OPINION: Job reality checks can be confronting

HOW often do we hear of young teens crafting a career at university only to discover that when they are actually confronted with the reality of the job they realise they are doing the wrong course.

It makes the need to do an internship with a company even more important before you sign up for thousands in HECS fees.

Of course there are some careers where you can't just ring up and say can I come in and look over your shoulder for a few weeks.

Nursing is one of those jobs where it is very difficult to waltz into a hospital to try to get a handle on what duties you will be expected to do in your average work day.

It was for this reason I was nervous this week knowing my daughter was about to undergo her first work placement as part of her USQ nursing degree.

Her uncle is a leading nurse educator in Sydney and he warned her that her initiation was bound to be challenging.

I believe he was kind, it was in fact a huge reality check for her as she walked into a Hervey Bay nursing home's high dependency unit on Monday.

"Dad, not one person can go to the toilet by themselves and one gentleman had a major accident in his pyjamas just before my lunch break. It took me an hour to clean it up. I just couldn't have lunch."

Welcome to the world of nursing my dear, it's not quite as glamorous as what we see on TV.

At the end of the week she was still holding strong and talking positive about the residents she was looking after.

I know it's early days, but I believe she will make a great, caring nurse; she may however opt not to work in a high dependency aged care unit, at least in the beginning.


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