Dunedin nurses honoured at a Dunedin ceremony yesterday are
(from left) Shirley Bell, Bec Flamank, Jan Seuseu, Frances
McCaffrey, Gayle Lindley (guest speaker), Cathy Phillips,
Annie Marshall, Paula Sharp and Raewyn Hodgson. Photo by
As a former nurse who trained to be a doctor, Glen
Blackburn is well placed to assess both professions.
Speaking to an event organised for International Nurses Day
at Dunedin Hospital yesterday, the 78-year-old said she now
believed she should not have retrained in medicine.
Now retired in Mosgiel, Dr Blackburn had a successful career
in general practice after practising as a nurse. She had
gained an appreciation of the relationship nurses enjoyed
with patients, especially in hospital.
''The nurse is the closest to the patient,'' she said.
Patients picked up non-verbal communication from nurses to a
greater extent than what was said. Nurses had to prioritise
the needs of patients, and also had to take time out for
themselves to recharge.
''They may not remember your name or face, but they will
remember how much you cared for them,'' Dr Blackburn said.
Also speaking at yesterday's ceremony, Balclutha nurse
practitioner Gayle Lindley told the nurses about the ''long
difficult process'' of attaining the top tier nursing role.
She felt that if she could achieve the expert nurse
registration, others could.
Her ''journey'' to becoming a nurse practitioner included
stints in isolated West Coast communities, where she was the
only clinician on call.
Awards were presented to those who had demonstrated nursing
or midwifery excellence. The recipients were: Bec Flamank,
Nisha Yijayan, Cathy Phillips, Jan Seuseu, Shirley Bell,
Paula Sharp, Raewyn Hodgson, Frances McCaffrey and Annie