For Kayla, caregiving isn’t just a job – it’s a calling.
Veterans’ care had never been on Kayla’s radar prior to entering her Diploma of Nursing through TAFE, but the 21-year-old found the work rewarding and a way to give back to those who had served on behalf of the nation.
After just two weeks of placement at an aged care facility as part of her diploma, Kayla found herself providing care and support for veterans and war widows and knew aged care would give her a supercharged kickstart to her nursing career.
Forming close bonds with veterans and listening to their stories made going into work the highlight of her day.
“I would head home and want to go back into work the next day as early as I could… I didn’t want to miss out on our time together.”
As soon as she graduated from her Diploma, Kayla jumped on the phone to the same facility to ask about positions where she eventually landed herself a role as an Enrolled Nurse team leader. In this role, she leads a team of care staff and provides nursing assistance for residents in areas like medication, reviewing care plans and providing referrals. Kayla has also started studying to take the next step and become a Registered Nurse.
Taking on a leadership position has been a welcome challenge for Kayla, who continues to learn a great deal from her colleagues and the veterans she cares for.
Having commemorated ANZAC Day at the facility with an in-house memorial, Kayla is looking forward to developing her knowledge as she continues caring for those who have served. Working with veterans means every day is an opportunity to appreciate the little things and bring smiles to the faces of those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country.
“What has struck me working in veterans’ care is that I’ve never been happier… There’s this stigma that working with older people is going to be sad, but it’s truly been the most beautiful experience,” she explained.
Kayla highly recommends a career in the care sector for other nursing graduates, particularly as the industry is screaming out for workers.
“I put it on the same level as midwifery,” said Kayla.
“You’re not bringing in a life but you’re helping someone live out their life in the most comfortable way that you can. That brings a sense of peace and joy unlike anything else.”