She’s been taking blood for 40+ years
When Debbie Wishnowsky was 16 years old she gave in to her mother’s nagging and applied for a job at Ha¯ wera Hospital.
And now, after more than 40 years, she’s closing the door on her medical career.
Wishnowsky is a qualified phlebotomy technician and has carried out blood tests and taken specimens for 41 years.
‘‘There’s been times, like with every job, that you think you’d like to do something different but then it’s just like such second nature now,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t do it with my eyes shut, but you just do it automatically.’’
For 18 years Wishnowsky worked in the hospital laboratory.
She said it was very ‘‘hands on’’ and required a lot of overtime and being on call.
In 1994 she applied for the job at Taranaki Med Lab inside what is now known as Mountview Medical in Ha¯ wera, and had been there ever since.
The centre took blood from 50 people a day on-average and Wishnowsky said she had a lot of recurring patients.
‘‘The other day a lady found out that I was leaving,’’ Wishnowsky said.
‘‘She said ‘oh I remember when I was pregnant and I had to come in every week and have bloods, often you took my blood’ - her child is now 17.’’
Wishnowsky is not sad she’s leaving, but knows there are people who will be disappointed.
‘‘If you’ve got normal veins it’s no big deal - you come in, you have a needle in your arm and it’s over and done with,’’ she said.
‘‘But for people who have difficult veins it is a much more traumatic experience.
‘‘I have a few people who want to put me on their speed dial so that if they end up having to go to hospital in the ambulance they can ring me next so that I can meet them there.’’
Luckily for Wishnowsky she doesn’t have a fear of needles or blood, but gets a regular reminder of the feeling.
‘‘They make us have a blood test regularly so we don’t lose touch of what it’s like.’’
Baking, gardening and ‘‘normal stuff’’ are on the cards for Wishnowsky, who will now focus on office work for her and her husband’s business.
She was already doing the office work and felt like she almost had two jobs.
‘‘Something had to give and I decided that it was my time [at Med Lab].’’
Debbie Wishnowsky has been taking people’s blood in Ha¯ wera for 41 years.