Home' Central District Times : January 31st 2012 Contents 5
CENTRAL DISTRICT TIMES, JANUARY 31, 2012
Treating any injury to the hand, wrist or elbow
• Tennis elbow/epicondylitis • Carpal tunnel
• Fractures/broken bones • Tendon repairs • Amputations
• Sprains/strains • Any injury involving the hand and upper limb
Taihape Hand Clinic @ The Chiropractors 17 Tui Street,
Taihape Every Tuesday afternoon
Hand Therapist :: Amy Hughes
To book an appointment call or text 022 085 7499
No charge for ACC patients
& Early Learning Centre
Intellectually stimulating and
emotionally supportive environment.
Fully chartered - fully licensed.
Open 101/2 hours per day - times to suit.
Babies and children with special needs catered for.
Phone: Betty or Sarah, 388-1285
or call 27 Huia Street, Taihape
opposite Taihape Area School
Storm the museum: Visitors to
Waiouru's National Army
Museum took a quick snapshot
and then a race from the rain
earlier this month. However, the
weather did not deter travellers
from stopping to spend time in
the museum. State Highway 1
was busy during the school
holidays with many families
taking the opportunity to stop at
the National Army Museum.
Remote nurse: Avis Michell relaxes at home in Taihape.
Photo: JOCELYN FANNIN.
TAIHAPE'S Avis Michell spends nine months of the year
as a nurse in remote parts of Australia. She told Jocelyn
Fannin about her adventurous lifestyle.
AS a youngster, Avis Rush
enjoyed coming to Taihape for
school holidays with her aunt
and uncle Rhoda and Wattie Rush.
After education in Rotorua and
Hamilton, she trained as a nurse
before returning to Taihape, marriage
and raising a family.
The family moved to Northland
where (the now) Mrs Michell continued
nursing in Northland and Bay of
Islands until 10 years ago when she
and two others became disenchanted
with the attitude of some of the
younger, recently trained nurses.
''We decided to start from scratch
and do a nursing degree. We worked
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and studied
during the week. These modern young
nurses felt that without a degree our
skills and experience counted for
''I wanted a change, had family in
Australia so with my degree I started
going once a year to Australia for three
months' general nursing. This could
combine my visit to family with inter-
esting, remote work.''
She now spends around nine months
of each year nursing in remote towns,
out on the islands or up in the mining
and hinterland areas of Queensland
and Western Australia.
These communities are mainly abor-
iginal or mining; have a small com-
munity hospital and are served by the
Royal Flying Doctor service.
''There may be a shop and a post
office. You must get used to the flies,
cyclones, hot winds and muggy
Every so often Mrs Michell returns
to work for a time in a larger city hos-
''This keeps me grounded as things
are changing all the time.''
When a cyclone is imminent every-
thing closes down, no one is allowed
out in the wind and rain.
''The nurse becomes everything,
cook, cleaner, doctor, co-ordinator for
cyclone response. Anything that needs
fixing the nurse on duty has to fix it. I
learned to use the two-way radio real
fast. Of course there are also the
snakes and spiders and other creepy
crawlies seeking refuge in the hos-
These remote areas experience a
minimum of one cyclone a year, which
necessitates the hospital closing for
three days with generators to keep
necessary machinery going.
Mrs Michell says the life can be tax-
ing but the hospitals and clinics are
well equipped although the nurse may
be on duty 24/7. All the hospitals have
the facility for two aged care long-term
patients along with general admis-
sions. The hospital may not have a
resident doctor so the telephone is
vital. Nurses often drive the ambu-
lance to retrieve patients and quickly
learn to expect the unexpected and
cope with it.
Nurses do all the assessments, plas-
tering, suturing, insert IV lines, get
really good at taking blood and expert
at removing fish hooks from both
people and dogs who swallow the hook
''I really enjoy what I do but this
work would not be for everyone. A per-
son must be relaxed, non judgmental
and realise you cannot change the
world overnight. ''You must enjoy a
good laugh, sometimes at your own
expense, and realise that people are
the same the world over, no matter
where they live.''
With a husband now confined to a
wheelchair, Mrs Michell says she could
not do without the wonderful support
of m neighbours and friends along with
the wonderful carers who come
through Homecare 2000.
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