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Vincentia High School

Vincentia High School

Learning For Life

Telephone02 4441 6766

Taneen O’Connor Pfeiffer

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address 142 The Wool Road
Vincentia NSW 2540

telephone 02 4441 6766 02 4441 6766

fax 02 4441 6000 02 4441 6000

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Where are you working now and in what role?

I work at Shoalhaven hospital in the emergency department, as a registered nurse. I’ve been there for 3 years. I have also worked in the medical ward and intensive care. I have a senior role in the department and I am an advanced clinical nurse which means I can provide treatments and medications for people before they are reviewed and seen by a doctor. I’m a part of the resuscitation team within our department and attend to all emergencies within the hospital and I’m the fire warden for emergency. I’m currently studying a post grad in critical care specialising in emergency care.

What do you love about your job?

I love not being defined as one speciality. I never know what my next patient will need, I provide care for patients who require anything from critical care in intensive care to cardiology, medical, surgical, geriatrics, mental health, maternity, trauma, basic neurology, palliative care, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, renal, urology and gynaecology, oncology and paediatrics. I care for patients aged from newborns to the elderly. I love the fast pace of emergency, the wide scope of specialities, the more autonomous cares I can administer, the people I work with, and caring for the sick and vulnerable.

Who inspired you to follow your chosen career path?

My sister inspired me to become a nurse, when she had a baby in her teens. Ever since I watched my niece being born back in 2004, I wanted to be a midwife. That’s not the career path I’m currently on, but you can do anything with nursing and it might be on the cards in the future.

Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?

Just life’s complications! I’m a mum to 4 kids, and at the time of university I had my youngest, who was only 6 months old. I was studying full-time 3 days a week on campus, working part time at the hospital as an assistant in nursing 3 days a week, and juggling a household. As part of the 3 year degree you are to attend a full-time placement anywhere in NSW twice a year between 2-5 weeks at a time. Our parents, who were our support network during that time had their own challenges with organ transplants, major surgeries including orthopaedic surgeries so that impacted their ability to provide care. We got there in the end and the University was great with placement time being made up in semester breaks.

Do you have any advice for our current students?

I finished Year 12 without getting an ATAR. I didn’t know what career path I wanted but I got where I wanted to be. Don’t stress if you don’t get the grades, ATAR or results you were hoping for, try your best, there are always other options to reach your goals. One of my favourite inspirational quotes by a Greek English teacher ‘success is always a process, never an event. Failure is always an event, and never a person’ by Manolis Votsis.