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Staff Profile – Katie Casey
Tell us about your career to date and the different roles you’ve worked at HCA?
After moved to Australia from Ireland in 2019 I got a job with Healthcare Australia (HCA) as Casual Disability Support Worker and Aged Care Agency Nurse. This gave great insight into the Disability and Aged Care field in Australia.
I continued working for HCA for near 2 years before transitioning to my current role in October 2021 with Healthcare Australia as Clinical Care Coordinator in the NDIS section.
My new role allows me to travel to different part of Victoria visiting NDIS client, assessing their needs and developing comprehensive support plan. I also get to connect with support workers, offering guidance from my own experience as support worker and knowledge from my clinical experience as a registered nurse.
How has your career changed from when you started to where you are currently?
I Graduated from University of Limerick (Ireland) with Bachelor of Science Nursing (Intellectual Disability).
I completed my Pre-reg Nurse (Internship) with the Daughter of Charity Service, Limerick, Ireland. This is Residential service for people with Intellectual disability and respite service for children. I provided nursing supports for children and adults, with a moderate, severe, or profound intellectual disability and clients with dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental health.
After my internship I got job as Registered Nurse in Nursing Home County Limerick, Ireland. This is a 65 bed nursing home offering long term, general, dementia, acquired brain injury, short term care, convalescent and post-operative care. The role involving using the nursing process to assess, plan, implement and evaluate care.
In 2018 I moved to New Zealand and worked in small Aged Care Facility in South Island for year. I then returned home to Ireland and worked as Registered Nurse in Nursing Home, County Kerry, Ireland. This was a 51 bed nursing home that cared for people with dementia and cognitive impairment.
The travel bug hit again, and I moved to Melbourne. I begin working as a PCA and once I received my AHPRA pin I began working as registered nursing with Belmore Nursing Agency. After short time I got a job with Healthcare Australia (HCA) as a Disability Support Worker and Aged Care Agency Nurse. I continued working for HCA for almost 2 years before transitioning to my current role in October with Healthcare Australia as a NDIS Clinical Care Coordinator in the NDIS team.
Why did you first decide to work in the healthcare industry?
I grew up caring for my older brother who has Down Syndrome and high complex needs. From a young age it was an area I was always passionate about and felt from my own experience I could really help clients and family cope with the challenges of everyday life. I was also drawn to working within the healthcare industry from my mother as she worked as registered nurse in the community for many years. I used to love listening to her talk about work and wished one day I could have carer and help people the way she did.
What do you like most about your current role?
My new role allows me to travel to different part of Victoria visiting NDIS client, assessing clients’ needs and developing comprehensive support plan. Every day I’m learning and using my skills and knowledge to overcome challenges within the role. I also enjoy that I get to connect with support workers, offering guidance from my own experience as support worker and knowledge from my clinical experience as a registered nurse.
What was the highlight/s of your career as a support worker?
There have been many highlight during my time working for Healthcare Australia as a Disability Support Worker. During my role I’ve support clients to attend family events, watch live sporting games such as soccer and cricket and attend music concert.
Often people with disabilities don’t get to access the community as much as you or I would, which is why the role as support worker is so important. A Support Worker can be a link for a client to experience life outside their home from a simple thing such as having a cup of coffee in café or attending an important family event. These opportunities would often seem impossible without the assistance of support worker.
What is the easiest and hardest thing about your job now?
The hardest thing from me was the change from going from a role where I was always on my feet and very hands on to now working in office. It has taken some time to adjust to this new work style.
The easiest part is I feel I can really relate to support worker on shift. I know what it’s like to be in their shoes and on the frontline.
What barriers did you find in progressing as a nurse or support worker? What advice would you give to overcome these barriers?
I often find one of the biggest barriers for anyone wanting to progress in their carer is that fear of change. As human we often don’t like change, we enjoy routine and knowing what we need to do each day. Change isn’t easy but if you don’t try and push yourself a little to do something different, you’ll never know what you may accomplish in life.
What is the most exciting part of your new role? How does it challenge you compared to previous roles/positions?
As my Clinical Care Coordinator is allow me to combine my knowledge of disability and nursing field into one area.
It has allowed to see full picture of clients moving from hospital home. From my nursing carer I would often discharge patient home and you would often wonder what happened them or how are they coping at home. As Clinical Care Coordinator it allows me to assess the client in hospital, work alongside Allied Team to ensure everything is in place for smooth transition home. Then finally you can see the client happy and safe at home being cared for by support worker.
As Clinical care coordinator is challenges me to look at both side what the clients and family may want and needs and how this can be implemented safety by support worker on shift.