Sonja finished her Diploma in December 2018 and is now working in Aged Care. She's currently doing her Bachelor of Nursing part time and hopes to get into mental health nursing in the future.
Why do you love nursing?
I love working with the residents. I love learning about their lives and hearing their stories from the past. I love the challenges that some residents present with their co-mobilities whether it be physical, mental or emotionally.
Describe a typical shift
There is no such thing as a typical shift. Even though there are routines to follow, no two days are the same. Tasks required are assigned for different shifts, but this also varies depending on the facility you work at. I have worked at three different facilities and the tasks required have all been different. However, they all require care of the residents which includes feeding and attending to their hygiene. There is always some sort of documentation required and this will also be different depending on the facility.
Do you have any advice for nursing students starting out?
If you can, try and get a graduate program. They are so worth doing and so much support is given. I started my nursing career by doing a graduate program with Bendigo Health. I did two 6-month rotations in aged care facilities. The first one was with Geriatric Psych and the other was general aged care. Further to this, do not dismiss aged care as your first nursing experience. You learn so much from the elderly. Especially deterioration and chronic illness, which helps with nursing skill development. It is not easy at first, it can be quite daunting but hang in there. Take advantage of any clinical support you are offered and ask questions. Nursing is so rewarding in so many ways.
Read more Q&As with our nursing grads here.