NSW Management Interns' Blog

Blog posts by NSW Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service management


ACHSM Admin
ACHSM Admin
ACHSM Admin's Blog
Juggling motherhood, a new career and a Masters

Juggling motherhood, a new career and a Masters

Gráinne Ducat
​2nd year ACHSM Intern MNCLHD

Today marks one year since I officially hung up my navy uniform and entered into the corporate side of health, and I reflect on the opportunities, challenges and successes of the past year.

My career to date has been in the field of paediatric and maternal health nursing. I trained as an RN is Belfast in early 2000’s and worked in a range of settings, most recently as a Child and Family Health Nurse. The opportunity to apply for the ACHSM internship came to me in the form of an e-mail from the Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Workforce and encouraged all staff to apply. I have friends that went through the ACHSM Internship program almost 10 years previously and were now enjoying remarkable careers in health. Although I loved my current role, I had already sought out more challenges and felt the current model of practice in health was unsustainable. I wanted to bring my knowledge and experience to decision-making at a higher level.

The biggest challenge for me has been dealing with feelings of inadequacy and ‘imposter syndrome’. Nursing is structured, ordered and supported, whereas the corporate side of health has many unwritten ground rules that need to be followed to succeed. My mentor has been pivotal in helping me identify and understand these behaviors and navigating complex health systems, hierarchies and structures. Over time I have started to feel more comfortable in this role and believe that I may have something of value to contribute to health decision-making and leadership. As well as a fabulously supportive mentor, I have met some inspirational leaders so far on my journey. I am already cherry-picking the very best of their attributes and blending them with my own personality.

They say “you can’t have it all,” but I am here to tell you, you can, you just need to be organised and have the right supports! My husband has been crucial in helping balance the demands of a Masters and working full time (with occasional long days) with my family life. My workplace supervisor has been a wealth of support and information as well as brightening up many a routine day. My fellow ACHSM Interns are a marvelous support network, particularly on the lead up to University submission dates! In the early days, I would have been completely lost without my fellow ACHSM intern here at MNCLHD. We have become very good friends, as we both understand the juggle of parenthood, university work and learning in this role.

I am not sure what the second year of the ACHSM Internship has in store for me, but I already know it is full of potential and I intend to seize every opportunity that comes my way! I know there will be long evenings of university work, so I can enjoy the weekends with my children. I look forward to reuniting with my fellow Interns at the Professional development days and hearing their experiences. And I am excited about the upcoming projects and plans I will be involved with during my rotations and I am keen to take on more responsibility and further develop my leadership skills.

Comment (0)



Comments are closed.