THE nursing profession runs deep in Deirdre McIntosh’s blood.
Ms McIntosh’s mother and her eldest sister were nurses in Narrandera and from a young age, she knew she also wanted to take up the career.
Now an assistant in nursing, Ms McIntosh has been in the industry for almost 20 years.
She is currently studying to become an enrolled nurse.
“I decided to go into aged care when my dad got sick, so I went into that,” Ms McIntosh said.
“I just loved it straight away. Dad ended up in the nursing home where I was working. Not that he knew me, I was just the ‘lovely lady who made him a cup of tea’.
“When he first came in I was working in the kitchen, but after he passed away I came out onto the floor as a nurse.”
While currently finishing her enrolled nursing course, Ms McIntosh said the best part had been the practical elements, which took her to several different hospitals.
She has also worked at the Narrandera Nursing Home and has been at Carramar for 11 years.
The smile on residents faces is what keeps Ms McIntosh coming back day-after-day.
“When they smile at you, you know you’ve done something positive and you’re doing your job well,” she said.
“It really is amazing.
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“The not-so-good parts are when they might be feeling cranky or frustrated. You want to help them, but sometimes it’s a little hard to get through to them.
“It can be disheartening. The worst part is when someone passes away.
“Some of the residents you just really fall in love with. You can’t help it. Everyone’s death is completely different and the feeling you get is completely different.”
Ms McIntosh said going to work everyday was a joy.
While she admitted nursing wasn’t a career for everyone, she was hopeful more young people would get into the industry.
“We all have to remember these are people … they aren’t children,” Ms McIntosh said.
“They are adorable, loveable adults. They just need compassion.
“It’s not hard. It’s very rewarding.”
Ms McIntosh suggested a volunteer program at hospitals and aged care homes for students in years 11 and 12 could help encourage more interest in the industry.
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