Connected Conversations | Chloe Caire
When her own chronic illness inspired Chloe Caire to pursue nursing, she knew she wanted to help other women through health issues that are often overlooked. Now in her third and final year, Chloe hopes her passion for health care and education will set her up for a rewarding career. In Chloe’s spare time, you’ll find her curled up with a good book, with her pet cats not far away.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
So, my name is Chloe. I'm 19 and I live in Burnside with my pet cats, Sparkles and Lulu. I left my home in the Adelaide Hills exactly two days after my 18th birthday to be closer to university and to grow my independence. I'm now heading into my final year of nursing at the University of Adelaide.
I was inspired to study nursing after becoming chronically ill when I was 14. I want to be able to help others who went through the journey I went through. Outside of university, I'm pretty busy! You'll often find me working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital as an Assistant in Nursing—mainly in the stroke and neurology wards which is so rewarding. Loving your job makes it incredibly easy to go to work every day. On my days off, you'll find me relaxing at the beach or curled up with my cat in bed reading a good book. I love dystopian tales—I think my all-time favourite is the Handmaid's Tale. Although quite dark, it has some great underlying messages—some which are oddly prophetic.
Why did you choose the University of Adelaide for your studies?
I decided to study at the University of Adelaide because it had a reputation of having the best nursing program and graduate employment rates in South Australia. I wanted to have a lot of hands-on learning experience and I thought the University of Adelaide was my best opportunity to do so, as it puts more emphasis on clinical placements than other universities in the state.
What has been your journey to get where you are today?
I actually have a number of unpredictable chronic illnesses, such an endometriosis, fibromyalgia, postural orthostatic tachycardia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. These illnesses cause ongoing pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties, whichsometimes require surgical intervention. Learning to balance those with my studies can be challenging at times. I’m super lucky that all the staff at the University are so supportive and accommodating.
What inspired you to pursue a career in health?
It was actually my own journey with chronic illnesses that inspired me to pursue a career in health. I hope to one day work in either gynaecology or obstetrics and help women through health issues which, for so long, have been overlooked.
What do you love most about studying at the University of Adelaide?
I love studying at the University of Adelaide because there is such a welcoming campus culture which encourages students to participate in events, extracurricular opportunities and volunteering. It’s a great way to explore new cultures and activities to further develop yourself. I am also really lucky to be studying in the Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences (AHMS) building, which has amazing facilities that make attending classes, especially practicals, very immersive!
Have you ever had a life-changing experience?
I've had a few life-changing experiences. I won’t bore you with the details, but my life has been quite the rollercoaster. Despite some less-than-ideal events occurring, I wholeheartedly believe that everything happens for a reason and it's all a part of the bigger plan. At the time, we might not know why something is happening but, when the time is right, our questions are answered. The hardships I’ve experienced have given me a newfound appreciation and outlook on life, taught me the strength we all carry, and shown how resilient we can be if we dig deep enough.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
This is a tricky one because I'm quite an open book. I pride myself on being unapologetically myself. People can take me for me, or leave it—everything’s on the table. Something people may not know about me is, before coming to university, I pursued dance, primarily classical ballet, for a number of years. When I was 15, I also completed a Certificate III in teaching dance. I love dancing, but the time demands of classical ballet made me rethink my priorities. I would love to maybe take up social dancing. Salsa seems like a lot of fun!
What are your top café/restaurant recommendations around Adelaide?
My go-to is for desserts Lukoumades! I am obsessed with their strawberry and milk chocolate waffles! Before last year, I had actually never tried waffles and I honestly have no idea how! They are so yummy! My favourite place to eat a meal, which does not consist of pure sugar, is definitely Hey Jupiter on Ebenezer Place. It’s such a gorgeous little French-inspired café and restaurant, the food is always delicious, and the staff are so wonderful. My favourite dish is their steak or maybe the breakfast eggs and bacon. I can’t decide!
What’s your dream job?
My current career aspirations are to become a registered nurse and registered midwife. Upon completing my Bachelor of Nursing, I hope to go on to midwifery, my endorsement and then, down the track, hopefully some further research-based study.
I was recently lucky enough to attend an observation day with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which was incredible. I would love to look at pursuing this whilst I am still young!
I think my love for study will be a driving force to reaching my career goals. I am very fortunate to live in a country where education is easily accessible, and this is something I am continuously grateful for.