“Working in emergency didn’t give me the same job satisfaction I got from aged care. By the third year of university I’d already decided aged care was the right place for me. My peers would say, ‘why would you waste your clinical skills in aged care?’ But I knew that if I could make a difference in somebody’s life and make them smile, then that was my day made. With aged care you are a specialist in all areas, whereas in a hospital you choose just one.”
Since childhood, Naomy’s dream was to work in emergency. If someone was injured, she wanted to be the first to respond and give first aid. Following her dream, Naomy came to Australia from Kenya, and studied to be a nurse. As part of her studies, Naomy undertook a placement at an aged care home and was surprised at how much she enjoyed it.
Naomy applied for a role as an RN at Opal Denhams Beach, where she spent one year before progressing to Clinical Nurse Consultant. After eight months in the position, Naomy felt she’d gained the skills and experience to take on a management role – she applied for and secured the Care Manager role at Opal Denhams Beach.
Naomy values the education opportunities available at Opal, saying, “At the moment I’m enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Aged Care Management through Opal.
I always knew I wanted to go back to university and develop myself further, so with Opal that’s a big bonus. You don’t get that kind of support from many employers.
“In Australia, we have an ageing population – we need more nurses, and it’s important that we build pride so that nurses can say, ‘I work in aged care and I love my job’. I can certainly say that.”