Omar decided to become a nurse only after completing a diploma in I.T. “I was more of a social person and pursuing a career in I.T. would take me away from this aspect,” he says. So, he enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing degree at The University of Sydney in 2013 and he completed his studies in 2016. He now works for The Salvation Army Aged Care as a Clinical Coordinator and an Independent Living Unit Coordinator. Omar was the recipient of The Salvation Army Aged Care 2020 Year of the Nurse Award which was granted to him based on three nominating categories: high standards of care, leadership and emotional intelligence.

Omar received the Award on International Nurses Day which was held on May 12. He says that working with The Salvation Army Aged Care provides him with the opportunity to work with clients across Sydney. “Not only am I supported by a great team and leaders, I was also allowed to further my career in village management,” he says. “As I am currently managing an independent living unit, [it’s] a great combination to have, I must say.”

During his studies at The University of Sydney, Omar realised how important nurses are in providing holistic care for patients and clients. He also says that he realised that the more he was exposed to people in a community care setting, the more his passion for helping people grew. “Clinical placements in community settings allowed me to pick community care as my ideal career pathway as it’s a way of giving back to my community,” he says referring to working with elderly in particular. “The drive for being able to give hope for my clients and make sure that they stay in their own homes was and is still my primary goal for being a nurse in this setting.”

Omar’s favourite aspect of nursing is being able to give a voice to his clients. He likes them to know that they are being heard. He says that it’s important for his clients to know that he is there for them whenever he is needed. The role also has its challenges. “The biggest challenge in community nursing for me is when I see a client leaving the community service,” he says. “Either the client had passed away or transitioned to a residential facility due to his/her high medical care needs. This saddens me, as I regard each client as special in their own ways.”

Omar says that being nominated for The Salvation Army Aged Care 2020 Year of the Nurse Award made him happy; he feels blessed to have great mentors, colleagues and managers across the whole of The Salvation Army Aged Care. “I would like to thank my colleagues and my managers for supporting me in developing myself within my role and to being a team member within both community care and the independent living units’ sectors,” he says.