Unexpected career change delivers new challenges for Calvary Albury’s new Home Manager
20th November 2023
A spinal injury ended the active intensive care nursing career of Nicoline Maritz, but she pivoted to aged care and never looked back.
“When I was looking for a new challenge aged care had the same care component that I had found in ICUs. There’s a special bond you develop with the patient or resident. The only difference is you get to form those relationships for longer in aged care with both the residents and their families,” the new Calvary Albury Residential Aged Care Home Manager said.
Like many of her colleagues Nicoline shares a love of caring for others but, for most of her career that care giving was in hospitals, rather than aged care homes.
At just 24, Nicoline became the youngest ever Nurse Unit Manager at the time in a South African hospital, favouring the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
“When I first came to Australia, I worked in the cardiothoracic unit at a hospital in Sydney and was put on the board to give input into a new hospital development.
But Nicoline, who was born and raised in regional South Africa, and her husband both felt the pull to move back to the country.
“We did a country representation forum in Sydney and we knew we wanted to live in a regional area again so we moved to regional Victoria,” Ms Maritz said.
Much like when she worked in hospitals, Nicoline’s focus in aged care is making sure residents get the best care and services according to their need.
“Working in aged care requires a different mindset to working in a hospital but it is a really challenging career. It is fast-paced and satisfying, particularly the bonds you form with the residents and their families,” Ms Maritz said.
For Nicoline the strong and positive team environment has been a highlight of working in aged care.
“I found Calvary really supportive. I think of the people around me and everything is at my fingertips or a phone call away. You really feel part of a team,”
She encouraged anyone considering a career in aged care to make the jump.
“It is challenging, but there are so many opportunities to advance your career. It is a forward thinking profession and there’s opportunities to get managerial experience and develop new skills.”
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