Khera – aged care story
‘I commenced my nursing profession in the Philippines in the acute care setting and then worked in critical care in the Northern Marianas, USA. Starting my nursing career in Australia in aged care was all new and unfamiliar.
My family and I moved to Australia primarily to raise our children in a country with good values and warm-hearted people.
I had to wait for my international nurses’ licence to be assessed and approved to work in Australia, so I worked as a personal carer at a residential aged care facility.
After receiving my registration, I was offered a job as a registered nurse and later as a clinical nurse. I heard that the Australian College of Nursing offered scholarships and thought it was an excellent opportunity.
Once I knew I wanted to devote my career to aged care, I wanted to ensure that the care given to older people is the best. I was lucky enough to receive two scholarships - one for a Master in Chronic Disease and Palliative Care, and then a Master of Nurse Practitioner.
The best part about my studies is applying the theories and learnings in the workplace and seeing the positive outcomes. The resident might tell you that their symptoms have improved, or their families will thank you for taking the time to listen to their concerns. Finding options to resolve them is very rewarding.
The government's investment has empowered me to advance my knowledge and career as a nurse.
I have several roles across the aged care and acute care settings. As a nurse practitioner, I diagnose, commence treatment and prescribe medications for my patients working closely with their GP.
The other role I have is supporting COVID case management and I am the first official Queensland Health Dementia and Delirium Nurse Practitioner in Brisbane. This involves managing patients with complex dementia symptoms.
Working in aged care is a unique experience. We have care goals for our residents geared towards maintaining their quality of life and being as content as possible.
I’ve learned from my patients that when we give up independence and possessions, including our home, we often gain a new clarity of what is essential and valuable as a person.
Working in aged care is life-changing. Each patient we look after leaves an imprint on one's heart and a blessing.
This group of Australians have given so much to society and now it is our time to look after them. It is an honour and a privilege to journey with them in the last phase of their lives.
To anyone thinking about working in aged care I say please come and do it! You will not only learn a lot about clinical and medical work, but you learn a lot about life too.
There is a definite career path for you in aged care.
I truly feel blessed to be in Australia. Australia has given me a lot of opportunities that I am grateful for.’
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.