In her words, Leti’s job means she “cares for those members of the community who are unable to care for themselves”.
Leti was attracted to work as a carer, as she had hoped to do a Bachelor of Nursing to move on to become a registered nurse. However, family commitments prevented that from happening, but Te Hopai stepped in to provide her with workplace training and take her career in a different direction. While on the job, she completed the National Certificate in Health, Disability, and Aged Support.
While the pay is lower than other types of work, there are other benefits − such as workplace training − that hold the interest of carers like Leti. One of the most significant rewards is the sense of making a difference in vulnerable people’s lives.
“Meeting and working with the young and old (including family members), and the everyday challenge of working as a carer [is one of the aspects I love about working in the sector]. I contribute greatly to our residents’ wellbeing and happiness with my one-to-one interactions with them, and I receive simultaneous response from the residents and their families. This makes my job very meaningful,” Leti said.
“Now as a senior caregiver who has completed national qualifications in care of elderly, I enjoy taking more of a leadership role and orientating and supporting new staff.”
- Nursing Support and Care Workers starting their career usually earn
$31k−$34k per year.
- With two to four years’ experience, they can usually earn $36k−$39k per year.
(Source: District Health Boards/New Zealand Nurses Organisation, ‘Nursing and Midwifery Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA)’, September 2011)