Ballina man goes from fixing cars to fixing people
BALLINA'S Todd Burgess has swapped a career fixing cars to a career caring for people.
The 29-year-old TAFE NSW Lismore graduate has hung up his overalls to put on scrubs and pursue a career as a nurse.
While a study of 12 million Australian workers by the Foundation for Young Australians showed multiple career changes are set to become the norm, Mr Burgess' switch could be considered anything but the norm.
After working as a mechanic for five years, Mr Burgess decided to follow his dream of being a nurse and in 2018 and enrolled in a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing at TAFE NSW.
"I was looking for something more person-orientated - I am a people person and I missed that interaction in the world of mechanics," Mr Burgess said.
Currently working as a carer at RSL LifeCare in Ballina while completing his university studies, Mr Burgess admitted the threat of COVID-19 to the residents and himself was "scary".
"The situation is constantly changing with the coronavirus threat," he said.
"Every time I go into work, there's always a new development and new rule you need to abide by.
"It's a little concerning yeah, but it gives you a sense of pride helping to care for people and helping then.
"It's good knowing I still have a job."
After graduating from TAFE NSW, Mr Burgess successfully applied to university to further his education in order to become a Registered Nurse. He began his studies last month.
The Diploma Mr Burgess undertook at TAFE NSW will take two years off his university studies, a significant reduction in time which he says made a huge impact on his decision to study at TAFE NSW.
"Completing a Diploma has allowed me to reduce the amount of time that I needed to spend at university and get into my dream career quicker," he said.
"My hope is to work in the mental health sector, which I am particularly passionate about, but I am looking forward to wherever this path leads me.
"Helping people is so rewarding and the appreciation I receive from residents and patients is the best feeling.
"It makes me realise that I'm making a difference in people's lives."
He said he plans to finish his degree by mid next year.