4 mins read

Day In The Life: Nursing with Whiddon

When it comes to aged care, the world is your oyster. You can shape your own career in aged care if you want it and work hard for it! – Christine Marando

When it comes to aged care, this isn’t Christine Marando’s first rodeo. In fact, she’s been providing top-notch care since starting with Whiddon in 2009 as a school-based trainee!

Since then, Christine has had a career filled with incredible milestones, such as gaining her Certificate 3 in Individual Support, receiving a scholarship through the Royal College of Nursing to study a Bachelor of Nursing and serving as one of the Infection Prevention and Control leads at Whiddon. Unsurprisingly, Christine’s dedication to upskilling doesn’t stop there; she is currently undertaking a Nurse Immunisation Course so she can provide vaccinations, too!

Introducing Whiddon

Over the last 75 years, Whiddon has been providing exceptional care to older Australians living in regional, rural and remote locations. Their team doesn’t just care for their community; they give them the opportunity to maintain independence and stay connected to the things that matter most to them.

With over 2,300 customers and 2,000 employees, people are at the heart of Whiddon’s mission. If you want a career where you can help out some incredible individuals while making a real difference in the community, start by looking at Whiddon’s employer page!

Christine’s Career Journey

Despite taking on a range of dynamic and diverse roles, Christine emphasises that Whiddon has always been at the heart of what she does:

“I am so thankful to Whiddon for their flexibility and support throughout my studies. Due to their unwavering support, I began my journey as a young 16-year-old in 2009, working in aged care as a School-Based Trainee.

I then became a registered nurse (RN) at Whiddon in October 2014. In 2018, I was offered the opportunity and appointed as a Clinical Care Coordinator at Whiddon and in 2020, I spread my wings and joined another provider as Director of Nursing, only to return to Whiddon 12 months later as the Director of Care Services.”

A Not-So-Typical Workday Routine

After providing us with a rough outline of her daily routine, Christine also stresses that, in the aged care industry, your role is constantly shifting. In short, no two days are exactly the same, and it’s this variance that keeps nursing so interesting! However, according to Christine, the typical routine of a Whiddon nurse might look a little like this:

“Task number one is always to greet all the residents and other staff with a smile before starting your rounds; happiness is essential, and your positivity is bound to rub off on those around you! Be sure to bring this positivity with you into your multiple daily meetings, too.

You’ll be participating in a daily scrum with team leaders, sitting in on performance and team meetings, touching base with the clinical team, and liaising with GPs and Allied Health professionals about resident care– at the end of the day resident care is our highest priority. . From time to time, I am also asked by my team to assess a resident for a second opinion or to assist with clinical care, which is all part of working together in a team.

My role also focuses on education and compliance, ensuring team members receive the right information about new systems and processes, but also to support them in their development. That’s right, you have the opportunity to support the careers of other aspiring healthcare workers, too! However, the support you provide doesn’t stop there; you’ll also be guiding residents and families through any concerns they might have and providing them with much-needed emotional support. This includes meeting with new admission families and residents and making them feel welcome.

Your exciting and dynamic workday doesn’t end there! You’ll also find yourself working through order approvals  and invoices, overseeing staff rosters and leave requests, monitoring the financials such as CAPEX and OPEX budgets, assisting with rolling out new projects and aiding in the recruitment of new staff! As you can see, there is a variety of tasks that need to be attended to, and this is what makes my job so interesting. In short, nurses really do it all, and by launching your career in this exciting industry, you’ll never have a dull day!”

Future Aspirations

When asked about her goals and aspirations, Christine shares that the support of Whiddon has, in fact, allowed her to reach heights that she never thought possible (and at an impressively young age, too)!

“the opportunity to break into nursing at an early age has opened up so many opportunities for myself. I am now a Director of Care Services at a young age. This was my ultimate goal when I stepped into nursing: to be a manager and lead a supportive team that will provide the best quality care to our residents.”

 Expectations vs. Reality: Do They Line Up?

It’s not uncommon to romanticise a potential role before learning that it isn’t quite as easy as you expected. While chatting to Christine, for whom this was definitely the case, she reveals that the unexpectedly challenging aspects are what fire up her passion for nursing, rather than acting as red flags!

“When I stepped into the industry at the tender age of 16, I had this picture-perfect idea that being a carer meant sitting around, offering cups of tea, and chatting all day. However, this is not the case.

Learning at the early age of 16 that this industry involves hard work physically and emotionally was eye-opening. But it is so rewarding when the residents appreciate what you have done for them. Even when some residents are not able to communicate this, knowing you have done your best for them and they are comfortable lets you know you have done your job.

As I got more into this role, I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it and wished to continue. The early mornings, late afternoons, and nights were all worth it, as this was the career I definitely wanted to pursue.”

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