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International Year of the Nurse and Midwife: Lucy Laird - Hawkes's Bay DHB

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

She had no idea how much she would love it. She puts a lot of that down to the supportive training environments provided by both EIT and Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

The Hastings-born and trained nurse graduated in 2014, aged 21, and after a stint in Auckland is now working at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Saudi Arabia, where she specialises in neurosurgery.

The day she knew without doubt that nursing was her passion, was the day she walked in for her first stint in theatre at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

"I liked all of my training, but in theatre it felt like my home."

The challenge, the pressure and the critical reliance on very tight teamwork were the elements she most enjoyed.

While nursing might not have been on Lucy’s radar from an early age, travelling the world definitely was. So, when the opportunity came up to use her Kiwi nursing skills abroad, there was little hesitation.

Arriving in Saudi Arabia was quite a culture shock for the then-25 year-old nurse but now, almost two years on, she says there is a lot to recommend it.

Not least being in a place in the world where, at least until COVID-19 struck, travel to a whole range of countries was so easy. She had already explored parts of 13 countries so far.

"There are things that take a bit of getting used to in Saudi - like the dress code when you’re out in public and being escorted everywhere - but you do get used to them. I’d advise any young nurse to think about their options, because New Zealand nurses are welcomed everywhere and it is fantastic way to see the world."

Will she come home? Lucy said that was quite hard to imagine at the moment, however she might well move closer to home, perhaps to Australia, where it won’t be so far to travel to see her Hastings-based family and friends.

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