Waking up before the crack of dawn to the sound of roosters, with a strange nurse cutout called Steve in my bed was not how I normally start my day. I’m used to early mornings, having worked shift work since I started nursing in 2010, but today things started a little differently. On a stormy and blustery autumn day on the south coast of Bluff, today was the day we launched the YesWeCare.nz campaign, highlighting the underfunding of the health service in New Zealand. A recent survey undertaken by health unions found an overwhelming 9 out of 10 people who work in health say they don’t have the staffing or resources to provide the healthcare kiwis need, when they need it.
This is of huge concern to me as someone who has chosen nursing as their career. I went into nursing to help people, but when I can’t help someone, even though I know I can due to issues of understaffing, it’s incredibly distressing. So I’ve put my nursing career on hold to travel round the country talking to local people about the risks faced by underfunding of our health service. I’m excited to meet people and hear their stories, even though they will likely not be easy to hear. But this is part of my role as a nurse, to advocate for my patients, and I see this as an opportunity to take that advocacy to a national level.
So with a blustery, wet and stormy sunrise on the launch day of our YesWeCare.nz campaign, we’ve had a bumpy (and a tad late, sorry wonderful wonderful volunteers) start to the campaign. Tomorrow we’re in Invercargill and Dunedin on day 2 of the roadshow.