Today is International Nurses Day: Making a difference in people’s lives

Arna Dinham, Registered Nurse, Marion Community Services - Resthaven

International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated worldwide every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Adelaide aged care nurse Arna Dinham shares a birthday with the mother of the nursing profession. Like Florence Nightingale, Ms Dinham is thoroughly dedicated to her patients.

“I’ve been nursing for over 17 years. I love my job with total passion, and all my clients are treated exactly the same – with love, dignity and respect and all the care as if they were my own parents,” she said.

Arna coordinates a team providing home care services to 80 older people in the Greater
Adelaide area, helping clients stay in their homes, and independent, for longer.

Arna was also recently nominated in the Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) You are ACE! recognition awards (Customer Focus and Care Category).

The Salvation Army Aged Care Nurse Leaders on why they chose nursing as a profession

Centre Manager at Macquarie Lodge Aged Care Centre and Registered Nurse, Milly Prokopenko (pictured), notes the importance of creating a supportive environment as a nurse. “Have passion and love and most of all a heart, where you can give unconditionally,” she shared.

“I was inspired to become a nurse by a person; my favourite aunt in the whole world,” says Fiona Sanders, the General Manager of Salvos Home Care. “She always talked about the fact that she loved being a nurse and being able to care for people and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Samantha Jukes, the General Manager of the Care Quality and Compliance team, shares this sentiment. “I spent quite a lot of time in hospital at a young age and one of the things that made that a lot easier to bear was the nurses I had contact with. I spent quite a lot of time sending them letters and drawing them pictures, and in the end, decided to become a nurse to see if I could have the same sort of impact on other kids like me.”

“There are a multitude of opportunities,” Margaret Williams, the Manager of Clinical Procedures and Practice Excellence, says. “There are so many career options within nursing, and the ability to travel. Not just overseas, but around the country to different locations and loads of different ways that nurses can be involved in improving patient care and having better outcomes for the people that they help look after.”

“A special callout goes to men out there to join nursing to challenge traditional gender stereotypes.”

Mr Gurpartap ‘GP’ Dhaliwal, Manager of Accreditation, Compliance and Clinical Risk, The Salvation Army

VMCH’s Suyesha (Sue) Adhikari (pictured) chose to be a nurse because she “wanted to make a difference in people’s lives”.

Ms Adhikari is the Unit Coordinator at VMCH’s St Bernadette’s aged care Specialised Dementia Care Unit. She coordinates the care of residents with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

“I am very pleased to work in this special program and proud that I can advocate for my residents and their families.”

Although Ms Adhikari acknowledges nursing can be a challenge, “the happiness and satisfaction nurses can have after helping their patients/ residents to meet desired outcome/healthy lives is indescribable,” she added.

The aged care sector continues to experience severe shortages of nurses, with Tom Symondson, CEO of the Aged & Community Care Providers Assoc (ACPA) claiming that there will be a shortfall of 6,000 RNs by October of this year.

The next intake for ACCPA’s Nursing Transition to Practice Programs starts on 27 May and you can find out more here.


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