December 21, 2020

Swee Khor: 45 years of service

At the latest Length of Service Awards, Swee Khor was one of the two staff who received an award for 45 years of service.

Swee came to Australia to study nursing as soon as she finished high school. The motivation for nursing came from her family. When she was younger, her sister was admitted to hospital for acute appendicitis which required urgent surgery.

“Whilst visiting her in the hospital, I observed the excellent care and reassurance provided by the nursing staff during her hospital stay. I believe this inspired me to pursue a career in nursing,” she said.

“I came with my best friend from Malaysia. I studied my general nursing training at Queen Victoria Hospital, which has since been relocated to Monash Medical Centre, and the site is now the QV Women’s Centre as well as the QV shopping mall in the CBD,” she said.

“I then completed my graduate year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital followed by a postgraduate theatre course at Austin Repatriation. I commenced work at PANCH in Preston before it relocated to become Northern Hospital. During my time at PANCH, I also completed my Bachelor of Science at RMIT,” she added.

Swee vividly remembers how Northern Health grew and developed from PANCH.

“After relocation, they initially built a smaller hospital than the size of PANCH to service the local community. We started with only four operating theatres. However, over the years, the workload has increased a lot more than was anticipated, as we also service regional areas and the population growth in the northern suburbs. As a result, we have seen the Northern Hospital expand continuously, with more advanced technology and equipment, and now awaiting our tenth operating theatre. It has been exciting to see Northern Health grow and adapt to meet the requirements of the community,” she added.

She enjoys the dynamics of the operating theatre and every day at work is different. For Swee, working in the operating theatre can be dynamic and challenging. Theatre nursing requires discipline, organisation, good stamina, concentration, quick response, good communication and good team work. Some days can be very hard work, frustrating and tiring; but knowing that nursing can be very rewarding at the end of the day is what keeps her going.

“We constantly strive to work together as a team to provide the best level of care for our patients. I enjoy the fact that, with nursing, I am continuously learning and improving my skills and knowledge. Nursing is an extremely rewarding career. Every day, I finish my shift knowing that I have made a real difference to my patient or even helped to save a life. Not only that, I have formed a lot of great friendships working with my colleagues over the years,” she added.

In her free time, Swee enjoys baking and cooking. She also enjoys attending dancing classes for exercise and socialising, arts and crafts, playing the keyboard and catching up with family and friends.