Apr 29, 2024

From Personal Carer to Manager: Adelaide woman’s aged care career a “privilege”

from carer to Manager
Adelaide’s Sarah Dobrota has successfully navigated the aged care career terrain from personal carer to registered nurse and now works in a managerial role. Pictured with a resident. [Supplied].

An Adelaide woman’s remarkable aged care career has seen her progress from an entry-level position to a managerial role through nursing in just under two decades.

Starting out as a personal carer while studying to be a registered nurse, Sarah Dobrota is now excelling as a care and quality manager at Adelaide’s North Eastern Community Hospital Aged Care.

Reflecting on the residents she cares for, Sarah said: “It’s a privilege to care for someone who has just given so much to the community and looked after everyone else.”

“Now it’s our turn to look after them. It’s our responsibility to ensure they receive individualised, dignified care that is right for them.”

Even during a two-year career break, Sarah’s thoughts were with her residents and her team: “I just missed them (the older people),” she explained, “and I also missed the camaraderie between the staff.”

“I think public opinion about aged care nursing is changing,” Sarah said.

“Aged care has never been seen as a ‘sexy’ nursing specialty field; however, times are changing, with recent wage rises and the high acuity of care the residents are requiring.

There is now increasing recognition of the value of aged care nursing and what it means to our communities – especially with the increasing number of older people.

“Aged care nurses need to be extremely skilled to be able to manage many acutely ill  customers … as more older people are trying to stay in their own homes for longer.”

Sarah also found a career in aged care nursing offered a better work-life balance: “Childcare wasn’t open at nighttime and aged care was much more flexible working hours.”

Seeking to progress her career, Sarah was able to use her nursing skills to transition into a senior leadership position where she continues to drive excellence and innovation by working to enhance care standards.

She thoroughly enjoys working together in a multi-disciplinary aged care team to make the lives of high-risk residents better.

ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson said: “Sarah’s career progression shows how the aged care sector has so much to offer personal care workers and nurses looking for opportunities and long-term career progression.”

“A career in aged care is filled with countless rewards, and workers like Sarah get to experience a sense of fulfilment that is difficult to find elsewhere.”

“It’s also wonderful to hear that our dedicated aged care workers are gaining respect and recognition for the important work that they do for communities right around Australia.”

For those wanting to follow in Sarah’s footsteps and forge a nursing career in aged care, ACCPA offers a range of Aged Care Nursing Transition to Practice Programs.

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  1. Sarah is a absolute legend and is a dedicated worker I her chosen field we need more nurses to care for the elderly as the population gets olde.

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