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Working in the healthcare industry as one of Australia's approximately 1.7 million aged care nursing workers can be one of the most rewarding roles. It can also be one of the most challenging in the job market. In this article, we take a look at the challenges aged care providers face every day, as well as how to overcome them.

The Difficulties of Working in Aged Care Nursing

There’s no getting around the fact that working as an aged carer can be a difficult role to fill. To begin with, there are often unsociable hours that need to be worked, and you often don’t get a lot of training for the many duties you are assigned.

Other issues include:

  • A lack of supervision
  • It’s often physically challenging
  • You have to deal with losing patients
  • Patients aren’t always appreciative

You also often have to deal with upset family members, whether working in home care settings or at a residential care home.

Staffing Challenges in Aged Care Nursing

A lack of qualified professionals is an ongoing issue in the Australian aged care industry. There’s a shortfall in the region of 25,000 - a figure set to hit 40,000 by the end of 2023.

As such, those qualified aged physical and mental health workers can expect their services to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Professional Challenges in Aged Care Nursing

One of the primary challenges faced by those who provide care services to the elderly is emotional burnout. As well as being physically demanding working as a registered nurse, it can also be extremely draining.

You must remember that the patient care you provide is influenced by how you feel inside. As such, if you’re fatigued and emotionally spent, that quality of care

The good news is there many positive steps you can take to manage your emotional health. Our courses cover palliative care, dementia care, and working with diverse populations; the training allows professionals to feel more confident and capable.

Coping With End-of-Life Care in Aged Care

The work environment you experience in aged care is unlike any other. Sadly, one part of working in aged care facilities is death, particularly when working in a hospice or aged care sector advocacy.

The pandemic was particularly challenging in this regard, but it’s something you have to learn to cope with as part of the aged care workforce.

Ethical and Moral Dilemmas in Aged Care Nursing

During your work hours in nursing care, sooner or later, you’re going to encounter a number of ethical and moral dilemmas. Older people face certain issues in their personal life that aged healthcare workers need to account for.

Issues include:

  • Patients who refuse treatment
  • DNAR (Do Not Attempt Resuscitation) orders
  • Doctor-patient confidentiality
  • Malpractice & Negligence

During your nursing education, you’ll learn how to deal with these issues, whether in a nursing home or working in a domiciliary capacity.

Coping with Caregiver Burnout in Aged Care Nursing

Whether working in midwifery or as a nursing staff, you need to focus on looking after yourself. You see if you don’t get your work-life balance right, the sometimes intense working conditions can leave you feeling completely burnt out.

Symptoms include:

  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression
  • Feeling constantly tired
  • Overreaction to small problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping at night

Healthcare professionals need to keep a close eye on their own stress levels and those of their fellow healthcare team. Again, if you want to work on this side of your professional development, you can take OCA’s Aged Care, Counselling & Community Courses.

Our Aged Care Skills Micro-Credential helps nurses to cope with emotional burnout, with topics such as self-care and stress management being covered.

Realise Your Aged Care Nursing Career With OCA Short Courses Online

Aged care work offers great job satisfaction, and at OCA, we have the short courses you need to get there. Delivered entirely online, our CPD-Endorsed, video-based training allows you to control your professional development completely.

Our courses represent an evolution in learning - something you can see by watching our short Student Study Demo. Transcending the experience offered by text-based learning, our platform actively promotes lifelong learning.

The aged care sector is just one of more than 20+ industries covered by our course library. Want to explore further? Visit us at

We understand choosing a career direction or the right course to study can be challenging; we are here to help. Contacting us is easy – simply call 1300 611 404 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can schedule a FREE career call at your preferred time... Book a call here.  

We are excited to discuss your education journey and course options! 

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