INsite: How did you get to where you working today?
Hamlin: I was working as a caregiver in a private rest home and the Nurse Manager suggested I train to become an Enrolled Nurse (EN). I was accepted into the 2006 intake. My work was brought out by a chain operated group I left that home and started working part time for a smaller home as a caregiver while I was doing my 12 month course (Certificate Nurse Assistant Role) I graduated in April 2006. Staff changes paved the way for me to work as a qualified Enrolled Nurse not long after, I then completed the six months at level 5/EN with Diploma in 2013.
INsite: What does a typical day look like for you?
Hamlin: My typical day begins at 0645 when I get the handover from the night registered nurse.
I then do the controlled drug and insulin-dispensing with the RN (0700) hand over with morning carers, medication round for 26 residents (RN does the other half of the wing 23 residents)
I complete the personal cares for rest home residents checking and assist semi-independent residents. Then I help other carers and/or the nurse and get lunch medications ready and give out to all residents in their rooms and to residents in both dining rooms. I complete any assessments that are due, take and chart monthly observations for residents in the wing. Then it’s the doctor’s rounds. I write up progress notes for each resident on my list. I go to a meeting, I check carers’ education (Careerforce) papers before sending it up to head office. My day finishes around 1515 after handover to pm shift by RN with my input.
INsite: What do you love most about your job?
Hamlin: I love making a difference for the residents, and helping to give them their independence back, and the small and not so small achievements made along the way.
INsite: And what do you find most challenging?
Hamlin: The staff to resident ratio is challenging, as you’re not being able to spend time to fully listen to the residents. And more paperwork than we have time to do during work hours.
INsite: What education or training have you done?
Hamlin: I have attended Advanced Care Planning training, and other Aged Care days run by CDHB, also Enrolled Nurse education days.
INsite: If you could change one thing about New Zealand’s aged care sector, what would it be?
Hamlin: I think we should employ more Enrolled Nurses in Aged Care! ENs now train for 18 months in specialised areas working alongside some very special people – some with multiple illness and some who are vulnerable. ENs learn the skills to be able to assess and to recognise if something isn’t quite right. Residents often inform the EN before any other staff member. We can be the voice of residents, we are part of the multi-disciplinary team and our voices need to be heard.