Support workers need ongoing care and support themselves

Absolute Care & Health on 20 February 2020

Lyn McBain loves people, and their stories. After almost 50 years providing nursing, aged, disability, and palliative care, Lyn’s touched many lives — those that she’s cared for, and those she’s trained.

“When I see the people I care for, I see their stories,” she says. “At times, it makes me very emotional to see where they’ve come from, and what they can achieve.”

As the recently appointed Head of Education for Absolute Care & Health, she’s now sharing these stories and her half-century of experience with the next generation of nurses and carers.

How Lyn supports support workers

Lyn provides essential training and works closely with carers and nurses to develop skills and solve complex care challenges, including working with clients living with disability and those undertaking rehabilitation following a road accident.

She also helps build tailored teams of specialist carers to support clients and their families, for which her experience proves invaluable.

“Through my time in the industry, I’ve developed an eye for spotting, understanding and solving complex client challenges. We’re not just providing care for an individual, but also providing support for their family and broader network,” she says.

“What sets Absolute apart is that we really care. From the carers to the nurses and the operations team — there’s such a high level of expertise and dedication.”

It’s this expertise that she’s keen to impart to the 300 (plus) carers at Absolute.

“Education for carers and clients is absolutely key to improving the experience for all involved,” she explains.

Ongoing training and development

Each day Lyn travels all over Melbourne to help solve complex client cases and train Absolute nurses and carers. This can range from teaching someone how to operate a patient hoist to helping them manage a client with behavioural issues.

She also educates clients and families about aspects of brain injury, dementia, palliative care, managing disabilities, and rehabilitation.

Often, she’ll be accompanied by a nurse or carer new to the community caring sector. They shadow her for up to a month, to build their knowledge before they transition into working with clients.

Lyn makes a point of providing her mobile number to the carers and nurses she individually trains at Absolute so they can call on her for support and draw on her experience to help solve problems.

“I want them to be able to access all the stories and lessons I’ve learned,” says Lyn.

The changing landscape of the care sector

Reflecting on the changing nature of education in the care sector, she acknowledges how much it has progressed since she began working in the industry.

“Access to, and delivery of, information has changed so much since I started my training, as has the level of knowledge. The proficiency of registered nurses now is just below that of a doctor.”

She also recognises that education has become more individual, and that empathising with carers is important for helping them learn — especially in a multicultural environment.

“People are increasingly coming to the aged care and NDIS sector from a huge variety of backgrounds, and at different ages. We need to understand where they are coming from — culturally and professionally — and tailor the education we provide them accordingly.”

She describes Absolute’s unique system of assessing clients and their homes as an example of this tailored approach to care and education.

“Before we work with a client, we conduct a detailed on-site assessment of their home and individual care needs. This ensures that the environment is safe for the client and carer, and allows us to determine if there is any specialised training we need to provide to carers that work with that client.”

Ultimately, Lyn is most passionate and motivated by seeing carers realise their full potential.

“I’m passionate about giving our nurses and carers an education. The most rewarding part of my work is to see our clients and their families happy, and to see our carers and nurses develop along the way.”

At Absolute Care & Health, we provide a range of supports and services for clients living with disability. We're a registered NDIS provider, backed by a team of support workers who are highly trained and passionate about what they do.

Find out more about our disability services and supports.