Before leaving his native Netherlands, Andrea had completed studies in science, art performance and physiotherapy. It was during his community placement while studying physiotherapy, his teacher encouraged him to become a nurse while he worked with disadvantaged people.
Then, while assisting with his father’s hospital care during his cancer battle, a nursing manager echoed that same advice and encouraged him to consider a nursing career.
“I really hadn’t thought about nursing much since, even though I had people encouraging me to study it,” says Andrea.
“Then I got to Australia, and while catching up with a friend I discovered they had enrolled to study nursing at TAFE Queensland, and I thought ‘is my life trying to tell me something?’” he says.
Soon after meeting his friend, Andrea enrolled to study the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) and continued his journey as a health care professional.
“I chose to study at TAFE Queensland over university due to the practical, hands-on approach to learning. TAFE Queensland is great at organising clinical placements from private clinics to the best-ranked hospitals in Queensland,” he explains.
During his studies, Andrea was placed at several hospitals all over the South East Queensland where he was able to hone his skills in an industry environment and learn from actual nurses on the wards.
“TAFE Queensland is also great at supporting students during placement, and providing the best clinical facilitators,” he says.
From Redlands, Robina and Pindara Hospitals to Brisbane Private Hospital and Ascot Family Practice, he was able to learn new skills and experience the challenges of the profession.
Andrea also credits TAFE Queensland’s teachers, industry-standard facilities and hands-on training for helping him to build the skills to thrive when on placement as he works towards becoming a nurse.
“The South Bank campus has a great clinical lab - it looks like any hospital ward you’d find in Australia! My teachers were very supportive, I've loved learning from all of them and I'm so grateful for all the time they have dedicated to support me,” he continues.
Now that he’s graduated, Australia is home for Andrea and he plans to study a Bachelor of Nursing at university with his sights firmly set on helping people in remote Australian communities.
“My TAFE Queensland diploma will ensure I get direct access into the second year of a bachelor of nursing, thanks to the 500 hours of clinical practice through the qualification’s fantastic system of placements.”
“I hope to serve isolated communities by giving them the service they desperately need. As a health professional, I just think it’s important. Working remotely is an ethical and moral duty for a health professional like me.”
“From physiotherapy and nursing, I have a unique professional skill set that can meet the needs of remote Australians, and I know I can help these communities overcome the challenges they face.”
“I feel lucky that I’m prepared to take my education to the next level by combining what I’ve learnt with TAFE Queensland and my life experience to one day help every day Aussies,” concludes Andrea.