Kathy De Souza

Kathy De Souza

Tell us a little about yourself

I am married with two daughters. I have been nursing since leaving school in 1980, when I left the Shoalhaven area for the big smoke of Sydney. Now reside on the Gold Coast but work in the border town of Tweed Heads. I am a JP and active member of Toastmasters International.

Tell us a bit about your work background

  • I trained at Liverpool Hospital in NSW in early 80’s
  • Geriatric Training at Garrawarra Hospital Waterfall NSW
  • Child & Adolescent Training at NSW College of Nursing
  • Nursing Informatics Degree – Central QLD University – distance education
  • Cert IV workplace and training – upgrade through Fortress Training
  • Worked as a community nurse for 10 years in Camden / Wollondilly shire then as an Early childhood nurse at Macquarie Fields Early Childhood Centre
  • Moved to Gold Coast in 1987 – apparently for an easier life and to give up work
  • Commenced casual work Tweed Heads CHC and The Tweed Hospital in 1998 (less than a year after moving). In 1999 went permanent part time on wards at Tweed Hospital – Medical Palliative Care / Surgical wards
  • Commenced as Discharge Planner at The Tweed Hospital 2000. A job that I absolutely enjoyed and gave me the confidence to try other things. Built the role up from RN to CNS to CNC over the years
  • Have undertaken several roles since 2000 – including – Performance Indicators in Medication Safety project officer, Medication Safety project officer, relieved in the Patient Safety Officer role at The Tweed Hospital, IIMS project officer which involved the rebuild of the external functionality of the security tree for the then Northern Rivers Area Health Service

What is your current role? 

I am currently the CNC Clinical Project Officer for the DementiaCare online learning program for NSW Health. This role involves not only facilitating and co-facilitating the dementia elearning program but also:-

  • training facilitators across NSW
  • providing support to facilitators and participants across NSW on the phone and via our email support system
  • assisting to set up new groups and advertising of upcoming groups
  • maintaining the state wide waiting list
  • participating on the DementiaCare state steering committee
  • assisting to write new material for the online courses
  • assisting to access copyright permissions for materials used on the site
  • presenting and promoting our program at conferences across Australia and through journal articles

Just to name a few things undertaken in the office during a week at work…

How long have you worked in this position?  I started working in this position May 2011.

How long have you been a facilitator of the DementiaCare program? Since August 2011.

How do you think you can make a difference to those with dementia and their carers?

Having a father who is in care, who has dementia, has given me the opportunity to see dementia from both sides of the fence – how care is provided, how carers / family are treated and involved by service providers and care facilities etc has given a perfect chance to be more person centred in all we do – at work and in home life.

Would you recommend others do the training and facilitate too?  I would highly recommend anyone with a passion for dementia undertake the one day facilitator training

Anything else you would like to share with us? The DementiaCare online program is an excellent course which is benefiting staff across NSW to access dementia education that is free and once enrolled available anytime. So spread the word!