My Story – Elisabeth

Elisabeth, a retired Medcall nurse, on her childhood and career beginnings in Switzerland. 


We love to talk to our staff members about the career path that led them to their current role. Elisabeth, a nurse who was at Medcall for seven and a half years before retiring, had a particularly interesting career change – from chef to nurse. Today, she shares her story with us:

How long have you been with Medcall?

I was at Medcall for 7.5 years, and I’m retired now. All together, I worked as a nurse for 45 years.

How did you end up at Medcall?

Originally, I’m from Switzerland. Back in Switzerland I worked as a chef for a year and a half. I entered into that field because as a young woman I was told I’d need to learn to cook so I could be a homemaker as an adult. During my chefs training, I went to hospital twice. When I was there I observed the people working, and realised I wanted to be a nurse. I trained to be a nurse in Switzerland and worked in the geriatric sector there until I immigrated to New Zealand in 1999. I had to re-register as a nurse in New Zealand, then I worked at Matua Life Care for 10 years. When they had a change in ownership, I left and found a job at Medcall. I liked being able to say no to certain shifts or facilities – the freedom appealed to me.

Why have you always leaned toward aged care?

I’ve always been happy to look after old folks, and I’ve always felt like it came naturally to me.

What have you enjoyed about working at Medcall?

I’ve enjoyed meeting the patients – there have been many patients I’ve personally connected to throughout the years. Also, some of the facilities I’ve been able to work at have been wonderful, with extremely lovely staff. I always felt relaxed and focused on doing a good job because I wasn’t overworked. Overall, Medcall is made up of an awesome bunch of people who are very friendly.

Did you ever look back and wish you had continued working as a chef?

No, I never thought twice about being a chef after moving into aged care!

Do you have any advice for those looking to work in aged care?

I think young people need to follow their hearts because they’ll know in their hearts if being a nurse is the right job to do. It’s not for everybody, and it can be hard work physically and mentally - occasionally feeling like three jobs in one – but if it’s what you’re passionate about it’s worth it.

Thanks so much for speaking with us Elisabeth! We love to hear from our staff about their journey through caregiving and aged care. If you have anything you would like to share about your experiences working in the sector, we’d love to hear from you too! 

Ngā mihi nui.