I am Mauro, a registered nurse and Care Home Manager.

My approach is to build relationships with people as I understand this can be a very difficult situation.

I believe in individualised care that focuses on what each person needs to make them happy.

This means the residents, relatives and staff under my care feel heard and valued, which builds mutual trust and improves outcomes.

People have the wrong impression of
what a nursing home is, because people
think a nursing home is a place where
people go to die. No. A nursing home is
where you can go to live your best life
possible – even if that is at the end stage
of your life.

I do this because I want to see the whole
picture. Being part of a big family, that’s
the great thing about working as a nurse
in a nursing home. We’re part of the
journey of the resident from when they
enter the front door until they’ve left. As
nurses we can provide 24-hour care, often
for people who have complex healthcare
needs, to help them be as independent
and as comfortable as possible.

The role of Home Manager is very
complex. Because you are not only
looking after the welfare and the
wellbeing of the residents, you’re also
looking after the staff as well. And you
need to make sure that the home is
prospering, because at the end of the day,
it’s a business as well. You wear a lot of hats.

In the nursing home, there is a lot of
potential for career development. From
starting as a registered nurse, you could
progress to a senior nurse, a team leader, a
home manager, a regional manager, or a
managing director one day. All of us started

as a nurse on the floor in a nursing home.

As a manager I am involved in
recruitment, development of the staff,
making sure they are happy and they
stay… you see the growth of the staff,
that’s why I stayed in the care sector. There
are a lot of things that you’re part of in a
nursing home. And the happiness that
you get, it’s like going to work, but it’s not
really going to work.

One of the residents might call you and
say, ‘Could you give me a shave Mauro?’
because they don’t know how to shave. Or
you’re celebrating a 100-year-old birthday
and you’re excited about the letter from
the Queen. Or you have a little party or
run a small activity with the residents. The
small things that affect people’s lives. You
can’t really measure that.

Some of the residents have been here
longer than me. I think the good thing
with that is that I’ve been on a journey,
not only with the resident, but with the
family as well. We’ve grown together. I’ve
seen them develop, I’ve seen them in their
worst times, I’ve seen them in their happy times.

The most important thing in a nursing
home, that binds all the staff, residents
and relatives together, is trust. If we do not
trust each other, we will collapse.

Problems can start when the family
member feels guilty. But a nursing home
is an extension of your home. I need them
to tell us how they want the resident to be
looked after, because we will continue
that care for them.

My key role as Home Manager is being
responsible for the person. Not only the
social wellbeing of the person, it’s also
their financial wellbeing. I need to make
sure their benefits are being used in the
right way, that they’re living their lives to
the fullest and they’re using their money
as they wish.

I think if you treat a resident as a person
no matter what type of condition they
have, you will succeed. The nursing team
knows the residents inside and out, so we
can make sure the staff looking after them
are well trained and able to manage
complex presentations they may face.

You need to do a comprehensive nursing
assessment to make sure you can look
after a person you receive or accept. I
always tell my nurses, when you’re
reading an assessment, you need to
answer a question: Could you look after
the resident? If not, why? Could you do
something innovative that would help us
look after the resident?

Peter had very complex behaviour when
he came here. The nursing team knew he
painted in the past, so one day we
encouraged him to try again. Through art
therapy, the majority of his behaviour
changed. Things work if you just think
about the person. Hardship will always be
there, but after a lot of trial and error we
found what he needed.

The family are very appreciative of what
the team have done, because they haven’t
seen him so happy for a very, very long
time. When we see him happy, and his
relatives happy, we feel it’s been a success.

In life, there should always be a balance of
safety and risk. A nursing home is just the
same, because a nursing home is like an
extension of your home. I want the
residents to feel they can do anything
they want, with the appropriate nursing
risk assessment in place. Would you stop
an 85-year-old from walking? No, because
that’s the enjoyment they have.

I do a lot of support work with overseas
nurses. I’ve been in their shoes so
I understand. Homesickness is the biggest
problem; the food, the language barrier
(never mind the weather in Northern
Ireland), it’s a culture shock. So you need
to support them to feel settled so they will
stay longer and feel comfortable.

I want to continue being a nurse as long
as I can. I want to encourage more men
to go into this profession. A nurse is a nurse,
no matter what gender you are.