Joining MercyCare Wembley Residential Aged Care Home in late 2020 as a Personal Care Assistant, Sulakshana was studying to become a Registered Nurse.
Graduating as a qualified Registered Nurse at the end of last year, Sulakshana has been working in the role since January.
“I wanted to become a nurse because I really enjoy caring for others,” she said.
“Our profession is to cure by caring. Without this, we cannot be a good nurse. We need to deliver best quality care from inner heart.
“Practicing empathy will help to maintain quality care by focusing on person centered care approach.”
On what she enjoys most about her role, Sulakshana said she is ‘blessed’ to build special connections with the residents.
“I enjoy seeing smiles from our residents every day,” she said.
“I have also seen bed bound or wheelchair bound residents walk again. Moments like this warm my heart and it’s made possible due to our dedicated physiotherapist and our encouraging staff who boost the residents’ self-esteem.”
Sulakshana said events like International Nurses Day are a timely reminder of the critical role that nurses play in health care across the board.
“Nurses are very important in all healthcare settings, not just in residential aged care homes. We are the backbone of healthcare industry,” she said.
“Residents in aged care are vulnerable as they have high care needs 24/7, so as nurses we ensure all the residents are getting the highest quality care.
“Not only do nurses supervise junior staff and provide clinical care, but we are also the first responders to a medical emergency.
“As a nurse, we need to be able to make decisions unexpectantly and act quickly. We are hardworking and need to think on our feet, and the work we do helps the home run smoothly.”
This year’s theme for International Nurses Day is A Voice to Lead, which focuses on the need to invest in nursing and respect the rights of nurses in order to build resilient, high quality care to meet the needs of individuals and communities both now and into the future.
Sulakshana said the current situation with COVID has presented many challenges for nurses across the industry, particularly when it comes to staff shortages.
“Nurses play a vital role in managing staff shortages by allocating staff and prioritising what needs to be done,” she said.
“At MercyCare, we are lucky to have a great team where everyone is willing to help one another.
“Working as a nurse in aged care is a challenging but hugely rewarding role.”