Rural nurse specialist Gemma Hutton graduated from Otago Polytechnic in 2009 and worked at the Emergency Department at Dunedin Hospital, privately nursed in Wanaka and Queenstown Lakes District Hospital before joining the Franz Josef Health centre, the largest nurse led practise in South Westland.
“I loved the nursing course at Otago Polytechnic, the lecturers were really supportive, the practical placements were really beneficial and it taught me great clinical and communication skills.
Gemma is based in Franz Josef where she is often on call 24 hours a day.
“Absolutely anything can land on your doorstep. One day it might be injured fishermen or a car accident but you still have to run the regular clinics for long term conditions, mental health, public health, district nursing, ‘well child’ and sexual health. The job can be very demanding and even more so in the tourist season.”
In September Gemma was awarded The 2015 NZNO Young Nurse of Year.
“I was really surprised to win the award but it’s made me want to become more involved with the New Zealand Nursing Organisation and encourage young nursing graduates to stay in NZ.”
“I love working in rural nursing. It’s a privilege to have so much variety and it’s so rewarding.”