Brooke swaps airlines for IV lines at TAFE Queensland Caboolture

Published 9:00am 20 March 2023

Brooke swaps airlines for IV lines at TAFE Queensland Caboolture
Words by Moreton Daily

Recovering in hospital from a life-threatening illness sowed the seed for Brooke Mitchell to become a nurse, and she couldn't be happier.

“Staying in the hospital was a blessing in disguise, as I experienced how nurses help patients recover and rehabilitate both physically and mentally after a traumatic event,” Brooke says.

“I was in a coma. I had died a few times and then moved to the burns unit where I had to rehab - learning to walk and eat again.”

Blown away by the nurses' professionalism and how they gave her peace of mind when she was in such a vulnerable state, she decided it was the career for her.

|"Seeing nursing from the patient side left me wanting to make a difference and help people in vulnerable positions like I was," Brooke says.|

After making a full recovery, Brooke returned to work in her role in airline operations, only for the pandemic to bring her aviation career to an abrupt end.

Answering a calling

"Working for almost 20 years in the airline industry gave me a wealth of experience and opportunity. But when the pandemic hit, I decided to change careers entirely," Brooke explains.

"When asking myself 'what do I want to do?', the answer was obvious, and nursing was my calling. The care, expertise, skill and kindness the nurses showed me when I was in the hospital inspired me to become a health care professional – and here I am.”

Brooke’s decision to study for the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121) was made easier as the course is offered at TAFE Queensland's (RTO 0275) Caboolture campus, which is close to her home.

"Studying nursing in a hands-on environment gave me the balance of theory and practical classes, with teachers showing me how to do things in the simulated nursing wards with simulated patients and medical rooms, which are as close to real-life as possible,” Brooke says.

"Each day, I used the same equipment in facilities that are like any hospital, anywhere in Australia, and registered nurses taught me with decades of experience.”

Taking the next step

Her supportive classmates enhanced Brooke's learning even further as they were on the same journey as her from the beginning.

"The support my classmates and I give each other is amazing. We studied, encouraged and helped each other throughout, and we're better for it,” Brooke says.

Brooke is now looking forward to taking her next professional career step by enrolling in a Bachelor of Nursing at university.

|"One of the best things about nursing is there are so many different areas you can specialise in.| 

"You can work in a hospital, aged care or the community – there are so many opportunities,” Brooke explains.

"And if you don't like one area, you can move into something else because the skills are transferable, and the health industry isn't going anywhere.

"Thanks to TAFE Queensland, I'm fulfilling my purpose, and I'm confident in my skills and determined to achieve my goals.

“I hope to become a paramedic, but with the solid skills I'll have from studying my course, I'm open to any area of nursing.”

The nursing career of your dreams is within reach in 2023, thanks to Fee-Free TAFE.

Fee-Free TAFE is now available at TAFE Queensland, with over 90 courses available FREE or low-cost across various study areas. For more information, including a full list of courses and eligibility criteria, call 1300 308 233 or click here.

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