Cranston marks 40 years of nursing

Paediatric quality and education co-ordinator Sue Cranston is one of Gisborne Hospital’s most dedicated nurses. Picture by Liam Clayton

AFTER 40 years dedicated service to nursing, many of those years spent supporting children and whanau in Tairawhiti, Sue Cranston still loves her job.

A highlight of Sue’s career has been working in Planet Sunshine (the Children’s Ward) and contributing to many improvements to the service. Sue is the paediatric quality and education co-ordinator.

“I am passionate about improving the quality of care to our children and families and being able to contribute to making improvements for staff.

“I work with a great team of people who show respect, care and work well together,” she said.

'Lady of the night'

She is known as the “lady of the night” in reference to her many years of service in Planet Sunshine as a senior night nurse whose calm and caring manner has kept mums, babies and her colleagues safe and reassured.

Sue trained at Christchurch Polytechnic under the-then new system of nurses’ polytechnic training. At the time, there was only a choice of Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson. Previously, nursing courses had been hospital based.

“I chose Christchurch, learnt to ski and met my husband Andy while down there.

“Because this was a new way to train nurses we felt we had to prove ourselves against the still active apprenticeship type training.”

After graduating, Sue worked for two years at Waikato Hospital in the surgical and then high dependency wards.

“As soon as my two-year bonded period was completed, Andy and I headed off on our overseas experience (OE) for eight years. I worked in South Africa, London and Cornwall. We would work for awhile, then travel for a bit. We visited many countries — including a five-month overland trip through Africa — a travel highlight. We also lived for a year in France.

"When we finally returned to New Zealand I was five months pregnant. I got a temporary job in paediatrics until just before Kylie was born.

“When a night shift job came up a few months later at Gisborne Hospital, I applied and have been there ever since.

“I have seen many changes in my time here that make a real difference to the people we care for. We now have different/better models of care, rapidly advancing technology and we work in partnership with whanau who are part of caring for their child.

“Parents can now stay with their child.

"Homesickness used to be so difficult to deal with in the night.”

Another change Sue has noted is that nursing is now a highly qualified profession. Nurses need a Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate education is encouraged.

“We now have opportunities for nurses to become nurse practitioners and nurse prescribers to make the most of their skills. Taking on quality improvement and education roles has been a highlight of my career."

Sue is proud of the many improvements she has been a part of.

“Creating a virtual tour of Planet Sunshine, pain management manuals, Paediatric Early Warning Score charts and Planet Sunshine entrance art are some of the things that come to mind.”

Sue's dedicated service acknowledged at NAMOT awards

Sue’s 40 years of dedicated service to nursing and support of children and whanau in Tairawhiti was acknowledged at the Nurses and Midwives of Tairawhiti (NAMOT) awards night in May last year.

Colleague Natasha Ashworth spoke about Sue’s dedication to her fellow nurses.

A passionate nurse

“Sue is not just passionate about the children and whanau in Planet Sunshine but also her nursing colleagues,” said Natasha.

“She has been a proponent of nurse education, encouraging nurses to gain postgraduate qualifications and organising local education sessions in pain management.”

Sue also supports the new graduate nurses in their portfolio preparation and with their projects.

As Sue is a portfolio assessor, she also has the opportunity to encourage nurses across the District Health Board to work on the quality of their portfolios.

“She embodies Hauora Tairawhiti’s WAKA values: showing whakarangatira (enrichment) with her quality work, awhi (support) to nurses, kotahitanga (togetherness) as she steps up to Clinical Nurse Manager in Deb McKay’s absence and aroha (love) for the whanau in her care.”

AFTER 40 years dedicated service to nursing, many of those years spent supporting children and whanau in Tairawhiti, Sue Cranston still loves her job.

A highlight of Sue’s career has been working in Planet Sunshine (the Children’s Ward) and contributing to many improvements to the service. Sue is the paediatric quality and education co-ordinator.

“I am passionate about improving the quality of care to our children and families and being able to contribute to making improvements for staff.

“I work with a great team of people who show respect, care and work well together,” she said.

'Lady of the night'

She is known as the “lady of the night” in reference to her many years of service in Planet Sunshine as a senior night nurse whose calm and caring manner has kept mums, babies and her colleagues safe and reassured.

Sue trained at Christchurch Polytechnic under the-then new system of nurses’ polytechnic training. At the time, there was only a choice of Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson. Previously, nursing courses had been hospital based.

“I chose Christchurch, learnt to ski and met my husband Andy while down there.

“Because this was a new way to train nurses we felt we had to prove ourselves against the still active apprenticeship type training.”

After graduating, Sue worked for two years at Waikato Hospital in the surgical and then high dependency wards.

“As soon as my two-year bonded period was completed, Andy and I headed off on our overseas experience (OE) for eight years. I worked in South Africa, London and Cornwall. We would work for awhile, then travel for a bit. We visited many countries — including a five-month overland trip through Africa — a travel highlight. We also lived for a year in France.

"When we finally returned to New Zealand I was five months pregnant. I got a temporary job in paediatrics until just before Kylie was born.

“When a night shift job came up a few months later at Gisborne Hospital, I applied and have been there ever since.

“I have seen many changes in my time here that make a real difference to the people we care for. We now have different/better models of care, rapidly advancing technology and we work in partnership with whanau who are part of caring for their child.

“Parents can now stay with their child.

"Homesickness used to be so difficult to deal with in the night.”

Another change Sue has noted is that nursing is now a highly qualified profession. Nurses need a Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate education is encouraged.

“We now have opportunities for nurses to become nurse practitioners and nurse prescribers to make the most of their skills. Taking on quality improvement and education roles has been a highlight of my career."

Sue is proud of the many improvements she has been a part of.

“Creating a virtual tour of Planet Sunshine, pain management manuals, Paediatric Early Warning Score charts and Planet Sunshine entrance art are some of the things that come to mind.”

Sue's dedicated service acknowledged at NAMOT awards

Sue’s 40 years of dedicated service to nursing and support of children and whanau in Tairawhiti was acknowledged at the Nurses and Midwives of Tairawhiti (NAMOT) awards night in May last year.

Colleague Natasha Ashworth spoke about Sue’s dedication to her fellow nurses.

A passionate nurse

“Sue is not just passionate about the children and whanau in Planet Sunshine but also her nursing colleagues,” said Natasha.

“She has been a proponent of nurse education, encouraging nurses to gain postgraduate qualifications and organising local education sessions in pain management.”

Sue also supports the new graduate nurses in their portfolio preparation and with their projects.

As Sue is a portfolio assessor, she also has the opportunity to encourage nurses across the District Health Board to work on the quality of their portfolios.

“She embodies Hauora Tairawhiti’s WAKA values: showing whakarangatira (enrichment) with her quality work, awhi (support) to nurses, kotahitanga (togetherness) as she steps up to Clinical Nurse Manager in Deb McKay’s absence and aroha (love) for the whanau in her care.”

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Vicky Henry, Hamilton - 8 months ago
Woah very cool Sue!

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