Caring, a family affair

A love of literature, drama and music had Emily Baker setting her sights on a career in the arts, but a part-time receptionist job at a dermatology clinic changed all that.

150330_001After a year of studying teach and arts, Emily transferred to a Bachelor of Nursing, and hasn’t looked back – she is now one of 104 graduate nurses who have started their professional careers at St Vincent’s over the past month.

“When I started at the clinic, I loved the fast pace but mostly it was the people. I was working with a lot of nurses and former nurses and they had a great sense of camaraderie,” says Emily.

Emily would often see patients over a period of weeks and months and witness the change in them.

“Particularly in psoriasis patients you can see some amazing improvements, and it’s this whole improvement from a mental and psychological point of view, as well as the physical. It makes you go ‘this is why we do the job’.”

Emily’s career epiphany was at the suburban clinic of her father, St Vincent’s Director of Dermatology Associate Professor Chris Baker.

“I’ve had a long connection with St Vincent’s, starting here as a student myself, and it’s really great to see one of my children come through the same system,” says A/Prof Baker. “Once you become a part of the St Vincent’s family you never loose that connection. It’s such a great place to work – St Vincent’s has high standards, a great ethic and it’s an institution that cares about its staff. From my own experience in hospitals here and overseas, St Vincent’s nurses are equal to the best in the world.”

“My dad’s been so passionate about his job,” says Emily. “The most important piece of advice he’s given to me is to put yourself in the shoes of your patients. You might be having a bad day, but you’re not there for you, you’re there for them, and they are in a vulnerable state and need your care.”

St Vincent’s Graduate Nurse Program is consistently the state’s most sought after and competitive – almost 1,000 graduates applied for the 104 places in the 2015 program. During her degree Emily had three clinical placements at St Vincent’s.

“St Vincent’s was absolutely my number one choice, and when you go into the interview knowing that you really want it, it makes it that much easier to sell yourself.”

“When you’re choosing where you want to go, reputation is obviously a big thing, but it’s also about word of mouth and what I heard about the St Vincent’s grad program was that there was great support and educational opportunities. And during my placements the nurses I worked with had so much knowledge, and were so competent, and you could see that the patients felt well cared for.”

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