- Meet the nurses working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
New Zealand needs to get vaccinated now to beat Delta - and that's why NZME has launched The 90% Project. We want to help 90 per cent of Kiwis to get vaccinated to save lives and reopen our country to the world.
Rotorua nurses working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout put on their masks every day to help New Zealand beat the virus.
No matter how busy their days get, they are passionate about what they do, according to a frontline nurse.
Before she joined Rotorua's team of vaccinators, Hayley Gerretzen was a nurse in the surgical ward at Rotorua Hospital.
Gerretzen said the vaccination rollout was "a cool thing to be a part of."
"[Surgery] is a stressful environment. This is stressful but it is different. People are generally well and they want to be here, which is refreshing."
Gerretzen said she enjoyed meeting people from a range of different ages.
"I like the community aspect, that drew me to this role. Rotorua is quite small and we see lots of friends and family."
Jacque Webber is a vaccinator for two to three days a week and works part-time as a kaitiaki nurse at Toi Ohomai. She finds the work fast-paced.
"This role is solely focused on vaccinating and it's really, really busy. Toi Ohomai is busy too but this is continuous from one person to the next."
Webber said her daily work routine started with putting on her scrubs and mask.
"We work in pairs with a trolley. The trolley has the vaccine, plasters, computer, lollies, stickers, sanitiser, cleaning wipes and tissues."
When Webber encounters patients who are nervous about the process she uses the "distraction technique".
"I talk about other things such as where they're from, what they do for work. I talk in a calm tone and reassure them about what I'm going to do. I also have a breathing technique I share if they are really nervous."
After work, Webber changes out of her scrubs before leaving.
"Because I'm dealing with lots of [members of the public] as soon as I'm home I spray my shoes and leave them outside. I have a shower and hot wash my scrubs and the clothes I'd just been wearing. I do this to protect my family."
Webber's work as a vaccinating nurse gives her opportunities to talk to people she knows about the vaccine.
"My family and friends ask a lot of questions because I'm in the thick of it."
Te Puna Ora o Mataatua vaccination hub nurse Stacey Rogers said the best part of her day was seeing people walk in nervous and leave "super-happy".
"We tell them it's like a prickle. We understand it takes a lot to come in and get a vaccination when there's so much rubbish information out there. [My job] is more about reassurance."
Rogers has been on the vaccination team since May. Before that, she worked at the special care baby unit at Whakatāne Hospital.
"I needed a break from shift work. I thought it would be great to try something new, something no one has done before. We've never had to vaccinate during a nationwide lockdown before. It's been a big change in my career."
Rogers said her day could involve managing bookings, answering the phone to help people book their vaccinations, giving patients their shot and a lot of sanitising.
"We wipe our desks down after each patient."
Rogers also helps prepare the day's vaccines.
"It involves quite a bit of work. The vaccines have to stay cold. We store them at temperatures of between 2C and 8C.
"Once the vaccines are drawn up they can stay at room temperature under 30C. They also need to be kept away from UV light. Everything gets labelled. It's a big part of the day."
Rogers said she put the patients first every day.
"We have the opportunity to provide manaakitanga. We don't rush people through our service. We give them time to talk about what's on their mind.
"We've all loved every minute of it."