Name: Shivani Bhana
Role: Registered nurse
Tertiary education: BNursing, PG Certificate In Health Science, BSc – major in neuroscience
How long have you been in your role?
How did you get into this role?
I applied for a new graduate position, which offered a one-year contract with mentorship and postgraduate education.
Why did you choose a career in nursing?
I had always considered it because my aunt, who is also a nurse and who I admire very much, lives a colourful life and is passionate about her career, which I found appealing. Part-way through my science degree I realised I wanted to work more closely with people and was drawn back to nursing.
Every week is different with a mixture of day and night shifts, which is one thing I enjoy. The changing environment makes for a stimulating job. Conversely, it can be mentally, physically and emotionally challenging.
Some shifts involve comprehensive patient assessments; interdisciplinary team meetings; taking patients to various scans and procedures; family meetings; liaising with allied health professionals; monitoring sedation with pain relief and life-supporting medication; weaning a patient’s support from a breathing machine; assessing the function of a patient’s organs (lungs, heart, kidneys), their physical ability to move, and their mental state; ensuring patient’s family feel supported, to name a few.
It can be challenging trying to provide the level of care you want when a patient rapidly deteriorates and your plan becomes somewhat redundant.
Is the job what you thought it would be?
To an extent. Throughout the degree we were clinically placed for work experience. However, nothing can prepare you for the steepness of the learning curve between being a student nurse and a new graduate. It can be overwhelming at times. As for shiftwork, it has its perks and pains.
Shivani Bhana with her parents at graduation. Photo / Supplied
What is the best thing about your job?
I’m fortunate to work with a supportive and friendly team who foster an environment of teamwork, learning, and development. They really outweigh any negative aspects of the job. Also being able to provide people with care and make them feel valued, heard and as comfortable as possible, particularly in their last days/hours of life, is very special and unique to the industry.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Seeing others cry is a real tearjerker for me. It can be easy to bring work home with you and as there is no black and white in medicine, you can sometimes doubt your decisions or the way you react to situations. Bodily fluids aren’t particularly glamorous but you tend to develop a strong gut, if you will, to these things.
What is your career highlight to date?
There are too many to choose from. Being told you’re good at doing something you enjoy is the biggest compliment.
Although a day of a registered nurse may not be quite like it is on Shortland Street, Bhana tells us it has it does have its exciting moments. Photo / Supplied
What advice would you give those considering a career in nursing?
If you’re considering it, chances are you will love it. Nursing is such a diverse, multidisciplinary profession; the pathways for personal and professional development are endless.
What skills do you think are valuable in your industry?
Compassion, empathy, interpersonal, warm bedside manner, critical thinking, decisiveness/decision-making, risk assessment, a diminished sense of smell and a good sense of humour certainly help.