VNS Diary Talks - Monique VNS
This week we talk to Monique. A passionate, flexible and adaptable nurse originally from the Philippines. There is so much to like about Monique and her story. We hope you enjoy this enlightening interview.
1. How long have you been nursing? When did you first start with VNS?
I started my nursing career back home in the Philippines in 2013 and then decided to pursue my career here in Australia in 2018. I graduated from Deakin University in 2019 and then a friend of mine referred me to VNS. I started working for VNS in December that year.
2. What made you choose nursing as a profession?
Filipino parents, especially mums, wanted their children to become a nurse because it pays well and there was a great demand for nurses globally. It is a part of our culture to follow our parents as a sign of respect. But later on, when I started working as an RN in the Philippines, I realised that nursing seems to be my calling in life. I can't say that I'm good at what I do, but it's just that whenever I work, I don't feel like working at all because I absolutely love what I do.
3. What do you love the most about nursing?
Basically, I like taking care of other people. I like helping people, especially when they are sick and can’t take care of themselves. I have this feeling that I become a big part of their lives because I was there for them when they needed care. I also love that I am learning something new every day.
4. Now it’s not always roses, so what are the main challenges you face as a nurse?
If there is a new case that I'm not familiar with yet or there is a misunderstanding between health care providers, this can be tough. But the main struggle that I experience as an agency nurse is that I'm always assigned to a new area and I find myself getting lost most of the time, which takes my "routine" tasks a little longer to get done. Also, it's hard to create a close relationship with other nurses because I only get to see them once or max of three times in total.
5. What do you love most about the job/working with VNS?
First thing is that VNS is always organised when it comes to shift availability. They also have a user-friendly app which makes it easy to place down my availability and check if there are any other available shifts that I can accept. It is also handy whenever I upload my timesheets because the app is really easy to use. VNS also gives me enough time to report to duty. And my most favourite thing about VNS is the uniform, I feel very comfortable wearing it. :)
6. You also signed up for the VNS $200 joining bonus – can you tell our readers what this meant for you and what you did to get the cash?
$200 is a huge help for me, because well, it's $200! You can't just get that much money anywhere. It could help me with my groceries or rent, especially with the current situation now with COVID-19.
7. What is your nursing specialty and what facilities/locations do you usually work at?
I worked in a General Ward back home, but most of my patients were Medical/surgical cases. Since I started working for VNS, I mostly get my shifts from Barwon Health. But I also did a couple of shifts in St John of God-Geelong.
8. What about agency nursing suits your current lifestyle?
I like the fact that I have a very flexible schedule. I can take shifts on days I want to work. And since I'm also still studying, I can manage my time more efficiently.
9. Can you tell us about some of the other benefits of agency work opposed to a fixed-term position in a hospital?
Since I get to be assigned to different hospitals/facilities / areas, there is a greater chance for me to learn more because of their different protocols and routines. My knowledge is not limited only to aged care, hospital, medical or surgical alone, but I am able to learn from different areas in the healthcare industry.
10. What advice would you give other agency nurses?
Always learn how to ask other people you're working with if you're not sure about something. Because it's always better to be safe than sorry. And you should learn how to work with different types of people. It can be hard at first but once you get used to it, you become great at making friends with work colleagues quickly.