After seeing nurses care for her poppa in hospital, Hazel Wiffen-Khan knew that was the career she wanted to pursue.
“I have wanted to study nursing since a young age. After having my Poppa in and out of hospital and seeing the crucial care nurses provide, I knew that was the career for me. I wanted to help people and make a difference. Not to mention, I’ve always been into the gory stuff,” says Hazel.
Hazel chose to study the
Bachelor of Nursing at UCOL Wairarapa as she knew she would have valuable support from staff and she wouldn’t have to move away from home.
Hazel says her lecturers were great at encouraging her to push through whenever she felt stressed or overwhelmed. The small class sizes also meant Hazel she could build strong, positive relationships with her lecturers.
As part of the degree, Hazel completed four six-week clinical placements as well as a nine-week one. These placements covered aged care, neonatal, mental health, primary health care, and medical /surgical services, giving Hazel a wide range of real-world experience.
“The clinical placements allowed me to gain a variety of key clinical skills which helped in preparation for my transition to practice.”
“Also, UCOL provides thorough education to help their future nurses thrive in their practice. For example, our lecturers ensured we had an in-depth understanding of cultural safety and the Treaty of Waitangi, which is paramount in providing patients with the appropriate care they require.”
Hazel is now working at Wellington Hospital as part of the Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) programme for recent graduates. Based in the hospital’s General Surgery, Vascular, ENT (Ear nose and throat) and Ophthalmology ward, Hazel is enjoying the challenges of the job.
“This is a challenging role and entails a great deal of critical thinking, initiative, time-management skills, prioritizing, compassion and rapport building – just to name a few skills.”
“I work with an awesome team who are all very supportive of new graduate nurses. I have gained a range of nursing knowledge and skills from the time that I have been on this ward, and still have so much more to learn.”
In the future, Hazel hopes to work in areas such as ED (emergency department) or ICU (intensive care unit), where patients need a high level of care. She also plans to further her studies.
“For now I am focusing on learning as many clinical skills as I can and to find my grounding as a registered nurse.”