Nursing is in her blood
Becoming a nurse was a “blessing in disguise” for Bermudian Lacie Williams-Hill.
Recently featured in the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) magazine “Your Future 2014”, Ms Williams-Hill is pursuing a second degree from the nursing college after graduating in March 2013 with an Associate's Degree in Surgical Technology.
She was the first international student to be enrolled in the registered Registered Nurse programme at the New England nursing college.
“I was approached by the International Advisor (Catherine Fabzi) at New England Institute of Technology and asked if I would like to be featured in a magazine,” she said.
“She told me I would be the perfect person to write a piece because I have accomplished so much in the school. I was honoured to be asked.”
Since enrolling at NEIT, Ms Williams-Hill has gone on to found a Rotary Club at the school, which has become the largest of all NEIT clubs.
“There was a presentation from another school on ‘The Shelter Box'. That is a box with all the necessary items need for survival for three to six months after a disaster.
“I was interested in what they had to say. The school had different clubs but this was different. A handfuls of students including myself decided to take the lead and make this club active on campus.
“I was the club's secretary for the first year and two weeks ago was voted Vice President.
“The club began to grow and is the biggest club on campus. New England Institute Rotaract Club falls under the East Greenwhich Rotarians.
“It is a great opportunity to go out in the community and meet business professionals that can potentially help you in your career.
“That is one reason why I love this club and people come together to and put aside their differences for the better good of someone else.”
But getting to NEIT was not easy, said Ms Williams-Hill.
“As a child I either wanted to become a nursery or elementary schoolteacher, or a nurse,” said Ms Williams-Hill. But, she said, after graduating from Berkeley Institute in 2004, things changed.
“A blessing in disguise, I would say, is how I am managed to become a nurse.”
In December 2001, at 16 years old, Ms Williams-Hill witnessed her grandmother suffer a stroke.
“I thought I was an asthma attack,” she said. But after realising her grandmother wasn't able to talk, the family rushed her to the hospital.
“At the time I did not know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. We cleaned the house for Christmas and I thought maybe all the dust is affecting her breathing. Once she left the hospital I moved in the help take care of her.”
While taking care of her grandmother, Ms Williams-Hill graduated from high school juggling three jobs at Wheels Cycles, Market Place, and Packwood Home.
“Hard work became second nature to me.”
From there, it was onto the Bermuda College, where after graduating from the Nursing Assistant Programme with honours she was hired in 2007 by the Bermuda Hospitals Board.
“I had applied several times before but was not success because I did not have any experience.
“Once I received my diploma, I applied again and was hired. I worked on Critical Care Unit lower, and still do to this day when I come home on breaks. I love my job. I still keep in contact with my patients to this day.”
After obtaining her degree from NEIT, Ms Williams-Hill returned home in March 2013, hoping to go back to NEIT and obtain her Registered Nurse degree.
But first, she would have to be able to afford the programme.
After working “harder than ever” at KEMH and Packwood Home, Ms Williams-Hill was rewarded with a scholarship from the hospital, the Bermuda Nursing Council and Knowledge Quest.
“My self-motivation and determination is what helps me get through school. I want a better life form myself. Plus I love what I do.
“I must say at times it gets hard but I have a great support system. My family and friends give me words encouragement when I feel things are getting tough.
“Their words of inspiration push me to go even harder. I give my all in all that I do and it shows.
“I wear many hats in school and in the community. The pressure is always there but I maintain my faith and the power of prayer gets me across many obstacles.
“My grandmother's favourite scripture that she lives by is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
“I want to make my country, family and friends proud therefore failure will never be an option.
“Once I complete this degree I plan to come home and work. I still want to further my education but I will do that online.”