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Journals from NURS 298 PA Health Care in New Zealand

2010-01-10 Auckland District Hospital

Auckland District Health Hospital Our journey began in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand where a third of the population resides. Aside from the fact that New Zealand offers free healthcare, I am thoroughly impressed with how the healthcare system operates. The Maori, the indigenous people of the country, are well respected in the country. The influence of the Maori culture is fully apparent at the health care sites in New Zealand. We visited the mental health unit and the NICU at the Auckland District Health Hospital. Although these units differed immensely, I noticed a common theme. This theme is whanau which is Maori for family. Regardless of the location or state of the patient, the whanau is seen as priority over anything else. It was mentioned by a mental health specialist that the Maori treat the person as a whole rather than the person as an individual. This includes the patient and the influential family members who will contribute to the patients well-being. Something that really surprised me is how relaxed the mental health system feels in New Zealand compared to the U.S. Family members are allowed to stay overnight as they are a asset to the patients. There is a Ronald McDonald House attached to the hospital, with a similar purpose as a Ronald McDonald House in the States. It is a place where the family can stay while their loved ones are being treated in the hospital. One thing we found true of the hospital in Auckland is that patients travel from all over the country to receive the proper care and it is therefore necessary to have housing available for the family or whanau. Along with the Ronald MacDonald House, the NICU has parent rooms set up for parents and family members of infants who are in the NICU for an extended period of time. This hospital is conducive to the family and patient needs to make sure the patient is in their most comfortable environment so they can heal with their loved ones near. In my nursing practice, I will use what I have learned from the Maori culture to provide my patients with the most holistic care and do my duty in doing what is in the best interest of the patient and their family. I can take away the importance and influence of family and its connection to the healing process as one of the many things I learned through this visit. Mary Roth Nursing student Linfield College, Portland Campus

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