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Stepping up to the challenge

Kennedy Loffler (CC2018) is keen to make a difference as a nurse and midwife. This dream became one step closer in August 2020 when she commenced working as an undergraduate nursing student at hospitals throughout the Peninsula Health network.

Many student placements were cancelled in 2020, so Kennedy applied for the role to gain more experience as she completes her Bachelor of Nursing. She hasn’t looked back.

“It’s been so rewarding. I’ve learnt so many new techniques and things I haven’t done before. I’ve loved every part of it.”

Kennedy was placed in a hospital’s COVID ward and assisted doctors, nurses and specialists with patients who had tested positive to the virus. She also assisted in the rehabilitation ward. The role was a bit daunting at first, but Kennedy says it was inherently rewarding.

“It was full-on in the beginning and there have been some challenging times because I was working with COVID patients, but I’ve learnt so much. I was a spotter, so I was to watch the doctors, nurses and specialists, and put on and take off their personal protective equipment. I was also assisting wherever possible and making sure that we had a lot of stock in the ward. It’s amazing being in that sort of position.”

As case numbers declined, Kennedy moved to different wards, gaining greater experience and specialisation.

“I’m now working at Frankston Hospital because they need extra help with patients who are not COVID positive. It’s been fantastic having that one-on-one interaction with the patients. I’m loving it.”

Kennedy believes her time at Cornish helped her gain the confidence to build connections with others and support them – vital aspects of nursing.

“Cornish was an awesome experience. It’s made me who I am, with the confidence it made me build. The connection with teachers also boosted me to be a person who’s aware of my surroundings and not afraid to ask questions – that was definitely something that I took from Cornish.

“Making a difference is another big thing that I’ve always had in my mind, so moving on to my future career and going to university, it’s always stuck with me.”

Kennedy’s contract runs until the end of December, but she is “truly grateful” to have been able to work in her dream career and make a difference during these challenging times. She hopes to become a midwife in the future and use her nursing skills and knowledge as a strong foundation to work independently in both fields.

This story featured in the Summer 2020/2021 edition of The Difference

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