Nurse Monica Attard going above and beyond to help resident living with MND
For the past four years, Monica Attard has been working at the home and has seen the complexities and impact MND can have on an individual.
Through her work at the aged care home, Monica now shares a special bond with Bonnie Alford, a resident living with MND.
“Bonnie is a resident in my care who has MND and has been here for four years and has really struggled emotionally with all the loses in her life, physically - even with family connections.
“We’ve really had to go on a journey with Bonnie to try and get to that happy-medium and really get her settled and help her live.
MND itself is a really complex disease. There’s no cure and you don’t usually lose any cognitive function. So, these people come to us with all these different physical limitations but their brains are still functioning well
To help care for Bonnie, Monica and Dr Emily Rickman, General Practitioner take a more emotional approach - as just having a conversation with Bonnie’s can help take her mind off her MND.
“It’s taking her mentally out of her existence here. It’s a very emotional approach and a lot less medical,” explains Dr Rickman.
Monica is passionate about taking care of people and wants to further develop her knowledge and understanding of aged care nursing, especially in the area of diseases.
“I’m trying to expand my knowledge of different disease presentations so I get more understanding of what care can be provided,” explains Monica.
Monica was recently awarded the 23rd Nina Buscombe Award to attend the 9th National MND Australia Conference on Care 2018.
The conference will allow Monica to network with fellow nurses, learn and gain further exposure and understanding about what MND is.
Attending the 2018 Conference will assist me in the delivery of care of persons living with MND through my increased knowledge to deliver education sessions to the Clinical Staff.
To help fellow staff out, Monica has organised educational sessions on site with volunteers and equipment used to help support residents. She has even brought in a clinical neurophysiologist from MND Victoria to do a session with her team.
“They spoke about some of the difficulties and how to help people living with MND, particularly in a residential aged care environment and being able to understand where those people’s frustrations are coming from.
“I use the MND Victoria support to get a volunteer to come where it might not have been previously possible.
“The funding and awareness provides resources and professionals to be able to support and assist people living with MND.
“There is also a library of equipment to support these people including mobility aid or communication aid," Monica said.
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