Dianne – aged care story
‘I live in a small country town, which has a population of about 1600.
I first became a personal carer in a nursing home and worked there for 5 years. I often looked at the registered nurses and thought perhaps one day I would like to be a nurse.
I decided to apply for a registered nurses’ scholarship, and I got it! I was so excited.
I have received scholarships for other qualifications as well, including a Grad Dip in Aged Care. I’m now 58 and I’m studying again!
I’m so grateful for the scholarships. I know there are lots of people I’ve talked to about applying. Being in a rural and remote area, we need more nurses!
To younger people thinking about nursing – come and be a personal care worker in aged care. You might love it and want to come back after you finish your nursing degree.
I am now the associate unit manager and the after-hours supervisor at a small rural hospital. It’s a multipurpose facility with both aged care and acute care.
I like the community aspect of working in aged care. You get to really know your clients and their families.
We have chooks at our facility. My mother was here before she died, and she loved the chooks. The residents love to keep their sandwich crusts and feed them to the chooks. They will come around to the resident’s doors and wait for them.
A lot of our residents are farmers, so they have had chooks themselves. Sometimes we bring the residents to our own farm so they can have a lovely experience that is familiar to them.
I think quality care for older Australians is about feeling you belong to the community. Being able to participate in things that are of interest to you.
My favourite part is when I get to work and the first thing I hear is ‘Where have you been?’ They might not remember your name, but they remember how you treat them.
We have lots of international nurses here and sometimes we have multicultural days where we share food from lots of different countries and all the residents participate.
It’s very special seeing people to the other side. That’s important to me, to make sure it’s right, supporting the family and ensuring they are kept up to date with what’s going on. We are their family too.
It’s just such a wonderful job. If it wasn’t for the scholarships, I just wouldn’t be here working and doing what I love.’
This case study was supplied by the Department of Health and Aged Care. Find out more about Aged Care Nursing Scholarships on the Australian College of Nursing website.