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Wellington Regional Workshop Saturday 3rd March

...the day the 'weather bomb' hit Wellington with a vengeance. Local nurses Tanya Dunn, Paula Baynes and Hilary Black had arranged a programme designed to cover some of the problems encountered following disasters and had invited speakers who had responded to events in Christchurch and Australia. Of the 11 nurses expected, four were unable to attend due to the conditions and we congratulated those who travelled some distance for their determined efforts to join us.

A panel of three, Major David Bennett, Salvation Army National Coordinator for Emergency Services, Major Wendy Barney, Salvation Army Divisional Secretary for Community Ministry, and The Reverend Jean Malcolm from St James' Anglican parish Lower Hutt spoke of their experiences in Christchurch and Australia providing both practical help with meals, emergency packs, access to clean water and washing facilities, and spiritual and psychological support. Harrowing anecdotes and sights provoke lasting reminders and high priority was placed on emergency teams de-briefing every night and only spending 5 days onsite before being flown out to have respite. Imagine the stress on citizens unable to get away from their broken lives and homes. There were many questions and useful discussion following this session. Fay Clarke, Salvation Army Personnel Research and Project Officer, lead a very useful session on recognising boundaries in our work and the importance of supervision. Small group exercises and sharing of experiences helped clarify our practice and areas of need. Once again there were questions and discussion giving time to listening to individual members.

Hilary Black spoke about her recent visit to parish nurses in England made possible by a $1000 travel fund from Capital Coast Health, Wellington. This was an International Nurses Day Award in recognition for professional and clinical excellence in primary health care.  As in New Zealand parish nurses in UK develop their local practice according to perceived community need and their own nursing background, experience and expertise. It was fascinating and refreshing to meet dedicated women making a real difference not only in their own church but also the local community.

Comments on evaluation sheets indicated that the participants felt the day was worthwhile and helpful in going some way to prepare for catastrophic local events.
-- Hilary Black

Hilary Black Parish Nurse Onslow Anglicans Member of the New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association NZRN Accredited Practice Nurse

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