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Introducing Mike Fox

Hi there readers! I’m Mike Fox, a newly registered nurse, and I’ve just started my Graduate Nursing Program (GNP) at Frankston Hospital. I’m really looking forward to giving you an insider’s look at the life of a new working nurse, all from the comfort of your own computer. But first, let’s start with a bit of background about myself.

My relationship with Peninsula Health began 22 years ago, when I was born in the maternity ward. Suffice to say that I didn’t start nursing straight away, but instead went to the local kindergarten and primary school, then going on to attend high school literally around the corner from Frankston Hospital. In case you couldn’t guess, I’ve lived in Frankston all my life, and like most Frankston residents, I’ve spent time in the Emergency Department and various wards for all sorts of major and minor illnesses.

Deciding to be a nurse wasn’t a lifetime in the making, despite my mum being a nurse (at Frankston Hospital) since before I was born. In fact, I only settled on it for sure the day before change of university preferences closed. That being said, I’ve always loved science since I was a kid, and could never imagine doing an office job, or any job that didn’t involve being a ‘people person’. High school biology and organic chemistry focussed my future on a healthcare role, so most of Year 12 was spent deciding between medicine, physiotherapy, paramedicine, and of course, nursing. Eventually, it came down to a competition between becoming a nurse or a paramedic, as they were the two most person-focussed options on my list.

What did I do in this situation? I decided to do both.

I’ve spent the last four years studying the double degree Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) at Monash University’s Peninsula Campus, just over the road from Frankston Hospital (are you seeing a pattern yet?). University was the best experience of my life, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. Sure, parties and meeting some great new friends contributed to it, but the most satisfying part of uni was that it reassured me – this is what I want to do. From our first classes (hand washing and bed making) through to delivering two real-life babies and doing CPR on an actual person, through the hard and fun moments, every step of the way there were signs pointing towards a career as a nurse-paramedic being the right one for me. Over one thousand hours of clinical placement in areas such as rehabilitation, medical and surgical specialties, coronary care and angiography, theatre, mental health, maternity, paediatrics, emergency and on-road with paramedics showed me that I love the job, even when I’m not being paid to do it!  

Still, loving your job doesn’t mean you’ll get your dream graduate placement, especially with competition for GNP places being fierce. My dream program was Frankston Hospital, with a rotation through the Emergency Department. So I worked hard. But being awarded Paramedic of the Year and being recognised as second in your class of fifty doesn’t guarantee you a job. However, I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the program, and into a cohort of exceptional graduate nurses. I even got the whole package, with my first rotation (which I’m doing now) in the Frankston Emergency Department. Three weeks in and I am loving every second of it, despite the demanding challenges of the ED. And I plan to keep on loving it, for the rest of my career.

Until next time, stay safe!
– Mike

2 Comments

  1. Good on you, Mike!

  2. Gill Hansen May 07 2013

    Well done Mike, being a nurse is a very rewarding profession. I was a nurse for over 40 years, having spent most of my time in the operating theatre.
    I hope you continue to find your profession as rewarding as I did.
    Gill Hansen

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