Understand the issues and act, nurse urges

Intensive-care nurse Pam Adams says she sits quietly most of the time, but is not prepared to let anyone "steal" Dunedin's neurosurgery service.

Today, she is urging others to join her in making a noise about the need to keep the service in Dunedin for the benefit of all Otago and Southland.

While people had a variety of options for action, she suggested they read as much as they could about the issue, understand it and then act in whatever way they thought best.

The aspects she raised about the need to retain services were just scratching the surface of all the issues involved, she said.

Her preference would be for people "to get on to their MPs".

She emphasised it was not just an issue for Dunedin, but something which affected patients in rural areas.

People in remote areas of Otago and Southland were already at a greater risk of delay in receiving care and siting all neurosurgery in Christchurch would just increase that risk.

Ms Adams, who has more than 30 years' nursing experience, has worked in the intensive-care unit for the past 10 years, and for four years she has also been a flight nurse, travelling with the ICU team to retrieve patients to bring them to Dunedin Hospital.

While it could be a heart-breaking job, there was also the enormous satisfaction of helping desperately-ill patients improve.

She loved the team work that was an essential part of the job.

"It is absolute team work. You have a relationship with all of the doctors and consultants that you don't experience in other places.

"We are friends and colleagues. We trust each other all of the way."



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