West Coast life with CRN Maggie Tang

Rainlashed, clouds of sand flies and barely anything in the way of nightlife…. so what is it that drove twenty-something year old Community Registered Nurse Maggie Tang to become Access’s key clinical presence in Greymouth almost two years ago?

‘Having lived in Auckland I wanted to establish my career and get away from my parents for my own independence.  It’s actually been a great experience for me to meet new people and see the joys of the South Island including the glaciers, Queenstown, Milford Sound and Tekapo on long weekends. Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea there are actually some great benefits to life on the West Coast’. We’re sure the 13,000 other residents of Greymouth would agree.

‘Although most of New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery, the rugged hills and deep dense rainforests of the West Coast are spectacular. There are loads of sports clubs, car rallies, horse racing, lots of fairs on weekends and the famous Wild Food Festival in Hokitika, so there’s usually something on. The scenery is so much closer than other parts of New Zealand and great for ski fields and nature walks.’

We ask what life is like in the community? ‘Being a ‘city person’ I was used to a certain routine, hustle and bustle and found it to be much more laid back here, and that’s very much a positive thing. It’s just so much calmer. People are very nice and down to earth and everyone knows everyone so it feels like there is a close community around you.’

Regrettably Maggie has decided to head back to Auckland to be closer to family so, as we search for another excellent clinician to fill her shoes we ask what sort of person would the role appeal to?

‘Well, I don’t really like busy social nightlife. I enjoy the peace and quiet so it suits someone who is comfortable with their own company, maybe someone mature who can handle the autonomous nature and responsibility. There are truly exceptional small teams of support workers who I oversee who inspire me every day with their commitment to their local community.’

‘The work is much more varied and autonomous than hospital work, which for me was great as it gave me much more control over my working day. I’d mostly work around Greymouth, each week heading to Westport, Buller or Hokitika. Monthly I’d pop up to Karamea and yearly I’d get to visit the team and our half dozen clients in Haast. So it’s not too much travelling but enough to keep it interesting.’

‘With lots of sports activities plus hunting and fishing ingrained in culture on the West Coast we do see around a quarter of the work being ACC related helping clients return to a level of independence. A good half involves hospital discharges following illness or age related surgeries. Between all these I have to do reassessments and the admin side of things in the office in Greymouth.’

So would Maggie recommend our community nursing position to people? ‘Absolutely! It’s been an amazing life changing experience. While we’re helping clients remain independent you actually learn to be very independent yourself living in a small and close knit community. And what it lacks in nightlife it makes up for in vast open starlit skies and rugged majestic mountain scenery. And with food like that for the soul that’s got to be good for your own wellbeing.’

Fancy the good life in Greymouth?

If you would like to enjoy the challenges and rewards of being our Community Registered Nurse in Greymouth get in touch with Regional Manager Jo Kara on 03 538 1133 or email jo_kara@access.org.nz for more information.

About the author : Grant Difford

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