Never could Whangārei nurse Lisa Attwood have predicted her fervour for helping young Northlanders would ferry her to the frontline of a global pandemic.
But as far as the 38-year-old speciality clinical nurse in youth is concerned, whether in clinic or at Whangārei's Pohe Island Covid-19 testing station, the job is the same.
"It's about keeping the community safe, understanding there are stressful times when things aren't going to plan and being able to reassure and help people," Attwood said.
Less than 24 hours after the news broke on Sunday about Northland's community case of Covid, the mother-of-two, alongside a large team of nurses, hit pause on their day-to-day lives and returned to the forefront of the pandemic.
"It's part of my role to help out wherever I'm needed," Attwood said. "Wherever that need may be is where I'll go."
Her positivity-first mindset is striking as she recounts with a smile Monday's gruelling 12-hour day at Pohe Island carpark. As temperatures climbed to the high 20s nurses clad in full PPE completed 407 swabs from 8.30am until dusk.
"We had a talk between all the staff here and we just felt that there was no way we would leave without testing everyone who had been waiting a long period of time," Attwood said. "Once we shut the gates and everyone was in we were going to see it through."
About 15 cars were asked to come back on Tuesday when they were a top priority for testing.
A co-ordinator on the day made sure nurses had time to sit down, grab a bite to eat, and get out of the heat.
"We've had incredible support from the DHB [district health board] and [primary health entity] Mahitahi Hauora as well as other iwi providers."
As the nurses and staff involved in security, traffic management, and IT specialists left Pohe Island carpark on Monday around 9pm, it was the support of the community that made returning at 8am the next day easy, Attwood said.
"Getting a thank you at the end of taking a swab goes a long, long way."
The outpouring of kindness from people towards the nursing staff has blown Attwood away. She said they have had numerous offers of coffee and lunch. Artisan bakers from Handsome Frog Cafe - a mobile trailer in Whangārei - yesterday delivered coffees and fresh pies to the nurses.
"It's brought something so positive from such a negative thing."
"Proud" was the word, Attwood said, that best described how she felt about her role in Northland's incredible response to the recent Covid case.
"People have come down and waited to get tested to do the right thing and I'm proud to be a part of that response," she said.
The latest round of urgent testing isn't Attwood's first foray into the pandemic's frontline. She was a week into her new role as a youth nurse - a change from her previous calling as a sexual health nurse - when the country entered its first lockdown in March last year.
She said the decision to put up her hand and volunteer at Northland's testing stations wasn't a hard one.
"I wanted to be involved in the team who helped the public in the best way we could and to reassure them that they are doing the right thing too."
Attwood has a full appreciation for the difficulties Covid has inflicted, in the backyard and globally too. However, she said her experiences at the testing stations have afforded her some positive aspects too.
"It was a great opportunity to help people, to support the DHB's efforts, and the Ministry of Health's efforts to maintain control over the outbreak."
Attwood encouraged the public to keep scanning wherever they go, stay home if unwell, and if in doubt seek advice by calling Healthline.