Australian Unity Home Health is all about people and making a difference in their lives every day.
If you’re interested in a career in care, we are hiring now.
26 May 2023
Australian Unity Home Health is all about people and making a difference in their lives every day. From the clients receiving services, to the care workers delivering these important services.
If you are thinking about a career in the care industry, you may be interested in hearing from others who have made the decision to work in home care. Who are they? What are they like? And what advice can they give to someone starting out in the sector?
So, we spoke to Laura Engelhardt, a 32-year-old Community Nurse from the Blue Mountains, NSW, about why she loves working in home care and the best parts of working for Australian Unity.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the variety. Two days are never the same. There is always something different going on in the clients lives and there is always a new clinical challenge.
I also love the driving and scenery, having spent a lot of my time with Australian Unity working in rural areas. I have driven through some of the most amazing places. I’ve trekked through snow covered gardens to get to clients houses and driven around floods. I’ve come across kangaroos, echidnas and emus.
Where did you work before joining Australian Unity?
I was a stay a home mum and before that I was working as a Clinical Trials Coordinator.
What qualifications/training do you have?
Bachelor of Nursing with Honours.
What advice would you tell a new recruit?
You don’t have to know a single thing about community nursing to be an amazing community nurse. You just need to have an interest and enthusiasm to learn. Be prepared to reach out to your colleagues for guidance and advice.
What is something that people might not know about Australian Unity?
They are an amazing team to work for. Australian Unity has an amazing workplace culture—everyone is friendly and supportive.
Do you have a strong connection with your colleagues?
It’s amazing how much of a connection you can build with you team despite being geographically separated.
I’ve got members of my team that I have never met in person, but feel close to and have built genuine friendships with.
I know that if I’m ever stuck, or have a question, my entire team is just a call away.
What’s the working week like?
I work Monday to Thursday 9-5pm.
Having the Friday off makes me a better nurse because it gives me downtime to look after my own mental health and to volunteer at my daughter’s school.
I love the flexibility which suits my responsibilities as a mum, but I also have so much control around my day-to-day visits with clients (taking their preferences and requirements into account, of course).
Do you feel secure in your job?
I feel very secure in my job. Aged care is a growing industry and community nursing through home care is a very new part of this essential service. We support people in their own homes, maintaining their quality of life and independence
What do you look forward to in your role?
My growth and development. I really think that despite all I’ve learnt that I’m only at the beginning of my journey with Australian Unity.
I’ve recently taken on some extra duties to support my manager, and I feel like there is a lot of opportunity to learn new skills specific to this role and more senior roles.
How have you grown as a person, or professionally, in your time with Australian Unity?
I’ve grown in leaps and bounds throughout my time with Australian Unity. I started initially quite shy and cautious but have come to learn and feel confident in my role.
I now enthusiastically approach challenges like wound care, as I have been given the opportunity to learn on the job through courses, , as well as on the job experience, which has improved my ability to provide evidence based, quality care. This has helped me grow as a nurse.
I am also much more confident in my interpersonal relationships and how I communicate with managers, clients, their families and the team.
One of my most recent highlights has been being able to deliver training to our Care Workers and Care Worker Coaches, as well as mentoring new RNs.
I love passing on my own knowledge to others and supporting them through their own professional journeys.
Do you find the job rewarding or meaningful?
Absolutely. Being part of the care team is so rewarding. Being able to keep clients independent at home makes me feel like I’m making a difference in someone’s life.
My professional background has been focused on acute care in a hospital setting, and we often don’t get a proper opportunity to see someone past their diagnosis.
Being a community nurse, and being welcomed into a client’s home, meeting their family and pets and seeing photos from the lives they have led, brings a whole new dimension into the holistic care we provide.
It is a huge honour to be with someone in their home, whether for a one-off wellbeing assessment, ongoing care, or holding their hand when they are palliative.
I don’t have words for how humbling it is to share these experiences with people in my community.
Join Laura and start your career in the Aged Care industry by viewing our current available opportunities.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest. Interviewee titles and employer are cited as at the time of interview and may have changed since publication.
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