Ever wonder what happens in the day-to-day life of a Care Specialist? If you have ever engaged with Homage, the term Care Specialist would ring a bell. Even if you have never heard of it, you can get some information here that may answer your questions before you engage with us. Read on to find out more from Andrea, who meets every senior before they start their care visit with Homage and why her role plays such an integral part and how it makes a world of a difference in the care we provide.
1. Hi Andrea, tell us more about yourself.
I am a nurse with 10 years of experience who is trained and certified in stroke care. Being born to a Malaysian dad and Singaporean mum, I had the best of both worlds and locations. I remember being in Singapore when I was little before moving back to Malaysia because my dad was in the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Besides English, Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil, I can also speak other languages such as Mandarin, Malayalam and Arabic. I love learning a new language because I get to relate to a person so much better and bridge connections with the conversations I have. It’s always amusing to see how people react once they hear me speaking Mandarin!
I had the opportunity to work in Singapore, Saudi and Malaysia. Coming back to Malaysia after a decade of being abroad, I just love everything about it. The feeling of being back in the comfort of my own multicultural home country and providing care for people makes me happy.
2. Who or what inspired you to be a nurse?
My grandmother was a staff nurse in the UK before and my mother followed her footsteps as an assistant nurse in Singapore and Malaysia. As I was growing up, I never considered nursing as a profession because I had no interest in it. My father convinced me to take on nursing because he had a high regard for the profession and that nursing can help mould an individual to become a better person.
It took me a while but when my grandmother passed away due to a stroke, I decided there and then that I was going to pursue a career in nursing. When my grandmother was still alive, there was no reliable home care services, and no one in the family had the capacity to look after her. The lack of knowledge in proper medical treatment and nursing care was an eye-opener for all of us at home. Enrolling in a nursing school wasn’t only a stepping stone — it opened up a career pathway for me as a nurse abroad.
Never in a million years would I have realised that this career would be my calling and it intrigued people how nursing has (somewhat) been passed down from one generation to the next in my family.
3.What is the most important part about being a nurse?
Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can’t teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a kind and compassionate nurse. You are a team player and you must be capable of making difficult decisions in the absence of doctors. Most importantly, you have to put up a big “Colgate” smile and be patient with individuals. The decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you’re going to encounter. Just keep holding on.
4. How do you keep up with the current trends in healthcare?
I believe in always challenging myself to stay current on medical trends and training so that I am well equipped to provide the best care for my patients. Not only do I get the opportunity to learn something new every day from my colleagues and patients, but it also motivates me further to prepare myself with knowledge of the techniques and procedures I do. My father always tells me, “Do something worth remembering that touches not only you but others.” And that’s why I’m here today.
5. As a Homage Care Specialist, what is your day-to-day?
It varies from day-to-day and it depends on the traffic in the city. I usually spend at least an hour minimum in a client’s house to do an In-Person Care Assessment (IPCA). Once I’m done, I will head over for my following care assessment in another house. After a day of care assessments with different individuals, I will then write a report that will help our Care Advisors and the family decide on the best care for their senior loved one.
For every visit I’ve been to, I’ve learned something new every time.
6. What is an IPCA?
IPCA refers to an In-Person Care Assessment whereby individuals or family members will arrange for a time slot so I can go over to their senior’s home — I will assess the senior’s medical condition and give advice on what care needs to be rendered. This is also important for future care visits so Care Professionals will know what to expect when they go for their visits.
Read more about what an IPCA in this article.
7. Why do you think it’s important for people to take an IPCA?
It is imperative to take an IPCA because at Homage, we will be able to understand the seniors physical surroundings and their health conditions better — their functional abilities, wellbeing and alertness and even the little nuances you would not be able to pick up unless you see it with your own eyes so that the team can recommend the best care services personalised to the senior individual and match the most suitable Care Pro to ensure that quality care is delivered in every visit.
8. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
EVERYTHING. I just love my job. I get to meet different people everyday with interesting personalities. Going all out knowing you can help someone in their daily routine and doing simple things that puts a smile on their faces — it’s all worth it. There is always a kind soul that I meet out there that touches my life and adds meaning to it.
9. What was the most challenging visit you had and how did you overcome it?
It’s harder to do a care assessment when the individual who called us is not around physically and even more so, if the visit has not been communicated within the family before I come over. For one of the visits, a sweet elderly lady was at home with her family. At that point of time, they did not expect any visitors and it took them a while to convince them that I meant well. They were reluctant to provide any information as they did not understand why a stranger would be asking all these questions about her health. I started communicating in the senior’s mother tongue (which helped a lot and gave me an advantage) and they slowly opened up to share about the senior’s medical condition.
10. What is your advice for those looking to be a Care Pro with Homage?
I believe that all things come to those who go after them. Motivation is what gets you started and nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
I cannot do all the good that the world needs but the world needs all the good that I can do. My ability to help people through what is often a difficult time for them brings a great sense of fulfillment for me. I always believe there is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free