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Hall & Prior’s Rockingham Aged Care Home carer Jacinta Lakin has been crowned Group Training Australia’s 2016 Trainee of the Year for Western Australia. This is the first time in almost a decade that an aged care worker has taken out the prestigious award.
Jacinta began her Certificate III in Aged Care at the home in November 2015, through Health Training Australia (HTA). After completing her traineeship, she joined the team as an employee in August.
“It’s still a bit of a shock, I was up against such strong competitors” she said.
Before starting her course, Jacinta had to choose between studying childcare or aged care.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” she said.
“I ended up choosing aged care because when you teach kids, they grow up and do things for themselves. Many of the people we care for here aren’t able to do things they used to, which can be frustrating for them.
“I give 100 percent effort and it’s nice to see them relax when they realise I really care. Seeing that reaction is the most rewarding part of what I do.”
Jacinta constantly strives to improve, and is currently studying to become an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) after receiving a scholarship from HTA. OTAs coordinate events and activities in the home, such as bus trips, craft days and exercise sessions.
She is also currently undertaking Hall & Prior’s Personal Carer Advanced Practice Course. Carers who achieve this additional qualification are able to take on extra responsibilities, such as administering medication, taking vital signs and helping the home’s nurses monitor residents.
Rockingham’s Director of Nursing Terri Woolhouse said she was extremely proud of Jacinta and described her as a dedicated worker who is passionate about aged care. “She is very motivated, empathetic and committed to giving the best care possible to our residents,” Terri said.
“Jacinta picks things up quickly and is always willing to share her knowledge with others. She always goes above and beyond. It is also huge honour to for her to win against such strong competitors.”
HTA Coordinator Employment Solutions Samantha Korzec, Jacinta Lakin, Director of Nursing Terri Woolhouse and HTA Business Development Consultant Laurena Beech.
HTA Business Development Consultant Laurena Beech said she was always impressed with the high quality of care Jacinta delivered.
“She’s got insight and maturity beyond her years, and she builds relationships with residents and their families quickly. You just can’t teach that,” she said.
Hall & Prior have a long-standing partnership with HTA, who support all trainees they send into the homes.
“As an employer, it’s reassuring to know the trainees we host have HTA behind them, and that we can work with HTA if we have any issues,” Terri said.
HTA Coordinator Employment Solutions Samantha Korzec said HTA’s strict selection process aims to ensure they only enrol students who truly want to provide care to others.
“We run a ‘what to expect course’, and usually have about 300-400 people sign up,” she said. “Out of that, we only put a maximum of 25 people on each course, to make sure they are likely to be right for the role in future.”
Congratulations Jacinta on this outstanding achievement.