From an early age, Ashleigh Woods knew she wanted to be a nurse and a midwife.
Helping a teacher ‘birth’ a baby in front of her primary school class by pulling a doll from a stocking, only cemented the idea in her head. “It was the most awesome thing,” she said.
Ashleigh graduated from Southern Cross University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Nursing, and went on to complete postgraduate studies in midwifery. She now works as a nurse at The Tweed Hospital’s emergency department and Women’s Care Unit, where she helps deliver babies.
“With my degree I really hope to make a difference in people’s lives. I like to help people when they are vulnerable, scared, and in pain. I think if you are providing compassionate care to a patient then you can make a difference,” she said.
Her desire to help people extends well beyond work. During her studies at Southern Cross, Ashleigh volunteered in Nepal, assisting community health workers and teaching healthy hygiene practices. The connections she established were precious and continued when she returned to Australia.
“When I came home I raised money to help a little girl in Nepal who needed a hernia repair. That was an amazing and extremely special moment for me as I got to help someone who wouldn’t have been able to have that opportunity because their family couldn’t afford the surgery,” she said.
Studying nursing at Southern Cross
“The facilities at Southern Cross are really incredible. I think they’re first class. They simulate a hospital environment and that helps you before getting out into the actual hospital environment.
“It was also really important to me to stay local. Southern Cross allowed me to do that and stay around friends and family,” she said.
For high school students thinking of doing a nursing degree at Southern Cross, Ashleigh’s advice is simple: “Just do it!”
“I think that if you are wanting to be a registered nurse it is really important to just go straight out of high school. That is a big advantage in terms of your career and the opportunities that you’ll get to experience.”