After years of working in early childhood and special education, Pamela Jewitt had a calling to become a nurse.
It was the idea of taking care of people that really appealed to Pamela, and led her to enrol in
UCOL’s Bachelor of Nursing.
“I’m big on the quality of compassion and nursing is a profession where that is probably the main value you need to show. I love the science behind how the body works, but it was more the human interaction aspect that appealed to me.”
“I’d heard that UCOL was really supportive and the programme was very practical, so I chose UCOL.”
Prior to coming to UCOL, Pamela had worked as a preschool teacher, a teacher aid, and eventually a special education administrator. This was a big help to Pamela, who was able apply her administration and people skills to her Nursing studies.
Like a lot of Nursing students, going on clinical placements was a highlight for Pamela as it allowed her to put theory into practice. It also allowed her to pick up knowledge she wouldn’t in a classroom.
“Some of the key things I picked up on placement were learning how to interact with different people in distress, and meeting the needs of people which can change really suddenly.”
The clinical placements also helped Pamela decide that she wanted to work in mental health.
“When I first started studying I thought I would end up in paediatrics, but when I went on my mental health placement I realised that my skills and what I was passionate about really came into play. From there on I was aiming to get into mental health.”
Pamela is now working as a nurse for
MidCentral Health's Mental Health Services
, where she works with a variety of clients. Each day she’ll meet with clients to find out where they are at, administer medications, and support them through their daily activities and exercises.
“It’s really varied. Each day is different and each person is different.”
Being a mental health nurse involves extra training, so Pamela is currently studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing through Whitireia on top of working. Eventually Pamela would like to work as a primary healthcare nurse, where her mental health training would add an extra dimension to the role.