Meet our team: Rajeshwari Tanneru
|Rajeshwari Tanneru, Quality/OHS Coordinator at Mercy Place Parkville, with her husband |
Who are you?
What is your role?
Mercy Place Parkville
What does your role entail?
I support our manager in the maintenance of quality systems and processes. This involves coordinating and contributing to the set up of quality/safety systems in the new 140 bed aged care facility located in Parkville. I am also responsible for implementing an annual occupational health and safety plan to ensure the maintenance of regulatory compliance.
My position involves reporting hazards, near misses and injuries immediately and conducting risk assessments when risks are identified. It is my job to identify, assess and control any hazards or risks. I coordinate the collection of information related to staff orientation and training, coordinate the audit process, and process improvement and incident forms.
How long have you been in this role?
I have been working in this role since October 2009.
Why is your role important to you?
I have a passion for working in management/admin as my background is in engineering. I take my duty of care towards residents seriously and see this as an opportunity to improve my skills.
What is your background?
After receiving my Bachelor Degree in Engineering in India, I felt like I could rule the world. I’d achieved my dream. I married my husband and we decided to come to Australia. For the first time, after arriving in Australia, dreams of ruling the world quickly dissolved as I had no job and no money in my pocket. I only had minimal financial support from some members of my family already living in Melbourne.
Deciding to settle in Melbourne to be near my family, my first priority was to secure an income. I enquired about the Certificate III in Aged Care course; initially it was about earning money and nothing else − my husband and I needed financial security.
After I had finished my Certificate III, I started working as a casual employee, then moved to part time. In the beginning I did not feel comfortable working as a carer; it caused me lot of stress because I never thought I would become a carer in my life. However a change occurred within me when I shared a very special moment with a resident who was in her final moments of life. She took her last breath in my hands and at that very moment my heart let go of engineering and chose a higher purpose. My heart opened and filled with compassion and respect towards the elderly. I eagerly looked for an opportunity to work full time with permanent shifts, which I achieved. I went on to receive many appreciation certificates and the Best Employee Award.
Management then asked me to be involved in continuous improvement planning. I found my balance in this work which drew on both my passions and strengths − my analytical mind from engineering and my open heart in caring. I knew I could make a real difference in the care of the residents. This experience and my love of continuous improvement planning gave me the opportunity to be chosen for the role of Quality/OHS Coordinator at Mercy Place Parkville.
I believe if we have compassion, respect and devotion in our career, we can achieve anything in our lives − it happened to me. My biggest achievement was when during accreditation at the facility, one of the auditors commented that she loved my work ethic. I achieved this with a lot of support from Mercy Health, my husband, my colleagues and of course my close friends. Now I have my own beautiful house, a gorgeous baby and my dream profession at the same time. I always tell my nearest and dearest friends that Mercy has given me life.