Profile of the week: Felicity, Sydney-based nurse

Anaesthetic nurse, Felicity, 29, Sydney, transitioned from a beauty career into nursing after undergoing an emergency procedure to correct a detached retina. 

The now devoted nurse finds her job extremely fulfilling, helping people and working in a cohesive team environment. 

Despite the shift work, regular over-time, staff shortages and emotional toll associated with her profession, Felicity is driven by providing her patients with the care and consideration they deserve. 

Felicity, Sydney-based nurse, on the importance of utilising nurses and midwives to their full potential.

This is Felicity’s story.

Felicity describes the nursing profession as both challenging and rewarding. She is often required to put her patient’s needs ahead of her own, regularly working over-time, forgoing a lunch break or accommodating for staff shortages. 

“I work very hard for my patients. I often prioritise their needs above my own., But how much you care and how much of yourself you dedicate to your patients, is what makes you a good nurse,” said Felicity. 

“I love spending time with people in my own time and professionally, so I find my career very rewarding. Just last week we saved a patient’s life in theatre. Its fulfilling to know that our work and efforts can be a matter of life or death at times.”

Felicity did not always want to be a nurse. She began to explore her career options after overcoming a medical mishap which tampered with the visual finesse required of a beautician. 

“After undergoing surgery for a detached retina in my left eye, my vision was compromised for some time. This affected my ability to continue to work as a beautician. So, I took 12 months off to consider my career options.

“I enrolled in a nursing degree with the intention of working as a cosmetic nurse. But I fell into my current role as an anaesthetic nurse and I love it, and am very happy to stay where I am,” Felicity said. 

According to Felicity, nurses face many challenges in their line of work, from staff shortages, to shift work, career progression limitations and few opportunities for increased remuneration. 

“You really need to enjoy your job. I am extremely fortunate that I do. I love working with, and helping people. 

“Like any profession, there are some things that are challenging about my role as a nurse. I often need to work over-time, weekends and public holidays, which means I miss out on things with my partner, my friends and my family,” said Felicity.

“Because of the inconsistent and often demanding hours that I work, I can sometimes feel really tired. Add an emotionally taxing shift to the mix and I go home feeling absolutely exhausted, which means I don’t have the energy to go out and spend time with my friends.”

Nurses are Australia’s unsung heroes and serve an essential role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

“We carry a huge level of responsibility towards our patients. In the absence of doctors, the patient’s health and wellbeing lies at the heart of the nursing profession. 

“I had up to 14 patients under my care at one point in time. There’s a significant amount of work that is required from nurses, but we also need to ensure we are giving the patients the care and attention they deserve,” Felicity said. 

“Despite the demanding nature of my role, the patient satisfaction and working as an integral member of a bigger team at work and achieving a good outcome, makes me feel valued.

“Considering the taxing and often critical nature of our work and the level of responsibility that we carry, I feel that nurses are not sufficiently remunerated,” said Felicity. 

“Better pay incentives and more opportunity for career progression would certainly add to the appeal of the nursing profession.”

Reflecting on the recent launch of Health Professionals Bank (HPB) – Australia’s first and only industry-aligned bank exclusively dedicated to health professionals (current or retired) – Felicity said “A bank that is solely dedicated to health care professionals sounds very appealing. 

“Being a member of a financial institution that recognises the needs of health care professionals and re-invests profits for member and community benefits sounds like something I would like to be a part of,” Felicity said. 

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