Caroline O’Reilly Nurse Manager, Dublin
A Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability, Caroline O’Reilly studied at Dublin City University and graduated in 2009. She began her career working with the Daughters of Charity, Navan Road – supporting children with severe and profound intellectual disabilities and complex medical needs.
Caroline later went on to do post-graduate studies in Children’s Nursing at Temple Street Hospital, in partnership with GCU – moving on Suzanne Respite House which nurses people with complex medical needs. A brief return to ward work at Temple Street made her realise that she really wanted to return to nursing in the community – where she could enjoy one-to-one nursing in a less stressful, frenetic environment. Caroline also wanted to move on from working nights and was seeking a better work-life balance. With a small baby, she needed the flexibility to manage her own time and to work around her family’s needs with less stress:
Ward-work just wasn’t for me. I wanted to do a nursing job in which there is time to nurse. Ward work can so often feel so task-oriented. There are often staff shortages, and it’s difficult to feel connected to the people you’re nursing.
For me, Advanced Community Care gives me this connection. I get such a sense of satisfaction from seeing the difference I make to the family, whose life is so difficult. I get to feel present. I’ve learned when and how to talk to the people I support – and also when it’s OK to be silent
For Caroline, it’s important to constantly grow her skills, and she has just completed a ‘Master class in Palliative Care – Managing Children and Families with Inherited Metabolic Disorders’. She will also shortly be taking maternity leave for her second child, and finds the flexibility offered by Advanced Community Care the ideal fit for her young family.