International Nurses Day: The diversity of district nursing

Marrying a Central Hawke’s Bay farmer and starting a family steered Cantabrian Megan Peacock from traditional hospital-based nursing into the world of district nursing - a role she wouldn’t change for the world. 

“It was meant to be for sure. I didn’t know a thing about district nursing when I initially applied for a casual role that came up while I was on maternity leave here in Central Hawke’s Bay – that was 18 years ago,” she said. 

Megan says district nursing opened her eyes to a whole new world of health care, one she absolutely loves and feels privileged to be a part of by providing specialist nursing care within her own rural community. 

District nurses offer assessments, clinical treatment, palliative care support and education for patients and their families. 

“District nursing is so diverse and it’s incredibly personal, the connections we make because we are on the road visiting patients in their own homes are truly special. 

“Our patients really value the work we do, they love knowing how we’re connected to the community and they trust us,” she said. 

Bonding with patients and family members goes hand in hand with the role. 

“District nurses are certainly exposed to rawness and challenges some families are faced with at times, but being there for them within our professional roles makes you feel good. 

“Working with our elderly is also a particular highlight of mine, I just love hearing their stories of times past. I have nursed one patient in our farming community for the past 18 years, a retired farmer, and he has a special place in my heart."

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