After being inspired as she watched nursing staff care for her Grandfather, Alana Erceg knew that she wanted to study nursing. Enrolling in the Bachelor of Nursing at Whanganui was a natural choice as she was living there at the time.
“I always wanted to become a registered nurse, my grandad has been in and out of hospital over many years. Seeing nursing staff work their magic on him, care for him, get him well and home again is what inspired me. I wanted to help people, care for people and help make them better, like they did for my Grandad.”
"Making people feel better is one of the most rewarding tasks ever. Work doesn't feel like work when you are being paid to do something that comes naturally and you, something that you love and that you are passionate about.”
Following graduation in 2016, Alana secured a role with the Whanganui District Health Board, where she worked on the Nursing Resource Unit for about three months. With an interest in Critical Care/Intensive Care, a position came up as an RN1 she didn't hesitate to apply and was successful.
“I have worked in Critical Care for the past 18 months. I love it more today than the day I started, as every day is a new challenge. The care and compassion that is required I find comes naturally to me. Critical thinking is constant and the unknown is so exciting, therefore every day is a new challenge. I love learning, and I love a challenge, so I know I have taken the right career path. Being a Nurse is for filling and ever changing, you never know it all!”
“I am training in Intensive Care, having had taken a few ventilated patients with support of our senior staff members. Learning how to operate ventilators and care for ventilated patients will be ongoing as it is very complex but is an interest of mine therefore it’s exciting. “
“My favourite thing in CCU is seeing a patient walk back through our department doors well and feeling better to say thank you. As patients are generally transferred to a ward or another hospital it is lovely to see that after their most critical time they have recovered. It’s literally the best feeling ever.”
Having been overseas as part of her 'gap year' Alana knows this is something she looks at doing again in the future. “Taking the time to experience working overseas, was when I really found myself. When I left I was a very shy quiet person, but grew into a bubbly friendly outgoing person as my confidence just grew and grew.”
“I always wanted to be a nurse and I came home to New Zealand as I wanted to be a New Zealand trained nurse. Whanganui UCOL
and Whanganui DHB
were awesome to study with, train with and also now to work for.”
“In the future I hope to undertake further training and gain more experience in hospitals overseas, most likely in the UK. Additional training will help me develop my skills and round off my experience of other opportunities. I also hope that someday I might experience work in poverty places such as South Africa, to provide health and education to the population.”
“Later in my career I look to complete my masters in intensive care nursing, ultimately here in New Zealand. I have a strong interest in Cardiology, I endeavour one day to become a nurse specialist - but we will see what the future holds, as the world is our oyster they say.”