Michelle White is a nurse in the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic/High Dependency unit at Wellington Hospital. In 2019, she received the Lady Todd Memorial Prize in Nursing and Midwifery for excellence in the first year of her postgraduate nursing studies.
Home-schooled as a child and lacking the self-belief that she could ‘do it’, here she tells us how she got into nursing and what the Lady Todd Memorial Prize means to her;
I started nursing at 22. It took me years after leaving school to believe in myself enough to take the plunge.
It was a paramedic at a first aid training course I was on who took me aside and had a chat with me about pursuing a career in health. That was the final push I needed. You should have seen his face when, two years later, I was caring for a patient who turned out to be his wife.
As a child I wanted to make the world better. I wanted everyone to feel truly loved and cared for. Nursing was the closest profession I found to that.
A big goal of mine at work is patient education. How often do we address patients and they have no idea what is going on in the business of their care? Completing postgraduate studies in pathophysiology has improved my patient education immensely and patients are grateful for the knowledge and education they receive.
Being awarded this prize is a ‘blessing’
A few years back I was receiving a lot of scam emails. I thought this was one of them. After receiving a follow up email from the university, I understood it was the real thing. That was a shock. I didn’t even know there was a prize for excellence in first year postgraduate studies. It was an honour. I had honestly had the worst time recently. I had been passed over for an opportunity to advance my career and then worst of all my best friend died. I cried receiving this prize.
Winning a prize like this is something you remember forever. This financial assistance has a huge impact on those who receive it in enabling further study and easing financial burdens. It’s a blessing. I wish more of us could contribute like this. I wouldn’t have been able to study without this prize.
Thanks to the funding I was able to enrol in another paper, one that would improve my practice around clinical reasoning and advanced health assessment.
To the benefactors of this prize, “Thank you again for the encouragement and nudge to keep pursuing postgraduate studies. This prize has made a huge difference to my year and your kindness will be carried on in my practice”.