Yung-Hui Chen never thought she’d be buried in books.
As a youngster, she confesses to being an “average student”, but has since developed a passion for learning and developing within her nursing profession.
She began nursing in her native Taiwan, before moving to Brisbane to broaden her nursing horizons by studying a Master of Nursing and working part-time in an aged care facility.
During her time in Brisbane, she was involved in a situation that would become the driving factor behind her current PhD topic.
Two residents who had dementia developed a relationship inside the facility, both were married to other people but were not cognisant of those relationships.
The reaction of staff and the family to the relationship illustrated to Yung-Hui, there was a gap in understanding and knowledge of older adults’ sexuality.
“Some staff didn’t know what to do, how to respond to their needs and keep the families happy,” she said.
Yung-Hui’s PhD is focused on developing an assessment tool for healthcare professionals to help them understand older adults’ sexuality.
She hopes to run workshops explaining the tool once her PhD is finished.
“Sexuality is not just about sexual intercourse or sexual behaviour. For the older generation, they need someone to be with, a shoulder to lean on because they’re lonely,” she said.
Yung-Hui is a Clinical Support Nurse and Associate Nurse Unit Manager at Bendigo Health’s Stella Anderson residential care facility.
Her interest in study has encouraged her to teach, sharing knowledge with students and more junior staff.
Since coming to Bendigo Health in 2015, Yung-Hui has felt supported to continue her education journey.
She is also a recipient of Michael Dent Scholarship, Australian Nurses Memorial Centre. She recently presented at Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research conference in Cardiff, England, supported by Bendigo Health.
“I just love learning, studying and finding out new ways to do things. I’ve had lot of opportunities to develop and it’s helped my confidence,” she said.
Once her PhD is finished in 2024, Yung-Hui will have clocked up 17 years of study. Not bad for an average student.
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