The upskill experience with Royal College

Monday, April 12, 2021

It’s common for a career to not be linear, and this was true for Jeannie. She was at a crossroads in her career when she decided she no longer wanted to run her own cleaning business and trained in a position as a Personal Care Worker. With six years as a community care worker, Jeannie opted for a change before realising how much she loves aged care and returned to the sector.

learner experience

During a role as Dementia Respite Assistant, Jeannie’s employer suggested that she had the skills to deliver specialised care in leisure and lifestyle, which encouraged her to upskill. Initially she opted for a Bachelor Degree in dementia care, but decided to go with the Certificate IV in Leisure and Health, studying with Royal College. Jeannie found it seemed more aligned with what she wanted to advance her career. Fast forward to today and Jeannie is a Diversional Therapist and Lifestyle Team Leader.

“I design programs that will empower our residents and enrich their lives, giving them meaning and purpose”, Jeannie explains.

Making someone’s day, every day with specialised care

In this current role Jeannie creates all the programs and care plans for residents at her residential facility. This involves going through lifestyle questionnaires with each resident and creating programs that are tailored to them. These questionnaires take around two to three hours and cover everything from childhood through to the present day.

“We go through the questions to really get to know each person to establish what they want to do, what they enjoy, what they don’t like and create a plan for them.”

The outcomes from the specialised care plans in aged care can be astounding. For example, when incorporating listening to music into the care plan of an elderly resident with dementia, Jeannie witnessed him recall and sing along to Dean Martin’s songs. She says there are moments like this every day.

“You really make someone’s day every day and it’s incredibly rewarding.”

As well as designing the care plans, a leisure and health position also involves assessing the success of the plans. This means revisiting what’s in place and changing it as needed.

“You can never be certain that the things you think are great ideas in your plans are going to work for everyone — sometimes they just don’t, so it’s important to be flexible.”

A highly valuable upskilling experience

With so much experience in the sector already, Jeannie was pleased to find that the course material really developed her knowledge and felt highly worthwhile. So much so, she now has two of her colleagues coming on board to upskill with Royal College as well!

The workplace training experience is perfect for those who are working in the sector so they can learn and earn simultaneously. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel supported by your own experienced and dedicated trainer though. Royal College learners have a trainer who is committed to helping them succeed, whether they’re new the sector or upskilling to advance a career with specialised study. Upon enrolling, Jeannie’s trainer visited her at her workplace to get to know one another and answered any questions to ensure the training got off to the best start possible.

“I found the support through Royal College has been amazing. There’s never been an issue with getting a hold of someone when I need them,” Jeannie confirms.

Discover a career that’s genuinely meaningful

If you’re researching a career in aged care, it’s worth knowing that every day you head into work you will be making a meaningful difference in someone’s life. Working in this sector, you can be sure that there is always a new avenue to explore when the time comes to advance or pivot in your career. From community care to residential care, a personal care worker role to taking on specialised study to work in leisure and lifestyle.

For anyone exploring an aged care career, consider Jeannie’s number one piece of advice to thrive in the aged care sector:

“When working in aged care it’s so important to remember that this is their home — we just work in it. You need to be very forgiving and non-judgemental. Go in with an open mind and be open to other people and their values and beliefs.”

For more information on how to commence or progress your aged care career contact Royal College. 


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