Aged care is a passion for nurse Theresa

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Aged care is a passion for nurse Theresa

February 24, 2021

Nursing has always been in Theresa Marsh’s blood, thanks to a family member who encouraged her to consider it as a career.

“It was wonderful advice then, and I have never looked back,” Theresa said.

She completed her Home and Community Care course in 1997 and her first placement was in a nursing home. She started working with Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria in 1999 initially at the aged care home in Rushall Park before transferring to the Currie Wing in Liscombe House ten years later.

In between, she completed her Enrolled Nursing certificate at the Australian Catholic University in 2008.

Theresa had always wanted to work in aged care, loving the challenge and making a difference in people’s lives daily.

“As a nurse, you deal with many aspects of residents’ care and learn new things every day. I am always challenging myself to keep up to date with ongoing training so that I can provide the best care to the residents,” she said.

There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ day as a nurse. Theresa is based in the Currie Wing where she attends to day to day medical and nursing care for residents, educating staff in manual handling, oral and dental care.

“It is a busy job but one which is always rewarding,” she said.

Theresa has had many highlights working with OCAV, but the one which stands out was looking after a resident who required peritoneal dialysis. OCAV won a national better practice award for the pioneering service.

“This was an intense experience which required training and support with Austin Health to manage a kidney dialysis service in-house. This type of care is unusual – at the time, there were three dialysis patients living in aged care in Victoria,” Theresa said.

Over the past 20 years with OCAV, Theresa has witnessed many changes to nursing.

“Equipment and technology has changed dramatically to make our job easier,” she said.

“Technology and medicine have certainly changed as our knowledge keeps improving with education on every aspect of ageing from dementia to palliative care to mental health,” Theresa said.

Working through the pandemic has been among the most challenging times of Theresa’s career.

“It has certainly made our job harder. You hear stories about other aged care facilities which have struggled to cope with COVID for many reasons. I think we have done an extraordinary job not least because we have strong infection controls in place, are well trained, and have a collegiate team.” Theresa said.

She said the hardest part has been making sure residents have not felt isolated and lonely.

“Judging by their smiles, the surveys and the wonderful notes we have received from families, I think we have succeeded,” she said.

 

 

 

Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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