My Nursing Experience at Morling Lodge Aged Care

Morling Lodge Aged Care

Morling Lodge Aged Care now decommissioned (last week) is located at Red Hill in the Australia Capital Territory (ACT) which is managed by BaptistCare (NSW & ACT) formerly known as Baptist Community Services NSW & ACT). I felt somewhat compelled to write some of my views about Morling Lodge due to hearing it is now decommissioned.

It was here that I first ventured into nursing in April 2002 working my first shift in Chaffer Wing that catered for high care residents. I remember applying for the position of Assistant in Nursing (AIN) at Morling Lodge which stipulated that applicants must have experience in order to apply. At the time I had no experience at all in nursing as my previous occupations were not in anyway slightly related to nursing. In fact my previous occupation was maintenance manager of a hotel-motel which had a limited future. After applying for a number of positions when I was working in maintenance and not getting anywhere I thought out of curiosity why not try nursing even though I had no experience. The worst thing that could happen is they send back a reply to say I’m not suited which wouldn’t matter as most other employment applications I tried were coming back negative anyway.

I think a good four weeks had passed and I just came to the conclusion that my nursing application to Morling Lodge was also going to be a negative outcome. I was at the point of dismissing the idea of being a nurse till I received a voice mail wanting to know if I would be interested in having an interview at Morling Lodge and if so to contact them. The next day I phoned back and a week later had the interview and started working a week after that.

I remember my first shifts in aged care nursing at Morling Lodge (Chaffer Wing) which were quite educational as I had never really seen aged residents in their late 80s and 90s requiring full on care before. It became apparent to me that quite a lot of aged people in nursing homes become the forgotten members of society as some hardly had many family visits except at Easter, Christmas or their birthdays. The care staff for most residents to some degree become their second family as there is that connection as staff and residents develop therapeutic relationships. Most of the AINs I worked with in Chaffer Wing had great skills in manoeuvring lifters when transferring residents as the rooms were quite small and were built when lifting was all done manually by care staff. All the showering and toileting was done in various bathrooms external to the residents room which meant you had to transfer them to the bathrooms which some residents didn’t enjoy as the corridor and bathroom air temperature was different to their bedroom especially on the cold Canberra mornings. I also did some nursing shifts in McMaster Wing (low-care) and the Dementia Unit at Morling Lodge but most of my work was in Chaffer Wing.

As time progressed I commenced a trainee-ship which would provide me with more skills and knowledge by gaining the Certificate III in Aged Care at the end of 2003. This inspired me to learn more and I eventually ended up at University completing the Bachelor of Nursing.  I think it’s safe to say now I have gained my nursing experience 🙂

Note… the new aged care facility that replaced Morling Lodge is now in the Canberra suburb of Griffith in the ACT located in Stuart Street which looks quite modern and no doubt a place of comfort for the residents.

Pete.

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