Getting ahead with VET | Grace Alumni

News - Apr 20, 2021

Our 2019 Alumni shares her success as a recent graduate, University student and emerging healthcare professional during the height of COVID-19.

2019 Graduate, Tasman Keam, has had a flying start to life after graduation. Currently completing a double degree in Nursing and Paramedics at Australian Catholic University (ACU), Tasman kicked off her post-Grace year squeezing in regular shifts as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) in the Intensive Care Unit of the Redcliffe Hospital.  

Donning her Paramedic Student’s uniform, Tasman popped by the campus for a visit, giving Senior School staff a chance to find out how things had been going for her as a healthcare worker and tertiary studies student during the COVID-19 era.

Currently I am studying four days a week at University and working Fridays and occasional weekends when I can. By concentrating on University work during the week I am still able to have time for work, as well as time with my friends and family over the weekend.

The knowledge I acquired from my school-based traineeship has given me context to what I’m learning at University and also how to approach my job within the hospital. 

However, being just out of school and working in the health care system, especially under the circumstances of COVID-19, has proven to be an enormous transition.

While completing her senior studies at the College, Tasman also completed a Certificate III Health Services Assistant qualification as a school-based traineeship with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS). As a recent graduate reflecting on the year that was, she was able to provide a timely insight for current and future Year 12 students.

I realised the importance of working within the industry before beginning tertiary study to gain experience and also solidify what I thought I wanted to do. After finishing Year 12 I was offered a Dual Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine Degree at Australian Catholic University, but it was the industry experience in my final year of school that helped me secure an AIN position in the Intensive Care Unit at Redcliffe Hospital.

Tasman’s mum, Belinda, says Tasman knew fairly early on that healthcare might be the pathway she would choose to follow.

Tasman has a compassion for others and wanted to find a way to make a difference. She decided in Year 9 that she might want to be a nurse. We were all very excited when she was successful in her application for the School Based Traineeship with QLD Health as it was the first step in what Tasman hoped would be her future career.

When asked about the dedication required to pursue a career in the sector, Belinda described both Year 11 and 12 as important years for Tasman in that regard.

Throughout Year 11 and 12 she worked very hard on her studies at school while completing her traineeship. Due to this she now has exciting opportunities both as an AIN and as a student. I am very proud of Tasman’s achievements so far, especially with her work during the COVID-19 period in the Redcliffe Intensive Care Unit.

Rothwell Campus Head of Vocational Education and Training, Ms Leisa Jones, described the valuable industry experience Tasman gained from her shifts in the hospital as something that has stood her in good stead with her studies at ACU, as well as in her AIN role.

Tasman is a perfect example of the benefits of blending vocational training and industry experience, with tertiary study. We are very proud of everything she has achieved to date and look forward to hearing of her successes in the future.

When asked what advice she has for current students working through the College’s VET Program, Tasman recommended thinking hard about what industry you wanted to work in after school and choosing a pathway that reflected that.

My advice for current students would be to seek vocational opportunities in the industries they may wish to work in the future. This will assist students in making informed decisions about their career pathways and also create connections with people in their chosen fields. I’ve gained a lot of like-minded friends through choosing both a vocational and tertiary pathway into the health care sector.

To learn more about Vocational Education and Training, please contact Ms Leisa Jones. 

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