Livingston nurse leaves hospital position after 40 years of care

Samantha Hill

After serving the community for over 40 years, one Livingston nurse retired from her position to explore the world.

Suzanne Page, of Livingston HealthCare saw her last day on April 28, which holds significance for her because it is both the anniversary of her mother’s death and her daughter’s birthday.

During her tenure, Page has seen an array of changes to the building, staff and technology of the place she grew to know as her home.

When she began her work in Livingston in 1974, she said she wore a white dress suit with a white hat, that often slipped off her head and poked people in the eye.  At the hospital’s former location on 13th Street, she worked on the two-floor facility providing various services.

She said there was one floor for intensive care and another for medical care. Page worked at both for years before realizing there was a need for another service at the hospital.

“I eventually worked to come up with an outpatient service department,” she said, learning to do minor surgeries that don’t require sedation.

Eventually she became interested in working with cancer patients and switched to working as an oncology nurse.

“People might consider it really sad work but to see them survive, they have given me more,” Page said.

She said the industry of health care has changed immensely since she began her nursing career.

Before coming to Livingston HealthCare, she started at a small research hospital, which she said “didn’t even have IV pumps.”

Now, nurses and doctors can communicate and connect records through the web. She even began wearing scrubs in the 80s versus the nurses uniforms but she still feels like the new outfits look like pajamas.

Page said initially moving from paper to online records was a bit of an arduous process but she feels it is worth it to provide patients with the necessary care.

Although she loved her career immensely, she realized recently that there was more to life than working and at 64 years-old she still wanted to see the world.

“I have been to quite a few continents but I just want to be able to experience quiet moments,” Page said while talking on the phone during a visit to Louisiana.

She laughed as she explained that she wasn’t expecting to leave, and even got another certification for her job last November.

“Sometimes you just know,” Page said.