MercyCare / News / How our Community and Home Support nurses are making a difference

How our Community and Home Support nurses are making a difference

On International Nurses Day on May 12, we want to recognise our dedicated team of Community and Home Support (CAHS) nurses, who play a pivotal role in providing clinical care to our elderly clients in the comfort of their own home, which not only reduces their need to see their local GP or go to hospital, but also supports them to be more independent with managing their health independently with extra support.

With the support of our CAHS nurses, many clients can maintain their sense of independence in their own homes.

“We not only want to empower our clients to be more independent at home, but we are there to provide safe, clinical care and support,” MercyCare Nursing and Support Services Lead Carlie Appleton said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for them so that they don’t have to go to the GP or they don’t have to attend the hospital, and it keeps them at home.”

Carlie, whose experience in nursing spans more than two decades, started out her nursing career at a hospital in her homeland of UK before coming to Australia where she began working as a nurse in the community.

Joining the MercyCare family in 2014 as a CAHS nurse, Carlie’s passion for the job saw her climb the ranks quickly to clinical nurse, nurse manager and service lead as demand for community and home care increased.  

Carlie leads a team of clinical nurses and works alongside support advisors to provide the best quality care to clients, with much of their work centring around providing support with wound care and chronic disease management, such as diabetes.

 “Our role is to support people to be independent at home and we can also provide support, education and advice to promote shared care with them and their families,” she said.

As well as supporting clients, the CAHS nursing team work in partnership with support workers and alongside a multidisciplinary team that includes a case manager, GP, occupational therapist and physiotherapist to provide Short Term Restorative Care. This short-term intensive program designed to help people get back to doing everyday tasks and help them maintain independent living at home.

“Our nurses also help with educating others in our team, like our support advisors and support workers, by providing clinical advice and support so that we can provide excellence in clinical care,” she said.

For Carlie, flexibility in the role has been pivotal in maintaining a work-life balance for her team, who can choose to work school hours during the week without the need to work weekends, which is a big change from the demanding shift and weekend work that is often expected of nurses who work in a hospital setting. 

“Working as a CAHS nurse really gives you that flexibility, which is great if you have a young family,” Carlie said.

“It has been great for me and I really love the work I do now, I really enjoy it and I feel like I’m making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

To read about MercyCare’s career opportunities, click here.