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Celebrating International Nurses Day

We spoke to Almond Tan, a Registered Nurse at our Estia Health Bannockburn home in Geelong and asked him to tell us about his career and why the nurse role is so important in aged care.

1. Can you tell us about your career – your journey to where you are now?

I’m from the Philippines and I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 2007 and earned my Philippines Registration that same year. I then worked in the acute setting for seven years as a Nurse-In-Charge for the medical-surgical-paediatric-maternity and oncology floor as well as in the emergency department. I took my NCLEX-RN exam in 2008 and earned my US Registration under the state of Texas. In 2014 I started working as a clinical quality analyst under case management/disease management until 2016. I then decided to move to Australia where I gained my nursing degree from La Trobe University in Bendigo. I was offered work at Estia Health Victoria Heights and when the opportunity opened for a Geelong home, I jumped at the opportunity and now here I am.

2. Why do you think as career as a nurse is so important?

To me, nursing is one of the most noble professions in existence today; it’s the foundation of every health institution. Nurses care for patients, or in my case, residents and their families 24/7, 365 days a year. Nurses sees the beginning of life during delivery when a newborn first opens their eyes and the end of life when the elderly and sick close theirs for the last time. As I was taught, it is both a calling and a profession.

3. What was it that made you decide to work in nursing?

I come from a family of doctors and have always had the passion to work in the medical and nursing field. I take pride seeing patients recover from their illness through medicine, science and the care provided by nurses and other members of the health care team.

4. Why do you think being a nurse in aged care is so special?

As a Filipino, we look after our elderly at home and don’t have aged care facilities and it’s why I’m passionate about looking after the elderly, as I think of them as my grandparents. It’s about protecting the most vulnerable people in our society and making sure they get the best care possible.

5. Can you tell us about a nurse that has inspired you in your career?

There’s no one in particular, but instead all the nurses out there, striving to do their daily best in providing a quality, selfless service.

6. Can you tell us a little bit about what your role involves? What does a typical day look like for you?

As the RN, my role is about person-centred resident care and includes administering medication, condition and wound management, assessments, and the development of resident care plans, as well as leading and supporting both clinical and non-clinical team members, liaising with allied health and GPs, roster management and generally ensuring the aged care home runs smoothly, while delivering a safe and efficient service for both our residents and staff.

7. Can you tell us what you enjoy most about working here?

Our residents, who have always been a pleasure to serve. Seeing their happy faces gives me the motivation each day and my team members, both clinical and non-clinical, who have always been very supportive since day one. They are an amazing team; probably the best I’ve worked with.

8. Can you tell us why you’re proud to work as a nurse? For Estia Health?

Estia Health is one of Australia’s largest aged care providers and it’s a great honour and privilege to be part of that team. I am proud of our home despite the challenges, including this current pandemic we are all facing. Everyone is doing their part and going above and beyond to ensure we provide the same level of quality, if not more, for our residents and their families.

9. What would you say to anyone considering coming to work in nursing in aged care?

It’s a very different field as you know that you will be looking after elderly Australians until their last breath. Having built a relationship with them, it makes it hard to lose them, but the knowledge of having served and provided them with the best possible care and comfort until their final moments gives an enriching satisfaction and pride in the nursing profession. Knowing that they are surrounded by either their families or the nurses they now consider family during their last minutes gives them comfort and peace.

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