Certainly, I have all the business qualifications and multinational experience as an Executive working in a variety of health areas across the world; I have managed homes, worked in public service arenas as ‘the regulator’, lobbied government and been privileged to influence international policy on ageing through forums such as the World Health Organisation.
This may be my CV, but my CV does not define who I am. I am a nurse with a passion and drive to make the lived experience for older people better than our experience of yesterday and tomorrow. This is who I am, not what I do.
I finish with this, which is my main driver; who, and what, I am:
‘If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.’ (Catherine Booth, Co-Founder, The Salvation Army)
Innovative - Determined - Compassionate
As a Registered Nurse, I have always had a heart to care for people. I began work in Oncology but soon discovered my real passion was caring for Older People and so I embarked upon a career in Aged Care. Over the last 15 years, I have seen some of the best and worst examples of how to ‘do’ care. I soon realised that this was the problem - we cannot ‘do’ care because the very nature of caring is a heart connection, and this is often the complete opposite of training of medical and allied health staff, including nursing.
Florence Nightingale founded the nursing profession and was renowned for her writings ‘The Art of Nursing’ – many years on, can we still say that nursing is an art form? It is my belief that we can bring back the ‘art of nursing’ and through the Dementia Care Matters’ Models of Care, I have seen this become reality. Not just as a Senior Nursing Executive with years of management experience, but as a grandson, a carer and someone who truly believes that the art of nursing is based upon the premise that feelings matter most.