Blog for Health Professionals
Easter thoughts for 2014
However you choose to observe the Easter break, whether that is in religious observance, relaxing and spending time with you loved ones, or even working (unfortunately many of us do), the team at AUSSTAT/Kiwis STAT would like to wish you a safe and happy Easter and may the Easter bunny be good to you all.
I started at Kiwis STAT in 2005 soon after I returned to New Zealand from four years working in Japan. It was great being able to understand my new colleagues! I loved how friendly everyone was from the start. After a short training period, I was thrown in the deep end and handed the South Island Hospitals to look after which I loved. Great, down to earth people to work with.
In those days, the office was in Hayton Road, further from the centre of town and staff tended to have their own office or share an office between two. It was great to move to our more central, purpose built office and the new open plan set up made for more of a buzz and much more teamwork, mentoring and collaboration.
A lot has happened for me personally in my 9 years at Kiwis STAT – losing my Mother, getting engaged, married, having a baby. I have grown with the company. The thing that I appreciate the most from all of my years at Kiwis STAT is the support and flexibility the company gave me which allowed me to spend time in Dunedin working remotely for some of the time and caring for my Mum before she passed away. I will never forget how great Kiwis STAT were in allowing me to take the time I needed without pressure to return to work until I was ready.
The company has grown and developed over the years too. Our systems have changed dramatically in the time I have been here – from much more manual, with a lot more printed paperwork in the early days to the streamlined, fantastic system we have today. We are really lucky to have a dedicated IT team in house and now all staff are able to make suggestions online for how we can improve our systems and processes and these ideas are regularly implemented.
I went on maternity leave in December 2011 and returned early last year on a part time basis and soon after was given the opportunity to become team leader for the consultant team working in the Australian market. It doesn’t matter what your role within the company, all staff play an important part in what we do.
Fifteen years in the business, Kiwis STAT has stood the test of time and we are here for the long haul. We pride ourselves on our ethics, relationships and it is the great people that make us who we are.
To read other staff members stories, click on the names below:
Partners in Mental Health
As many of you know, for the last 8 years Jeph and I and our four children have been working in community health and development in India – inspired and overwhelmed alternately.
In the last several years I have been deeply pulled to the needs in mental health in North India – over 90% of people with mental illnesses are not able to access care. Yet a small investment in building community mental health competence and access to care makes a huge difference to an individual like Ram Sundar who I met several weeks ago and his family. Read more in the Partner with us in mental health in Uttarakhand brochure- and join me and our wonderful team here in Uttarakhand, North India. Despite the brochure’s rather ambitious donations suggested – no donation is too small!
Overcoming Kiwi reticence at asking for financial help (a funder pulled out last week), I feel this need is big, important and urgent enough to send out this request.
I started at Kiwis STAT back in September 2003 as receptionist, soon becoming a jack of all trades, helping in accounts when the accounts person went on a 3 month jaunt around Europe, then moving to Account Manager and on to Supervisor/Account Manager before I went on Maternity leave in 2011.
I.T I’ll soon be joining your team mwahhhh, for some reason that seems to get them all scared??
Back in my day (insert smart comment from the young spring chickens ‘did you even have email’) yes we did but that was about it, no flash things like Locum net. Oh no, in my day we had an excel spreadsheet of who was available, you can imagine the discussions (sometimes heated) on who had it open and who wanted it next. We also had two huge filing cabinets filled with paper copies of everyone’s CV and references. Ah those were the days, none of this AFP, WWCC, CPD stuff, when a ‘Moodle’ meant you had just mispronounced your lunch.
To place a doctor all you had to do was fax their CV and references to the hospital, no flash fax machine however, you would spend hours every day standing at the fax machine while it slowly ground its way through the paper.
However, Health Recruitment like most other industries has moved with the times for the overall betterment of the industry, and with that has brought a lot more requirements. Our IT team have made it so much easier for us and our clients to keep up with the faster pace and requirements (Yeah I’m looking for a laptop upgrade!)
One funny wee story I remember is the brand new hospital in Australia, that when they opened realised they couldn’t get the beds around the corners of the corridors. The locum we had placed there called to say there were no bandages in the hospital and that the nurses had gone to buy some. A sure reminder, that no matter how big the picture gets to keep it real.
I hope you will join Kiwis STAT in celebrating the last 15 years and here’s to another 15.
To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below,
And then there were 3!
In 2001 I left St George’s Hospital (a staff of many) to join Miriam and Cherie at the Kiwis STAT office in Birmingham Drive.
Yes “The Millenium” had arrived yet we shared a database on Microsoft Excel, so only one person could update it at a time and Email was “Dial-Up”, so only one person could download and send emails at a time.
Oh how far we have come.
I started as an Administrator but was soon persuaded to Sales.
Come 2002 we had to move to new premises in Hayton Road, soon after I was blessed with the arrival of Matthew.
After Maternity Leave I moved back to Administrator duties…less stress!! And here I remain…Matthew has just turned 11!
To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below,
How did it start?
As part of our birthday year, some of our staff are sharing their memories of how it used to be as well as how it was all started. Miriam gets the ball rolling below with how it all started, and then our next longest standing staff member, Viv, tells us what it was like back in 2001.
People often ask me how I came about to starting up Kiwis STAT. I was a fourth year SHO at Christchurch I was doing an arduous 6 month rotation through O&G. I was referred to an Australian agency and was the first person to figure out that if you flew over to Australia and worked a week and flew back to NZ you would earn more in a week than you did in a month back in God’s own. This was the beginning of my monthly commutes to NSW. It also solved a few of the big problems like how to get an Emergency run (they were almost impossible to get in Christchurch) and how to do nightshift and get some sleep at home with toddlers. One of my most notable experiences was getting out of the taxi one time and the nurse came out to greet me and gave me a hug and said “when I saw your name on the roster I was so happy that you were coming back, you have been so great to work with”. I nearly cried, after 4 years in a busy big city hospital where you are a faceless name (and busy and stressed all the time), it was a great boost to my confidence.
About 6 months into my monthly locums I was working in another outback NSW hospital and the Emergency Director was sitting next to me with his roster, the sighs were palpable. “Why won’t anyone come here to work?” he asked me. “All my friends would love to come here” I replied. When he asked why they weren’t I explained that I was referring them all to the agency I was working for. As he pointed out, that agency was sending them everywhere but to him so we hatched a plan. He gave me a crash course in how to run an agency and I went home, rang all my friends and voila, to cut a long story short, that was how Kiwis STAT was born.
My sister, Sandy Crofts and I and a group of early pioneers worked really hard in those early days. There was such a doctor shortage that we were on the go almost every week or weekend. After about 3 years of being everyone’s last minute locum I had to settle back into a more regular lifestyle. Kiwis STAT had turned into a monster with rapid staff growth, shifting offices several times, and I had to turn my hand at everything from marketing, accounts, HR, CFO and the rest. In 2006 I was a bit sick of learning everything the hard way and was lucky enough to find a very competent General Manager to take the pressure off and the company has gone forward in leaps and bounds since.
Looking back it has been a long journey with lots of twists and turns. I have learnt a lot and loved (almost) every minute. Thanks to all of you who were part of those exciting early times. And everyone who has locumed for us along the way, we have loved working with you and hope to continue our partnership. I have loved the challenges of working with hospital admin. There was never a group of more hardworking or passionate people who work tirelessly to juggle all the priorities -staffing being their biggest challenge.
At the same time as starting Kiwis STAT I also got this cat (in the photo) who was named Ash after the boy on Pokemon (you can guess how old my kids are). He is very cuddly and a wicked hunter. I doubt he is going to make it to year 16 but Kiwis STAT definitely will be here for at least another 15 years.
To read the stories from other staff members, please click the names below,
Christmas message 2013
Christmas is almost upon us and whilst we are enjoying the festive season and some well-earned time off, we would like to think that we can all take some time to spare a thought for those that are having a rough time, whether that is through illness, financial hardship, being away from family etc.
Here at Kiwis STAT we have had some ups and downs this year, but we pride ourselves on being a “family” and helping each other with the tough times. Supporting each other not only helps the person in need but it makes us stronger, better people in the process.
This year we all wrote a “letter to Santa” with our wish for Christmas, there were the usual material things asked for, but the recurring wish was for Santa to help those that are truly in need. So, as you head into the holiday season please find it in your hearts to do a good deed, smile at someone you don’t know or just generally spread a little kindness in the world. You will not only help grant the wishes of the staff at Kiwis STAT, you will inadvertently grant many others as well as giving yourself a wonderful feel good moment.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of a great man today.
Nelson Mandela has fought so much for so many and endured more than most. He is known around the world and will be missed by many people of every race and creed.
RIP Nelson, you have inspired many and have left a legacy for us all.
As you know typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is a disaster of huge proportions affecting so many lives.
Here at AUSSTAT/KiwisSTAT we have a member of staff whose family has been affected although thankfully, all of them are now safe.
Both the staff and the company are getting involved as we can to help with the disaster appeal and the recovery through World Vision and Unicef. Our hearts and thoughts are with all the people of the Philippines as they grapple with the huge task ahead.
Cup day is here!
Today is New Zealand’s turn to have the eyes of the world on The New Zealand Trotting Cup. As part of Cup and Show week, the trotting cup is a highlight. Like Melbourne Cup day, there is fashion along with the racing and about 20,000 cantabrians take the day off to attend one of the most keenly anticipated days of the year.
First run in 1904, this years trotting cup is aiming to break records. Driver Ricky May is after his seventh win, driving Terror to Love, who is after his third win – only the third horse to accomplish that feat.
Life is not all about work, so if you are having a little side bet, office sweepstake or going to enjoy the fashion and a good day out, enjoy and may lady luck be with you!
World Vision Update
Earlier this week, Vivien Godfrey, our Marketing Coordinator, attended a World Vision Breakfast Meeting. Please read on for her update on what World Vision is up to…..
I had the privilege to spend the morning with a passionate group of people who are all doing their bit to help those in need, both internationally and in our own backyard.
Whilst the Syrian Refugee Crisis seems a very daunting and a never ending struggle, World Vision, and the many other aid groups around the world are making a difference, particularly to the children.
Our Red Cross guest speaker spoke particularly about Lebanon (she spent some time there working for World Vision) and the Refugee camps that have sprung up, none of which are meant to be permanent camps. Refugees (many of whom were middle class Syrian workers) are not permitted under Lebanon law to work and have no way to support themselves or their families. Everything must be paid for including water and their tent space; so far, most of them have used what savings they may have had but this has now run out.
Education is one of the programs that World Vision is involved with; simply sending a refugee child to a Lebanon school is not as easy as it sounds. The first of many issues is in Syria the children are taught in Arabic with a very different curriculum to the Lebanon schools that teach in English and French. Child friendly spaces is another program, where the children can put the stress, trauma and fear aside for just a little while, have some fun, laugh for a moment and get some education along the way.
If you would like to know more and/or help with this crisis then please have a look at the World Vision website for more detailed information.
In our own back yard
Many of you will not be aware that World Vision does in fact contribute to crisis in our own back yard. They have not set up the “sponsor a child” programme here but they do assist in other ways. World Vision gives their experience and expertise to the many aid agencies within New Zealand and were hands on with the Christchurch Earthquake, making sure that everything they have learnt internationally was available to those that needed it here in New Zealand. Many of their staff also volunteer with other aid agencies, so not do they assist on a professional level but they give on a personal level as well.
Kiwis STAT has been a proud supporter of World Vision for many years, Miriam Martin, Company Director, is currently in Tanzania with World Vision, looking at some of the Micro Finance ventures that are being set up. Please follow her travels on our facebook page www.facebook.com/kiwisstat
If you would like to see some of our other community projects then please go to our website and take a look at how our staff and clients are making a difference.
Kiwis STAT launches New Look!
Kiwis STAT is pleased to announce the launch of our website which has been given a nice new facelift
With 2014 being our 15th birthday year, we thought now was a great time to freshen our look and to incorporate some of the things that you have asked for and get ready for the year ahead. We are continuing to develop new and innovative ways in which we can engage with you, maintain our professionalism and integrity whilst delivering the best possible service and value to you, our clients (and this is only the beginning).
Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are now part of our everyday lives and KiwisSTAT is on board with this trend. You can engage with us on facebook, www.facebook.com/KiwisSTAT, follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/kiwisstat or connect with us on our Kiwis STAT Linkedin pages (and doing so can be worth your while).
With a passion for bringing health together as a driving force for us, our team are committed to adding value in a rapidly changing marketplace and the digital age whilst keeping in touch with you on a ‘human’ level. We have evolved and grown over time with many of you, and those that are new to what we have to offer, we looking forward to sharing the journey with you too, growing together and enriching all our lives.
Please take some time to check out our new site, give us some feedback and tell us what you value most and together we can all move positively forward.
Daylight savings marks a significant psychological marker in the year as winter is now officially over and the evenings are getting longer.
There is plenty to do in the garden to keep me entertained. I think I’m a subclinical pyromaniac as I couldn’t wait for clean-air restrictions to lift in Canterbury and be able to light the pile of sticks and branches in our paddock (see the photo attached). It’s just so much fun watching the big flames and the pile of sticks burn down into a little pile of ash. Our four cattle seemed to enjoy the heat as well and at one point I thought we might be having a big feed of steak later in the day.
Although I jest about being a pyromaniac it was still a good fun afternoon, a great feeling of accomplishment and even more importantly, a big tick on that to-do list. It reminds me how important it is even if it really is work, to have a bit of fun.
Our locums learn that even working in a new location with a different group of people can be a way of adding a bit of change and fun into your life. Locums often find that different locations have different common presentations which give you new challenges to think about. A good example of this is some locum work I did in Griffith, NSW where almost every trauma story in the Emergency Department ended in a chicken! …squashed finger feeding chickens, crashed the truck transporting chicken feed, tripped over at the chicken farm….By the end of the week, myself and the other locum had difficulty not laughing every time a new trauma came in.
And talking of funny, if you want to have a regular dose of medical laughs, like “The Kiwi Locum doctor” on Facebook. My sister and I are having a great time finding new and interesting medical jokes purely for your entertainment.
Made a referral yet?
Have you referred anyone yet?
You have from now until the end of November to get your entries in the draw to win the iPhone5c. Simply “Refer a Friend” here, enter the promo code “iPhone” and you will be in the draw.
Remember, you do not have to be registered with us, nor do you have to be a Doctor or a Nurse to refer someone. The added bonus (on top of a new phone that is) of referring someone is if the person works with us for 7 days within 12 months of you referring them, you get $350 cash!
iPhone 5c giveaway
No doubt many of you may have heard of Apples big announcement of the iPhone 5c with the latest software, durable personality plus exterior and more to hit the shelves in the coming weeks.
Apple calls it unashamedly plastic, incorporating all of the great stuff of the iPhone 5 in a durable shell! Whats not to like? Depending on which camp your reviewer sits in (i.e. They love or loath Apple) the reviews range from nice to exemplary but almost without exception no one would be saying no to a free one!
It is with this in mind that we thought you might like to get in on the action and get a FREE one!
All you have to do is refer your doctor and nurse friends here in the next month using the promo code iPhone and each person referred gives you an entry into the draw. What makes this even better is that should anyone you refer end up registering and working with us within the next 12 months you also get $350 cash – how is that for a nice wee cheery on the top.
So get your thinking cap on and fill in the short form with their details and yours and either like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter or if you are a doctor or nurse yourself register with us and we will let you know if you are the lucky recipient of the new iPhone5c!
Innovate or Stagnate
On my way to work I drive past an organisation in Christchurch called SCIRT or the “Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team” who are responsible for rebuilding the horizontal infrastructure (sewerage, water, stormwater, and other infrastructure) in Christchurch. This is an alliance between government, council and private companies. They do things differently at SCIRT, this starts right from parking their car facing outwards through to their innovative organisational structure and the way the teams work together. In the work spaces there is an amazing sense of purpose, teamwork and busy-ness. There are 1700 km (30%) of wastewater pipes alone that need to be repaired or replaced so they are up for a massive job to get it all done before their goal of 2016.
On reflection, it’s easy just to go along with the status quo. Being innovative or making changes is usually a lot of hard work and often very risky personally and career-wise. Regular reviewing of everything you do to ensure best practice and gaining feedback can form the basis of great innovation.
(PS if you are ever looking for an innovative conference speaker, I would recommend inviting SCIRT’s General Manager – Duncan Gibb –he has a very inspiring story to tell.)
Kiwis STAT enters SARA Awards
Kiwis STAT is pleased to announce that we are entering the SARA awards this year.
The SARA’s (SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards) are offered by SEEK each year to recognise outstanding performance in the recruitment industry. Winners are voted on by you, our clients. By giving us your vote, it gives us a chance at winning and letting everyone know how much our work is valued. Please don’t delay, voting starts on Monday 22 July and goes through until Thursday 12 September, you only have one vote so please vote for us now by clicking the button below.
Community update – Hands of Hope
Back in February we posted an update on the container of supplies bound for Arusha, Tanzania which landed in December. Read on to learn how these supplies are benefiting the healthcare offered in the region……
Today at work it was great to see the effect the medical container has had here. Today I taught the medical staff how to use the ECG that was donated.
The staff learnt a lot and the radiology staff who will be doing it will practice until they know how to use it. I also took more gear from the container to theatre
This included 2 boxes of gear that a NZ anaesthetist had got together.
The next photo shows a very excited anaesthetist nurse with the laryngoscope – he kept saying “yeah, yeah”.
The next photo is a picture in theatre and in it you can see gloves on the wall that came from the container, as well as gauzes and vaseline gauze that came in the container. As I operated I noticed these things and that one of the consultants was wearing scrubs that had been in the container. The anaesthetic machine had anaestetic tubing that had come from the container as had the gauzes and dressing at the end.
The last photo shows the work of my house girl who has spent the last 2 days or so sorting out the first aid gear that was donated, into piles. I will, when I return from Australia/NZ, put these into packs for schools, and individuals in the villages who don’t have first aid kits in their home.
Last week I delivered all the boxes of shoes to the Plaster house – sorry there is no photos but it was late and so I couldn’t see the children.
Thanks again for making it possible
We all know that Easter is a Christian celebration but the holiday also has pagan origins.
So where did all the coloured eggs, cute little bunnies and baby chicks come from? They are all symbols of rebirth. Easter in the northern hemisphere falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word Easter comes from the pagan goddess of Eostre, involving the season of the growing sun and new birth. The Easter Bunny was originally a symbol of fertility (if you’ve ever had two pet rabbits you’ll know why). The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth. Another link to the egg comes from the ancient Eqyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons.
Whether you are working or relaxing, the team at AUSSTAT/KiwisSTAT would like to wish you a safe and happy Easter and may the Easter bunny be good to you all.
NSW have issued an alert for this disease which presents in predominantly acutely febrile children under 5, there have been several cases in Sydney. For more information please click here