Matt Arasteh decided that he wanted to become a nurse twenty years ago when his father was hospitalised after having orthopaedic surgery. Matt stayed with his dad at the hospital and that’s where he says it all started. “I found it difficult to watch him be unwell and for me to be able to do absolutely nothing,” he says. “I was so inspired by the nurses who provided care for my father that I decided to become a nurse.”

Matt is now the Centre Manager of Pacific Lodge Aged Care Centre in Collaroy, Sydney. He studied a Bachelor of Nursing Advanced at Western Sydney University where he was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. After he completed his degree there, he went on to study a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management at the University of Technology Sydney and then a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration at the University of Newcastle.

“When you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life, or a life will touch yours,” he says. “Dealing with consumers and their families and helping them through what is often a difficult time is extremely satisfying for me.” For Matt, nursing is challenging as is the fast-paced work environment. He says that the situation in a healthcare setting can change quickly. “A consumer’s condition can quickly deteriorate,” he says. “Handling everything thrown at me as a nurse can sometimes be a challenge, but this dynamism and pace are what I thrive on.”

Matt says that he decided to work in aged care because of the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a job that genuinely makes a difference. He has also developed a new appreciation for life and family after spending time with the elderly. When asked about how COVID-19 has impacted the way that he works, Matt says that: “This pandemic has highlighted the importance of going back to basics, such as improving hand hygiene compliance. I want to mention to my colleagues that it might be stormy now, but rain doesn’t last forever!”

He is humbled to be considered a nominee for the TSA Year of the Nurse Award and he believes that all of his colleagues are equally deserving of the distinction by virtue of their high character and commitment to providing quality care. When asked what it means to him to work for The Salvation Army, Matt says: “To me, working for The Salvation Army means putting faith into action by reaching out to the vulnerable with the good news of Jesus Christ.”