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New Stuff series Hard Yakka recognises DHB staff you don't always hear about

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Cancer, day after day: the life of a medical oncologist

Alvin Tan’s not being arrogant when he says talking with him could be the most important five or ten minutes in a patient’s life. He’s a cancer specialist who could be telling someone they have the big C, explaining their treatment options, giving them a prognosis.

"For the patient you’re seeing on that day, this is their first time, potentially, meeting an oncologist team. This is the first time going through their cancer diagnosis," he said.

"That extra five or ten minutes to them, that’s the most important five or 10 minutes of their life, potentially."

‘I’ve been there’: Addict turns mental health and addictions nurse

Steven (Yi) Shen was hooked on cigarettes for 15 years.

He used to puff his way through ten or more a day, but he hasn’t smoked for the past two years.

In that time he has graduated with a nursing qualification, and spent almost a year helping others with their addictions.

The Waikato DHB mental health and addictions nurse still feels strong cravings.

Tears, hugs, and serious injuries in a day’s work for a trauma nurse

Jenny Dorrian got a lot of hugs in her years as a trauma nurse.

"I always say, you can have a free hug any time," she said.

"It doesn’t matter whether they’re run of the mill person or a run of the mill Mongrel Mob, Black Power … at some stage they need that hug."

Until her retirement in early August, Dorrian was a trauma clinical nurse specialist at Waikato Hospital, involved with the Midland Trauma System, which covers five DHBs.

Tales from an ED receptionist: 16 years of something different each day

26 October 2019

Kaiserina Ho Kum’s feet ached by the end of her first day working in ED.

Even receptionists in the Waikato Hospital emergency department can spend a whole shift standing.

She’s been on an overnight shift during which 50 people came in. "That’s a lot," the senior emergency receptionist said.

Capturing the incredible and the distressing: Life as a medical photographer

31 October 2019

Mark Forster-King’s career highlight was a marathon effort during surgery to separate conjoined twins.

He was wielding a camera, not a scalpel.

Forster-King has been a medical photographer for almost 30 years, and now leads the photography and audiovisual team of seven.

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