CHT Events & News
CHT shares special stories in celebration of International Nurses Day
International Nurses Day, celebrated around the world each year on 12th May (Florence Nightingale’s birthday), raises awareness and recognition of the enormous contribution that nurses make to our communities.
For many families the end of a loved one’s life is an especially meaningful time when encounters with nurses leave indelible memories. We are very proud of the dedication, care and compassion of all our staff, in particular our nurses, in providing comfort and support to all our residents and their families.
Nursing in residential aged care can be both uniquely challenging and rewarding, with countless tales to be told. To celebrate International Nurses Day we are sharing the stories of just a handful of our many nurses – each with their own experiences and perspectives.
Megan Thorne, Unit Manager, CHT Acacia Park Home & Hospital
Taking on a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the age of 37 with her youngest child being 18 months old was a juggling act for Megan, but after her first couple of shifts as a caregiver it signalled a turning point in her life, and she is enjoying a rewarding career in nursing.
Starting out as a caregiver at Acacia Park 17 years ago, Megan has worked her way up as a Clinical Leader, Clinical Co-ordinator and now Unit Manager. She has also turned her hand to jobs as a kitchen hand, cook, cleaner and in the laundry – almost every role available.
Megan is also a volunteer Medical First Responder with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, a position that she is also very passionate about as it allows her to use her skills as a nurse and help those in need, finding it as rewarding as working with the elderly.
Megan attributes her love of nursing to having the empathy and drive to really give it her all plus having inspiring role models who encouraged her to follow her passion.
Asena Wainiqolo, Senior Nurse, CHT St Johns Hospital
Growing up in Fiji, Asena was introduced to nursing at a very young age as she tagged along with her older sisters, both nurses, on hospital visits and even delivering babies in the outer islands.
After initial roles in theater and psychiatric nursing, Asena took a job at CHT St Johns Hospital and has been a steadfast member of staff for the past 17 years. As a resource nurse for last days of life, Asena feels a strong sense of privilege to be part of the end of their journey and truly believes that little things make a big difference for the residents she cares for.
Jeanette Coyle, Senior Nurse, CHT St Margarets Hospital
Literally part of the furniture, Jeanette began working at St Margarets 29 years ago after popping in to see if there were any jobs available and starting just two weeks later. Jeanette has worked in aged care for her entire career since training at age 16, firstly in Tauranga and then in Auckland including working night shifts in a rest home while raising her children.
Her favourite aspects of working in nursing include the opportunity to care for residents and their families and making life-long friends through nursing. Coming to work in a supportive, beautiful environment also makes it rewarding for Jeanette.
With a daughter now also in nursing, Jeanette says it takes a special person to work in aged care – you need to be a caring, compassionate and patient.
Jenny Vollmer, Unit Manager, CHT St Johns Hospital
As CHT’s longest service Unit Manager – 11 years and counting – Jenny reminisces about her early years as a young nurse in her native South Africa (a profession suggested to her by her mother, also a nurse) and her passion for working in aged care.
Starting off in general and surgical nursing, Jenny moved into frail care and specialised in geriatric care including nine years working in the UK. An opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand with her family to take up a CHT Unit Manager role gave Jenny a wonderful opportunity for a new challenge and now she even cheers for the All Blacks!
Social connection, learning about a person’s history and culture and getting to know the whole family are aspects of nursing that are very special to Jenny.
Lest we forget – CHT commemorates ANZAC Day
CHT Units throughout the Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions commemorated ANZAC Day with a number of special events and activities. From visits by local RSA and Probus members to retired serviceman residents, to church services and wreaths, right through to creating memory walls and entertainment from the war-time era, this special day was a chance to remember and be thankful for those who fought for our freedom.
Hand-made treasures bring in a crowd at CHT St Margarets
Local artists and crafters made up the 20 stalls at the CHT St Margarets Hospital Community Craft Fair on Sunday 18 March, attracting a steady stream of visitors during the event. Refreshments and a sausage sizzle were also popular as visitors browsed and bought from sellers boasting a myriad of hand-crafted items including knitting, soaps, toys, ornaments and jewellery.
CHT Lansdowne Home & Hospital – Chinese New Year Celebrations
In celebration of Chinese New Year, CHT Lansdowne Home & Hospital staff created a captivating display at a community festival to drive awareness and engagement amongst the local people. Free blood pressure tests, treats for kids and information packs, as well as professional looking decorations made their participation hugely successful with over 200 people visiting the CHT stall during the festival. Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff were also on hand to ensure that communication with festival visitors was as welcoming as possible.
CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital hosts special wedding
An extra special afternoon was in store for CHT Hillcrest Home & Hospital residents and staff as the celebrated the wedding of Howard and Lia. Howard’s grandmother raised him as a youngster and as she was unable to travel to his home in Australia, they brought the wedding to her! The CHT Hillcrest team transformed a lounge area, decorated the space beautifully and provided afternoon tea for nearly 60 guests.
CHT Amberlea bring joy to locals at Christmas
CHT Amberlea Home & Hospital created an unique way to make sure no elderly people on their own went without a gift at Christmas, by packing shoe boxes with treats and helpful items. Members of the community, including local businesses, donated items and packed the 40 boxes which were then distributed throughout the community by Dr Warwick Palmer.
Orewa Santa Parade Stars CHT Farmyard
CHT Halldene staff wowed the crowd at the 2017 Orewa Santa Parade with a wonderful group of farmyard friends, inducing miniature ponies and Clydesdale horses, in celebration of their community.
Te Puke youngsters sprinkle kindness on CHT Glynavon residents
With strong harmonising voices, nine children from Fairhaven Toitoi Manawa Immersion Unit visited to sing to CHT Glynavon residents on Tuesday 12 September, choosing tunes that the elderly reisdents remembered from days gone by.
The children also made Kawakawa massage oil and massaged the resident’s hands while they talked to each other about their lives and experiences.
These children are learning the value of Manaaki Tanga – caring for others, and putting this into practice by learning massage and to be gentle and caring. The children said it is one of the best things they have done , commenting “we have sprinkled kindness” onto the older folks.
CHT Glynavon residents, and kids alike, spent the morning smiling, laughing and will be returning soon for another visit. A couple of the kids mentioned they didn’t have grandparents of their own and wanted to adopt the residents as their own!