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Faces of Peninsula Health – Q&A with Jacob Cardenas

Emergency nurse Jacob Cardenas is consolidating his learning and skills through postgraduate studies. 

Name: Jacob Cardenas

Job Title: Emergency Care Registered Nurse

Postgraduate stream: Emergency

Institution studied with: Monash University

Q: What motivated you to enrol in postgraduate studies?

A: I’ve always had a passion for wanting to help others and give back to our community through Emergency Nursing. Ever since I completed the Graduate Nursing Program with Peninsula Health, I have been inspired to progress my career in the direction of post graduate studies in Emergency Nursing. The nature of the department is unique, controlled chaos that is unparalleled than any other specialty.

Q: Can you describe a part of your course when you remember having that ‘lightbulb’ moment?

A:  The first time I assisted with a Rapid Sequence Induction (RSI) was my ‘lightbulb’ moment. Considering how critically unwell the patient was I realised how empowering my skillset and contribution was to the overall outcome of the patient. I realised that I now posses the ability to care for critically unwell patients in an environment that is unique to the Emergency Department.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of your postgraduate studies?

A: I knew post graduate studies weren’t going to be easy having extra workload, study load and increased responsibility though I feel nothing can really prepare you for the challenges you face. It’s a large commitment, though if you’re ready for it, it will change both yours and your patient’s life. Ultimately, It is a hard year. But it is worth it.

Q: Tell us something that surprised you about your postgraduate studies?

 A: The thing that surprised me the most was going from being a big fish in a little pond, to a little fish in a big pond. You really feel as though you’re a baby nurse all over again!

Q: Is there a specific part of your course that has given you the biggest sense of achievement?

The biggest sense of achievement didn’t occur until well after I had completed my post graduate studies where I had the chance to consolidate my learning and clinical skills. As I am continuing my studies in the Master of Advanced Clinical Practice, I am  working towards mastering my clinical skills and amalgamating these with leadership and educational roles within the department.

Q: How has your postgraduate qualification changed your practice?

A: Post graduate studies have given me the advanced theory to base my practice upon. I never knew how much I didn’t know until I began doing post graduate studies. Not only can I now care for critically unwell patients independently, I am now able to educate my peers, support my colleagues and further share my passion for Emergency Nursing. 

Q: What advice would you give to nurses considering enrolling in postgraduate studies?

A:  “People do not care about how much you know, until they know about how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt

This quote stuck with me and got me through my post graduate studies. The day a patient comes into the emergency department could be one of the worst days of their lives. We prove our passion for emergency nursing and commitment to care through ongoing postgraduate study in our speciality area. At the end of the day we study to change not only our life, but our patient’s life.

For more information on our 2021 Postgraduate Nurse Programs go to our Postgraduate Studies page. Registrations are now open for the virtual Postgraduate Emergency Nursing Course Information Session.