It’s fair to say Security and Orderlies at Wellington Regional Hospital (WRH) have seen their share of unusual situations.
They regularly have to think outside the box to find quick solutions – including dealing with animals.
While Security and Orderlies have previously dealt with dogs and cat visitors showing up on the hospital’s doorsteps, this was the first time we’d had a horse!
Security Orderly Kele Ausage was on night-shift and was doing a routine check around WRH when he heard interesting noises coming from the ED carpark. After taking a look he was shocked to find a distressed horse alone in a float that had giddy-up’d onsite. The horse’s owner had gone into the Emergency Department (ED) for treatment.
Not knowing what could happen if the horse continued to remain unsettled, Kele made the swift decision to take the horse out of the float to calm it down. He stood with the horse for 15 minutes straight showing it love and care until its owner came back out.
“Initially, I had no idea there was a patient that had turned up with a horse. So, I was shocked and surprised to see it right there in the carpark,” Kele said.
“The horse was in a trailer, but you could see that it was becoming more anxious the longer it was in there, so I was happy to assist the owner by watching it while they were getting treated.”
He called the experience ‘new’ but ‘exciting’, and one he would gladly do again.
“I was proud to help out the owner in any way, especially because the family were here for medical treatment. Plus, I love animals and that horse was beautiful. I am the type of person that is willing to help anyone and anything, including horses, in a time of need. I love my job and what I do. And yes, I would do it again!”
WRH Security Orderlies Manager Vanessa Broughton praised Kele for the way he dealt with the complex situation, saying he was showing the high-quality and compassionate service the entire Security Orderlies team strive to deliver.
“I am very proud, however the staff make me proud every day. Our staff have an extremely difficult job but understand the importance of providing excellent holistic care for our patients, visitors and staff. Empathy is one of the main attributes we look for when hiring new staff. We often talk about the little things we can do daily that make a big positive difference to others. Being at hospital can be a traumatic, scary and unpleasant experience for some people and we try to make it just a little bit easier for all our patients.”
A horse may have turned up anxious at the hospital, but after Kele’s compassion to take care of it, let’s just say there were no long faces at the end of the day.