"I absolutely love my nursing job. I came as an international student, it was a great opportunity for me - I loved meeting the many students of all different backgrounds and now I love working with my new Southern Health family."
Lourdes and her husband Sam live in Cheltenham, a bayside suburb of Melbourne, within walking distance of the hospital where she works. "We have a car but it is nicer and easier to walk. I work shift work so it is good to be close by," Lourdes explains.
Melbourne is Australia's most multicultural city, and Lourdes enjoys the opportunity to meet all kinds of people from many places through her study and work.
"I love working in Victoria, you can enjoy many different things and meet many interesting people," Lourdes said.
Lourdes carefully considered her options for studying overseas before choosing Melbourne, the city where some of her family had already chosen to live. She says she was easily convinced by the climate, good environment and friendly people.
"Living in Melbourne is wonderful. My family live here and I am the last to join them. I have been here for three years and it is great."
Southern Health is a large employer of health care professionals, who Lourdes contacted while she was studying in Melbourne. Soon after she commenced work as a nurse at Allenby, a mental health unit of Southern Health. Her job involved caring for 35 elderly residents, administering medication, and maintaining a true family environment by ensuring that residents were comfortable and felt safe and loved.
The work was challenging, but also very rewarding. Lourdes was praised by her supervisor who said, "Lourdes is a very caring, competent, thorough worker, she looked after the residents and their families very well."
Lourdes' supervisor said, "Southern Health has employed a number of international students. Their experience is of great wealth to our hospital. They make very willing nurses and quickly become part of the team. Southern Health also offers a lot of mentorship and support along with a very good staff development program offered to all of their staff."
Lourdes concurs, "The people I worked with were supportive and professional and the working conditions were very good."
Lourdes recently finished a one year full-time course in Counselling at Career Australia achieving her diploma.
When Lourdes and her husband are not working they enjoy dining out in the many restaurants of Melbourne, surfing the internet, watching movies at the local cinema, shopping or relaxing on an evening walk around Cheltenham.
"We have not travelled around so much yet in Victoria, but we know there are great places to visit. I visit my mum whenever I can. She is very proud of me working at Southern Health."
Lourdes is looking forward to a bright future in Victoria, "I want to stay here in Victoria and hope to start my new career venture as a Counsellor.”
"Australia is a very beautiful, peaceful place and a great place to live."