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Journals from Jan Term - NURS 298 Health Care in New Zealand

2013-02-06 Rotorua Hospital: Patient Centered Care


In Rotorua we experienced our first complete hospital in New Zealand. However, this wasn’t a typical hospital that we knew of in America because of the infusion of culture and how that influences the care of the patients. In fact, there was an entire program dedicated to traditional Maori healthcare available for all New Zealanders. Within that program is a very powerful metaphor that is instrumental in how care is administered and why they do what they do. Picture a house with four walls. Now answer this question, what is holding up, not just the roof, but the entire house as a whole? The answer to this question, according to the Maori people, is the four walls and those four walls represent the various aspects of their healthcare system such as spiritual care, mental health, and physical health. In essence, the Maori healthcare system encompasses much more than just the physical facets of healthcare, like the American healthcare system focuses more on. Also, the fact that they do so much more for their patients than simply the physical care says a lot about how much more they care about their patients. I feel like this could help the American healthcare system because if our healthcare officials were looking at people’s health from multiple perspectives, they could improve a number of lives. However, because there are so many different types of cultures and religions, it would be very difficult to actually apply this type of cultural care to the United States. Nevertheless, when it comes to my future career, I still think that I could look at care as more than just a physical thing in order to help people in a number of ways. At the same time, though, I would have to respect other people’s beliefs and make a concerted effort to not offend anybody based on my own biases. 


Colin O'Brochta

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