International Nurses Day, 2022 – Faces of Baptcare #14 – meet Emma Ryan
Today, International Nurses Day, is a day observed around the world to mark the incredible contributions that nurses make to society. It also happens to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale - the founder of modern nursing.
Baptcare is grateful for all the Florence Nightingales in our community for their ongoing dedication, warmth and amazing service.
We talked to one of our team, Emma Ryan, about her career in nursing and life at Baptcare.
- What’s your role and how long have you been at Baptcare?
I am very blessed and fortunate to be a part of the In Home Care Nursing team and the Baptcare family, as the Acting (maternity cover) In Home Care Manager for Nursing.
- What does a typical day look like for you? Or to put this another way – what do you do as a Nursing Manager?
I am very lucky to be able to work flexibly, so generally, I work from home. However I do try and be at the Brunswick office once or twice a week.
My typical day starts with handover or catching up with Nursing’s crucial team members. These members of the team support the frontline staff and ensure our customers receive the clinical and personal care services they require.
I love this part of the day because we all come together to collaborate and plan for the current and following days. We ensure that the customers are at the forefront of what we do and we aim to deliver high-quality services and exceptional clinical care.
From there my day invariably consists of a number of meetings and the completion of daily tasks ranging from business planning and attending any business requirements, working collaboratively across the many and varied divisions of Baptcare, contributing to planning and development of the Nursing Service, ensuring best practice and clinical service delivery, supporting and nurturing the 38 members of the Nursing team and more often than not constant phone calls.
My days can be really busy and often chaotic but the people I get to work with each day and the people that I get to look after, make it all worthwhile.
- Did you always want to be a nurse - and if not, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!
I think I did always want to be a nurse. Mum has a few photos of me as a child wearing a nursing costume and “fixing” my teddies.
Plus my dad required 24-hour support and care due to contracting polio as a child. My Mum always says that I seemed to intrinsically know how to care for him and what he needed. As I got older I just continued caring for and helping others.
I also think looking after and helping others is in my blood. I come from a family of nurses. I watched my mother look after and care for people so beautifully and she was/is such a strong advocate for people with different abilities, that I wanted to follow suit.
I did have fleeting thoughts of wanting to be in the food industry but somehow got sucked back into Nursing but food is still a love of mine!
- Do you have a favourite nursing anecdote/experience?
I have so many favourite nursing memories, I don’t know if I can pick one. I also have many anecdotes and many of them are either too, unbelievable/crazy, awful, or sad to mention.
The best part, I have been able to meet so many diverse, brave, interesting, loveable, kind, funny, and exceptional people, from the customers/patients I have looked after, to the people that I have worked with over the nearly three decades of being in the industry. Any nurse will say that there are always one or two patients that stay with you forever, and that is so true. I also feel each person has helped to shape me into the person, nurse, and manager I am today.
Every day as a nurse you learn something new, something that may shock you, something that may be hysterically funny (nurses and our black senses of humour), something that will move you to tears, something that will make you extremely proud, and something that may send you crashing down. Some days you are exhausted beyond capacity, and other days you can be bursting with energy and can solve anything thrown at you. That’s the joy of being a nurse!
- Do you have any reflections on nursing over the last few years of the pandemic?
The pandemic has highlighted to me and I think everyone, how important nurses are and that nurses really are the cornerstone of health care.
Nurses have shown amazing bravery and leadership over the last two years as the frontliners, ensuring services continued, while staying agile and up to date with all of the new practices and requirements, under challenging and different circumstances (in the hospitals and the community), whilst under full PPE and working short-staffed.
Our community nurses have continued to provide all services and ensured all customers received the health care they needed.
The nurses also worked across divisions supporting our colleagues and customers with service delivery to those clients that were affected by COVID-19 in some way.
- Who would you like to sit next to at a dinner party?
My dad, he passed away when I was little and we have a fair bit of catching up to do.
I hope that I have made him proud and that I am meeting the unsaid promise of continuing the good fight for him, in bringing light to people with changed or different abilities and striving for and ensuring that there is a voice for the people that are hurt or unwell and can’t (or feel they are unable to) speak up for themselves when receiving healthcare.
From nursing teddies to Nursing Manager (Acting) in Baptcare’s In Home Care team, Emma is a natural carer who definitely lives by the saying of one of her favourite people Maya Angelou. Like Maya, Emma lives ‘to not merely survive but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style’.
Baptcare loves your style Emma and thanks you for all that you do for our community.