Emma Comello’s career in residential care started in 2010, but it wasn’t until she joined Bendigo Health in 2022 that she found her true calling in clinical education.
“I liked being a mentor and being able to work with people to maintain their best practice knowledge, to help them upskill,” Emma said.
“It was time for a change. I’d been an after-hours manager at my workplace for around six years. While I was still enjoying being in residential aged care, I found I needed something more to sink my teeth into,” she said.
Emma is now a Clinical Nurse Educator for Bendigo Health’s five residential aged care facilities; Stella Anderson Nursing Home, Joan Pinder Nursing Home, Simpkin House (all part of the Gibson Street Complex), Golden Oaks Nursing Home and Carshalton House. Based at the Gibson Street Complex, Emma prides herself on being available day and night for anyone in the five services who needs it.
“It’s important for people to understand that although Annie [the other clinical nurse educator] and I role share part time, if there’s something staff aren’t sure about they can call us; it’s important to impart our knowledge to as many people as possible,” she said.
“Clinical educators are best described as a resource. It’s about having people come to us to improve their clinical skills, keep their skills up-to-date or providing information on technical requirements for a new device.”
Most recently, Emma ran 50 education sessions covering major changes in aged care processes, including overnight sessions to cater for night shift staff.
As well as the education sessions, Emma has played a key part in implementing two major education projects, including workshops on wound management ran in partnership with an external education provider, and teaching staff how to use the Management Advantage (MANAD) aged care software.
In the next 12 months Emma hopes to implement study days, and said she feels supported to do so.
“The feedback I’ve received so far has been great. A huge focus for me now is starting the study days. Ideally it would be one a month and we’d do a new topic each time, areas such as palliative care, medication or dementia care. To help people better understand best care practices and see them improve their ability to care for our residents is something I’m really keen to do,” she said.
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