A Typical Day at an Aged Care Facility


For nurses considering working in aged care, here’s what my typical day at work is life (mind you, not that every day is the same). It’s a bit like going on a bike ride. You never know what will grab your attention as you bike along that same path over and over 🙂

aged care

5.30am – I leave for work at 5.30 am.

6.00am – I arrive at work, sign on and go out the back for coffee and catch up with the girls.

6.25am – I say to myself, I better get a move on and get on the floor.

6.30am – I check the Communication Sheet check we have all of the staff.

The first part of my shift is spent like this:

Right! Let’s go! I was planning to get Mr X sponged before breakfast but Mr Y was attempting to get out of bed. Not sure why Mr Y is up early today. I let others know what’s happening so they jump in and sponge Mr X while I look after Mr Y.

RN lets us know that someone else needs attention NOW. It’s ok. He has been sorted before breakfast. Phew!

At breakfast time, we make sure everyone has it to start with and I needed to ensure the student nurse knows that Mr Z is a feed. Wait, I hear someone yelling ‘It’s all over toast!’ Hmm.

I needed to have residents out of the two rooms by 9am. Oh joy! The painters are coming in again. So we have a chat with the residents and get them sorted before we move on.

Morning tea – We are first for morning tea. Hurrah!!

I remind everyone that exercise class is on and also there is a bus trip. Fred will kick up a stink and will not want to get organised to go out. We nominate Rita to deal with Fred as she can usually cajole him along.

Mr P’s wife just arrived for the visit. We go and let her sign in and let her know that Mr. P will be up soon.

Morning tea is over — Time to get back to work.

Soon as we get back, we see  Mr S and Mr T having an argument with the staff having to intervene. The staff is getting ready for the bus trip with the resident when Mr K tells us that he has now decided that he wants to go on the bus trip too.

No worries, we better get him showered and make him respectable. Mr P’s wife is happy with her visit. If she is happy, resident is happy then we are relieved 🙂

Painters. They’re still not done yet. Grrr! Residents getting annoyed because they can’t get in the rooms. Had to explain that they will be able to get in later.

Bus trip – Everyone’s on the bus except for me. The therapy staff doing 1-on-1’s prior to the trip explaining that Mr D is a bit emotional. His wife is in hospital and could the staff spend a bit of time with him.

Back at work.

RN doing Manual Handling Audits during the day. We will let RN know when we are using the lifter. RN takes note of how resistive Mr W has become.

Oh wait, the skips are getting full. We hear whispers that boss could be doing ward audit so move the skips to get rid of them. Knowing our luck she will be down here any minute.

Oh no. Mr G has had a  fall. All hands on deck. Returned to bed, Mr G seems to be fine.

Lunch time.

Lunches are on the way. ‘Go to lunch Linda’ I remind myself or before I know it, lunch time has come and gone and I’d miss it. Oh wait, I just remembered, Mr F is in foyer and needs to come back to the room.

Lunch is over.

Time to do the rounds and paperwork. I ask Jody to stay on floor as a few residents are restless.

Boss is here wants to have a quick chat. Jody needs help first though — fill the trolley, check pan room. That’s done…where was I? Oh yeah, filling okay back to my paperwork.

Afternoon shift.

An hour to go when new admission arrives. RN wants him weighed then toileted.

I spend the rest of the afternoon shift to updating the next shift with what’s been happening and where all the residents from the 2 rooms that were painted are.

At last it’s time to go home.


  1. All in a days work… Boy Linda you get a lot done in a day! What an interesting insight into what goes on in a typical day in a nursing home. Linda do you miss many meals yourself? Rich

  2. AGED CARE No Rich we dont miss out on our break time.At times we may be running very late for them but you need to have that time some days more than others.

  3. Aged Care Yea thats right but what Linda doesnt tell anyone i that when she gets home. Guess who has to listen to everything that has happened in there day.

    The kids

  4. breaks breaks are breaks an u got take them at the right time according to the polices layed out your else you just miss out…………….! if you got a problem with it don’t complain about it ………..!

  5. Breaks Tony if anyone knows you have to take your breaks its ME I am a VERY ACTIVE DELEGATE for NSWNA.Sometimes things happen and you just have to go a bit later.I am well aware of policies and was not complaining just trying to give a clearer picture .I am sure not every NURSE in other sectors always gets to go to breaks on time.Have a nice day

  6. Busy busy Never bored. No time for that. Best we get with the Aged Care Campaign “Because We Care”, and
    get recognition (the money equiv to hospitals), get transparent books of the govt funding, and get the
    skill mix right.
    About Breaks…..If you can’t make the time, TAKE the time. YOU DESERVE IT.

  7. The path we chose. This site will be very helpful in allowing nurses to ventilate and communicate their everyday frustrations in a career that can be so stressful.Many times management dont do anything to help especially in Aged care.It is really about the dollars.There isnt really a typical day,it just seems to go on and on.The time at the moment is 3.34 am and I have been up for 2 hours..I start work at 6.30 am.,I am not worried as I will sleep tonight,however this is just one of the negetives of the job after years of working shift work…..insomnia!.Most of us recognise it I am sure.
    The past few days I have had 4 residents at their end of life and not only is this a stressful time for the families it is difficult for the staff who try so hard to make this time a special time especially with all their other tasks of the day.Relatives can be so forgetting of this but hey!…its all part of the job.We just smile.
    Another negetive is the wasteful time in yearly assessments of residents who are in high care facilities….has anyone reminded the government that the residents dont choose to live in a Nursing home.I am at my wits end some days with the paper work alone,so many breaks are missed.
    I could go on and on but this is the path I have chosen,and I guess it is easier for me now as I dont have to do shift work juggling small kids and family needs….But I do think that as nurses we should be all paid the same,because most of us do give more time than we are paid, just by doing little extra things for the residents that we do grow fond of……..


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