AS mum to a young child, Cassandra Sheridan worked in retail until deciding she wanted a more fulfilling career and made the shift to nursing.
Getting there took some time – while working towards her nursing degree in Gisborne she studied, took a year off to have her second child, studied some more, then took another 12 months off to have her third before she got to her graduating year.
“It did take a while but it was worth it,” says Cassandra. “Before I started training I'd never even been in a hospital except to have my children, but I felt I was a caring person and nursing was somewhere I could make a difference.”
And she has had to learn fast. Before working in a GP centre then joining Turanga Health as a Tamariki Ora nurse in March 2021, Cassandra got a crash course in nursing at Gisborne Hospital.
“I'd actually started as an orthopaedic nurse but the Covid-19 pandemic meant we were all moved around a lot so I quickly shifted to surgical then medical,” she says.
“It was a crazy period but fantastic for me in that I got to learn a lot of new skills over a very short period of time.”
Her new role is also busy, but she says visiting mamas and pēpi in their homes, talking about how they are going and working through their Well Child Tamariki Ora checks is a great fit for her.
“As a māmā myself, working with other mothers really excites me and it doesn't hurt that I'm also a really good talker!”
And her work base at Turanga Health, too, feels just right.
“I especially love how we are all working together so communication across the team flows really smoothly.
“That's really great for everyone as I feel it helps us provide the best care to our clients.”
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