Otago Daily Times
Henrietta built up nursing skills for 50 years
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.’’