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The health care industry is a rewarding career path to take. Whether you're a nurse or a therapy assistant, allied health is an area that's in high demand. We got together with a registered nurse, Amanda, to find out about her career in the health sector.

How did you end up working in healthcare?

My mum was a nurse. So I grew up with a respect and knowledge of the industry. Back then however, there was still a lot of differences in how healthcare is delivered. Namely a lot of the training and education was achieved "on the job". My mum was a graduate of the hospital trained nurses. Where as I went to uni. I had a set path to study medicine and did a bachelor of biotechnology first. But as that degree was ending I found more interest in working in a nursing home with a majority of elderly dementia patients. I did a small amount of caring in the community for disabled people, while studying the bachelor of nursing. Once I was qualified I began working as an Registered Nurse in the field of cardio thoracic medicine/surgery. This has always been where my interest lies.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is actually in educating my colleagues to enable growth within their own knowledge and skill set. I enjoy being a preceptor to student nurses. And I equally enjoy providing patients with education regarding their illness. I enjoy helping people.

What’s included in your day-to-day activities?

Currently I work part time (one night shift per week). This is because I have a small child. My career is extremely conducive to parenthood - which is also a factor that I love. So when I am at work, I typically take a patient load of up to 10 patients. As a cardiac nurse it is my job to understand cardiac issues and complications related to the myriad of disease states we see. I can read telemetry monitors, ECGs and interpret all that information. There is a standard set of basic nursing cares that you learn at uni, but as your career grows you become more experienced and advanced within your own specialty.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

I feel that healthcare is heading for many major changes with the tide of our aging population. We are seeing the face change from lifestyle based illness and preventable diseases to more congenital, more age related, surgeries are becoming less invasive, technology is changing. These are progressional changes, and while they are challenges in that way that change can be a challenge, they are also refreshing.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to join the health industry?

My advice for people wanting to enter health care is to be prepared for a dynamic and exciting career. Be sure that you want to stay in it for the long haul. And be prepared to embrace change.

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