The Vital Role of Nurses in Aged Care
Stephanie Buckland, Chief Executive Officer, Amana Living
The recruitment of nurses in Australia’s residential aged care homes has garnered a lot of media attention in recent months and understandably so. As Maya Angelou said, ‘As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves.’
Nurses in aged care play a multifaceted role. They provide personalised, high-quality care that is wide-ranging, including wound care, pain management, infection control, palliative care and more. Nurses are also part of a team who address the physical, emotional, and social needs of residents and clients, supporting their overall wellbeing and quality of life.
At Amana Living, we’ve employed nurses since our first nursing home opened in 1968. Today, hundreds of nurses deliver crucial clinical care to our residents and clients while offering clinical leadership and support to their fellow team members.
Recently, we’ve increased the number of nurses on our rosters to meet the Government’s new mandatory care time standard of an average 200 minutes for each resident, including 40 minutes of registered nurse (RN) time. Thanks to substantial effort by our recruitment and rostering teams, we’ve also met the Government’s requirement to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This recruitment effort was challenging given the widespread nursing shortages in Australia. However, a combination of offering additional shifts to current employees and external recruitment – including recruiting from overseas – has meant we now have additional nurses on board.
They join a team of dedicated professionals of whom I am extremely proud. We are privileged to work alongside nurses who are passionate about delivering the best care to residents, while also providing a nurturing home.
This month, two of our nurses will be recognised as finalists in the 2023 WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. Lisa Studholme, Service Manager (pictured right) at the Kinross Care Community, is nominated for the Excellence in Residential Care Award. In her nomination, Lisa was recognised for her professionalism and focus on developing deep relationships with staff, residents and their families which has cultivated a family-like environment at The Lake House.
Sharon Maitland, Service Manager (pictured left) at Wearne House, is nominated for the Consumer Appreciation Award. The family member who nominated Sharon, said: ‘Sharon inspires her staff to do their best every day. She is loving, caring, diligent, compassionate, involved, and persevering. I thank our lucky stars that my parents and mother-in-law are cared for by Sharon and her team.’
Irrespective of whether they win their categories, these two nurses are shining lights in our organisation and are representative of the staff across Amana Living. While I celebrate our nurses in this article, every member of our team makes a profound difference to the lives of our residents and clients. We are blessed to have them.