They say that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ – and that’s certainly true for Siobhan O’Connor, the new Serviced Apartment Unit Coordinator at Edmund Hillary Retirement Village.
Siobhan started her Ryman Healthcare journey a year ago at Murray Halberg as Special Care Unit Coordinator, a job that she adored.
But with the new year she felt ready for a different challenge and briefly left Ryman to explore a fresh opportunity.
“I had worked in both inpatient and community settings in the aged care sector for five years and I was ready to try something new, which is why I left Murray Halberg,” says Siobhan.
“I soon learned that this was a mistake. However, it is not something I regret as I believe everything happens for a reason.”
It turns out that reason was to give her even more clarity on how well Ryman looks after its residents, providing care that lives up to their philosophy of always being ‘good enough for mum or dad.’
“This move in my career made me realise how truly amazing Ryman is. The quality of care that Ryman delivers to residents is truly of the highest standard and the support that staff receive is equally exceptional.
“The ‘Ryman difference’ is even more so clear to me now. This is why I believe I am truly lucky to work for Ryman.”
Siobhan knew early on that she wanted to be a nurse, and graduated from Auckland University in 2016.
Since then she has specialised in the aged care sector, finding a particular affinity with residents living with dementia.
The new role at Edmund Hillary is a chance to broaden her skillset further, with added responsibility.
“My role is to support the residents, working with the GPs and other members of the multi-disciplinary team to put in place appropriate assessments for residents and identify any health changes that may occur.
“A big part of this is keeping in touch with and regularly updating residents’ families which is very important, especially when family members are unable to visit for various reasons such as lockdowns.”
The pandemic, while unwelcome, did provide an opportunity for Ryman Healthcare to rise to the biggest challenge it had ever faced, something that Siobhan says was another reason to appreciate what the company does.
“Ryman has handled the pandemic very well so far – planning ahead, being organised and keeping everyone up to date is what Ryman is very good at.
“The recent lockdown was certainly a challenge, however it was very well managed due to the support which was received from the team,” she says.
“I made sure that residents as well as their families were kept up to date and supported.”
While there will always be challenges to face in any nursing career, Siobhan says there are so many aspects of the role that she loves, which help her to overcome those challenges, with the added bonus of being in a supportive and collegial environment.
“I love my job. It fills my heart to be able to help residents, and to build rapport with them and their families.
“I am ready to face and overcome the upcoming challenges of nursing, and I am excited for the future and grateful for the support from Ryman.”