Nicole originally wanted to be a psychologist, but after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology, she found that she loved the neuroscience and pharmacology aspects of the course, so decided to study a Master of Pharmacy instead.
She graduated from the program in 2012, and after working as a pharmacy intern at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, is now the Deputy Manager of the NSW Poisons Information Centre at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The centre provides information about poisons to the public, and toxicology advice to health professionals on the management of poisoned and envenomed patients, which can be a delicate and critical job.
“After graduating, I got a job as an intern at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and I carried out that job for a year. The Poison Centre (which is where I currently work) was downstairs, and they were looking for someone, part-time temporary, and I thought it sounded interesting.
“I gradually picked up a bit of work with the university as well - initially running tutorials, and being engaged in the intern training program, which I loved. As time has progressed it’s moved towards writing tutorials and workshop material and being offered to give some lectures, which has been really exciting.
“I don’t think you ever really know that you’ve made the right decision until you’re a couple of years down the track. For me, it wasn’t until I was out in the workplace and practising as a pharmacist that I realised the true value of the work that we do, and the role we have to play.
“I love what I do every day. I’m in a very interesting pharmacy space, and I have the opportunity to work both at the Poisons Centre, where we’re doing a lot of really interesting things as far as research is concerned. It’s a very young team that’s moving forward with a lot of really interesting challenges.
“In addition to that, I have my couple of days teaching at the uni, and that’s a really nice opportunity to inspire students. The mix of the two is amazing, [even if] I sometimes burn the candle at both ends.”