Not many people attend retirement village open days without the intention of possibly moving in or looking with a family member in mind.
Nellie Melba Retirement Village’s new clinical manager Ivy Han is an exception.
The experienced nurse and natural leader says she sometimes gives up her weekends to attend the open days of retirement providers to see what she can “learn” and “apply” to her workplace.
It was during one such visit to Ryman’s Nellie Melba Retirement Village that Ivy was introduced to the unrivaled standard of care and comfort offered at Ryman villages.
“I came to Nellie Melba for an open day in August, just to see what was going on.
“I said, ‘Wow, this is very pretty’ and I was introduced to how unique Ryman’s system was.”
Ivy made as much of an impression on senior village staff as the facilities and employees did on her, and shortly after her visit she received an offer that was too good to resist.
“They phoned and told me about the clinical manager role at Nellie Melba.
“I actually said ‘I’m sitting nicely in the sun, on the balcony with my two cats right now’ ”, she laughs recalling the conversation.
“But I have worked in the aged care sector for about eight years and I hadn’t yet had that experience working in a retirement environment and I wanted that.”
Ivy Han brings years of experience as an aged care nurse to the role.
Ivy’s desire to gain experience in a new care environment is reflective of her broader drive to learn and take on challenges which has put her career on a steep trajectory since she graduated.
Two years into working in the stereotypically “exciting” Intensive Care, High Dependency, general and surgical wards of the “majority” of hospitals in Melbourne’s East, Ivy realised hospital nursing was not where her passion lay.
“Soon after moving to aged care I realised maybe it’s a good decision for me to be an aged care nurse,” she says.
“I started as a junior RN (registered nurse), then a senior RN, then nurse in charge, then a grade five supervisor, then After Hours Co-ordinator within five and a half years, so I was progressing very quickly.”
Ivy says the ability to work closely with both residents and their families, is something she loves about nursing in aged care.
“I always like explaining to families how their loved one is and helping them to understand the health of their family member.”
After starting as Nellie Melba’s clinical manager in October the role is “new, fresh, challenging and busy”, she says.
“The support of the senior management team has been fantastic, and I’m starting to learn the Ryman way.”