Change for the better

Publish date: 31 October 2023

The registered nurse not only changed countries to pursue his career - in an area that was almost as foreign to him as his new home - he is now helping to lead change within Bethanie.

Genn is the project lead for Bethanie’s implementation of the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC), the Australian Government’s new funding model introduced last October.

Genn says changes brought about by AN-ACC have enabled staff to spend more one-on-one time with residents, rather than spend their entire shifts going from one task to the next. It has had an invigorating effect.

“For example, AN-ACC has allowed us to expand on hours and therefore resident activities with a focus on holistic care. At Bethanie Como for example, residents are enjoying movie nights with positive flow on effects.

“Residents living with dementia sleep well through the night and have better days because they are rested.”

Genn is also happy to hear the positive effect the changes have had on Bethanie staff. "It’s great to see how staff are now understanding and seeing the positive resident outcome from increased staffing profile. We see more enjoyment out of their job,” he says.

The introduction of Customer Engagement Nurses is also making a difference to Bethanie’s commitment to person centered care.

“The Customer Engagement Nurse is the partner of the resident and their families/representatives from pre-admission through to discharge. They coordinate the aged care experience, ensuring care and services are delivered in such a way that is safe and meets the individual residents goals, preferences and needs, enabling them to live the best life they can,” he says.

For someone so invested in delivering quality aged care it is hard to believe Genn knew so little about it before he moved to Australia. “There is minimal concept of residential aged care back home in the Philippines, because our elders stay with us,” he says.

But having worked as a nurse in hospitals, Genn was keen to try something different. With his sister, who is also a nurse, already singing the virtues of working in aged care in Australia , he decided to apply. “I knew that when I came to Australia the best pathway for me to get employed as an international registered nurse was to go into aged care as a care worker while doing my RN conversion,” he says.

“I found it really rewarding, in the sense that you really get to know residents holistically compared with my experience in the hospital acute setting where people come and go,” he says. “In aged care, you get to know the residents’ stories, you get to look after them in their home, and if you are lucky enough, your residents get to embrace you as family. It is an honour to come to work every day knowing that you give a positive impact towards a resident’s quality of life.”

A decade on, in addition to his role as project lead on the AN-ACC project at Bethanie, Genn also serves as Operational Support Manager for Bethanie North – challenging roles that he has undoubtedly earned in no small part due to his ability to embrace change and run with it.

“What drives me to continue doing what I do is the endless opportunities to bring about change in order to thrive in this ever-evolving industry to ensure that our residents receive quality care that embodies the mission and vision of Bethanie.”

For his COO Annie Pathak, Genn’s move into projects was acknowledgement of his incredible hard work and dedication. “We are fortunate to have Genn at Bethanie and he brings an exceptional work ethic and passion to everyone and everything he does. He is proof that where values align, we will always find platforms for growth and role expansion.”

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