KIRSTY WINTER | NURSE, RECREATION THERAPY, PASTORAL CARE
HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER & DOULA
About myself and my work
My caring journey began in 1983 when I qualified as an Enrolled Nurse.
I have had experience in medical/oncology, care assessment and rehabilitation of the elderly, end of life, aged care, dementia and supporting people with intellectual and physical impairments and challenging behaviors, some of whom were profound. I have worked in hospitals, community and residential settings. I have also worked in private practice as an Extra Lesson Practitioner with children who had learning and social challenges.
As a young nurse in main stream practice, I realized early that there was more to health than just the physical body. I felt there was a much bigger picture to human suffering and I wanted to be able to offer so much more. This challenged me to question the caring pathway I had chosen and I began to seek out and investigate holistic approaches that involved psychosocial models of care. I Moved into recreation therapy facilitating and coordinating therapy sessions and programs for individuals and groups, whilst still maintaining my nursing registration.
In aged care facilities this work took me to the bedsides of many very frail and vulnerable people at end stages of life and facing life limiting illness, and their families. To further deepen my practice and enable me the confidence to offer spiritual support and presence, whether one believes in God or not, I trained in Pastoral Care.
My learning and development as a Health Practitioner have evolved over 40 years, where I have finely tuned these skills, utilizing and applying them in an individualized, person centered, holistic approach. I enjoy building relationships of trust, caring for and supporting changing needs of grief, loss, death, transition and change across the age spectrum.
Nursing and my approach
I value equality, dignity, and a holistic, person-centered approach. My manner is open, respectful and nonjudgmental of all people’s values and life experiences. I strive to empower and enable people on the health/ healing/wellness path to be self-determining and in control of their own processes. I believe this is where the space for forward movement towards well-being can take place.
I offer medication administration (within the Enrolled Nurse scope of practice) 1st aid and wound care, personal cares and assistance with activities of daily living, observation of daily changes and some simple therapeutic nursing therapies that promotes wellbeing, comfort independence and safety.
Recreation Therapy and my approach
Therapeutic recreation aims to promote, maintain encourage and nurture the emotional spiritual, social, physical, sensory and creative wellbeing of people who may experience barriers to participation in purposeful activities due to deteriorating health, disabilities, and frailty. It helps to facilitate chosen interests which offers the potential for enjoyment, maintaining functional mobility and dexterity, pain reduction, diminished helplessness and isolation, creating coping mechanisms for releasing tension, increased self-esteem and worth, social interaction and comfort through diversion which can support end of life and adjustment through transitions and change that can help to provide a sense of meaning and quality of life to life.
I work in partnership to set realistic achievable goals offering a range of artistic and therapeutic modalities which also includes community outings as I am experienced in managing and assisting with transferring and negotiating wheelchairs in public spaces.
Pastoral Care – (care of souls) and my approach
Pastoral care is an inclusive multi faith, religious, non-religious, humanist approach. Its practice is grounded in developing relationship and connection with the inner life of people from all walks of life
It hopes to provide comfort, by attending to another’s spiritual, emotional, physical and social needs, by way of walking beside a person in a manner that is open and offers support, in meeting thresholds through personal life/health transitions, crisis, grief, loss change and death, thereby to ease suffering and improve quality of life.
The Pastoral response aims to leave the space free for the individual to find their own solutions and then hopes to support the integration of new developments and meaning, that enables and empowers one in making the necessary adjustments with forward movement in their lives.
Sometimes to meet thresholds can be very confronting and requires enormous courage. Small steps, and meeting a person where they are is key. Pastoral care is a companioning, a holding of space that provides presence and non-judgmental witnessing to a very personal process that can sometimes be challenging and difficult.
My approach is all- encompassing, intuitive and dynamic.