Anna Guempel is a Registered Nurse in a small 60 bed hospital, which is services the Katherine Region (Northern Territory, 320kms south of Darwin), an area of approximately 340,000 km2 and a population of around 10,000.
Born in Germany, in 1990 Anna left Germany and travelled to Australia, where she met my husband and decided to stay in Katherine. In 1997 Anna went back into the caring field, starting work at Rocky Ridge, a high care level Nursing home. Here she discovered her love of working with people with dementia, learning how to care and advocate for the vulnerable clients, and how I can make a positive, happy difference to the individual.
Midway through Enrolled Nursing studies Anna moved from aged care to the Katherine Renal Unit as a Personal Care Assistant, which was a real eye-opener in regards to the complexity of Aboriginal health in the NT. After completing EN training Anna’s grad year was in the paediatric and medical surgical ward. During this time Anna worked as the Discharge Planner learning more about the complexities of Aboriginal culture and the challenges of remoteness with complex pathologies. Approximately 70% of patients are of Aboriginal decent, speaking a vast number of local languages, English is often their third or fourth language.
Anna graduated in 2012 as a Registered Nurse from Charles Darwin University.
In mid 2018 Anna started a new role as the Cognitive and Physical Wellness Coordinator. Half of her role is the rehabilitation nurse position, the other part is to make Katherine Hospital a dementia and cognitively impaired safe and friendly place.