14 December 2023
| Aged Care Homes, BaptistCare
At BaptistCare, many of our Registered Nurses have come to us from an acute care or hospital setting, choosing to make a sideways career move into aged care.
One of these nurses is Geeth.
Having worked at BaptistCare Warabrook Residential Care Home for over four years, she shared with us why she made the move and why she’s never looked back.
According to Geeth, a career in aged care offers an opportunity to flex a wider range of nursing skills - as well as providing support to develop new ones. The fixed rosters mean you can fit shifts around other commitments in your life. Most importantly, nursing in aged care enables you to make a real, ongoing difference in the lives of vulnerable older people.
Here are Geeth’s six reasons to become a Registered Nurse in aged care:
“Aged care really helps you spread your wings as a Registered Nurse,” says Geeth. “The work is so varied there is the opportunity to practice a wide range of nursing skills.”
Geeth explains that while hospitals offer a supervised work setting, with nurses caring for patients alongside doctors and other medical specialists, the residential aged care home is an unsupervised environment.
This means that Registered Nurses take primary responsibility for residents’ healthcare, with support from care supervisors.
“It involves making crucial decisions about someone’s care needs,” says Geeth. “This does add a bit of extra pressure to the role, but it also makes the work stimulating and rewarding.
“I’d also add that we are highly trained for this work – we’re never thrown in at the deep end and there is a lot of support available.”
Geeth says that nursing in a residential aged care home setting means you get to spend more time with residents, getting to know them and their families and gaining a deeper understanding of their needs.
“In a hospital setting, you might treat a client for only few days, but in aged care you get to build closer relationships, caring for residents over months or years. It’s very rewarding.
“I love spending time with older people and their families, listening to their stories and building trust.”
Geeth says that nursing in aged care is by no means ‘easier’ or ‘lighter’ than nursing in a hospital setting, the environment is just different which adds extra layers to the work.
“It feels like a family home – which of course it is for our residents – and the difference you make to people’s lives is just as profound.”
Geeth says that at BaptistCare, her team works around a fixed roster, making it easier to juggle family life or other commitments outside of work.
“You have a say in which days and times are most suitable for you, and the management will do their best to make it work,” says Geeth. “There’s also the opportunity to pick up extra shifts if and when you want them.”
Geeth says that BaptistCare also offers short, flexible shifts that worked well for her when she first returned from maternity leave and needed to fit work around her childcare requirements.
“My manager was very flexible with my starting hours, and there was a fixed roster, which meant that my shifts would stay the same for the foreseeable future,” explains Geeth. “It offered such stability and was a great help to me.”
BaptistCare has one of the most competitive rates of pay for Registered Nurses in this sector.
“It’s definitely an attractive feature when considering a role at BaptistCare,” says Geeth. “The salary packaging option is fantastic too.”
As well as being able to salary package up to $15,900 per year for general expenses and a further $2,550 per year for meals and accommodation expenses, all BaptistCare employees can access novated car leasing options, which helps your budget stretch a little further on the purchase of a car and car-related expenses.
“When we come into a job like this, our primary focus is to help and care,” says Geeth.
“Working in an unsupervised environment adds a slight bit of tension to the role, but at the end of the day, if we were able to manage the shift by ourselves and resolve residents’ health and care needs, there is a real sense of confidence, self-pride, and job satisfaction.”
Geeth also says it’s the little things that seem to make the biggest difference for the residents.
“It might be something as small as giving someone a glass of water, changing the TV channel, or reading to them. Many residents are completely immobile and so it’s these little tasks that add up to make a big difference to residents’ quality of life.”
Registered Nurses need to complete 20 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year, so learning opportunities are very important when it comes to choosing an employer, Geeth says.
“At BaptistCare, there is some sort of new education available for RNs every month.
“We have a learning portal where we can access a wide variety of internal courses. There are also opportunities to participate in external training – our professional Nurse Educator regularly organises specialist offsite training courses such as palliative care, infection control, and urinary catheter care – all of which are paid for by BaptistCare.”
Geeth has also been trained in additional administration skills relating to aged care such as managing government funding for residents and liaising with government bodies on their behalf.
“I now spend some of my week at a desk, and my other days on the floor caring for residents. It offers a bit more variety to my work. There is scope to mould the role around your interests as you grow and develop in aged care nursing.”
If you’re interested in working as a Registered Nurse in aged care, we’d love to hear from you.
By choosing BaptistCare, you’ll be joining one of Australia’s largest and most trusted providers of aged care and community services, delivering loving, respectful, and reliable care to over 24,000 people across NSW, ACT and WA.
You’ll receive a competitive salary, hours that promote work-life balance, and our genuine commitment to invest in your professional development.
If you’d like further information, contact us at email@example.com.