Every so often we’ll have an in-depth chat with one of our staff members, so you can get to know them a little better. This month we get to know our new Director of Clinical Services, Fiona Elms.
How long have you worked at Finley?
I have been here nearly a month.
What interested you about working in Aged Care?
Aged Care has always been a field of nursing that I gravitated towards. I like the challenge that it provides and the rewards that come with looking after an older cohort of residents.
What is your role at Finley Regional Care? What does it involve?
My role is the Director of Clinical Services and the role is vast. It is ensuring that the clinical care and documentation are appropriate, meeting the requirements of the Quality Standards.
What are your qualifications?
Bachelor of Science (Nursing) and Bachelor of Science (Naturopathy).
What do you like most about working here?
Both the residents and staff have been welcoming.
If you had to describe Finley Regional Care in four words, what would you say?
Progressive, Visionary, Homely and Caring.
What has exceeded your expectations or surprised you the most since coming here?
As I have come from larger towns, I am surprised by just how community-minded FRC is. Staff from the area have a connection with the residents that you do not find at many facilities. They remember the residents when they were the pillars of the community and embrace them now that they need care.
Tell us one thing about you people might not know.
I played water polo when I was younger.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Read, garden and catch up with friends, usually with a wine.
What’s your favourite quote or saying?
Whinge and you win! It was my grandma’s favourite saying so it always makes me smile.
What three traits define you?
Loyal, passionate and easy going.
How do you define success?
Success is defined by the number of friends who you can count on when there is a crisis and you need unconditional assistance and support.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Bridget Jones (that is a family, ongoing joke).
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I will be cliché: speak another language.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Collect my winnings.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
FRC – I should have put diplomacy in as one of the three traits.
Dead Poet’s Society or Arlington Road – oldies but goodies.
Are you messy or organised?
In my head I am organised however my desk may suggest otherwise.
Best vacation you’ve been on?
I lived in London for two years so any trip from there was special ,but my favourite was Prague and Slovenia.
Choose your Mr Men/Little Miss, to describe your work personality?
I thought that I only knew Little Miss Sunshine, but I have been reliably told there is a Little Miss Naughty, so I am now in conflict.
Do you have an office nickname? What is it?
I had a nickname growing up and there are only two dear friends that use this now. Mum cringes every time she hears it so I will keep this information close.
Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?
I remember commenting on the family resemblance of two ladies. One was a new resident and the other, clearly a relative. We got chatting and then I asked who was older. The younger one promptly told me that “this is my Mum.”
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Not sure Hollywood is ready for that just yet.
If you could meet anyone in the world (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Antoine Bechamps – Terrain theory. It’s a thing.
If you were an animal what would you be?
Dolphin – I love the water and open spaces.
If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Slow cooked lamb.
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
Book, towel and bathers.
If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be?
How to say “no” without losing sleep.
If your house was burning down, what is the one non-living thing you would save?
I am not materialistic and so just getting out would be enough. Perhaps my wallet.
Least favourite food?
Motto or personal mantra?
I don’t have a motto or mantra but to live by being kind and respectful of others and to remember this in times of stress.
Top two life highlights?
With Mathew reading this I probably have to say getting married. I have had a pretty good life so picking out another highlight is difficult.
What advice would you give to recent new staff?
Be yourself and never lose sight of how important your role is in the life of the residents.
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
Life can throw a curve ball and you need to be prepared whether it is good or bad. There are good and bad nurses, in the same way there are good and bad hairdressers. Being happy in a work environment means more than anything else an employer can offer.
What are your three most overused words/phrases?
There’s two sides to the story and the truth will be somewhere in between.
What did you want to be when growing up?
Early on I wanted to be an airhostess however I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and I guess it would be wrong to say I still don’t.
What do you always want to try but never did?
Rally car racing.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Garden or hang out with my family and friends.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Busy, with some down time for a bit of fun and laughter.
What is an ability you wish you had?
I would love to be fey.
What is on your bucket list?
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.
What is the first concert you attended?
You are all going to love this. WHAM.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
I am not sure that I have had too many great challenges thrown my way. I have been quite blessed.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
That no matter where you go or travel there are always like-minded people near, and humour and laughter go a long way to bridging gaps.
What is the one thing you cannot resist?
Scones and jam and cream.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
There is nothing I can think of.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Testicles – A Japanese thing. My sister lived there for ten years and it was one of her things to do when we came to visit. Take us out and order and then not tell us what it was until later.
What are the two worst things you did as a kid?
Made my sister step in dog poo with no shoes on.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People saying, “how are we?” I know that will be controversial as it is now part of our vernacular.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Making my sister step in dog poo with no shoes on.
What is your favourite number and why?
Number 4 or 10. It’s a birthday thing.
What is your favourite sport?
No favourites. Love all sports except motor racing and boxing.
What is your greatest fear?
What one food do you wish had zero calories?
What phobias do you have?
I hate birds flapping around my head and mice.
What was your favourite book, toy, or outfit as a child?
I was outside all of the time and so didn’t do toys. I seem to have been dressed in a hideous green cardigan in a few of my primary school photos so I guess that could have been my wardrobe world.
What would you like to be famous for?
Telling really bad Dad jokes and laughing hardest at them.
Where is your favourite place to eat?
Longrain – Thai Melbourne.
Watermarc – Wangaratta.
Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
The Amazon Rainforest with the Shamans.
Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?
I would love a housekeeper. Doesn’t even need to be robotic.
You’re happiest when?
I am surrounded by those who I love and having a laugh.
What are your hopes for our industry?
That the regulations ease so we can focus on caring for our residents.