By Lydia Mains, Pūkenga Kaiwhakahaere - Clinical Team Leader (Motueka to Mohua/Golden Bay)
A day in the life of a Tamariki Ora nurse can be unpredictable, but it’s always rewarding. Let me tell you about one of my recent days.
I arrived to visit a whānau for a 6-week check on a beautiful pēpi boy. He had thick locks of dark, shiny hair and his Mum looked great. The whole whānau came out to see me and watch the pēpi being checked, weighed, and measured.
During the check, the whānau started opening up to me about their own health issues and asked if I could help. The kuia wanted to know about her diabetes and the “nagging pain” she felt in her chest. Koro asked what he could do for the cramps he recently started developing.
When I checked their pēpi I found there was an extra crease in the baby’s hip and an inward turning right foot. Mum was concerned about recurring ear infections. I made a referral to the GP and, after the whānau asked questions and voiced some concerns about this, I reassured them that after the GP sees them, I’d be back to support them and answer any other questions.
By the end of my 90-minute visit, pēpi was sorted. I’d talked with kuia about her worries, figured out what the likely cause was and referred her to the GP. We also organised transport and logged the appointment in her diary. I promised koro I’d drop off some information on his questions later in the day on my way home, and he was pleased.
Whānau Ora really means caring for the health of the entire family. It was a long visit, but a very good visit for this whānau. I never know what I’ll be faced with but I enjoy having the chance to connect with whānau and offer my help and advice to everyone.
Two days later, this whānau dropped a box of apples off to the clinic, ka pai!