Honouring Our Heroes

Honouring Our Heroes
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A Heartfelt Thank You to Nurses on International Nurses Day.

10th May 2024

Our nurses. Our future.

International Nurses Day is coming up on May 12, a global celebration for each and every nurse from the past, present and in the making! The date is significant, being the birthday of Florence Nightingale who epitomises the unique and special traits of our beloved nurses.

The Life of a Nurse

SwanCare’s General Manager of Health and Aged Care Services, Julie Atkinson, had an impressive 40-year career in nursing, starting in acute, then moving to community and residential. “My kids tell me that I'm working towards retirement with the steps I’ve taken” laughs Julie. “I love it though. It’s a life of copious amounts of tea, coffee, and biscuits!”

Julie has first-hand appreciation of the hard work involved in being a nurse. “Nurses do an exceptional job,” said Julie, “I appreciate my staff every day. I’m in awe of their capabilities and resistance to the challenges they deal with. They manage complex issues, behaviour issues, as well as palliative. And they continue to do so with a smile on their face. I recognise them every day, but it is wonderful to have a national day to recognise them.”

SwanCare’s Clinical Operations Manager, Duska Bodegrajac, also speaks from experience, as a Registered Nurse since 2009. “The work is hard,” said Duska. “There’s no other job where you can really say you deal with blood, sweat and tears, all in a day’s work.”

There’s no denying it’s a tough job, so what drives a nurse to come back to work day after day? What’s their drive? “I feel it’s a privilege to be a nurse,” explains Duska. “I hope to make someone’s life the best it can be by supporting them from entry care to the day they depart. When you’re a nurse, you know you’re making a difference."

Playing a Crucial Role in Society

Duska has countless stories about how she’s seen nurses make a significant impact on someone’s life. “There are so many examples,” said Duska.

“For example, someone might come to us post-stroke, where they are unable to move without support, or live by themselves at home. Nurses play a vital role in the enablement process, and we’ve had many success stories where people are rehabilitated and can then return to their homes or communities to live with support.

Also, there’s times when people don’t want to let go of their life in the community, resulting in an unsuccessful admission. We can provide the support and education to help them transition from community to care so they can enjoy their life here. There was one case where a resident said they felt like they were living in a hotel here!”

Julie agrees with Duska’s sentiment. “Speaking from experience it’s something intuitive,” said Julie. “It’s wanting to make things better, wanting to do the best you can. It sounds corny but you’re called to that profession. I’ve spoken to many people who have left other industries and gone on to do nursing because they feel it’s more fulfilling for them. It’s an individual calling.”

The Innate Traits of a SwanCare Nurse

Julie has great admiration for all nurses and reflects on what makes the SwanCare team in particular so special. “They’re kind, compassionate, considerate people,” said Julie. “We offer full support to our nurses inside and outside of work, we want to help meet their needs, whether that’s through achieving goals in their education or supporting them in personal family situations. Whatever we can do to help our nurses, we will.”

Duska has similar words of admiration for our nurses. “They genuinely care. They’re dedicated, capable and have the knowledge and skills to deliver evidence-based care. They’re also resilient and humble enough to come to us for guidance and support when they need it.”

Our nurses are our future. They protect those around them and make the world a better place, however cheesy that sounds. They tirelessly care for our residents with an unwavering commitment and kindness.

“I would like to thank each and every nurse that works here for the excellent job they do every day,’” said Duska, “for the positive change they bring to the lives of our residents, family members of residents and the wider community.”

Today, and every day, we extend our deepest gratitude to nurses worldwide for their invaluable contributions to healthcare and humanity.


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