Having grown up in Amsterdam with an Australian mum and Scottish dad, Aarianna Read is a true global citizen. During a life-changing move to Greece to volunteer with refugees, Aarianna decided to pursue a nursing qualification in Australia, to enable her to treat those most vulnerable.
I studied graphic design in my home of Amsterdam, and for years I loved being a creative. But I began to think of it as a side passion, and I wanted a day job that made a difference for humanity.
Living on one of the richest continents on the planet, I could see the suffering happening – children literally dying at our borders – and I wanted to do something practical. I made the move to volunteer for five years with a refugee centre in Greece.
I worked in search and rescue as the boats arrived. Our team was their first point of contact – we’d call ambulances and do what we could to help the sick and injured. But I wanted to provide the care they needed.
So, with my Australian citizenship in hand, I pursued nursing studies in Melbourne. I searched unis for nursing and VU just kept coming up.
I chose VU’s so I could work in nursing positions after the two-year qualification while I completed my degree. The diploma delivers a solid, practical foundation, increasing your skill level and providing a year of credit towards the degree. The teaching staff are experienced and highly educated. Many still work in the industry and are all experts in their fields.
Doing my final placements during a global pandemic has certainly had some major changes. In my most recent hospital placement in general acute care, the ward was cleared out early in preparation for COVID-19 patients. We were fortunate to not be overwhelmed with patients and took precautions including restricting patients to one visitor per day for one hour. As the virus was brought under control after a few weeks things returned to normal. I have two more three-week placements and I’m so excited to be so close to graduating.
My long-term plan is to return qualified to work with refugees again in retrieval, search and rescue."