February 5, 2020

Get to know: Q&A with Jenny Christof

In this month’s Get to know: Q&A with…we catch up with Jenny Christof, HARP Care Coordinator from Bundoora Centre.

  • What is your coffee order?

I have become a tea drinker of late – so I normally order an English Breakfast or Earl Grey – white with one.

  • What does a typical work day look for you?

I work for the HARP complex needs program based at the Bundoora Centre. A normal day for me would be to come in and check emails and also check if any of my clients have presented back to hospital. I also look to see if any of my admitted clients have discharged home and give them a follow up phone call. I normally have one or two home visits booked in to assess new clients and also visit existing clients. This gives me an excellent opportunity to really see how they are managing at home and what issues I can help them address. We have a multidisciplinary team, so often once I get back from my visits I will be completing internal referrals and also work on aged care referrals. On some days, I assist my younger disability clients with their NDIS applications and accessing services. I also enjoy speaking to my clients about Advance Care Planning and ensuring that their end of life wishes are well documented. It is a busy but rewarding job!

  • Tell us about your Northern Health journey?

I stared my nursing career at PANCH in 1996 where I completed my graduate year. Then, I accepted a position on 3 West – a medical ward under the amazing leadership of Anne Fraser.

We transferred across to Northern Hospital where I worked on Unit B (now Ward 4).

In 2000, I commenced a position in Care Coordination – which was a new role within the hospital. I was the only Care Coordinator within the inpatient unit and had to develop and shape the role to meet the patients needs. This was probably my most challenging job as no one had been in the care coordination position before. The Care Coordination job has been through many changes and is now known as the Acute to Community Coordination team. In 2006, I went back to working two days a week ward nursing, again on Ward 4, and did three days a week in Care Coordination.

In 2015, an opportunity became available to be trained in haemodialysis. I was a dialysis nurse in the inpatient dialysis unit for two years and completed my post graduate degree in renal nursing. After that, I secured my current job as a HARP Care Coordinator in the HARP complex needs team.

  • Can you tell us a bit about your career before starting at Northern?

I think I was always destined to be a nurse. My mum was a nurse and worked in a nursing home, and I have early memories of mum taking me to work with her and lining up the nursing home residents dentures and getting me to wash them all! I think I was around eight years old.

I obtained a job in that same nursing home when I was 15 years old. I worked there until I was 21 years old and had multiple roles including afternoon chef, bed maker, cleaner and eventually a nurse. It was the best preparation for my nursing career, as I went into this career with my eyes wide open.

  • What is your greatest achievement or favourite memory since working here?

My favourite memory in terms of working at Northern Health is working as a nurse on Unit B and forming long lasting friendships with many of the Unit B staff who I still regularly catch up with today. The Unit B gang had such camaraderie and you could always rely on the team to chip in, help out and get the job done. It was such a pleasure to work there and I was always proud to call myself a Unit B nurse.

  • What are some things people don’t know about you?

I am fanatical about the Tour de France. I have been watching the tour for over 25 years. In the early days everyone thought I was crazy as I would take three weeks leave in July, just so I could stay at home and sit up to all hours of the night watching this race. I just find it such a tactical and amazing sport to watch.

  • What do you like to do after work?

I love cooking, reading, catching up with family and friends for a meal and planning holidays for my lovely husband and me.

  • Do you have a bucket list item? Something you would love to do?

I would love to go to France during the Tour de France and hire a camper van to follow the Tour around for three glorious weeks. ​

  • How would you describe Northern Health in one sentence?

A health service that allows it’s staff to grow and explore many work options.

  • Who would you nominate next for a staff profile and why?

I would like to nominate Robyn Johnson, Reception Services Manager at Bundoora Centre. She is like a human Google equivalent – if you need a question answered about the ins and outs at Bundoora she is your go-to person. ​