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Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton Registered Nurse Susan O’Keeffe is hanging up her scrubs this International Nurses Day (12 May) after a 26-year career of caring for some of the most vulnerable people in the community.
Just as her mother did many years ago, Mrs O’Keeffe is passing the family’s nursing baton over to her daughter, Elizabeth, when she retires on Thursday.
“Mum was a dedicated nurse in the Rockhampton community for more than 20 years and it was one of the greatest highlights of my career to work alongside her as I trained as a nurse,” Mrs O’Keeffe said.
“When we lost mum in February, she was so proud to see Elizabeth following in our footsteps and carving out her own nursing career.
“As I am stepping back from my career, Elizabeth’s is just about to begin, and I am so proud – she is currently completing her final nursing placement here at Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton before hopefully qualifying as a nurse later this year.”
For the past 10 years, Mrs O’Keeffe has fulfilled the role of Nurse Unit Manager of Oncology at the hospital and says she has loved her work.
“I am often told the Oncology Ward is one of the happiest places in the hospital,” she said.
“We strive to create a happy and positive environment for our patients, despite the sadness of their situations and the tremendous journeys they are experiencing.
“I have enjoyed the privilege of working with some of the most vulnerable patients in our community and helping to brighten their days wherever I can.”
Mater Private Hospital Executive Officer Sue Thurbon said Mrs O’Keeffe had been an asset to the hospital, its staff, and its patients over the past decades and she will be sorely missed.
“Susan has contributed so much to the community in her 26-year tenure here at Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton, “Ms Thurbon said.
“International Nurses Day is an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and dedication of all nurses and their contribution to our community.
“This year’s celebrations will be even more memorable as we farewell one of our longest serving members of staff.”
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