Health is Pam’s priority
It’s not every day you meet someone who lights up the room like Pam Neilson does.
The passionate Matamata public health nurse has dedicated her life to helping others and has had more than 50 years’ nursing experience, most of which has been here in Matamata.
‘‘There hasn’t been a single day that I have woken up and not wanted to come to work,’’ she said. ‘‘It has been really good.’’ But the time has come for a new challenge and Ms Neilson finished up her last day of work on Friday, January 27, after 33 years as the public health nurse. Her role involved working closely with five-to18 year olds in local schools and families within the community.
‘‘We do a lot of health prevention and support the schools and community. We are a connection between the hospital and the community,’’ she said.
‘‘Our resources are in our knowledge. We ensure we do a lot of training and planning so we can work with families to ensure children get the ultimate health care.’’
The job which
off as mainly health promotion has developed significantly over the years in many ways with the introduction of technology and new policies. ‘‘I was the first nurse have a work cellphone.
‘‘It was a huge brick of a thing but we were working outside of hours and needed to have one.
‘‘ This was a big turnaround and soon we all had them,’’ she said.
Ms Neilson also played an instrumental part in helping the Raungaiti Marae near Waharoa become smoke free.
‘‘I lobbied the marae, it was a huge thing for me and they have still continued to uphold the no smoking rule there which has been great to see,’’ she said.
‘‘Another highlight I have had is seeing children learn and their reaction to the health presentations we do.’’
In all her years here she said it had been pretty smooth sailing with no major knockbacks or any barriers that she couldn’t overcome, along with a constant flow of support.
And it had been the staff she worked with that had made her job such a joy each day. ‘‘The staff here are amazing. ‘‘It has been a solid team which worked really well and that is the highlight of this environment,’’ she said.
With her desk packed into boxes and the last-minute things ticked off the list, it is time for Mrs Neilson to ‘‘take a long holiday’’ and enjoy her well-earned retirement.
Community gem: The humble Pam Neilson has always done her bit to make a difference in the Matamata community.