A day in the life of an iwi provider recent graduate nurse

June 2015 Vol 15 (3)

Follow a day in the life of recent graduate nurses Courtney Fermanis from early morning crossfit to door-knocking as an outreach immunisation nurse for her iwi.

Courtney Fermanis ICON

5.30 AM WAKE: Waking up is probably the most difficult part of my day, especially when it’s dark and the weather’s miserable. However, the thought of missing crossfit motivates me to roll out of bed and chuck on gym clothes. Crossfit has got to be the most intense workout I have ever done, but the satisfaction of completing something impossible always puts me in good spirits and in perfect stead to tackle the day ahead. After a quick dash home, I rampage around the house hoping to find something decent to wear and then I’m out the door by 8.25am.

8.30 AM START WORK WITH MEETINGS: I’m finally at work and, if I managed to find clothes, I’ve made it on time. I love coming into work, seeing my work colleagues and hearing about their weekend adventures. Monday mornings are the best because we have a staff meeting and, as I’m last to report on my upcoming week, I’ve got enough time to eat breakfast. By the time the second meeting for the morning is underway, I’m really awake. We discuss up and coming groups, transports, health promotion and events etc.

10.45 AM QUICK CUPPA: When the meeting is over, we all get together to have a quick cuppa and a catch-up over the five-minute quiz in the paper.

11.00 AM DAILY ROUTINE: Now it’s time to get my daily routine underway: clearing emails, referrals and messages; checking the temperature of our vaccine fridge; making bookings and, as its Monday, the emergency bags are also checked, re-stocked and signed off. This routine is now automatic as I’ve been working as an outreach immunisation nurse for one year and seven months.

This has been my first job as a registered nurse and I feel lucky to be able to work for my iwi (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) and for my whānau here at Ora Toa. My student days at Whitireia feel like a lifetime ago; I guess that’s what happens when you are so comfortable in a workplace.

12.00 PM LUNCH: Yas! My favourite part of the day. I never bring my lunch as I’m always in a rush so I’m off to the Plaza to get sushi.

12.30 PM OUTREACH BEGINS: The afternoon is normally fun because my friend (who happens to be my support worker) and I head out into the community to vaccinate some babies. Today we are off to see a seven-month-old boy who is overdue for his five-month immunisations. This particular visit is exciting as – after a month of multiple phone calls and home visits – it is ‘mission accomplished’ as we have finally found him.

When I first started this job I found it really fun looking for children; the never-ending phone calls and turning up to empty houses made me feel like a detective and I enjoyed the challenge of finding other avenues to locate them. Now it’s a bit more frustrating, especially when you turn up and no one is home.

This particular visit, mum and baby are home and, after immunisation education and consent, we can finally vaccinate this child and bring him up to date with the national schedule. The style of vaccinating always depends on the mother’s preferences; this may mean vaccinating while the mum’s feeding or holding baby, but other times the mothers may not want to be part of the process at all. It’s good to have a support worker with me as she can hold the baby, support the mother or, the best part, distract the child (particularly the older children) so that vaccinating can be as stress-free as possible. It also makes vaccinating more efficient.

After vaccination, we wait 20 minutes to ensure that baby doesn’t have a serious reaction. It also gives us time to talk with mum to create a good rapport and to offer any support, advice or assistance that the family may need or want. Once we are happy with the child’s injection sites (and the mother knows who to contact if she is worried) we head back to the office to send all the information to their medical centre.

Then it’s back on the road – making sure our chilly bin is still at optimal temperature – to see our next client. This time, even though we called to remind them, no one is home and we leave a message in their letterbox for them to ring us. We won’t give up and will keep following them up until they are vaccinated. We use the freed-up time to stop off at a few more houses to try and locate other children before heading back to the office. By this time it’s 4pm and it gives me enough time to catch up on my workload, read and send emails and to also prep for the next day.

5.00 PM LEAVE WORK: I’m out of here to pick up my sister from the train station. We normally head to the supermarket and usually end up walking up and down the aisles until we find something we both feel like eating. We head home to eat our dinner watching the news and relax for the next hour. My sister is off to the gym and so I get up and go for a run with my dog, Honey. I love running at night because the air cools me down, which makes me run longer, and I’m able to keep up with my dog. Also, I love running past the harbour with all the streetlights illuminating the night sky. It makes the night feel so magical. After my run, I jump in the shower, chuck on my pjs and snuggle into bed to catch up on TV programmes I missed from last week.

11.00 PM TIME TO SLEEP

 

Post your comment

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments