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“If this was my gran, how would I want her treated? This is how I maintain my standards. If you stick to this, you will give quality care.”

This is how Bronwyn Pickery, a Northland-based caregiver ensures the care and support she provides the residents of Kerikeri Retirement Village is top notch.

She had an amazing relationship with her grandmother and considered her a mentor. 

Even in her youth, she knew a career involving caring was where her heart lay. At 15, she was doing dishes and cleaning at a retirement village. She then became a gardener for an elderly couple, and  when one of them developed dementia, she stayed on supporting the couple as a private caregiver until they had to move to a retirement village.  

She thought of pursuing nursing but responsibilities at home prevented this.

Bronwyn got back into the workforce a couple of years ago after raising her kids, and the management and residents of Kerikeri Retirement Village couldn’t be more pleased to have her on board.

June Ward and Bronwyn Pickery

“Bronwyn had no formal healthcare assistance background but she had so much passion and took on-the-job training seriously. We immediately saw her apply the learning and noticed a positive difference in her interactions with the residents,” shared Heather MacMillan, Staff Development Co-ordinator at Kerikeri Retirement Village.

“I learned through training to treat them as individuals and to always encourage their independence. I go to work hoping that I can bring something different to their day and make their day as pleasant as possible,” Bronwyn said.

Now she has a nationally recognised qualification in Healthcare Assistance to back her passion. She is grateful for the support of her workplace and of industry training organisation, Careerforce.

Since completing the Healthcare Assistance qualification, Bronwyn wanted to specifically learn more about palliative care and dementia. She has since done the Hospice New Zealand Fundamentals of Palliative Care programme and is now looking at doing Dementia training or Advanced Support through Careerforce.

 “If you’re staying in the industry, I recommend doing Careerforce on-the-job training. I’m really pleased I did. It opened my eyes and it gave me essential tools and strategies to be better at my job.”


Find out more about qualifications in Aged Care