Nursing: Luannie's story (New Zealand)

12 May 2018 . New Zealand
International Nursing  Day 2018 - Luannie

Luannie – Clinical Manager at Bupa Parkstone, Christchurch, New Zealand

Ever since she was young, Luannie loved taking care of people and knew she wanted to become a nurse.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1993 at St Paul University in Manila, Philippines, Luannie has spent most of her years nursing in different fields. This meant mostly working in acute hospital care, as there is no aged care sector in the Philippines.

“In this time I learnt to deal with difficult situations with calmness and confidence. I can say that continued learning and my experiences played a big part in my decision making,” she said.

Taking the plunge, Luannie moved to New Zealand in 2005 and started working as a registered nurse in aged care at Bupa Parkstone, in Christchurch.

“I enjoy interacting with residents. It means so much to me when I see them smile at the end of my day,” Luannie says.

Working in aged care is a special family environment to Luannie.

“I was brought up close to my grandparents back home, so the aged care setting is very special to my heart. I always think of our aged care residents as my own family. Seeing some of them not having families to come and visit them makes me reach out to them even more,” she says.

Bupa Parkstone Care Home Manager, Karry Durning, says she is moved by Luannie’s dedication to the residents at Bupa Parkstone.

“As her manager and a nurse myself, I am inspired by the way she can weave a circle of support around residents and their families - the nursing and caregiving team follow the example she sets,” she says.

Since her time in New Zealand and with Bupa, she has continued to progress in her career, becoming a clinical manager at Bupa Parkstone, Christchurch.

“The extra responsibility was nerve wrecking at first, especially working in a new facility; new faces to work with and new challenges. But everyone around me was so supportive, believing in my capabilities and it made the transition smooth.

“I believe in working alongside your nursing team. Building trust and respect goes a long way to success,” she said.

Bupa Parkstone’s Care Home Manager, Karry Durning, believes Luannie is a real asset to the team at Parkstone.

“Her commitment to developing the skills and expertise of the nursing team she leads, the way she nurtures talent, and how she celebrates success in both public and personal ways sets the standard for nursing at Parkstone,” she says.

“Luannie was the only Aged Residential Care (and Bupa) nurse asked to present at the 2017 Palliative Care conference, which is a testament to the high regard she is held by her nursing and medical colleagues. 

“Luannie's absolute determination for the Parkstone nursing team to be known for their high standards and service to others makes her an inspiring nurse leader.”

Seeing residents suffer from their condition with very little she can do, other than make them comfortable and be there for them, breaks Luannie’s heart at times. But there are still plenty of lovely memories, and one memory in particular stands out.

“I went inside the room of one of my end of life residents to give her pain medication while she was with her family. While talking to her family, she held my hand and asked me in a soft voice if I could sing to her the ‘Our Father Hymn’, which I sang for her often,” Luannie said.

“Everyone was quiet, and I could feel myself blushing, but there was something in her eyes that made me do it. As I sang ‘Our Father’ she looked at me and smiled, then closed her eyes with tears rolling down her face but her grip was tight on my hand. Her family was teary too.”

“That night the resident passed away. Her family came back and thanked me for doing that. Deep down, I was sad. But at the same time I was so very happy, because for the last few hours of her life, I made something right.”