The HCA Newcastle team recently sat down with Alice Vandommele, a Critical Care Agency Nurse currently working in Newcastle on a nursing holiday. From a gene pool that is full of warm and loving Nurses, Alice brings her naturally caring personality and eye for detail to each and every hospital she works. Here are some of the highlights of her life as an Agency Nurse.
Why did you decide to become a Nurse?
I’m not exactly sure why I chose nursing. It does run in my family with both my Aunts being Nurses. I do have a naturally caring personality and an eye for detail.
Where did you start your career?
In the Townsville Hospital as a post-graduate Nurse. Started in Surgical Nursing, cardiothoracic, day surgery, rehabilitation and spent 3 months on Palm Island which is an indigenous community on a rural and remote placement.
After my first year, I decided to specialise in Cardiac Nursing which I did for 5 years. Thereafter I needed a new challenge and went overseas for 2 years and then came home to start Critical Care Nursing.
Tell us more about your patients and the work you do?
The patients that come to ICU are generally quite unwell. These patients vary from Trauma, surgical to medically unwell patients (sepsis).
There is more than the eye can see in ICU Nursing. From adjusting medication to supporting a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate, from adjusting their ventilation depending on blood test results to the cares that people don’t see like pressure area care, wound care, and general cares for patients personal hygiene (eyes and mouth). Also assisting Doctors with procedures such as putting in invasive lines, drains and taking patients for CT scans.
What do you like most about Agency Nursing?
I have always liked shift work. Whilst everyone is at work during the week, I can get my shopping done in less chaos and catch up with friends for coffee or lunch!
Can you tell us about the different locations that you have worked at?
I have worked with HCA in Townsville, but also in NSW in Sydney (RNSH, St Vincents Private, Macquarie University Hospital, Adventist Hospital, Hurstville Private Hospital) and in Newcastle (Lingard Private, Calvary Mater, Newcastle Private, Lake Macquarie Private Hosptial).
I have also worked in Saudi Arabia for two years before going into ICU Nursing.
Each facility is unique in their own way, but nursing care is mostly the same wherever you go.
What motivated you to join HCA?
In the past, I was doing at least 1 shift a week or fortnight, I was saving for a holiday overseas at the time. It made it easier to save, as all the money I was earning with the agency would go straight towards spending money for my trip.
I’m currently on a Working Holiday from Queensland as I have a full-time position already in Townsville. Working in QLD, I would take up extra shifts on top of my permanent job. Working 12-hour shifts allows you extra days off to work an extra shift now and then.
What advice do you have for new Nurses?
Never think you know it all and take the time to listen to your patients.
Would you recommend HCA to other nurses?
Definitely! If you need a job with flexible work hours or some casual work on top of your current job it’s a great way to go.
Thinking about Newcastle as your next Nursing stop?
Healthcare Australia is the leading healthcare recruitment agency across the country with more than 1,500 Agency Nursing shifts daily. We currently have a demand for Registered Nurses (RN) across the Newcastle, Central Coast and Hunter Valley region.
Newcastle brings the opportunity for a great work-life balance as well as the ability for Agency Nurses to lock in over four shifts a week – a great alternative to perm nursing with the flexibility of agency! There’s also a number of Permanent Nursing roles available with great pay rates!
If you are a Nurse looking to move from the city or interested to find out more about what Newcastle has to offer, contact our Newcastle team on 02 4952 4888 or click the registration button below.