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Nurses are at the forefront of our healthcare system and on International Nurses Day we celebrate their contribution to our communities and our customers.

Today we’re shining a light on our Aged Care Services and profiling three of our amazing nurses who chose a profession that truly makes a difference to the lives of those we serve.

From the page to a passion for nursing

A Year 8 school research project on a famous identity while growing up in Nepal was the spark that led Raksha Shukla on a pathway of caring and following her passion for nursing.

Raksha, the Clinical Manager at AnglicareSA’s Trott Park residential aged care home, by chance chose Florence Nightingale as her research subject and quickly became enthralled in the story of the person regarded as the founder of modern nursing.

“I started reading up on Florence Nightingale and I thought ‘wow, that’s something I want to do in the future’,” Raksha recalls of her younger self.

“I then spoke with my cousin who was in the medical field, and he told me that it was a great idea that I could become a nurse and help people.”

After school Raksha went on to study nursing and worked in a community and children’s hospital before moving to Australia in 2010.

While working as a care worker in aged care Raksha returned to her studies, first completing bridging studies to gain registration before completing her nursing qualifications and becoming a registered nurse.

Caring for others is at the forefront of her career passion.

“I think looking after people who are unwell and showing them care is what’s at the heart of it,” Raksha says.

“You see so often that if people are unwell, they can become isolated as others sometimes avoid being around them.

“If you want to care for people and look after them, then nursing is simply the best profession.”

Continuity of care and building relationships

Providing continuity of care and developing relationships with his customers are the driving forces behind the work of enrolled nurse Chris Williams.

As part of AnglicareSA’s Community Aged Care team, Chris provides a crucial service for customers in their homes, undertaking everything from nursing and medication assessments through to more hands-on nursing such as wound care.

His road to nursing starting off 15 years ago with two weeks of work experience in an aged care home, which led to studying to become an enrolled nurse.

“Quite simply, I’ve always liked helping people,” Chris says of his motivation to pursue his career of choice.

“It’s nice to be able to provide a service to people, to provide that continuity of care in that they know you are going to be there to provide care and support and from that you build a relationship with them.

“You are caring for them in their homes, and while you might only see them two or three days a week, I’ve formed really good relationships with my customers.

“That’s a big factor in things like healing wounds – making sure they’re comfortable and if they can trust you that goes a long way to helping them with their care.”

His advice is simple for anyone considering a career in nursing.

“It can be very busy, but it’s never dull. You’re doing different things every day. It’s very rewarding work.”

Health care in a meaningful, safe, and effective way

Being captivated by the technical side of nursing during work experience in high school has led Randall Wheatley down a career path of supporting people at their most vulnerable.

While he admits he may have almost fainted watching a nurse take a blood sample during that two-week stint, it was all he needed to decide on where his studies and career would take him.

“It’s what you might call the drips and drains, injections and wound care really,” Randall says. “The amazing hands-on technical skills drew me into nursing.”

Beginning his nursing career in acute care before transitioning across to aged care, Randall is now a clinical nurse and a coordinator for AnglicareSA’s Transition Care Program.

“It’s 12 weeks of in-home restorative care which is delivered at a slower pace than rehabilitation in a hospital and is based on goals set by the customer.

“For example, they may want to get back to doing their shopping by taking the bus or want to walk to the letter box again.

“We interpret those goals into therapy with physical and other supports like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and care workers to provide supports and assistance to help customers with exercises in the home.”

Randall’s role with AnglicareSA to support those coordinated efforts draws on his skillset and nursing background and deep understanding of what customers have gone through.

That personal relationship with customers, he says, is a key to nursing and what sets it apart as a fulfilling and rewarding career.

“It’s an invitation into people’s private lives and nursing for someone in any kind of role, whether in the community or in hospitals, is very intimate,” Randall explains.

“People are in a vulnerable state and your job is to be their support person to deliver health care in a meaningful, safe, and effective way –that’s what nurses do.

“I think that in any position or capacity in delivering nursing, that’s what it’s all about – being invited to a personal space to care for a person who is unwell or vulnerable.”