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Mama McLachlan sets the standard - Celebrating international Nurses Day

After more than 40 years of nursing, Raewyn McLachlan has certainly earned her nickname of Mama, or sometimes Nana!

The affectionate term given to the Evelyn Page clinical manager by her team not only acknowledges her wisdom and many years of experience in the job, it recognises her maternal attitude towards her team members who all value her enormously in return.

“They know I’m strict but they know it’s so they are going to learn, and learn the right way,” says Raewyn.

“It’s really important because then they can go on to teach other nurses and other staff the correct way of doing things.”

It was actually Raewyn’s mum who inspired her to become a nurse in the first place, growing up in Western Samoa.

“We lived on a cocoa plantation and my mum was a nurse, and a midwife too, so she delivered all the babies.

“I learned about nursing from an early age. When the labourers hurt themselves I used to help patch up the cuts. I just wanted to be like Mum.”

Raewyn proudly wears her mother’s nursing medal to this day, and it serves as a fitting reminder to always strive for the absolute highest standard of care.

The parental theme also plays a huge part of Raewyn’s guidance to her younger charges.

“It just comes down to that question – ‘is that good enough for your mum or dad’ – and that should put the standard of care in perspective all the time,” she says.

Raewyn did her schooling and nursing training in New Zealand and started out in the geriatric unit at Auckland Hospital, which is where she grew to love working with older people.

She went on to start a family and worked at a retirement hospital nearer to her home in Whangaparaoa before leaving there to work as a practice nurse and then charge nurse at Coast Care, the accident and medical centre.

She started at Evelyn Page five years ago as hospital coordinator and took over the clinical manager role last year.

“I have always had a strong pull towards my oldies, at my previous job they would always come to me with their wounds and bring me little presents. I loved looking after them, and I love it here too because you get to know the residents so much better.”

While she still dresses wounds regularly, much of her work is supporting and advising her team and helping them to trouble shoot when problems occur.

“The goal for me is I want our nurses to be the best nurses that they can be, and for me to be a good role model for them.

“I have a great team working here, we’re really tight, and I’m very proud of them. I can honestly say all those girls give 150 per cent.

“They gave me a nickname as they’re old enough to be my daughters and I think it’s very lovely!”

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