Words from the front-line: A Registered Nurse’s perspective on aged care
When Danny Nuesa migrated from the Philippines to Australia as a nursing student in 2012, he found work as an Assistant in Nursing in a Perth hospital. Four years later, yearning for a change of pace, Danny joined SwanCare as a casual registered nurse (RN), transitioning to part-time work at the hospital.
Today, his time is split four ways: He’s a part-time RN at SwanCare, a part-time RN in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at a local hospital, a student of a post-graduate diploma in cardiovascular nursing, and a loving husband and father to his family.
Danny has a unique perspective as an RN in a hospital AND an aged care setting. So we asked him to share his view of the world!
1. Aged care can be a calming environment
“Working in a hospital is quite stressful. When I started my diploma, I had to cut down my hours there… I needed a different environment. A friend suggested aged care - and I haven’t looked back since. I love how I can balance the pressure and pace of the hospital with SwanCare. Although aged care can still be busy, I enjoy the variety of work and I’m now able to cope with my studies.”
“My colleagues at the hospital often ask me how to get a position in a nursing home. Even the head nurses ask! They can see how much calmer I am now - and they want that balance too. One nurse who found work in a nursing home said to me, ‘Danny it’s amazing! I’m not stressed when I get home or when I wake up! It’s not like the hospital.’”
Danny adds, “I was offered a full time job at the hospital just a few months ago - but I turned it down because I feel more at home here. I just love it.”
2. There are so many opportunities to learn
“Before coming to SwanCare I assumed I knew almost everything about aged care. But I’ve realised there’s so much to learn. Our management team has actually given me the opportunity to teach nurses and staff. This was so new to me! I had never seen myself as an educator.”
Earlier this year, Danny put his hand up to prepare and facilitate a tracheostomy education session for SwanCare nurses, which had been previously cancelled by an external educator.
“My manager Geraldine Garret (Manager Quality and Compliance at SwanCare), asked if I had extensive experience in tracheostomy and would be able to run the program. I said yes. Without an educator, I knew Geraldine would have to cancel the session. I didn’t want to let the team down!”
“I was so nervous - I don’t talk in front of crowds! But I took up the challenge and went out of my comfort zone. After the session, Geraldine said there had been very positive feedback from the attending nurses. So she booked me to do another tracheostomy session - which had even better feedback than the first one! I’m doing another one in August.”
“I still get nervous speaking in front of a group, but I’m getting used to it - little by little. This experience has inspired me to pursue nursing education in my career down the track. For now, I’m really enjoying running the sessions and gaining confidence,” he shares.
3. We focus on holistic care
“In a hospital setting, you can only care for the patient for a few hours. In an aged care environment, you learn to notice people. We focus on their character - are they happy, sad or going through a difficult time? That’s what our role must be… to support them throughout that time."
“Since working in aged care, my perception of the sector has changed dramatically. It’s quite amazing. Before I started working at SwanCare, I believed that the residents would be stationary in their rooms… But SwanCare offers them a lifestyle! There’s freedom. Residents go to the shops or to the village, or they play games. It’s truly a home.”
Hear about Danny’s journey from the man himself. Watch his story here: