Aged care worker shortage brings nurse out of retirement
For the past year, registered nurse Rajender Lamon was enjoying her well-earned retirement with trips around the world, time in the garden and with the company of family.
However, with increasing demand for aged care registered nurses in Grafton and a longing to return to work, Ms Lamon has now found herself on a new career path.
"I had visited my daughter in Chicago, travelled through Europe and India and fixed things up around the home, then I started to think about nursing again," Ms Lamon said.
"I had always been interested in aged care, so I took the step to re-register my nursing credentials. I applied for a position at St Francis Residential Aged Care in Grafton and here I am."
Rajender is now one of the home's six registered nurses working alongside a team of health and care professionals.
"From my very first day at St Francis I immediately appreciated the professional staff and teamwork. We are always learning from each other. Many of the personal care staff have worked at St Francis for a long time and have taught me a lot about the Home and residents."
Residential manager of St Francis, Sandra Winters said the home is fortunate to have a nurse with Ms Lamon's credentials and years of experience.
"Rajender has worked in nursing, midwifery and local allied health for 34 years across Australia," Ms Winters said.
"When she 'retired' she was well regarded as a community and general health specialist in Grafton and the Clarence Valley region. Rajender had been leading the diabetes education team at Grafton Base Hospital and developed a management and care program for children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She also used to visit aged care homes in Grafton educating staff and residents on diabetes management.
"It's a requirement to have a registered nurse on shift at the home every day, 24 hours a day. It's so important to attract experienced and qualified nurses like Rajender. She is a valuable addition to our team."
Ms Lamon said she was enjoying working in the aged sector and believes that returning to the workforce as an aged care nurse was one of the best decisions she ever made.
"I am enjoying getting to know the residents, their stories and families," she said.
"Much of my focus is also ensuring that our residents stay as active as possible. I am quickly gaining a reputation to get them moving. When the residents see me at the start of my shift they jokingly say 'oh the boss is here, we have to get moving'. But being active is important at any age for optimum health and wellbeing. I encourage the residents to get up, get dressed, go outside and interact with each other.
"I plan to stay at St Francis. I enjoy working here very much."
Catholic Healthcare is seeking permanent full-time, part-time and casual Registered Nurses for its Residential Aged Care Homes across Sydney and regional NSW. Visit our Careers page to view current opportunities - https://www.catholichealthcare.com.au/careers