LOVE OF LEARNING: Teachers at TAFE Queensland East Coast in Bundaberg.
LOVE OF LEARNING: Teachers at TAFE Queensland East Coast in Bundaberg. Contributed.

Work options in old age drives return to study

INCONSISTENCY in work hours and income, more work options into old age, and recent personal experience caring for a family member, are the reasons Sandra Castle, 56, enrolled in a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing at TAFE Queensland East Coast in Bundaberg.

"A lot of people in my class are saying the same things as me about finding consistency of work to age in," Sandra said.

"A lot of jobs are casual, hours here and there."

Sandra has worked in disability for 15 years, but can't see herself doing that work when she's 65.

"It can be taxing emotionally and physically".

She chose nursing because "it offers a variety of options".

"It will enable me to have more choice for work as I get older."

Sandra started her course in July, after previously completing courses in aged care and disability.

She said TAFE provided a lot of support, "especially for older students, giving the opportunity to learn how to study properly".

"If I have problems with chemicals, or medications, or maths, there are a lot of support services."

She also talked about referencing.

"The teachers make sure you are referencing properly, so if you choose to go on to uni you know how to do it."

She calls herself a perpetual student.

"I love to study, love to know how things work and that includes people. By understanding how things work you can put in place interventions."

Although she has done study online, Sandra prefers to be on campus.

"A lot of things you learn are not in books.

"Having someone with experience teach you consolidates information you get from books. Having done TAFE I feel a lot more confident about going to uni. At our stage you know quite a lot of stuff, but you have to find it in a book and that can take longer than knowing it."

Sandra has passed all her assignments and exams.

"I love it and am determined. I encourage myself and say if the next person can do it, you can do it too."

TAFE Queensland East Coast

WHERE: Bundaberg Campus, 118 Walker St, Bundaberg

CONTACT: 1300 656 188;

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