Otago Daily Times

Hen­ri­etta built up nurs­ing skills for 50 years

- EMMA PERRY Society · Dunedin · Samoa · New Zealand · Invercargill · Southland Region · University of Otago · Otago · London · Mosgiel

AF­TER 50 years of nurs­ing, 73­year­old Henri Lan­dreth will be swap­ping the scrubs for so­cial ten­nis.

‘‘I’ve cer­tainly been at it a while,’’ she said.

Mrs Lan­dreth cel­e­brated her last day as an in­ten­sive care nurse at Dunedin Hos­pi­tal on Septem­ber 30 af­ter let­ting her prac­tis­ing cer­tifi­cate ex­pire.

‘‘It felt like the right time to go,’’ she said.

The Mos­giel wo­man was born in Samoa, and came to New Zealand in 1967 af­ter she was awarded a nurs­ing schol­ar­ship.

‘‘I al­ways wanted to be a nurse. Grow­ing up I read nurs­ing sto­ries and loved it.’’

She trained in Dunedin and grad­u­ated in 1970 and be­gan work in Dunedin Hos­pi­tal.

Upon meet­ing hus­band, Jim, she moved to Invercargi­ll and worked at South­land Hos­pi­tal in its emer­gency depart­ment for 12 years.

In 1985, she moved back to Dunedin and worked in the neu­ro­sur­gi­cal ward be­fore train­ing to be an in­ten­sive care nurse.

While work­ing and rais­ing chil­dren, she com­pleted a bach­e­lor of arts in ed­u­ca­tion from the Uni­ver­sity of Otago.

‘‘I’ve al­ways liked be­ing busy.’’

Mrs Lan­dreth was part of the sec­ond group to train in the he­li­copter re­trieval team, which rev­o­lu­tionised pa­tient care, and flew as an air nurse for 17 years.

‘‘I only stopped be­cause you had to do un­der­wa­ter train­ing and I’m not great around wa­ter.’’

She had worked in in­ten­sive care for 20 years, and said it was only with some re­luc­tance she was re­tir­ing.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant to make the most of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘I al­ways thought: if I’m healthy there’s no rea­son to stop work­ing . . . I come from a fam­ily that never stopped work­ing so it was in me a bit.

‘‘But with Covid and all the changes com­ing for the hos­pi­tal it seemed like the right time to stop.’’

She would miss the peo­ple she worked with and treated.

‘‘The pa­tients and peo­ple I work with are like a fam­ily that keeps chang­ing. So many peo­ple come and go, it’s never bor­ing.’’

‘‘I was told if a nurse walks into a room with a long face she makes a pa­tient feel worse, so I al­ways tried to fol­low [that ad­vice by never do­ing] that.’’

She was look­ing for­ward to play­ing so­cial ten­nis, stay­ing up late read­ing and hoped to travel soon to Lon­don to visit her daugh­ter.

‘‘I don’t think I’ll be bored.’’

 ?? PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN ?? Sad to go . . . Dunedin wo­man Hen­ri­etta Lan­dreth (73) is re­tir­ing af­ter more than 20 years in Dunedin Hos­pi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit.
PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN Sad to go . . . Dunedin wo­man Hen­ri­etta Lan­dreth (73) is re­tir­ing af­ter more than 20 years in Dunedin Hos­pi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit.

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