The working environment at Murrayside Care Home where Heriot’s Blues player Jacqueline Kerr is a Nurse Manager has changed dramatically due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacqueline joined the new facility when it opened in October 2018 and provides long-term care to residents while managing her team of staff.
To protect residents only vital staff now enter the facility. This has meant an increase in the daily workload, due to restrictions on support services, such as doctors and pharmacy.
‘‘Emotionally, the pandemic has also taken a toll but I am lucky to have a great team of staff who come to work and do the best for our residents,’’ she said.
‘‘My staff make my shifts much more enjoyable and their dedication to the resident, especially during this pandemic has been outstanding. Every shift my staff work during this time demonstrates their character.’’
Working a Murrayside Care Home, Jacqueline and her staff have strong relationships with the residents.
‘‘I love my job, and the residents I care for are they best part. They make me laugh every day. I know their likes and dislikes, families and friends,’’ she said.
‘‘It is hard turning up to work knowing that our residents won’t have any visits from their loved ones due to current restrictions.’’
‘‘The care we provide is medical but is also focused on enabling residents to make the most of each day, which could mean a barbecue in the sun or watching Six Nations matches in our cinema.’’
Jacqueline had always wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Before moving to Edinburgh from Australia, she had spent most of her career as an ICU nurse at The Canberra Hospital. But she wanted a new challenge.
‘‘When I moved overseas, I had a difficult time gaining my UK nursing registration. I spent 18 months proving my qualifications, which I had earned at university before working in a city hospital,’’ she said.
‘‘While earning my registration I worked as a carer in the private healthcare sector. By the time I was registered Murrayside Care Home was opening and it was a fantastic opportunity.’’
There are many rugby fans at her work, with staff and residents alike asking how the Heriot’s Blues Women are playing.
Rugby has become Jacqueline’s main past time after first trying the sport during Heriot’s Rugby Club preseason training.
‘‘I had played touch football in Australia and was having a run around with some of the girls over Summer playing social touch football and they suggested I give rugby a go,’’ she said.
‘‘Rugby for me is a fantastic outlet and I look forward to the weekends that I am not working. I started out playing on the wing for Heriot’s Blues Women and this season I moved to fullback.”