Nurses and midwives around the Midland region are celebrating International Midwives and Nurses Days in a variety of ways in May.
International Day of the Midwife is on Saturday 5 May with the theme, "The world needs midwives now more than ever."
Meanwhile nurses will rally to the theme: "Closing the gap: from evidence to action" on Saturday 12 May, the 192nd anniversary of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale's birth.
Around 48 million women give birth every year without a person with recognised midwifery skills. The tragic consequence is that 350,000 women die each year.
Waikato DHB clinical midwife director Corli Roodt said New Zealand has enough midwives to provide primary midwifery care.
"We also have skilled midwives in secondary/tertiary settings working in a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
Lakes DHB is marking both days on Thursday 10 May with their nursing and midwifery awards. Auckland University head of school nursing Judy Kilpatrick will be the guest speaker. There are seven different categories in the awards.
Taranaki DHB is having a staff quiz night celebrating both nurses and midwives.
"Staff love it and it always gets good support," says director of nursing Kerry-Ann Adlam.
There will be a special edition of the Taranaki DHB Pulse staff magazine celebrating nursing and midwives as well. Midwives will join with Active Birth Taranaki to watch "The Face of Birth" on Wednesday 9 May at New Plymouth Art House. The documentary is about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice by Kate Gorman. The film portrays beautiful birth stories and vital information for anyone considering giving birth.
Tairawhiti DHB is also having a quiz night, but on 11 May. At Gisborne Hospital, the DHB launched two nursing projects designed to improve productivity - Releasing time to care/Care capacity demand management - and is the first DHB in the country to introduce them at the same time.
Midwives will celebrate the recent launch of the new NewBorn resuscitation guidelines, said acting director of nursing Sonia Gamblen.
"The big project here is to install pipes for air so babies can get a blend of air and oxygen instead of just oxygen," she said.
At Bay of Plenty DHB the nurse educators will lead the activities which will include displays in the hospital corridors and entrances showing how nurses use evidence-based practice to inform their care.
The nurse practitioners are also linking into this year's theme to promote their specialty and the contribution they make to care delivery based on evidence.
Half of the world's deaths can be prevented with simple, cost effective interventions, said Waikato DHB director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward.
"Stronger emphasis needs to be placed not just on the discovery of new products, drugs and diagnostics, but on how we put our knowledge into best use," she said.
Waikato, which has 2854 nurses and midwives, will celebrate midwives day on 4 May with activities planned to celebrate midwives and the team they work in.
There will be a midwifery forum with guest speakers that include a rural midwifery presentation and how to balance work and life.
"We also embrace our next generation and have some midwifery students presenting at the forum," said Mrs Roodt.
For nursing day on Friday 11 May, the call went out for peers to recognise their colleagues/teams' contribution to the workforce.
"We've asked them to email their recognition along with a small piece as to why they are nominating the person or team," said Mrs Hayward.
Each will receive a certificate and be included on a roll of honour for all to see.
"We've also asked for posters and presentations based on the theme 'Closing the gap: from evidence to action'."
Each presentation is 20 minutes.
"We traditionally get great support from our nurses and midwives. This is always a day where we can celebrate being part of a wonderful profession and to acknowledge the role Florence Nightingale in laying the foundation for professional nursing all those years ago," said Mrs Hayward.
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