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International Nurses Day 2023

Angie Agpalza is the Clinical Care Coordinator at Seabrae Manor Aged Care and she shares what inspired her to enter nursing and what drives her in her career.

Why did you choose to do nursing as your chosen career and what does it mean to you?

I come from a family of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and professors. I started doing my pre-med at university hoping to follow in my father's footsteps (he was a surgeon in a prestigious veteran's hospital back home in the Philippines). However, I changed to nursing as studying medicine was taking too long.

Throughout my nursing career, I have obtained and continue to gain endless knowledge, skills and the value of patience, humility, adaptability, kindness, grace, compassion, perseverance and diligence. I learned from great mentors who have unselfishly shared their proficiency in nursing.

I enjoy caring for individuals of all age group, race and culture - being able to make a difference in their lives, providing clinical care and service regardless of where they are along the health and illness continuum. For me, nursing is both a privilege and an honour to be an advocate of health.

What do you enjoy most about working as a Clinical Care Coordinator at the home?

What I enjoy most about working as a Clinical Care Coordinator is the versatility of the role, the ability to wear "different hats" - sometimes on the day or throughout the week, and ensuring that the effort and decisions made at the time with the entire team positively impact the residents - their overall health and wellbeing, treatment, comfort, safety and living happily in the home no matter how small or seemingly trivial the action may be.

The impact I make on residents and their families' life, however brief it may be, is something I will always cherish and the moments where endless gratitude have been expressed is quite rewarding.

What his the most challenging about being a nurse?

The most challenging about being a nurse is emotional involvement as the work nurses do is personal and meaningful. Nurses become emotionally invested in their client's lives and outcomes which can be a difficult burden to carry over many years. However, I have easily overcome the burden with strong support systems - family, friends, colleagues and mentors - that I can reach out to help process my experiences and cope with feelings in constructive and healthy ways.

What is a special memory you have so far from your nursing career?

The special memory I have from my nursing career is when I was a professor and the department head of a college of nursing - being able to impart my nursing experience, knowledge, skills and values to hundreds of nursing students. I paid forward what I have learned from my mentors.

Together with the students, we continued to innovate, grow, evolve, discover and keep up with the changes happening in the health care industry at that time. The feeling of being able to leave a legacy to the students through teaching is so rewarding. To this day most of my former students, now my nursing colleagues, keep in touch and express how they are forever grateful for my "persistence and patience" in teaching them.

Since coming to Seabrae Manor, I have been able to continue my mentoring role. Seabrae Manor has been hosting Bachelor of Nursing students from Queensland University of Technology since 2014. When I joined the team, I was asked to be a preceptor for their clinical placements. This has given me the opportunity to continue mentoring nursing students to facilitate their learning with knowledge, skills and experience in providing nursing care services to aged clients. It is with hope that some of the nursing students will choose their nursing careers in aged care.


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