Keeping nursing in the family

For brothers Jared and Nathaniel Ah-Leong, caring for others is part of their DNA.

Jared and Nathaniel Ah-Leong

For brothers Jared and Nathaniel Ah-Leong, caring for others is part of their DNA.

Having grown up in a family of health professionals, the two young men are carrying on the tradition by both pursuing a career in nursing.

Youngest brother Nathaniel, 19, has just completed his first clinical placement at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) as part of his nursing studies through the Australian Catholic University (ACU)/TPCH Clinical School, which allows selected ACU students undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing to carry out all of their required 800 hours of clinical practice at TPCH.

Nathaniel follows in the footsteps of his older brother Jared who was also an ACU/TPCH Clinical School student, completing his nursing degree in 2019 and then gaining a highly sought after graduate position in the hospital’s emergency department where he continues to work as a registered nurse.

The close knit Samoan-born brothers agree that their decision to become nurses has been largely influenced by their own family’s career choices.

“We grew up in a family of health professionals. On our Dad’s side, we have relatives who are doctors, nurses, a pharmacist and radiographer. We never really knew any different, so a career in health seemed like the obvious choice,” Jared said.

“I’m a people person, and I like that nursing gives me the chance to have lots of one-to-one interaction with patients. In the ED, I enjoy the challenge of putting the unknown pieces of a patient’s symptoms together, especially in a fast-paced environment.”

Nathaniel, who is one of 32 students accepted into the ACU/TPCH Clinical School, is excited to have the opportunity to learn some hands-on nursing skills early in his degree, in one of the hospital’s general medical wards.

“I like the human aspect of nursing. It’s great to be able to see and experience the clinical side of nursing much earlier,” Nathaniel said.

“There’s so much to learn, but I’m getting some great support from the staff at Prince Charles. I’m really enjoying it.”

TPCH Nurse Educator Darrelle Ahchay said that unlike many other universities, ACU offers a program where students move through the degree together, remaining as a group for all of their clinical placements, tutorials and skills labs.

“Usually, nursing students have their first placement in an aged care facility before entering a hospital in their second year, but clinical school students start from first year at TPCH on the wards,” Darrelle said.

“The Clinical School allows students to get a solid idea at the start of their studies if nursing is for them, rather than halfway through the course. We want students to learn straight away what it’s like to work as a nurse in a busy hospital environment.”

“It gives them an opportunity to participate in direct patient care and learn the trade.

“The clinical staff enjoy teaching the students the art of nursing to ensure that they have great foundational skills to set them up for all of their placements at TPCH as well as for their future nursing career.”

2023-11-30T16:23:23+10:0029 November 2023|
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