International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Kate %20ODwyer %20photo %20icon

2020 is the World Health Organisation year of the Nurse and Midwife.

To mark the occasion, we're profiling BOPDHB nurses and midwives who demonstrate excellence in leadership as well as the values of compassion, all-one-team, responsive andexcellence.

This month we spoke with Clinical Resource Nurse Kate O'Dwyer, from the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOP PHO) or WBOP PHO Aged Residential Care Team.

Being a finalist in the 2020 New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards, He Tohu Mauri Ora, is something Clinical Resource Nurse for Aged Residential Care (ARC) Kate O'Dwyer is immensely proud.   

Kate was one of the drivers of Project ERAD - the early recognition of acute deterioration in ARC residents - which was a finalist in the Pharmaceutical Society Innovation in Service Delivery Award.  

"One of the most exciting times in my role was driving that project with the Nurse Practitioner," she says. "Knowing the hard work and effort was acknowledged for the Nurses and Health Care Assistants involved in the project made it all worthwhile."

Aged care has always been a passion of Kate's and something she has been involved with throughout her nursing career. Kate started working as a caregiver in aged care when she was just 15 and worked in rest homes and home-based care while she did her nursing training.

"My roles in district nursing and in the hospital saw me caring for older people and that is definitely where my passion lies. There is a big need for skilled nurses in aged care, an area that is often not seen as an attractive area to work but it is. You get a lot out of it and some really complex medical cases too," she explains.

Kate has been in her current role coming up two years, providing clinical support and education to the aged care workforce. Prior to that she was working for Tauranga District Nursing.

During the COVID-19 lockdown Kate was part of a small team, working with Nurse Practitioner Rosie Winters providing support to the 34 Bay of Plenty ARC facilities, ensuring they had the necessary information and PPE, and setting up a COVID-19 testing process for the facilities.

"It was a hugely anxious time. I already knew the facility managers and the staff so was able to give them support and they appreciated having someone to be able to call. Everyone was finding their feet as to how you respond, and it was about really getting the communication out to them."

Last updated: October 29, 2020