Published Wednesday 5 Apr 2023

Meet Registered Perioperative Nurse Kara Te Riini who after three years of “sitting” through her studies due to COVID-19, is now making moves in the Perioperative Theatre team.

Kara is one of many nurses who joined Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley nursing ranks earlier this year through the Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) programme, after completing her three-year Bachelor of Nursing degree with Massey.

She jumped on board the Wellington Regional Hospital Perioperative Theatre team, which includes the Surgical Assessment Unit and Second Stage Recovery. She assesses, prepares, and cares for patients going into surgery, and helps them recover afterward.

“I’ve helped people for the majority of my adult life so nursing is just the next step for me,” she said.

“I have a heart for caring for people which is why I wanted to get into health. The result is what inspires me. Healthcare that provides for all, and that is safe and free for all, and that will provide the kind of support we all need at least one time. If I can play my part in delivering that, I’ll be achieving what I set out to.”

While Kara doesn’t technically graduate until later this month, she said getting into the thick of nursing from the moment she finished her study has been amazing.

“I’m loving it. It’s been surreal already being at the hospital and working with the patients face-to-face. To be honest, I think I’m lucky. I feel I’ve definitely chosen an area that will continue to strengthen my skills while getting my patient time, but without the stress.

“I mean, there will always be challenges and as I’ve just started there will be some things I don’t know, and there will always be questions. But, I’m enjoying it all and taking my time with a lot of it, one day at a time.”

Being active in the hospital is a welcome change for Kara after going through almost three years of studying online thanks to COVID-19.

“It’s great to be on the go and working because doing studies online was hard, I can tell you that. Coping mentally from studying at home was a struggle at times because I like to be ‘on the run’ and moving - so sitting down in a closed room on my laptop frequently wasn’t good for me. When I first started studying it was a shock that’s for sure, because I didn’t go into a nursing degree thinking it would be online. That’s not how I planned my three years to go, especially for nursing. But I think it’s safe to say that we were a resilient bunch. We learnt a lot and here we are now.”

Kara is following family lines into healthcare as her mother is also involved in the industry.

She also has a soft spot for supporting Māori patients and whānau, which she plans to develop more in the future.

“With my background being Māori, it is an area I think I will eventually go down. Over the last three years what I have found out about myself is that I like to advocate; so being in a position where I can have some say, and eventually that say will make some leeway for those who aren’t as fortunate is a path I would like to take. So in this case Māori, but for now, I’m focusing on giving my all to everyone I care for.”

We thank and wish Kara well on her future healthcare journey.

To learn more about the NETP Graduate Programme, click either of the below links.

Capital, Coast

Hutt Valley