Efraim’s rewarding move
When Efraim Fajardo moved to Australia from the Philippines six years ago, he hoped to develop his nursing skills and see some of the country.
A short-term job in Horsham turned into a long-term adventure after he fell in love – with a woman and aged care.
“I have a cousin in Melbourne who encouraged me to come to Australia,” Mr Fajardo said.
“Horsham was just a random pick, to be honest. I didn’t have any friends here or family. But I met my wife here, which is a bonus.
“She was working in aged care as well – I owe it all to aged care.”
Mr Fajardo’s wife Dairene now works in Wimmera Base Hospital’s day-procedure unit, while he works in Sir Robert Menzies Manor, which offers aged residential care.
Mr Fajardo worked as an intensive care and emergency department nurse in the Philippines and only became interested in aged care after moving to Australia.
“Back in the Philippines, aged care is not that famous,” he said.
“We don’t have aged-care facilities, unlike in Australia, because in the Philippines we take care of our old people at home. It’s part of our culture.
“When I got here, everything was new to me. I’m still learning new things every day – that’s why I’m so interested in aged care at this point of my career.”
Mr Fajardo has won recognition for his thirst for knowledge and development, by Wimmera Hospice Care Trust. Chairman Bill Ower on Monday presented Mr Fajardo with a trust scholarship.
Mr Ower said Mr Fajardo was the fourth aged-care nurse to win the biennial scholarship, which is designed to gain further knowledge into palliative care developments and increase skills to provide ‘the best care possible’ to patients in the final stages of life.
“The scholarship will enable Efraim to attend the 2018 Palliative Care Nursing Conference in Brisbane on May 20 and 21. It will cover travel and accommodation costs as well as costs associated with the conference itself,” he said.
“We had three applicants this year who were all of a high standard.”
Mr Fajardo said he was thrilled to win the scholarship.
“It’s my first conference and it’s quite nerve-wracking, to be honest, but I’m excited as well,” he said.
“I’m expecting that I will learn upto-date skills and knowledge regarding palliative care, which I can bring here for us to give quality end-of-life care to our residents.”
Mr Fajardo said aged care, including palliative care, was a rewarding profession.
“It is difficult for the nurse and also stressful for the family,” he said.
“I want to learn ways to give quality end-of-life care – for the residents and their families as well.”
REWARDING: Horsham aged-care nurse Efraim Fajardo has won a Wimmera Hospice Care Trust scholarship to attend a conference to advance his knowledge of palliative care.
Picture: PAUL CARRACHER