05 October 2023Share
First a degree, then a job: how Thien An Tran started his nursing career
You’re a graduate of the Bachelor of Nursing. Why did you want to study in Australia and at ACU?
ACU has a good reputation for nursing study and nursing training, which made it an easy choice for me. I’m a mental health nurse now, and Australia has been a really good place to pursue that career. There’s still quite a lot of stigma about mental health back in my country, but Western countries often have more knowledge and do more research about it. That has been important for me to learn.
ACU is a Catholic university. Was that important to you when you were thinking about where to study?
It’s definitely another reason I wanted to study here. My background is Catholic, so when I looked at ACU, they followed the Catholic values and mission, which emphasises dignity and ethics. When you care for people, you deal with all their emotional stress as well as their physical issues. My ACU training reminds me every time I care for patients that you have to care for them as a person, not as an illness.
What were the most useful aspects of your studies?
My clinical placements were very useful. I went to a few different places — mental health, perioperative, oncology, aged care. Other students went to emergency departments and intensive care units as well, so it’s quite well-rounded.
Do you think your degree helped you find a job in Australia?
I got a graduate position at Ballarat Health Service, now called Grampians Health. That was one of the places I did a clinical placement. I think the placements are definitely helpful for meeting prospective employers. Apart from the professional and clinical experience that you gain on the job, it’s about connection building and teamwork. I’ve also recently been granted permanent residency in Australia. A nursing degree was helpful as it fulfills a part of the process.
ACU provides a lot of support and guidance for international students. How did the university support you?
At the Ballarat campus, ACU teachers are really supportive. It’s a small campus, so they had time to really support everyone. Sometimes if you have a question, you can just show up and knock on the door; you don’t have to make appointments all the time. They’ve been very supportive. I really appreciated that. There’s also an international student adviser who I connected with a few times to talk about any worries or emotional struggles that I had. And during COVID, I received financial support from ACU as well. This was one of a number of support services they provided to students during the pandemic lockdowns. I really enjoyed ACU. I really appreciated everything I received when I was at university.
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