International Day of the Older Person | Past and Present Nurses follow in their mother’s footsteps

Ever since she can remember, Jacinta Terry Stacey, Clinical Nurse Manager at Juniper Hilltop Residential Aged Care Home, has loved caring for people.

“My mum was a nurse in Papua New Guinea, so I grew up in a hospital setting, and I always loved being around her,” Jacinta said.

Jacinta never intended on moving to Australia, but after falling pregnant she knew it would be best for her family. Now, 18 years and a nursing degree later, she still calls Australia home.

“I was originally a carer and I always wanted to make a change, but I had to go through the nurses. I wanted to be able to make those changes myself, so it inspired me to study and become a Registered Nurse.”

Jacinta’s greatest career achievement was becoming a Clinical Nurse Manager at Juniper and completing the Infection Prevention Control Lead Course. Both roles crucial during COVID-19.

“It means a lot to me to be able to make decisions that allow my residents to have a good quality of life.

“Even though I have only been a nurse since 2017, I have seen a lot of change. The food residents receive is a lot more nutritious, there is more staff to help, more choices for activities for residents and the quality of care is a lot higher,” Jacinta added.

For Pat Edmonds, a former nurse and Juniper Hilltop resident, her mother also inspired her to become a nurse.

“Love, care, and attention to detail are all the good qualities that make a nurse, and my mother had them all. If it wasn’t for her inspiring me, I wouldn’t have become a nurse,” Pat said.

The 96-year-old has lived through two pandemics and her greatest career achievement was when she became a Nursing Sister in England.

“I got a blue belt with a big silver buckle to show my ranking. I was higher than all the other nurses and there was only a matron above me. I felt very accomplished.”

“I was alive during the Spanish flu in England, and it was rife. My mother caught it first, and I had to nurse her, and then my whole family caught it. It was a very nasty flu, but COVID-19 was deadlier. Our government did very well to protect us all,” Pat added.

For Pat, nursing has changed over the years as technology evolved.

“We had very little back then, and we did all we could with what we had. When I was a nurse, it was all hands-on care. Nowadays, there is a lot more training and nursing is all about technology. When I became a nurse, I was thrown into the deep end and had to learn everything on the job.”

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