As we continue our celebration of VCH-Vancouver working families, we meet a mother and son and two sisters who are proud to call VGH their home away from home.
“VGH is the best. It's a great place to work!"
That was the pitch Kelly-Anne Karse made to her son Adam when she learned of an opening in Area Supply at the hospital she considers her home away from home.
Kelly-Anne, head nurse of the operating room (OR) control desk at VGH, first joined VCH in 1986, coming and going with the births of her four children and a short stint at Fraser Health.
“The thing I love best about my job is the people," she says. “I've known some for over 30 years and think of them as family; they're very good friends."
Adam joined that side of the “family" when he began work as an inventory supply technician. He's saving money for a trip to China where he hopes to train as a kung fu instructor.
“After that, I'm hoping to follow in my mom's footsteps and become a nurse," he says. “But I'd like to start out in combat medicine or with Doctors Without Borders. I'd love to make working at VCH my end game… the place where I'd pursue my practice."
“Adam's the only one in our family who understands what I do," adds Kelly-Anne, “and I've learned about his department and that's built more good relations."
The mother and son cross each other's paths occasionally at work, but most people don't realize they're related. “We're both hard workers and we don't go out of the way to find each other, although mom would probably like it if I came by to have lunch," Adam says with a grin.
Rowie Chong and Rackie De Traversay have called VGH their second home for more than a decade. The dynamic sisters are both nurses: Rackie, nurse coordinator, works with Kelly-Anne in the ORs and Rowie works nearby in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).
“We work the same shift alongside each other occasionally," says Rowie. “We're very professional when we're at work. We collaborate well together to ensure efficiency in our delivery of care."
Rackie, who is older, trained in the Philippines and joined the team at VCH in 1999.
“I encouraged Rowie to aim for a more acute setting and she came to work here in 2001," says Rackie. “The acuity, the challenges, the exceptional care and the amazing team of people we work with are what we both love best about our jobs."
“We were always playing doctors, nurses and patients when we were children," remembers Rowie. “We were inspired to work in health care by our aunts and an uncle who worked in medical fields."
“There are no downsides to working together," says Rackie. “In fact, we enjoy it because there are more opportunities to interact."
“We're continually gaining knowledge, skills and experiences," she adds. “We've developed lifelong relationships with our amazing colleagues. VCH is our second home and our colleagues are part of our family."