International nursing recruit: Charlie Encallado

Peter Mac nurse Charlie Encallado, works in Ward 5A, Peter Mac's haematology and breast unit. Peter Mac is Charlie's first nursing job in Australia after moving over from the Phillipines where she also worked as an oncology nurse.

What attracted you to nursing?

When I was younger I always pictured myself working in a hospital and initially I wanted to become a doctor back home in the Philippines. I had to take premed courses and I wanted to take the Bachelor of science and biology first but my mum said maybe I should try nursing because if gives you more hands on training if you do want to proceed to becoming a doctor.

So, I did nursing on my mum's advice and fell in love with it. I always refer to nursing as an unexpected turn as my vision was always to become a doctor but I just loved how involved nurses are in the patients’ care. The nurses are always a present figure in the journey of a patient. 

What was your path to becoming a nurse at Peter Mac?

In the Philippines, I worked in one of the big three tertiary private hospitals. Back home it's the opposite to here as the influx of graduating nurses is high but the demand is so low. It took a while for me to get my first nursing job because of the supply and demand and I ended up getting a job in oncology nursing. I started first in surgical oncology and then moved to transplant.

Then I moved to Australia and when I finished my nursing conversion program here, I wanted to explore other areas outside oncology. But as fate would have it, the first hospital that answered me and offered an interview was Peter Mac. Even though I thought of exploring areas outside of oncology, there was a big part of me that wanted to see what treatment is like here compared to home. When I researched Peter Mac I saw that they were at the forefront with advanced treatment and new treatment for cancer which got me really interested, and I continue to be amazed by everything we achieve here. 

What's it like working at Peter Mac?

It's really lovely. To start I had my apprehensions because this is my first Australian nursing job and I was nervous. There were lots of jitters and I felt like I was back at high-school again. You have to not just show your skills as a nurse but your social skills as well. But it’s been lovely and the reason I stay is because of the incredible team around me who are always there to help out. They were so supportive when I started and would check up on me and ask how my day was going and how I was settling in. So the nerves went away very quickly and I felt part of the team from the start.

And I really appreciate that my managers are really hands-on, they don't just stay in the office, they help out around the ward in the clinical setting and I feel I am supported and heard. If ever I have concerns or see things that can be improved it doesn't fall on deaf ears and that's what I really like. There's a real openness and friendliness on the ward and it's a really incredible environment to work in.