Each month, as part of the International Year of Health and Care Workers, we give people the chance to nominate their healthcare hero to go in the running to win an eGift card. 

We caught up with our June winner, Carmen, to talk about what keeps her motivated every day.

Healthcare Hero Carmen

What’s your name and job?

My name’s Carmen and I’m a Care Coordinator (Registered Nurse).

Tell us a little about what you do?

I work full time in an aged care facility. I mostly work across everyday nursing care, palliative care, managing staff, plus the occasional things you probably wouldn't expect. 

Where I work a lot of the registered nurses have specific areas we focus on and get a lot of training on. For myself, it's wound care.

How long have you been working in your field?

I’ve been working in healthcare for 11 years.

Was this always your dream job? If not, what changed your mind?

I wanted to be a pilot, but I personally didn't think it was a very family friendly career. 

I then gained disability and youth work qualifications, but the entire time I was studying at university, it just never clicked. 

One day I literally woke up, sprung out of bed and knew nursing was it. It was the second last day to apply to programs, so I rang the 2 local universities, quickly filled in the forms, and ended up getting a pre-round offer. The rest is history.

What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to do what I can to make people's last moments, whether they’re across days, months or years, the best they can be.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into the field?

Don't go in with any preconceived ideas as to what you want to do. I went in wanting to do midwifery and walked out wanting to work in aged care. 

The best thing about nursing is how diverse it is. You can work with young or old, in a hospital or the community. There are always options for learning and to gain new skills.  

What’s your wind down routine after a shift?

Usually the first thing I do after an AM shift is find my 17 month old daughter and give her a hug. With 8 kids, after that there's no real time for anything else. After a PM shift I just go to bed.

What do you do in your spare time?

My favourite thing to do is travel, particularly on cruise ships. On my weekends off we try to do a day trip somewhere. I also love doing genealogy. 

Have you ever had a patient that has inspired you?

Many have in various different ways. War heroes, people who have been married for 60 years etc. They all have inspired me.

If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

The ability to do 10 things at once would be very handy.

Head to our Facebook page to nominate a healthcare hero you know! Each month we select a nominated healthcare hero to win a $100 gift card. As the person nominating, you’ll also receive a $100 gift card if selected.