7 June 2018
Providing care for patients with blood diseases and cancer is all in a day’s work for recent USC graduate Melanie Farr of Narangba.
The former St Columban’s College student is relishing her role as a registered nurse at the Mater Hospital’s busy haematology and oncology unit.
Melanie, 23, said her work involved monitoring the physical conditions of patients, communicating between patients and doctors, and administering medications, chemotherapy and other treatments.
“I also provide a lot of education to patients about how to live with cancer and the treatments they are going through, provide support, and build healthy therapeutic relationships with patients to make their cancer journeys as easy as possible,” she said.
Melanie received her Bachelor of Nursing Science recently when she was among 1,700 students from a range of disciplines to formally graduate from USC.
“The transition from being a student nurse to a registered nurse is very challenging, but there’s never been a moment where I’ve felt out of my depth,” she said.
“As a student nurse, there was a lot of oversight when you were on the job. But from the moment I walked in as registered I’ve been expected to work independently, which I have really enjoyed.”
Melanie said her job had some difficult moments, but she felt well supported by her work colleagues and used the skills and knowledge she gained during her degree to get through tough situations.
“Having the end-of-life talk with patients can be really challenging,” she said. “But there’s a lot of experienced staff working at the Mater who are happy to help you.”
Melanie said the practical experience she gained while studying at USC had been invaluable in her current role.
“The lecturers and tutors at USC taught us from real-life experiences, which was really helpful for us – especially in the practical classes,” she said.
“We learnt about what was expected of us in a hospital, so I felt really prepared by the time I started the job. What we learnt went much deeper than just a text book.”
- Tom Snowdon