ACORN'S LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT IS HERE TO HIGHLIGHT AN OUTSTANDING LEADER. WE FEATURE THEIR INSIGHTS ON LEADERSHIP, CAREER, AND HOW THEY ARE MAKING OUR WORKPLACES A MORE AWESOME PLACE TO BE.
Cynthia Musafili moved to Australia from Zambia to study Business Administration, and to cover her fees she started working in aged care as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN). Caring for older people in her home country is considered a blessing, plus she found she really enjoyed it. So Cynthia dropped her diploma, enrolled in a Cert III in Aged Care at Tafe and became a nursing student at Edith Cowan University.
Now a Clinical Nurse Manager and Acting Facility Manager. She loves to focus on recruitment, knowing it is vital that we get the right people and a huge focus on Quality of Life.
During the entire time I was studying Nursing I continued to work as an AIN in Aged care and absolutely fell in love with it. I always say it was love at first job. Coming from an African background where we care for our elders in their later years, I found aged care rewarding. I felt privileged to be a part of people’s end stage of life.
Something I noticed during the conversation with Cynthia was her genuine enthusiasm for helping people; she loves human interaction and facing challenges head on. This all helps her be a Facility Manager who provides the best quality of life to her residents/consumers everyday through implementing better practice, better policies and better procedures. Also provides her staff with a supportive work environment where they can make change and bring positive attitude each day.
I asked her a few questions about her role as A/Facility Manager, and what advice she has for younger people starting out in aged care...
As a Clinical Nurse Manager and A/Facility Manager what does a typical work day look like for you?
"My role as Clinical Nurse Manager and Facility Manager is diverse. The secret is to make yourself versatile. Always be ready to up skill yourself, learn new skills, take up new challenges and do not be afraid to ask questions. Once you make yourself indispensable you become an asset to the organisation but most importantly to yourself. You can then say ‘I am ready to conquer any role, anywhere’.
A typical day starts with a walk around the facility greeting my staff and consumers that are up at the time. Then catching up with the clinical staff to get some handover of what has happened overnight. By this stage I need a coffee haha.... Then read handover on the computer, catch up on emails and other admin stuff.
Throughout the day there is a fare bit of troubleshooting clinical, operational and admin. Attend meetings. Spend some time with the multidisciplinary teams including GPs, PT, and OT/Therapy assistants.
Spend some time with staff and consumers in the dining areas during meal times. Presence is very important. I then look at Continuous improvements and quality plans for the facility. Attend to Consumer’s relatives and families as they approach.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is the process of trying to educate relatives and families about Consumer Directed Care and Consumer Choice. It is a challenge especially if they are not accepting of their loved ones health care changes. But we still get it done, it is a process but what is important on our part is to be able to provide support.
What advice do you have for young people starting out in the industry?
Embrace the opportunity to care for someone in their end stage of life because it is a rare opportunity. You will learn so much about life and you will find it rewarding as you make a positive difference in another person’s life.
Continuation in professional development (making sure you are skilled in all the latest studies, technologies and skills in aged care). You do not want to become stagnant - there is always something new to learn. If you are to be a leader and a driving force then you need to be on top of everything to deliver the best care (new products, technologies and skills). BE FORWARD THINKING AND FIND A MENTOR!
We would like to thank 3D Recruit for introducing us to Cynthia.
3D Recruit specialise in sourcing talented Aged Care management professionals who are leading and building our Aged Care workforce into the future.