Winmalee High student tops the state in Human Services

She's the tops: Winmalee High School student Natalie Schroder, who came first in Human Services in her HSC. Photo: Janie Barrett
She's the tops: Winmalee High School student Natalie Schroder, who came first in Human Services in her HSC. Photo: Janie Barrett

A nursing career awaits Springwood’s Natalie Schroder, after she topped the state in the pre-nursing HSC subject, Human Services.

She was a little apprehensive after getting a message earlier this week to call and give her student number.

“I thought why do they need my student number,” she said. But it was just to prove her identity before she was given the good news about her first place.

“When they told me I was a bit shocked,” she said.

The shock quickly gave way to elation.

Natalie went to Winmalee High School but studied Human Services – a vocational education subject which can be done through TAFE – through Nepean Hospital, travelling to Penrith every Tuesday afternoon for the past two years.

The course includes anatomy, physiology, recognising body symptoms, basic care, communicating with people – everything to work effectively as a nurse.

She also did two placements at the hospital.

“Essentially I followed a registered nurse around and learnt how to give patients a shower, how to feed them, taking vital signs,” she said.

Natalie said her interest in the health industry started when she was in Year 9. She did work experience at Nepean and learnt about the course they offered.

Colleen Butler, nurse educator for Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, said Natalie was part of the second group of local year 12 students to complete the Human Services course through Nepean Hospital.

“Natalie consistently worked to a high standard and shone on work placement throughout the program. For her outstanding efforts, Natalie was the academic excellence award winner at the program’s graduation in September 2017.”

Ms Butler said the assistant in nursing course was a wonderful program that allowed students to have a real taste of what it’s like to work in health.

“It gives the students a great opportunity to find out what they’d like to do for a career before they enrol in a university course or other ongoing education.” 

Natalie plans to do a nursing degree at Notre Dame university next year.