Working in aged care was a lightbulb moment for Satbir Kaur, who has just been appointed the new Clinical Manager for Ryman’s William Sanders village in Devonport.
“I started my career in an acute setting back home in India and I always thought I would stay with that until I moved to New Zealand and worked as a caregiver.
“I absolutely love it, so I changed my goal!” says the 32-year-old.
In four years, Satbir has been unit coordinator of both resthome and hospital at two Auckland villages as well as stints helping out with audits at both new and established, suburban and provincial Ryman villages.
It’s been invaluable experience for her upcoming role – and all while studying part time for her post-grad diploma in advanced nursing with the aim of becoming a nurse practitioner.
“It is a big commitment to study while working full time, and setting up a new village will be a challenge in itself, but I feel quite fortunate to have such great support from my mentors,” says Satbir.
“As clinical manager it’s my responsibility to study and grow so I can support my colleagues in work as well as our new nurses and caregivers.”
Satbir says her particular area of interest is working in palliative care – but it wasn’t easy to begin with.
“Being younger it was sometimes quite hard to deal with grieving families but having had ongoing support and education has really helped me.
“I like to get to know the person behind the person and I feel privileged to look after residents at this important time in their life and provide them with the best care possible.”
She adds: “Our Ryman motto ‘good enough for mum and dad’ is not just a nice quote – we really have to make it work for us and our residents.”
The recent lockdown experiences underlined further how important the role is.
“It was hard for the residents and their families but we were thankful it gave us time to connect even more with our residents and create a bond that was stronger than before.”
Her new role includes helping to recruit the new William Sanders team who will provide care for residents in the village’s care centre.
What does she look for in a new team member?
“We want that person where you can feel the difference when they’re in the room.
“You can always provide more skills and training and education, but kindness and empathy, a caring and compassionate nature, that needs to be there already.
“Those are the qualities for a Rymanian.”
And as someone who clearly displays those qualities herself, it’s an exciting time for the village.
“We’re going to create something special at William Sanders. I’m really looking forward to that.”