When Lisa finished school she worked through an agency doing home-based care for the elderly, which included cleaning and personal care.
“To do this line of work it takes a special person. I get great satisfaction to be able to give love and care to the people that paved the way for us. Especially when they don’t have family around, I get to provide them with the love and affection they wouldn’t normally get.”
Lisa specialises now in palliative care, which is care of the seriously ill and dying. Although she notes being empathetic is very important in this type of job, she knows that she has to remove herself from situations at times and understand that it is just their time to go.
“When you have been nursing them for several months or even years it can be really hard – you get quite close to them. I find I fall in love with a lot of my patients and then they pass on and I’m devastated – that’s the hardest part.
When someone dies, Lisa draws comfort from knowing that they were not alone in their final moments – she was there holding their hand at the end. “The patients are why I do my job. When I leave work each day I leave knowing that I have left a smile on my patients’ faces, and sometimes the thanks you get from their families can be very nice to hear.”
Lisa started out with the goal of becoming a nurse; unfortunately, due to health problems she wasn’t able to complete the course so she decided to become an aged care worker. She is qualified to do everything that a nurse can do, except for administering injections and certifying the time of death. She administers medication and gives hospital-level care to her patients.
Lisa advises anyone who is interested in becoming a nurse but is not sure about committing to the length of training time, to consider this as a career path.
“Every agency these days pays for you to get your qualifications while you work so that is a big bonus as well.
“It’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s not a job you do for the money. It’s something you have to have a passion for to be successful at.”