Clinical nurse manager, Taranaki Base Hospital Emergency Department
My job is to manage the day to day running of the Emergency Department (ED) and support the whole ED team to ensure our patients have excellent and safe care.
I’ve been a nurse for 22 years and I still think the best thing about my career is the feeling I get when I’ve made a positive difference to patients’ lives and their families.
I come from a strong lineage of nurses. My grandmother was a nurse in World War I and nursed my grandfather back to health when he returned from fighting in France.
My great aunt was a famous nurse in New Zealand and China – Kathleen Hall, who set up a hospital in China during World War II and risked her life helping get mule trains of medical supplies through Japanese checkpoints. She attended to wounded soldiers, as well as recruiting nurses for the army and bringing them up through the mountains in China to her hospital.
One of the highlights of my career is when I worked in the private King Edward VII’s Hospital for Officers in London when the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret were patients there. The media presence and security was intense. I remember hearing the media outside the hospital window at night practising their speeches in preparation for the death of the Queen Mother.
Another memorable time was at Middlemore Hospital ED on a busy evening. A patient under arrest managed to overwhelm police and sprayed pepper spray throughout the whole cardiac monitored area before being restrained by one of our male charge nurses.
I’m inspired to go to work each day by being able to support my team helping patients who come into ED often at the most vulnerable times of their lives, and making their journey a bit easier.