Cheryl Constance- Challenging careers in Aged Care for Registered Nurses

Cheryl is the Quality and Safety Manager at Home Nursing Group and works across all five regions of the organisation; Tamworth, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, and Taree. She has been with Home Nursing Group for over 4 years.

Cheryl is a highly skilled and experienced Registered Nurse having worked as the Operating Theatre Manager at Armidale Private Hospital and as a Relief Nurse at various medical base centres for the military- a far cry from here upbringing where she  grew up on the far South Coast of NSW in a small town called Bega where her parents raised dairy cows.

How different was it moving from a hospital environment across to a home care provider?

Very different indeed, and I found the transition an amazing challenge and particularly rewarding.

Community aged care is entirely client-centered, where clients are supported to make informed choices about their individual needs. One size does not fit all in community aged care, unlike the highly controlled acute care or military.

The other difference I noticed was that most people are passionate about aged care, and it’s much more than just a job for them.

Why is home care an appealing career choice?

Home care is a fantastic career choice for anyone who enjoys autonomy and the challenge of problem-solving. The fact that one size does not fit all makes the work so interesting and makes every day different.

With an aging population, community aged care is going to grow and needs skilled people who genuinely care about the elderly. Most who enter a caring profession want to make a difference, and community aged care certainly allows people to achieve this.

What do you love about working for Home Nursing Group?

As an organisation, Home Nursing Group very much care about their clients and believe that the elderly deserves the highest quality care, provided by the very best employees who are skilled and caring.

Home Nursing Group is willing to invest resources to ensure that this happens and it recognises and rewards innovative thinking and new ideas to ensure a high standard of care for their clients.

How has Home Nursing Group supported you in your role?

Like my colleagues, I have been supported in every way within this role, and ongoing training and education are always encouraged and available. I think it is the organisation’s pursuit of a highly skilled workforce that has resulted in a workplace culture of learning and development.

What are your passions in life?

My greatest passions in life are family and travel.  I have two children and four grandchildren who are growing up very quickly. I love to travel, and we try to make a trip overseas trip each year. The planning of the trip is half the fun so usually do it all myself, and we also like to be a bit spontaneous and change plans on a whim.

I feel very fortunate to have been to so many interesting places, but I still have a bucket list.

For any potential clients and families that might be hesitant to seeking assistance, what would you say to them?

Many clients and their families see moving to the point of seeking assistance as the beginning of the end and a step toward losing their independence and autonomy. I would tell them that this is not the case and that taking this step-in seeking assistance will help them avoid that situation.

One of the foundations of community aged care is the importance of maintaining independence and self-determination, so seeking assistance will not result in a loss of control or independence.

If a person or family member is unsure where to start, phone Home Nursing Group or register with MyAgedCare. Just take that first step but don’t be put off by the process and let us help you if you find it difficult.

What is a key learning you have gained from working in home care?

When working in aged care, we need to stop and look at the whole person and their lives, their stories, their achievements, the joy, the losses and all those things that make them the unique individual that they are.

Being able to do this allows us to make a huge difference and tailor care that is suited to the needs and preferences of the individual person.

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