Getting to know the NOW team: Yun Chan

Role: Registered Nurse

Time at Nurses On Wheels: 16 years

What made you become a nurse?

When I came to Australia in 1995 I initially worked as a cleaner. After a year I wanted a change. A friend working in a nursing home suggested a job change. I worked at the nursing home as an Assistant Registered Nurse (ARN) for three years. That introduction to nursing was very important for me. After three years I was encouraged to challenge myself and go to school to become an Enrolled Nurse (EN).

Where did you next work?

I went to work at Concord Hospital in the Cardiac Ward for a couple of years - I started there straight after graduating as an Enrolled Nursing (EN).  It was a very stressful job because cardiac patients can look good and then the next minute they might be having a heart attack.

What led you to get your Registered Nurse (RN) qualification?

Staff at Concord asked me why I wasn’t at university to get my RN qualifications. I didn’t know that I could go to university in Australia as an adult. I was instructed to go to the newsagent and buy a book [UAC guide]. I bought the book, looked at all the universities, chose my course and filled out the application form. I had a telephone interview and soon after was booked into the Australian Catholic University to become an Registered Nurse.

I was working part-time as an enrolled nurse at Concord and learning full-time to become an RN. I was very busy.

What happened when you graduated as an RN?

Upon graduation in 1999, I initially wanted to change hospitals. At the time I lived in Beverly Hills and Canterbury Hospital was closer for me than Concord, so I applied to Canterbury Hospital. I like everything to be close to me. I changed my mind and continued working in the cardiac ward. However, I had already been to orientation at Canterbury Hospital and had a uniform that I would no longer need. When I later started at Nurses On Wheels, we didn’t have uniforms, so I used the Canterbury Hospital uniform! I don’t like waste and I wanted to look professional.

What made you come to Nursing on Wheels?

I left Concord because of the shift work. I enjoyed the stress, the staff and the challenge but struggled with shift work.

I was given the option to change to casual but if you go to casual you can’t choose the ward. They can send you to a different ward and I really like the cardiac ward - it was challenging. This led me to want to try community nursing.

I chose Nurses On Wheels because at the time I lived at Beverly Hills, so NOW was fairly close, in my area. But the main reason is I was very lucky. My boss at Nurses On Wheels wanted me, they choose me. If they don’t choose you, then you can’t have the role.

Describe a typical day at Nurses On Wheels.

Every day we go to patient’s homes. We have a list of patients to see every day that we are given the day before. Somedays we are challenged by having extra patients added to our list [in fact, Yun was asked twice during his interview if he could see two extra patients. He was very quick and happy to say yes.]   

We go to patient’s homes to give them medication and or insulin for people who are unable to manage. We attend to wound care such as ulcers or skin tears. We also help patients needing palliative care, at the end of their live with personal care. Or sometimes we need to provide more technical nursing such as catheter management.

What is your favourite task at work?

I like most tasks at work. My favourite things to do are more skilled tasks such as wound care and catheter care - it is more medically technical and challenging.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like playing Bridge, cooking and reading. I love swimming, badminton and ping pong.

Why is Yun valuable to NOW?

Patients love him. Yun is very gentle and friendly with all of our patients, and we receive consistent and positive feedback from all of his patients.