In March, Ko Awatea and Counties Manukau Health became involved in the Change Day NZ – a national health initiative designed to demonstrate how all health staff can take a simple action or enact a new idea to make a difference and improve outcomes for clients, consumers and patients, their families and their carers.
Ko Awatea’s Finance Manager Dr Doris Ching took Change Day NZ as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the clinical work which goes on around her at Middlemore Hospital.
My Change Day NZ pledge was to ‘Spend a day as an observer on a Hospital Ward’ because I wanted to gain a better understanding of the clinical side of our work – the people behind the figures.
Through my colleague (Ko Awatea Director of Innovation) Dr Lynne Maher, I connected with the clinical team in the Plastic Reconstruction & Hand Surgery Ward at Middlemore Hospital.
This was my first time on a ward as an observer, and my main takeaway was how passionate and thoughtful our clinicians are with their patients.
They see their patients as individuals –not just a NHI number.
My experience in the ward was fabulous. I was greeted by Clivena Ngatai, the Charge Nurse Manager who was busy with scheduling staff for the day. She provided a briefing on her routines. She is proud of her ward which offers excellent patient experience and care. Clivena took me to tour around the ward and met the team.
During my time on the ward I met an elderly patient – who was struggling to communicate how she was feeling to the clinical team. Fortunately I spoke her language and got to understand, both her patient journey, and the pressures our clinical teams face. Communication was very important, not just to treat her current medical issue but to provide support to ensure she was empowered to continue her full recovery even after leaving hospital.
Later Karen Coubray, the Nurse Educator gave me a summary of her role and the four levels of nursing competencies. Karen also showed me one of the cupboards which keep the leeches. Hundreds of leeches are stored in two containers. Each leech costs $24. Leeches can still alive without food (blood) up to 9 months. I also had a privilege to be present in the Charge Nurse Manager meeting as an observer. I now can see the pressure on hospital beds on a daily basis.
My personal experience on the ward was absolutely inspiring. By feeling and seeing the passion and enthusiasm permeating all corners of the ward I did truly get to understand the people behind the figures.
I would like to send my sincere thankfulness to Clivena and Karen who provide me with this invaluable experience.