Debra from Brisbane was a registered nurse and gave up nursing while the family lived overseas. She had difficulty re-entering the workforce so worked in retail for five years. This is her story.
“When I was offered redundancy from my retail job, I thought, what skills do I have and how can I use them? It became obvious to me that I’d have to invent a job for myself, rather than waiting for a job to drop into my lap.
When I worked in aged care and nursing homes, I felt there were too many constraints on what employees could do for clients. I’d been wondering whether there was a more flexible client service provider platform or model of care around. And then I found Better Caring.
Whenever I’d thought of working for myself, I’d been concerned about all the legalities and insurances, which Better Caring takes care of. Signing up was very streamlined, very simple. Once I’d started I updated my clinical skills with a Cert IV in Aged Support, mainly to understand all the bureaucracy.
Being independent enables me to work to my standards and provide the kind of care that I would want for myself and my family. From a cost perspective, I can provide more flexible, extended care. I’m able to draw up a care plan and contribute to clients’ quality of life.
I have about six clients. My work varies from welfare checks and organising external support and community resources, to monitoring clients’ general health with regular medical checks, liaising with medical officers and community care providers. I also do meal preparation and shopping.
I accompany one of my clients to the movies. Another of my clients, who is an anthropologist, takes me to lectures. I also have a client who is an ex-midwife and keen to help out with baby cuddling in a neo-natal unit, so I’m trying to organise that for her. Some of my clients were very active in their community but developing Alzheimer’s has seen them withdraw socially, so we’re going to volunteer together.
I would definitely recommend Better Caring to others. I know there are a lot of ex-Registered Nurses out there going, what can I do? I can really see there’s a niche in the market.”