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Careers at Peninsula Health: Q&A with Sandy Taylor

Name: Sandy Taylor  

Position: Enrolled Nurse Advanced Practice

Sandy shares what it is like to work in the Emergency Department at Peninsula Health and also some of her best career advice. 

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1. Why did you decide to pursue a career in health?

I started my working life as a secretary bookkeeper but I’d always felt drawn to nursing. I wanted a job that I felt meant something, where I could make a difference.

2. What does a typical shift or day in your job entail?

In E.D. there are no typical days. Just as every person is unique so is every day. You never know what that day will bring. The core of my role is to perform an assessment on a patient to gather relevant information, communicate that information to the Registered Nurse and Doctor and implement appropriate interventions to get the best possible outcome for that patient in the quickest possible time. I’m also a hand hygiene auditor – I promote the “5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” message and support staff through education sessions to improve hand hygiene compliance in the department.

3. How long have you been in your current role and how did you move into that position?

I’ve worked in Frankston Emergency Department for two years now after five months in nursing pool. Prior to that, I worked for Queensland Health for 27 years. I was hospital trained and then upgraded that qualification to a Diploma before completing an Advanced Diploma in 2008. I’ve had a varied nursing career working in remote areas on Cape York to regional hospitals and major trauma centres throughout North Queensland.

4. What do you like best about your job?

The best thing about my job is the variety and working closely with a skilled and committed team. Though it is increasingly challenging when you have a finite resource to provide high quality care that meets public expectation and keeps up with advances in science and technology, it has provided me with many opportunities for personal and professional growth.

5. Do you have any mentors and if so what impact have they had on your career so far?

I’ve been very fortunate to have had some fantastic mentors throughout my career. These nurses were generous with their knowledge and inspired, encouraged and supported me to challenge myself.

6. What is the best career advice you’ve been given?

‘Scope of practice is not a barrier to knowledge’ and ‘Don’t ignore your instincts’.

7. What advice would you give to other people wanting to pursue a career in your area?

I would advise them to get experience in a variety of areas and take advantage of opportunities to expand your knowledge. Also challenge yourself to build confidence and resilience.

8. Are there any common misconceptions people have about your role that you would like to dispel?

Yes! That all you do in ED is observations and that you don’t get an opportunity to build a relationship with your patients. Part of the challenge of being an ED nurse is being able to quickly gain the trust and confidence of the patient and their family, who are already stressed and frightened, to allow you to provide the best care possible for that patient, regardless of whether it’s their physical, social, emotional, mental or spiritual health that’s compromised.

One Comment

  1. What a great article, you have just about spoken for us all when you describe a day in ED