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OPINION

Today I have decided to write an article for the Weswes Network website, as I would rather be doing that then my actual work at this present time. For those who don’t know, I work as a psychiatric nurse in Aotearoa, particularly on the West part of Tāmaki Makaurau. I have been doing this for approximately 6 years. I say approximately because I am too lazy to count how long I have been working as a nurse due to fears of bringing up some past trauma I have worked tirelessly to bury deep within my subconscious.

by Giovanni Lolohea I     15 September 2021

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Anyway, working from home sucks. I don’t care who you are, working from home sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love being around my children and wife and working half-naked most of the time, that’s not what is stressing me out. What is stressing me out, is my District Health Board’s (DHB) inability to consistently provide clinicians with information or guidance about how we are meant to support clients under Level 4 restrictions.

Since going back into Level 4 there has been at least 5-6 different changes to how we work. There has been multiple emails, discussions, and suggestions to how we are to function as an institution safely with COVID 19 now in the community. Now, I can empathize with how difficult it is to organize an entire DHB in a short span of time. My argument is simply that decisions are being made with people who are not at the coalface seeing clients and, as far as I know, no real commitment has been made to see what we, the clinicians, would like to see happen as these changes impact us the most.

Mind you, this is nothing new. This way of decision making has always existed and decisions on “what is best for us” is always made at the top. Now, you can call it whatever you like, but I think it is utter bullshit that front-line workers have very little power or say on how we should function. I am in no way an anarchist, secretly wishing to topple the structures of our society, instead what I am hoping for is more transparency and involvement by the actual staff members that put their lives on the line everyday to provide treatment to one of our countries most vulnerable citizens.

To finish off this series of rants I would like to say that I have the utmost respect for all front-line workers, from nurses to truck drivers who continue to try and make this society of ours continue to function. It is a thankless job and at times we are invisible to our society, but I see you. I see all of you and I thank you for your service.

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