“A lot of people are VERY surprised when they hear what I’m doing…but I wouldn’t be anywhere else!”
One thing’s for sure, when you look at nursing student Zahra Fox, the words ‘aged care’ don’t exactly spring to mind.
Eclectic, yes. Cool, for sure. Edgy, most definitely. But aged care worker…not so much.
As the saying goes, however, you can’t judge a book by its cover. This bright haired, keyboard playing, snowboarding enthusiast is a part time residential care worker at Feros Care’s Bangalow Village. And in her words, she “wouldn’t be anywhere else.”
But seriously, aged care?
Inherently empathetic with a passion for helping others, Zahra has her sights set firmly on a career in nursing.
Halfway through her year of study, she decided that working in a role with opportunities for practical application would support her learning and help achieve her full nursing potential.
So why did she choose aged care instead of other ‘sexier’ health care industries? The answer, she explains, is two-fold.
“I knew I’d learn so much more in this sector and be better equipped to jump on the floor as an RN once I finish my course. I’m definitely able to adapt to changing situations with confidence thanks to what I’m doing,” says Zahra.
“I wanted to build up a solid foundation in nursing care where I could finetune my time management skills and learn more about chronic conditions, including how they affect people,” she continues.
“Plus, it’s the complete opposite to what people think as the aged care stereotypes are all wrong. I realised this working with dementia residents in the past, so I knew it would be a good fit for me.”
Getting into the industry and what she loves most
Zahra has worked as a Feros Care residential care worker for just over one year, thanks to a recommendation from a trusted source.
“My boyfriend’s mum works in the community and she suggested Feros. So, I put in my application, and they brought me on board!”
Speaking with heartfelt passion, Zahra says there are so many reasons why she loves aged care, like knowing she can improve a person’s quality of life.
“You impact their lives more than you realise – and vice versa. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you’ve made a difference.”
In addition to the rewarding nature of her role, she also builds strong connections with the residents.
“Getting to know them, their families, and hearing all their stories…it’s so special. I truly love all of it!”
Perception is NOT reality – Chapter #1: The aged care workers
Misconceptions are rife on both sides of the coin, firstly when it comes to the caregivers.
“A lot of people are VERY surprised when they hear what I’m doing,” Zahra says with a smile.
“They think that aged care workers aren’t driven and don’t really care, that it’s just a job and fulfilling tasks on a list. But in reality, it’s about ensuring each resident has the best possible rest of their life.”
Concurrently, the residents also love having a unique mix of individuals – just like Zahra – on their care team.
“They love my bright hair,” she laughs. “And they’re very happy to see people my age looking after them because it keeps them young being surrounded by our energy.”
Perception is NOT reality – Chapter #2: The residents
Looking at it from the other side, the residents don’t fit the stereotype either. To the contrary, they bring wisdom, fun, and life into Zahra’s world.
“They’re not just people waiting to die, and it’s anything but boring,” she says.
“We laugh, there are some real characters, and there are endless amazing stories.”
She goes on to explain that the learning experience is reciprocal as she gets just as much, if not more, out of working with the residents.
“We learn from each other. They’ve taught me the importance of living life to the fullest and to be happy.”
“Don’t hold grudges. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is short so make the most of every day.”
Sold on aged care? Tick. But why apply to Feros?
As a student, Zahra loves that Feros is supportive of her career goals, and understanding when she needs “a bit of flex” with her hours to accommodate study and placements.
“That flexibility can be really hard to find, but Feros are fantastic. It eases so much stress.”
There are other ways Feros fills her cup, like the workplace environment and team culture.
“The village I work at is really nice, as are the people. We’re a relaxed and tight knit group and work so well together.”
“If you happen to have a bit of a hectic day, it’s okay because you get so much thanks from the residents and the nursing team.”
Summing it all up, Zahra says she is thriving at Feros and is excited for the next chapter; becoming a registered nurse.
“The residents keep me here, the staff keep me here, and the way this place works in general. It’s put me in good stead for my career and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”
Not your typical aged care worker? Good, because we’re not your typical aged care organisation.
Apply your skills in a career that makes a difference in the lives of seniors. Find out more and view our job vacancies here.