From low expectations comes high commendation

SOUTH West Healthcare nurse Linda Said barely expected to pass her Deakin University course  — let alone be its top student.

Ms Said, a clinical nurse specialist, has won Deakin University’s highest School of Nursing and Midwifery student award.

She was announced dux of the university’s graduate certificate/diploma of nursing for best all-round academic and clinical performance — her achievement earning her the prestigious JR Medical Books Prize.

“If you ask all the guys I was always saying I was going to fail,” the surprised winner confessed.

“It was quite a bit of a shock to pass, let alone to get the award.”

Ms Said also has a diploma in resource management and is gearing up to undertake a research-in-nursing elective to complete her graduate diploma.

Given her passion for the environment, the Warrnambool theatre nurse said she was keen to look at better ways hospitals could reduce their waste output.

“We’re in the age where we’re trying to work out better practices which would help reduce climate change,” she said.

“It’s about looking at the best ways for the future. 

“It might mean better or different recycling methods.”

Ms Said paid tribute to her husband Neil and their children, six-year-old Deny, four-year-old Rory and two-year-old Hugh. “If it hadn’t been for Neil and the kids, I don’t think I would have gotten through,” she said.

She also thanked mentor SWH perioperative education facilitator Dr Paula Foran, perioperative manager Tony Kelly and theatre unit manager Ricky Piper for their support.

SWH director of nursing Julianne Clift said the result was a testament to Ms Said’s personal commitment and efforts.

“Credit needs to go to Linda and the rest of our incredibly hard-working staff who choose to commit to developing themselves in this way,” she said.

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