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Brenda Pearson is Waikato’s Nurse of the Year

Brenda Pearson is Waikato’s Nurse of the Year

Brenda Pearson wanted to mark the milestone of turning 50 by joining her sister Vanessa sipping champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower while watching the sunset over Paris.

Now thanks to her colleagues, the Waikato Hospital post anaesthetic care unit (PACU) registered nurse has two things to celebrate in Paris on 28 May.

Today she was named Waikato District Health Board’s nurse of the year by director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward during celebrations to mark International Nurses Day at Waikato Hospital.

Ms Pearson is holidaying in Europe with her sister and was told the good news on Friday during a Facetime interview with Mrs Hayward. It was filmed and will be on You Tube.

“To win this award has made this month unbelievable,” said Ms Pearson.

“Brenda Pearson continues to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, caring and compassion at a level that exceeds the normal after 30 years in nursing, while being actively involved in teaching student nurses, supporting her peers, encouraging advanced thinking and always caring for her patients,” said Mrs Hayward.

Ms Pearson, who turns 50 in October, began her nursing training at Palmerston North Hospital Board’s nursing school in 1982 and graduated in 1985.

“I always wanted to be a nurse and I’m the third generation from my family to go into nursing.

“Living and growing up on a semi-remote farm taught me the importance of managing a health crisis but also to be adaptable to use what you have in the cupboard and then making a decision on whether to escalate or not to get to hospital.”

She calls it number eight wire nursing with little resources much like when she travelled in Africa in 1988.

“I learnt at a very young age that knowledge/education of what to do in a health crisis is crucial for survival. That is why I value continuing to educate myself and keeping up to date with current practice and research-based evidence.

“The other aspects of farming were how a community bands together to achieve a goal and to support your neighbours, creating a great team ethos. That’s a value I still hold dear today,” she said.

“The other value I have is to respect and value people as everybody has something to contribute and to the team from the student nurse to the senior anaesthetist including every patient you meet.

“What makes me passionate about nursing is doing the very best by the people I have contact with to ensure their journey is as smooth as possible and delivering the best care I can with informed knowledge to support the decisions made,” said Ms Pearson.

PACU is where people recover immediately after surgery until they are awake and stable enough for transfer.

Award Criteria:

A registered nurse who has contributed and made a real difference to the area they work in. This difference would be related to improved patient safety, patient experience and the way nurses in their area work. The nomination must include the example or examples of how nurse has achieved this and what it has meant for their nursing team.

Comments from nominees:

Brenda has worked tirelessly to explain to patients, their families and other staff groups what our “point of difference” is as PACU nurses; what our purpose in delivery suite is and how, as a team, we can make a positive impact on the care provided to this patient group.

Brenda has coached, mentored and supported the entire PACU team; she’s been a sounding board, a teacher, the voice of reason and the best person to liaise with the wider group in order to identify key issues and raise them with management teams in order that they be addressed.

Brenda is a highly skilled PACU nurse and having her as a constant person in the delivery suite means she has been able to develop relationships with key personnel and share the rationale behind what we do.

Brenda really deserves to be recognised by the wider nursing community as a true leader and, in my opinion, a real star.

Brenda is an exceptional and passionate nurse who delivers excellent nursing care, supports and educates staff, and rises to the challenge to make changes to improve the unit and the patient journey.

Brenda is a leader in our area that role models the essential qualities of an expert nurse, looking beyond the job at hand, to the wider perioperative services and DHB.


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