Blog for Health Professionals

My first time….

My very first locum was way back in May 1999. It was up in Weipa in Far North Queensland (the pointy bit at the top of Australia). It was a small GP run hospital with 3 GPs and about 10 inpatient beds, a small operating theatre, outpatient clinic, lab and radiology. Weipa is a town of about 4200 population but half are indigenous and half are working in the mines so it’s a very interesting mix of high and low socioeconomic status without much in the middle. That was what made it interesting though, at one clinic it was papercuts and acne and the other it was blood sugars of 25 and first presentations of glaucoma. In 1999 the internet was in its infancy so you had to take text books along with you and unless you sweet talked the hospital manager, you couldn’t get any internet access while you were away.

How things have changed!

However, there are still some things that are still the same no matter when or where you locum. If you are about to go on your first locum, here’s my list of tips:

1. Internet access and phoning –if you are a NZer locuming in Australia then buy a new simcard with prepaid for your phone and invest in a USB stick for computer internet access.

2. No one ever supplies a decent mug, sharp vegetable knife or decent tea or coffee. I always take these with me.

3. Reduce your luggage by wearing scrubs at work. Talk to your friendly Locum Account Manager –we have Kiwis STAT and AUSSTAT logo’d scrubs available (conditions apply).

4. It’s always worth having transport –if your locum position doesn’t supply a car, consider hiring one for all or some of your locum anyway –especially for your days off –this allows you a bit more freedom and flexibility.

5. Before you go, google the phone number of the taxi companies in the area you are going to –this saves you time on arrival and you’ll need it while you are there.

6. A locum once asked my how many pairs of underwear they would need to take for their assignment (yes they really did) –take one for every day of the placement + one more just in case UNLESS you are planning to do some washing.

7. It pays to take some washing powder in double snaplock bags (if it leaks out in your suitcase, believe me, you’ll never get it out!).

8. Eat lots of fibre –especially if you’re doing nights.

9. Pack some paracetamol and a NSAID.

10. There are several ways to chart drugs like morphine and each hospital thinks that every other way is illegal –don’t let it get to you.

11. Some hospitals can’t cope with things being written on the wrong coloured piece of paper.

12. DEFG –don’t ever forget glucose.

Stand-out Locum Location and so much more!

Picking up the phone to Trisha from Kiwis STAT offering another hands on locum placement is nothing new to full time locum Julie from Auckland. However on this particular day she was left jumping high with anticipation and ecstatic at the opportunity.

The SOS call had just come in, the clinic were in great need due to staff sickness and as far as NZ goes it was Rural and Remote with a capital R! The job came with a vehicle, driving lessons and a view from the office window that can’t be beat.  Intrigued? Julie sure was!

Driving lessons you might think strange, but when your car is the Island Ambulance with a parking spot next to the fire engine, your partner on call-outs the local policeman, and Stewart Island the destination, it starts putting things in perspective and as mentioned, Julie jumped at the chance.

Julie is a regular locum for Kiwis STAT and usually takes placements in rural and remote Australia for up to 3 months at a time and it is rare locum placements, let alone super charged ones like this, come along.resized-4-Square-Oban-Stewart-Island

The brief was a tight one, they needed someone 5 minutes ago (or earlier) and took some fast work on behalf of the Kiwis STAT team, amazing cooperation from the Southern DHB and Nursing Council as well as lightening speed work from Julie on her paperwork. But with the phenomenal “Can do ‘attitude of all involved Julie was on a plane the very next day!

Julie (yes there is more than one in this story) from the SDHB was most impressed to have a nurse on her way the very next day and said that feedback from the locals was very favorable and she ‘fitted’ into the island life very quickly’

Its hard to talk about a regular day when ‘Warning Kiwi ahead’ signs on the total of 40km of road is commonplace, let alone being on hand to attend call-outs via whatever access available (sometimes this is a boat) and seeing many of your patients at the famous Pub Quiz night (populated by none other than Prince Harry of late) is the norm. But Julie found this quaint and eclectic spot at the southern tip of NZ and breath of fresh air, friendly and full of variety – she even saw her first Kiwi in the bush and it snowed as well, which resulted in a quick ecstatic call to Trisha!  But mostly it was the people, their close knit community who although they held her only for a short time, made her feel welcome and appreciated, so much so, she extended her placement there.

Julie truly loved her experience and would go back in a heat-beat, read her account of her time on the Island and see all of the photos here.

Happy Matariki (Maori New Year)

Matariki is the Maori name for a group of seven stars known as the Pleiades star cluster, this is also commonly known and the Seven Sisters.  Matariki has two meanings, both of which refer to the cluster of stars. Mata Riki means Tiny Eyes, and Mata Ariki means Eyes of God.

Matariki appears in the eastern sky around the shortest day of the year (today), usually the last few days of May and symbolises the coming of the Maori New Year.  Celebrations can start when Matariki is first seen but it is the first New Moon after Matariki that is the official start of Maori New Year.  Celebrations can last up to three days with some observing the New Year on the day the moon rises, others the day after the new moon.

Matariki is thought to determine how successful the harvest crop will be in the coming season. The brighter the stars, the more productive the crop will be.

NASA Matariki 2012 small_0

27 letters!

Did you know there used to be 27 letters in the alphabet?

What was the letter and why was it removed?

Do you know how the word ampersand (&) came about?

What is a mondegreen?

Click here for the answers

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother, Mum, Mummy, Ma.

Just as there are many different names to call her, there are many different ways a woman can be a Mother.  She can be a biological or adoptive Mum, she may be your Grandmother or a kind soul who took you under her wing.  She may have lost her children or you may have lost her, anyway you spin it she is still Mum.

The world is full of wonderful women that we call Mum, whether she is your mother, the mother of your children, partner, best friend or neighbour.  One day a year, with cards, flowers, hugs, a chat on the phone or silently in prayer we get to honour our Mums and say thank you for all that you do and all that you are.

Make sure this Sunday you give some time to all the Mums in your life.




Mini Adventures

I read recently that the happiest highly successful people put mini-adventures into their lives as an important part of their routine. A mini-adventure is something like meeting after work at the beach for a picnic and a surf or taking the weekend to head away for a minibreak. I have been trying to do this although I wouldn’t say that these adventures have always turned out how they should.

Almost two years ago Chris (my husband) and I gave each other road bikes for our birthdays. Every Saturday morning we don our lycra and high viz (although Chris still puts shorts over his lycra pants) and trek out for breakfast/brunch/coffee or lunch (depending on which time we have slept in on that particular day). Using our Strava App, we can track our progress, global position, average speed, altitude and calories burned (I synch mine with for even greater finesse, and mainly to piss off my sister with the autofeed that says “Abfabmiriam (my username) burned 360 calories by bicycling –moderate effort”. As akin to an addiction we have started winding up the distances and also now have a selection of bikes in order to cycle rail trails and the like that are popping up around the country.

On Anzac weekend we cycled the Wildnerness Trail which opened about a year ago on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Not to be deterred by a 45cm rain warning we set out in light drizzle which soon became a torrential downpour that lasted most of our cycle trip each way (44 Kms on the first day, 36 on the second). We had a great (although wet) time, the trail is excellent and the accommodation Cowboy Paradise lived up to its reputation, the owner having some kind of marginally certifiable craziness which lead him to believe a cowboy themed accommodation (complete with Saloon and shooting ranges) in the middle of nowhere midway along a cycle trail would be a good idea. Thankfully he has a captured market due to his location, however, I will leave that to you to experience for yourselves! Abfabmiriam burned 980 calories doing 157 minutes of Bicycling <16 kph, leisure cycling.

Cycling is one way to build in a mini-adventure but if you are not quite up to it, a locum position can also be a way to make a mini-change or break from the normal routine. A few years ago the wife of an obstetrician rang us to tell us that we had saved her husband’s life, his locum position had given him a renewed energy and love of his job. And we have heard those sorts of stories from lots of people. As one doctor says “same shit, different location”. So if you are wanting a change but lycra, high viz and the strava app just aren’t for you, give us a call, our friendly locum coordinators would be happy to find you a mini-adventure to suit.Mini Adventure Day one

Day one, Liesl, Rex and Chris sheltering in a wood pile to eat lunch.

Mini Adventure Day two

Setting out on day two from Cowboy Paradise, note we are dry at this point.

Project Burans Update

Dr’s Kaaren and Jeph Mathias are hard at work in the hills of Uttarakhand, India.  For the latest update on what they are achieving and what is needed to help this community please read on….

ANZAC Day – 100 years on.

I came across this poem earlier this week and thought it summed it up beautifully.

I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
A token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.

I’m paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.

Paul Hunter 2014



Happy Easter

Kiwisstat Easter 2015

Christmas wishes

KS Christmas 2013 copy

Last but not least!

Kiwis STAT has seen many changes and lots of growth in the 10 years I have been involved as the companies General Manager. But, the one thing that remains unchanged is the culture of how we treat each other and our clients. Indeed, it was the opportunity to be involved with a company with honesty and integrity that attracted me in the first place.All Staff

Like any family we have seen many of our staff and doctors start families, build houses and continue to move forward with their careers but still choose to come back and work with the company. We have helped many of our doctors and nurses maintain financial independence while enjoying the freedom to control where and when they choose to work, and we have lived the heart aches and difficulties we all face with our staff, doctors and hospitals.

This has led to long term relationships that speak volumes about what is important to us as a company. As we take this moment to celebrate 15 years I know one thing is certain, and that is we will work very hard to ensure the same principles drive us going forward. I would personally like to thank all those hospitals, doctors and nurses who have chosen to use our company and, to all the staff who have being part of this amazing journey.


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,


Corrinne, Nicole,  John

Big happy family.


My partner Mike and I moved from Invercargill to Christchurch in September 2010 for Mikes job. It was the best decision we ever made.

I started at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT in August of this year and immediately knew this was an amazing place to work. I didn’t have a lot of experience in office work when I started, but with the support of everyone here, I have flourished in the role and am really enjoying my job. For the first time in a long time I really look forward to coming to work. I have found working here is like working with family, we are all very supportive of one another at work and with our daily lives, which has been a huge help with having a 1 year old at home.

It is awesome to have made such great friends and I look forward to many more years with my AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT family.



To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,


Corrinne, John

Love my role!

When I first started at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT, I found everyone so welcoming, friendly and helpful. Is it a wonderful close knit team and we are all just like one big happy family.

I love my role as Locum Account Manager and really enjoy coming to work every day. I find my job very rewarding and love building great relationships, not only with our doctors but the staff at the hospitals that I deal with on a daily basis. The systems at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT are so efficient and easy to use.

I look forward to growing with the company for many years to come.

Love my job








To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,



I always want to go to work!

I started at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT in July this year as a documents clerk and receptionist, and from day one I knew it was going to be a fantastic place to work. I have never worked in such an upbeat and happy team environment before where everyone seems to pull together and help each other out. Very refreshing!

The real bonus about working for AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT is that the management team really listen to you here, and help you grow within the team and head in the direction you want to go. I have now moved in to a sales support position where I am thoroughly enjoying interacting with doctors and hospitals alike and it is a very fulfilling feeling being able to help place doctors in to their ideal locums.

It has been an amazing opportunity for me to be welcomed in to the AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT family and I feel grateful to be able to work for a company that really does put their customers first.  I am yet to have that “I don’t want to go to work today” feeling, and I hope that I can continue to learn and grow with this wonderful company.


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,



Cricket Fan!

cricket-rulesI started at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT almost 6 months ago – and how time flies! I started as a Locum Administrator and after moving desk 3 times I am settled in my role as a Sales Administrator (which means I have my fingers in a lot of pies!).

One thing has been really clear over the last 6 months – the team at Kiwis STAT is incredibly encouraging and supportive and if you ask me the only other thing needed now to make the ideal work place is a few more cricket fans!  I am looking forward to many more years at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT and getting to know all our Hospitals, Doctors and nurses better along the way.


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,

RichardTamzinAaronVivienSarahHollyDanaLisaPaulPennyIreneSandraPatrickRiver, Grace, Corrinne,


A musician in our midst!

I’ve been at Kiwis STAT for 3 months, I’ve really enjoyed my time here and feel very privileged to be working for such a reputable company.  I love being in a supportive environment with people who really want to push for bigger and better things.

I’ve spent most of my life in Australia but I was born in Christchurch, so I’ve returned back home to be a full time Kiwi.  My background is in Charity’s, I’ve worked alongside Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières raising money for their campaigns for over 5 years.

Outside of Kiwis STAT, I’m a part time music tutor and musician.  I play lead/rhythm guitar in a 7 piece band called ONE SIX .  We have just released our E.P “Missing your Love” which is available on itunes and from our website

It’s been a hectic 3 months, where I finish work and then head straight into the studio to finish recordings, sometimes till 1am.  But finally the product is done! All that blood, sweat and tears have been worth it.  To promote the E.P were about to take off on a 18 day tour around N.Z in January, starting from Christchurch all the way up to Whangarei and return.

I hope to see some of you at our shows, and would love to catch up for coffee if we’re in your neighbourhood.


One Six

To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,


LaurenGrace, CorrinneNicoleJohn

New Zealand Calls

My contact (yes, without theR) with AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT started in May 2012. My family and I were planning to immigrate to New Zealand and I applied for a recruitment role with Kiwis STAT.

NZ & Dutch flag

After some emails and phone calls with the General Manager, John Cleary, I received a job offer and agreement. We started the immigration process obtaining a visa under the skilled migrant category and kept John up to date about the whole process. This took quite some time but we finally arrived in December 2012.

From the first day working at Kiwis STAT I felt welcome by all the staff. The colleagues were all very friendly which helped me settle in. It is good fun working here at Kiwis STAT and the team is just GREAT, even for me being the only male recruiter on the team. We work hard and we have our daily laughter. People really make the difference and are the most precious asset for a company like Kiwis STAT. The company is doing well to keep the team knit together with team building events like enjoying the gondola on the Avon River, a company BBQ, fun family day golfing and much more.

Coming from recruitment in different industries the main tasks are similar. I am happy I have learned about all the different specialities in hospitals and how the hospital system works but I am still learning new things every day.

The way Kiwis STAT’s system and processes are organised is amazing everything is well connected. When booking a doctor or nurse we work all together to make the placement for all parties a positive one. Thanks to the IT system we can easily see where we at in the process and what tasks still have to be done. Saying that, I still have some tasks to do, back to work…


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,

RichardTamzinAaronVivienSarahHollyDanaLisaPaulPennyIreneNoelle, RiverLaurenGrace, Corrinne,


Supporting the team!

I started at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT 18 months ago in the Reception role, this was a good introduction to the business and Kiwis STAT in general.

I have now moved into a Sales Support role within the Consultant team, I love the people contact with this role and enjoy the challenge involved. I work in a great team with lots of support and I look forward to being able to offer more support to the team as I grow in the role.


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,

RichardTamzinAaronVivienSarahHollyDanaLisaPaul, Penny, Irene, NoellePatrickRiverLaurenGrace, CorrinneNicoleJohn

A very special place to work.

When I began working at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT, I had moved to New Zealand from Ireland a month beforehand. Making the move to the other side of the world and not knowing anyone in New Zealand was quite a daunting experience! But everyone at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home, even if a joke is made about my accent on a daily basis!

Last Christmas, we wrote ‘Santa letters’ in which I requested a Cadbury’s chocolate bar from Ireland (as Cadbury’s is very different here in NZ!!) and I couldn’t believe it when one was left on my desk on the day we finished for the Xmas holidays…Miriam had arranged for her son to bring one back with him from his travels in England! I was so overwhelmed at such a kind gesture.

Such gestures and great colleagues make AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT a very special place to work.

Happy 15 years AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT. Here’s to the next 15 and many more!


Cadbury's ireland









To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie BCarl,



It’s all about the team.

TEAMIn 2011, a career change was not on my agenda but, along with many other people in Christchurch, my circumstances changed abruptly and I found myself needing to reconsider my options.

After the initial culture shock of moving to a new job, I quickly saw my opportunity to do what I love and talk to and build relationships with people who, like me, are working to provide assistance where we can to help hospitals and doctors find each other.

The best part of this job is having a great team who work together to put a job together.   I was recently asked what keeps me interested in this work.    It is without a doubt the team environment that I work within.  Support, commitment, fun, laughter and hard work, great facilities – what could possibly go wrong!


To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below:

MiriamVivienneAngelaKylie T, JoKylie B,


Grace, CorrinneNicoleJohn

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