One of the best highlights of my nursing career

Otara Community Based Assessment Centre

Mary at Southseas Healthcare

My recent experience as the Operations Lead at the Otara Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) located at South Seas Healthcare was one of the highlights of my nursing career and one that will definitely be part of history.

The introduction of Covid 19 was a new concept that has made, and continues to make huge impacts globally.  The response from communities was incredible. The opening of the first Otara CBAC site on the 4 April 2020, displayed  partnership and collaboration as  health workforce from all disciplines, Pacific organisations, providers, communities, and other government sectors rallied together to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Although the pandemic was a challenging time throughout New Zealand and globally, there were many positive experiences that were encountered while working at the CBAC, which included:

  • Being able to serve our community – being based in Otara was awesome, it allowed for access to our Pasifika community and it was a privilege to reassure them, educate them and support them where needed
  • Collaboration and partnership – The unity that was witnessed through the gathering of different disciplines, allowed for the work to be delivered in a coordinated approach.  The health providers, Pacific providers, District Health Board’s, Primary Healthcare Organisations, Councils  and other Government agencies were extremely accommodating and allowed for resources to be utilised as best as possible
  • Family and friendship – The Otara CBAC team consisted of administration, traffic control, security, community support workers, registered nurses, information technology, data analysts and doctors.  Everyone had their role to play, and filled in the gap where possible.  South Seas Healthcare were able to assist and supported the process by allowing recruitment where required, family members were recruited to assist in administration functions and assist in the wellbeing hub that served the community.  The team became family and friendships were developed.  The staff were able to share their stories around the Covid 19 pandemic which were raw and heartfelt.  This allowed for the team to build stronger bonds that delivered quality service.
  • Innovation – The co-ordination of the CBAC was a trial and error process.  The Otara CBAC site were able to develop a process that saw thousands of people being tested at the station.  With the large numbers that were being swabbed, it had to allow for a system that would appear seamless. After observations and a few trials,  a system that reflected the high demands was implemented.

I would like to first and foremost thank our heavenly father for being in the midst of this situation.  Furthermore, acknowledgement to everyone that contributed to the operations and running of the Otara CBAC site.  I would also like to thank South Seas Healthcare for entrusting me to be a part of this journey.  Being able to serve our community, working in collaboration with health and government sectors, practising innovation and developing friendships were definite highlights that will remain through this experience.

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