Associate director of nursing for Mental Health & Addictions Services
Hayley’s job is to ensure Mental Health & Addictions Services (MH&AS) staff have the skills and capacity to deliver best practice care to the individuals and whānau who use our service. The role has a professional focus and primarily is about maintenance and growth of a strong nursing culture which harnesses and values the contribution of nurses to build workforce capability, readiness and capacity.
The strategic focus for her role as associate director of nursing (ADON) for the MH&AS is:
- Working in partnership with service leads to deliver high quality nursing care
- Accountability for quality improvement programmes and initiatives to ensure safe and high-quality nursing care
- Encouraging and developing thinking that will transform the patient experience within our service
- Playing a key role in striving to eliminate health inequalities and the achievement of health equity
Taranaki DHB Mental Health & Addictions Services
We have about 200 FTE to staff areas that include an inpatient ward (Te Puna Waiora) and several community teams:
- CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- Adult Community North
- Adult Community South
- ABC (Assessment and Brief Care)
- MHSOP (Mental Health Services Older People)
- AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs)
What inspires you to keep doing your work?
Knowing that you can truly make a difference. The needs of the service user and their family/whānau sit at the heart of my practice and I have a passion to ensure they are getting the very best service we can deliver. To help realise this means supporting staff through training opportunities, best practice standards and sound clinical supervision practices.
I acknowledge the difficulties experienced by staff in these challenging times and helping them keep their passion for nursing is critical.
Personally I’m inspired to continue work to de-mystify and destigmatise mental illness. There’s still a huge amount of stereotyping and discrimination around mental illness. Mental illness is not ‘ring fenced’ – it can touch anyone’s life or whānau, it definitely does not discriminate. It’s no respecter of persons – it can touch every level of society, from short-term stress reactions to long-term chronic and enduring conditions.
The biggest challenges?
Judgmental attitudes towards people who suffer from mental distress.
I remember the first ever university paper I did before I went nursing, in human development. I learnt about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory which always resonated with me. Some of the people I’ve nursed over the years don’t even have their basic physiological and safety needs met. They don’t have access to good housing or whānau support, let alone are able to establish a sense of belonging. I’m constantly reminded of the adage “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge”.
Where from to here?
I started as a registered nurse in Te Puna Waiora then moved into advanced practice, then leadership and management roles – most recently nurse manager. I’m always open to ongoing learning through both academic and clinical experience. I completed a Master of Nursing in 2013 and more recently a PG Cert in Leadership through the University of Auckland. I think it’s important to keep your mind open to learning.
What does the future hold?
I’ll continue to do what I love. I’ve always been a ‘right fighter’ and passionate about quality service delivery so no doubt I will keep on advocating for best practice and gold standard.