Carol Veit has seen a mountain of change during her 43 years at St John of God Hospital.
The Creswick grandmother is the hospital’s longest serving employee and it was time spent at the Royal Children’s Hospital as a child that put her on a pathway to becoming a nurse as an adult.
“I have never ever considered another career. I have been very lucky and enjoyed my 43 years of giving and caring for the sick. Nursing has been rewarding and I can say I still have the passion thanks to a wonderful organisation I have been lucky to be a part of.”
Ms Veit is the hospital’s after hours coordinator, ensuring the smooth running of the hospital overnight with a variety of tasks including admitting patients to hospital from the emergency department, staffing the hospital sufficiently and maintaining a safe environment for patients and caregivers.
The hospital was a very different place, as was her job, when she first joined as a nurse in 1976.
“My role began as a nursing aide, now known as a Division 2, for 20 years before I was encouraged from my peers and management to pursue my career further,” she said.
“I undertook my Bachelor of Nursing to become a Division 1, then I further studied my Post Graduate Certificate and Post Graduate Diploma in Orthopedics, which led me to be Acting Nurse Unit Manager in orthopedics for several years.”
If that wasn’t enough, she then decided to challenge herself with another qualification.
“I decided to study again, an Advanced Diploma in Business Management, and from there I took on the role of after hours coordinator which is a challenging role but rewarding.”
Over the years there have been dramatic changes with Ballarat’s health care sector, with Ms Veit naming the building of the new SJOG hospital nine years ago, and advances in medical equipment and surgical techniques among the most exciting.
“Years ago patients would be in bed for 10 days and often incur complications, but now with laparoscopic surgery patients can go home the same day or an overnight stay, meaning recovery is so much quicker.”
SJOG last week celebrated its long term employees. The hospital’s average length of service for full-time employees is 13.9 years, well above the national average of 7.5 years.
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