A Nurse’s Life

After recently celebrating the Midwifery and Nursing Awards it seemed timely to acknowledge these dedicated and skilled men and women who provide quality and compassionate care 24/7, 365 days a year. With nurses and midwives at CM Health numbering over 3000, they are a valued and vital part of our workforce. Over the years, nurses and midwives have been agile and flexible to grow with the needs of the organisation and the people they serve. While their skills, specialties and roles may have changed over time, the community spirit that was forged back in those early days when the hospital first opened in 1947 remains. So what was it like to be a nurse in 1947? Who better to take us on that journey than Esme Green (nee Montgomery) – Middlemore Hospital’s first trainee nurse?

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Risk management is everyone’s business

The Titanic is an extreme, yet useful example of what can happen when you don’t have a risk management plan in place. In 1912 the Titanic, the ship that many thought was unsinkable struck an iceberg and within three hours sunk to the bottom of the North Atlantic. An inquiry of why the titanic sunk identified three contributing factors: the men in the crow’s nest did not have any binoculars, poorly cast wrought-iron rivets caused the steel plates on the hull to come apart and the engines were underpowered to turn for the size of the ship. The result – they didn’t see the iceberg in time and when they did they couldn’t change direction fast enough. The unsinkable ship sank, because they hadn’t evaluated the risks properly.

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Getting your flu vaccine is easy, having the flu is not

Influenza-160x160-2Brace yourself folks – the flu season has arrived, which can bring the dreaded running nose, scratchy throat, cough, body aches, a high fever and thumping headache of the seasonal flu.  The good news is you can easily help protect yourself and your loved ones by getting the flu vaccine.

Talking from personal experience you don’t want to get the flu? You feel absolutely dreadful, everything hurts and your bed becomes your best friend. If there was a $100 note lying on the floor, chances are you couldn’t reach down to get it – that’s how bad you feel!

So why would you put yourself or your family through this, when a vaccine is available? Getting a flu vaccine only takes a couple of minutes out of your day. Getting the flu however, can mean time off work, not to mention missed events and opportunities.

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Becoming the best

Granny TestIf you or your loved one had to come into hospital, what kind of service or experience would you expect?  If you said good communication, consistent, safe and coordinated care, and being treated with kindness, respect and dignity, you wouldn’t be alone. In fact a large percent of our patients tell us that being treated this way makes a big difference to their overall quality of care and treatment.   So how do we know we are providing the service we would be happy for our loved ones to receive and if not, why not?

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Is starting a conversation about death and dying a kind thing to do?

Dr Joe Hancock

Dr Joe Hancock

Saturday (16 April) is Conversations that Count Day – a national initiative led by a co-operative of hundreds of people across New Zealand’s health system that is encouraging us to have a ‘Conversation that Counts’. That is, talk to those we care about and with those who will care for us as the end approaches about what we would want for ourselves.

Blogging with me today is Joe Hancock a senior medical officer who works in the Renal Department. Joe has an interest in Advance Care Planning (ACP) and end of life. This is his view on why everybody should know the dying wishes of their loved ones.

Starting a conversation about death and dying, isn’t easy and I remember feeling like an unwelcome intruder as I spoke to a gentle and polite Samoan man about ACP.

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Ask Geraint Anything

Questions for March/April

What is your favourite Manic Street Preachers album and what do you think happened to Richie?

  • Favourite album is Postcards from a Young Man and I think Richie is working in a fish and chip shop in Tawharanui

Mick or Keith (rolling stones)?

  • I’d have to say Keith, as like me he doesn’t like mornings!

What was your vision for CM Health when you first arrived, and how has this changed?

  •  I came to CM Health because of the people and the potential for creating a health system that provides the best health care locally and in NZ.  This vision hasn’t changed.

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Your family want you home happy and safe at the end of the day

ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand recently launched a series of television advertisements centred on health and safety in the work place. The campaign called ‘Home Time’ is designed to raise awareness about health and safety, and challenge Kiwis to make our workplaces safer and healthier for everyone. The advertisement showed workers returning home healthy and safe at the end of the day. It was a powerful message. As an organisation with over 6000 staff, CM Health takes health and safety very seriously and while safety is everyone’s business, there is a core team from Occupational Health and Safety who come to work each day to help people stay safe and well.

I’m joined by Bev Stone, Manager Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) to talk about the great strides her team has made.

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