Celebrating women at work: Trainee nurse Grace Rinkin

Celebrating women at work: Trainee nurse Grace Rinkin
10 February 2020    Donnay Torr    0 comments
To celebrate International Woman’s day, Skillsroad spoke to three young people who are making their own way as apprentices or trainees in interesting skilled industries, regardless of the challenges they might face. They’re living examples of this year’s Women’s Day motto: “An equal world is an enabled world” – enabled to do better, grow healthier and happier, and achieve more.

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“I surprised myself with how I coped with the workload and the extreme emotions of the workplace.”

Grace Rinkin, 17, Human Services; Cert III in nursing (NSW TAFE). AIN (Assistant in Nursing) employed by Hunter New England Health.

What inspired you to choose this career?

I’ve always been a person who puts others before myself. Hearing about nurses and how they get to care for patients all day every day drew me to this as a career, as I would love to care for and impact individual’s lives in a positive way whenever possible.

How did you find the information you needed to decide on a career?

The geography teacher at my school brought the traineeship to my attention as the subject was not running and she knew I was aiming to pursue a career in healthcare once finishing school. Next, I spoke to the careers’ advisor, who talked me through the process, what is involved and how to apply for the course.

What would you say are the benefits of doing a traineeship?

Being able to be doing something that you are actually interested in and meeting likeminded people, whether they are in your class or in the workforce with you.

For me the traineeship opened opportunities to learn and develop further skills, which I never thought I would get the opportunity to do before I started the course. It gave me the opportunity to work in different areas of nursing, which has assisted me in my career direction.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

Being allowed to help people in both large and small ways, even if it is just by putting a smile on their faces. That is the biggest reward of the job. Through this work I have been exposed to many new experiences, people and ways of life, which has allowed me to grow as an individual. It really is a profession where the opportunity for growth is nearly unlimited as it never stops giving.

Working alongside many powerful and influential professionals, which took their time to educate me, really increased my workplace enjoyment.

Has there been any person (s) that really helped you on your journey?

I would not have been able to get through my traineeship without the help from my classmates; all likeminded individuals ready to encourage and support every step of the way. My TAFE teachers taught me the correct skills required, and my HNE employer: for giving me this prodigious opportunity. Also, my school teachers who encouraged me and kept me on my A game in both the workplace and at school. But most importantly: the amazing nursing team at the John Hunter Hospital who would never turn down an opportunity to educate me.

How do you keep going when things get really tough on the job?

I take a moment to step back, breathe and ask for help if I think it’s needed. Working in such a complex and large workplace makes it important to know my limits and helps me maintain my perspective on what has to be done and what is expected.

What do people always get wrong about the job you do?

I believe that people underestimate the level of patient interaction, the number of lives I get to impact and the good that comes with some of the unpleasant jobs.

And what would surprise people about the job you do?

The involvement with patients, real people and families. As I am just a student, I feel that people underestimate my potential and are surprised that I am actually working with REAL patients and assisting in real emergencies that could possibly be life or death.

What have you learned about yourself while completing your traineeship?

Not to take my health for granted. Being exposed to people in a hospital I have seen how quickly and drastically health can change;

I have learned how lucky I am to have a loving family and a healthy body.

I surprised myself with how I coped with the workload and the extreme emotions of this workplace, however, and I am extremely grateful for these new experiences.

What do you think are your unique skills that make you good at what you do?

COMMUNICATION. I never stop talking and I believe this helped me come out of my shell and interact with nurses and the multidisciplinary team, who were all older than me. But most importantly, it allowed me to communicate with patients and their families. Working on a paediatric ward I was allowed to demonstrate my strong interaction skills with kids, which allowed me to gain trust to effectively care for the patients.

Main image by Wendy Scofield on Unsplash.
Illustration of Grace Rinkin by Lara Laiacona.

Are you a woman working in a trade or skilled industry? Share your story and experiences with us at #JobDiaries! Find out more below.


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