An unexpected career change into aged care
Working as a fly in fly out worker in the mines, Hervey Bay man Grant says he’d never imagined he would find his calling in aged care.
Motivated to spend time focusing on his homelife, Grant made the shift from the gold mines back to his home in Hervey Bay.
“I was a Service Fitter in the mines at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia working underground and on the surface servicing, maintaining and fixing machinery,” Grant said.
“I was living over there and my wife was living here at Hervey Bay and I was only seeing her five days every four months.
“In the end, I gave up work in the mines and came back to Hervey Bay and was trying to find something that I liked doing.”
Even after a suggestion from a friend working in aged care, it still wasn’t front of mind for Grant when looking for a new career path.
“I worked at a few places in different industries that I didn’t enjoy and I thought, let me give aged care a try.
“I started my Certificate 3 in Aged Care but by the time I filled out the paperwork I had started the course two months late. I enjoyed it so much I ended up finishing two months early!
“When I started studying, I think of a lot of my family and friends were like ‘wow, we never saw that one coming’.
“I was really close to my nan and she wasn’t doing too well and that course made me look at things a lot differently.”
Grant’s passion for helping older people was nurtured throughout the course and continued to grow as he put his learnings into practice.
“I hadn’t finished my studies but I saw that Bolton Clarke was looking for Cert 3 workers, so I just sent my CV in thinking they’ll never employ me because my background was in engineering and mining.
“But they took me on as a Cert 2 worker until my Cert 3 was done and I got to do my work experience at Baycrest residential aged care.
“I have always been a people person and I connected with a lot of the clients really well, so I just thought this is for me.”
Now, Grant works with the At Home Support team supporting clients with differing needs and enjoys the flexibility of having more time at home with his wife and animals.
“My average day is anything from helping clients with showering to transport, going for a walk or even watching a movie with them.
“Some of my clients I go to see just want to do spur-of-the-moment things, like one of my clients we go to the men’s shed, op shops or do gardening at home.
“It’s also just so great being able to spend time in my own house with my wife and I can now go fishing, four-wheel driving, out for dinner and even my animals have gotten to know me again.
“I have been here for about eight months and I’m now talking to my manager about pursuing nursing studies because I want to do more.
“I see a lot of wound and wound management when I go out to clients’ homes and I refer them to our nurses, so I feel I want to be able to do more for them.”
This Monday 7 August is Aged Care Employee Day, celebrating the almost half a million residential care, home care and retirement living employees caring for over 1.5 million older people across Australia.
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