FOCUS chatted with Alan Rootes, a registered nurse at Pacifica Uniting Aged Care Facility, to find out about his role as a nurse and what it is like working with the elderly.
What is your connection to the Coffs Coast?
I have lived on the Coffs Coast since 2010. I moved here from Kempsey to start studying Nursing at Southern Cross University. I graduated in 2013, and got my post graduate position at Pacific Uniting Aged Care Facility in 2014.
Tell us about a day in the life of a registered nurse?
My typical day starts off with a handover from the registered nurse from the shift before me. I then prepare medication for diabetic residents. I manage and direct AINs, EENs and other staff and delegate daily tasks out to them. I then do my rounds, checking patients’ wounds and reapplying dressings.
Throughout the day I will oversee all clinical aspects of aged care. This includes medication administration and care plans for development of the residents.
My shifts range from morning, afternoon and night across the week, with each shift varying from the next depending on the day to day activities for the residents.
What motivated you to start a career in nursing?
My Pop was an ambulance officer, which I originally wanted to do. I could not start off doing ambulance officer training, as I didn’t have my full licence, so nursing was the stepping stone I decided to start with. I love working in the aged care sector of nursing, as it my way of giving back to the elderly.
I enjoy making a difference in the residents’ lives and making them able to live as if they were in their own home. I pride myself on delivering the highest standards of care to our residents and treat them as family, as our facility is their home.
What is Pacifica Uniting all about?
At Uniting, we believe in taking real steps to make the world a better place. We work to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice.
Our services are in the areas of aged care and disability, community services, and chaplaincy, and we get involved in social justice and advocacy issues that impact the people we serve.
Uniting is passionate about helping older people to lead happy, healthy lives. Whether you are looking to downsize for a more relaxing retirement, need support to remain independent at home, or require full-time assistance with your health and care, we can tailor a solution that’s just right for you and your family.
What is the best thing about your job?
I like working with a diverse range of people and finding out who they are. I love listening to them and learning about what lives they have lead before moving to our facility; some have seen and done such amazing things!
I like working with my team of staff, as they are passionate about nursing and caring for our residents.
What does the future hold for you?
One day I would like to continue my training and become an ambulance officer, but at the moment I love my job and want to continue looking after my residents here at Pacifica Uniting.
What is your advice to someone thinking about starting out in nursing?
Go for it! It is such a rewarding career.