Like many South-Asian households, Suzi’s home was multigenerational, and living in a home alongside her grandmother and great-grandmother ensured that Suzi’s life was full of meaningful advice and inspiration.
“I was really close with my grandmother, and I love my great-grandmother. Living life like that was good because they teach you everything with all of their stories,” said Suzi.
Like many who become nurses, Suzi had always felt drawn to the profession and at only 14 years old she began her studies. By the age of 18 Suzi was already a registered nurse (RN).
She spent the next three years working in hospitals before deciding to head for Australian shores.
“When I came to Australia, I had to do my nursing degree again. So, I did my Bachelors of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Sydney,” said Suzi.
“All of my previous education and nursing education was done in English, but everything was done with an American accent. When coming (to Australia) the accent was so different, and for the first few months I struggled a little bit to understand,” said Suzi.
Suzi worked as a student for clinical placement in a variety of hospitals all across Sydney as a part of her Bachelor’s Degree. She also made her first foray into the aged care space working part-time as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN).
With Covid-19 arriving on Australian shores within weeks of Suzi finally graduating, she made the decision to ditch inner-city living and set her sights North in search of an opportunity.
“I wanted to go somewhere a bit more regional because I have always wanted to explore healthcare in more remote areas. I also wanted to go somewhere quieter than Sydney,” said Suzi.
“Bolton Clarke decided to give me an opportunity, so I met with a residential manager named Jo and she was a really nice person,” she said. “I knew I liked the people here and I have been working (at Bolton Clarke) in Bolton Point since June last year.”
Bolton Clarke’s Macquarie View aged care community is situated only a stone’s throw away from breathtaking lakeside views.
In addition to her nursing, Suzi recently became an ACFI coordinator at the home and utilises her love of people watching to ensure that residents’ needs are being accurately assessed.
“The thing that I really love about aged care is that you see your residents every day. You see the improvements and you also notice declining health, but keeping track of everything helps you improve things for your residents,” said Suzi.
“I also love the teamwork in aged care, honestly. We have the same staff members and the same clinical team. We always discuss everything together and that helps us to achieve the best results for our residents,”
Suzi’s positive attitude and work ethic quickly made her a favourite among residents. However, the nature of the job is such that the closest bonds between staff and residents can be painfully brief.
The recent death of a favourite resident was definitely a point of sadness for Suzi, but she chooses to value the time that they had together and the lasting imprint that she made on everyone in the home.
“She had nicknames for everyone, and she used to call me Vampire,” said Suzi.
“She called me (vampire) because I had to come and check her blood sugar levels every day because of her diabetes. We still miss her. It can be really sad.”
When asked what she would want her life to be like if she reaches the age of 90, Suzi did not have to look far to provide us with an example.
“When I’m old, I would love to live in a nice environment that has a waterfront, just like here with the lake. That way, I’m always able to look at beautiful things,” said Suzi.
“Then, I just want to be looked after. To be honest, I would want to be looked after by caring and compassionate staff just like our team here at Bolton Clarke. Familiar faces, who put in extra effort to help me live comfortably. That would make me happy.”