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In aged care nursing, your primary role is to look after the growing elderly population in Australia, which has risen by over 3% over the last twenty years. This figure is set to rise significantly over the next two decades, meaning that demand for aged care nursing staff will also increase. The question is - do you have the personality suited to this kind of work?

One of the most important skills those working in community roles like this need is empathy, and in this article, we look at why it's so important to have in your makeup. 

What is the best definition of empathy?

Essentially, empathy is the ability to sense another person's emotional state and imagine how that person feels or thinks. Putting yourself in someone else's shoes is the name of the game, and it’s a skill that will help you give the best possible care when working in aged care nursing for real. 

Why is empathy important in aged care nursing?

Empathy exists at the very heart of all types of nursing. Naturally, determining how someone is vital in a sphere that focuses on well-being is vital. When you have this understanding, delivering the right care is much easier and often results in happier patients. 

Often, those in your care will not be able to properly express their feelings, meaning that being able to sense sadness, anger, and other emotions will help make your patients feel listened to. 

Can empathy be learned or developed?

Some of us are natural-born empaths, although they tend to be few and far between. The good news is that it's an interpersonal skill that can be developed anytime. So, even if you've not had the ability up to this point, it's never too late to start learning. 

While empathy is innate, it can be learnt by understanding the signs to watch out for. So, let's look at how that can be done in the short and long term. 

What is the role of empathy in community work?

The social connection aspect of aged care nursing cannot be underplayed, as it helps to support cognitive function, boost self-esteem and offer a maintained life purpose. The real, lasting connections you make are essential to the whole process. Fortunately, courses like our Aged Care, Counselling & Community Courses allow you to develop empathy. 

It's an ongoing journey, too, meaning once you've completed this training, you can take your empathy skills to the next level. CPD-accredited courses like our Aged Care Skills Micro-Credential are the next step on that road, with the course covering important aspects like grief, loss, working with families and dealing with challenging behaviours

Aged care nursing is a field that offers an average salary of $70k-$90k, flexible working hours, and an enriching day-to-day working life. An incredibly satisfying and rewarding career awaits those ambitious Australians with the right skills - including active listening, multi-tasking, excellent organisation and determination. 

Boost Your Interpersonal Skills With OCA Short Courses Online

Empathy is just one of the many interpersonal skills important in aged care nursing that can be developed using the video-based CPD-Endorsed short courses we offer online at OCA. Able to be taken at a time, place and pace that suits your needs, our courses are modular, with each bite-sized piece of learning accessible via any internet-connected smartphone, tablet or laptop. It's 100% convenient learning and is one of the many reasons our learning services are so popular. 

To see what life is like as an OCA student, you should take a moment to view our Student Study Demo, which lays out exactly what you get to enjoy. 1-to-1 mentoring and 24/7 tutorial support, and a platform that actively encourages further learning are available. This evolution in learning ensures you enjoy complete flexibility while getting all the academic assistance you need.

Aged care nursing is just one of more than 20 different sectors covered by our entire library - something you can see for yourself by visiting us today at While you’re there, why not look at our flexible payment options that allow you to spread the cost more manageably - although our courses are already really cost-effective! 

If you’d like to chat with our team about your specific learning needs, call 1300 611 404, and we’ll be glad to give you the answers you need. Alternatively, if you’re contacting us outside of normal working hours, email us at [email protected], and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

Study Aged Care Online With OCA!


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