Experienced registered nurse and Ministry of Health auditor, Sherpard Mushapayidzi, recommends the Foundation’s aged care homes every time to nurses who might be looking for a career move.
A member of the Foundation’s Bureau team since 2010 – and having also audited rest homes and aged care hospitals the length and breadth of New Zealand – Sherpard is well placed to recognise best practice and quality care provision across care facilities. So it’s particularly gratifying when he says Selwyn sets ‘a high bar’ for our care plans, policies and procedures, and commends our staff training, development and overall support to those looking to move into the aged residential care sector.
Originally from Zimbabwe, where he qualified in nursing before specialising in mental health, Sherpard was previously a District Mental Health Coordinator for Makonde area in Mashonaland West Province. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing all mental health clinics in the region as well as the in-service mental health training of nurses working in the general hospital environment. After moving to New Zealand, he joined the Selwyn Bureau which provides temporary, permanent and fixed-term contracts in the Foundation’s care homes for registered nurses and caregivers.
Since then, Sherpard has worked across both Selwyn Heights and Selwyn Village in a variety of fixed-term nursing positions. He’s also been assigned to the Foundation’s Group Office as Bureau Nurse Coordinator, overseeing all clinical matters for the Bureau, and has trained new Bureau nurses and assessed their clinical competencies when they’ve first been recruited. As a long-term ‘temp’, he enjoys the flexibility of shifts and the variety of placements that the Bureau offers, which enable him to combine the practical application of his nursing skills with his other responsibilities as an auditor of aged care homes, mental health facilities, and home and community services. (We should say at this point that this conflict of interest means that he doesn’t audit the Foundation’s facilities!)
Sherpard says: ‘The Selwyn Bureau coordinating team work with you to match your availability to the vacancies as they arise, and they provide good communication and thorough orientation into the specific position. They make you feel a valued member of the Selwyn family and give you all the support you need to do your job. They’re always there to help, which means that a bond and mutual trust develop over time that make for a great working relationship.
‘Importantly – when you’re ‘on the floor’ – there’s always another nursing colleague working with you and who’s available to support or to ask for advice. You work together as a team.
‘At Selwyn, there’s also ongoing training on offer through the organisation’s ‘SelwynLearn’ online training modules. That’s why, in my experience, Selwyn really stands out as one of the best.’
Sherpard worked at Selwyn throughout the COVID lockdowns and was named the ‘Consistently Outstanding Performing Nurse’ at the Bureau’s 2020 end-of-year event (he’s received numerous similar awards in years past). He considers aged care nursing to be the most rewarding job and thinks of it as giving back to those who looked after us in our younger years. ‘In Zimbabwe, people look after their elders at home, so I enjoy working in aged care and looking after people of the same age group as my parents; it’s about appreciating all that our elders did for us and giving back to them.’