care for any old reason. The care is intense, the emotions are intense, the body of the patient is under intense pressure to fight. It’s a special place to work. I have many tales to tell about my time there; the first time I did CPR, the time first I heard a mother scream when her son died; the first time I had a patient get so sick that they needed to be put into a coma, the first time I cried with a family, the first time I saw a miracle, the first time I saw a patient walk out of the unit after the medical staff thought it would never happen again, the first time I saw a wife smile because her husband was getting better and also the first time I met Kyle.
I worked in ICU for three and a half years when I decided it was time for a change. Making that decision broke my heart, but I needed a change. Kyle and I were wanting a family and the 12hr shifts were going to be hard, we worked half night shift (7.30pm – 8am) and half day shift (7.30am – 8pm) which would mean I would be going a whole day without seeing my baby. I looked into other areas of nursing and found cosmetic nursing, I did a Post Graduate Degree and once finished I fell pregnant. I waited until after my baby (William) was born and started applying for jobs in the cosmetic industry. During my course we had injecting days and the educators always told me I was a natural and I loved it. Me, as a person, would have loved to stay in ICU, but me, the partner & mother, needed to leave. My compromise to myself was to stay casual in ICU to get my ‘fix’ and work my permanent job as a cosmetic injector.
I love the Cosmetic nursing, people often look at the industry as vain, but my view is; I am trying to reconnect people to who they feel like on the inside, to who they look like on the outside. Yes, people come in to get lips done, but who are we to judge people? If they are doing it for themselves then that’s great! I often get mothers in their 30’s – 40’s saying: it’s time for me now, I have given so much that it’s time for me to indulge – GO them!!
Working office hours with a bubba boy who is only 7 months old is hard work. I try my best to balance it out but there are days when I feel guilty, days when I miss my baby. But I love work so much that it’s my time. How I balance it is that I organise the night before as much as I can for the proceeding days (I work 3 days a week); I meal prep, I pre cut veg/salad/meat to spend minimal time in the kitchen and I also make sure William has fresh healthy food ready, that makes me feel good to know I am still caring for him while I am away. I do all this once he goes to bed so I am not taking time away from him.
On days where I finish at 5.30pm, Kyle (my fiancé) knows to keep William up and let me do the bedtime routine. Another thing I do is on my days off, I spend all my time with my little man. I just make sure I get quality time with him. It’s taken a while to find balance and there have been times I have cried because I miss William. Of course he doesn’t care! He spends his days with his grandparents and adores them, he doesn’t go to daycare yet.
Becoming a mummy has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, but being a nurse is also something that is deeply engraved into my soul. Being a working mum is easy when you’re passionate about you job.