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Village staff


Award-winning nurse humbled by opportunities

Dave Sevilleno says it was a bit of luck that got him his first start in the healthcare industry in New Zealand.

Back in 2008 the then 23-year-old Philippines-trained nurse had moved to New Zealand but was finding the job market difficult.

He was getting buses around Christchurch to look for jobs, dropping his CV at retirement villages and resthomes around the city with no success.

“I was desperate to get a job. I went everywhere to knock on doors and drop in my CV. And then my friend phoned to say she’d taken a job, but she knew there was one going at Anthony Wilding. I was interviewed and I got the job. It was pure luck.’’

It is precisely at this point that Liz Dilger, the Ryman Healthcare village manager who interviewed Dave back then, would step in and say there is nothing lucky about Dave’s success as a nurse. From the start Dave was a bright, willing and impressive candidate whose hard work and skill have got him where he is today.

Dave, now 30, started out as a caregiver but has taken every training and promotion opportunity that has come his way.

His hard work and study has paid off. He has been steadily promoted through the ranks and is now the special care unit co-ordinator at Ryman’s Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch. He has 40 residents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia in his care, with 15 staff to manage.

In 2015 he was awarded one of Ryman’s top accolades, winning the company’s outstanding nursing achievement award at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Dave’s mum was a nurse and he always felt that he was destined to join the profession. The more he trained, the more he found he had a genuine passion for caring for older people with dementia.

“The challenge is to understand our residents’ frailties and to try and turn a negative into a positive. We’re not just here to help the residents but to help the families through as well. It is like mentoring, it is hard for families to know what to expect with the disease. That’s also a challenge.’’

“Dementia is really tough on families. To see their loved one’s memories erased is hard.’’

A good day at work for him means going home knowing that all the residents in his unit are happy, comfortable and content. An extra good day is when he or his staff get acknowledgement from the families they deal with.

“A simple thank you can make you feel amazing. It means they appreciate and understand what we do.’’

He says he loves living in New Zealand and is here for good.

“What’s great about New Zealand is the opportunities that are given to us by the company. I never thought they would give foreign-trained nurses like me management roles. I thought we would just be part of the labour force only. Ryman gives us great opportunities.’’

At Ryman Healthcare, we have a ‘grow our own’ philosophy and invest in developing our people. If you would like to find out about our current career opportunities, please visit our Ryman Healthcare Careers page www.careers.rymanhealthcare.co.nz