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Beyond text book learnings

12th March 2020

After working in age care for fifteen years, Maria Williamson shares what’s kept her coming back and what every nurse must know before commencing a career in the sector.

Taking a career change to nursing, Maria Williamson quickly realised that her work in aged care was going to require more than text book learnings.

Beyond clinical care from her nursing course, she discovered it would be her personal skills above all else that would enable her to provide people with the quality care they needed.

“It’s the connection with residents that’s by far the most important component when it comes to nursing in aged care.”

“Unlike a hospital, an aged care facility becomes a person’s home. People can be with us for many years and it’s important to make their time with us as family-like as possible.”

“People who live with us more often than not have a degree of dementia and are facing a great deal of change in their physical and cognitive capability. They require a deeply personalised level of care that goes far beyond meeting their clinical needs.”

Maria is known among her colleagues for providing care that exceeds residents’ expectations of a nurse.

“It’s the simple things like bringing them their favourite fruit, or perhaps a hair clip that they like but won’t be able to find for themselves.

"It’s these small things that makes a person’s transition to Lovell House easier.”

Two years after working in aged care, Maria pursued her studies as a registered Nurse and has since been working with Benetas at Lovell House in Caulfield North.

“There’s a strong team of us here who’ve worked together for many years and it often doesn’t feel like work at all. We only have 40 residents at a time and we all do our part to make it feel like home, from the cooks and carers through to the volunteers who come in each week.”

Maria notes that while it’s not a financially lucrative job, it’s rewarding for the right person. “At the end of the day if you make a difference to someone’s life, if you make them smile during a challenging period for them, it’s a great day for you.”

“If you’re new to the industry, remember to treat your resident the way you would want your family to be treated under your care and it will help you do a good job.

“It’s a solid approach to help you become a more caring and empathetic person across your entire life.”

Learn more about Benetas' residential age care service, Lovell House, in Caulfield Melbourne.