Rarotonga Hospital nurse manager Ngatamariki Manea has been in nursing for more than 10 years, but says she’s never seen a challenge like Covid-19.
Nurses are prepared for the eventuality they will not be allowed to go home, if Cook Islands has a Covid case, she says.
Manea acknowledged the hard work, dedication and commitment the nursing team had put in to ensure the Covid virus does not affect the Cook Islands.
In the absence of official celebrations, Manea says there is no better way to celebrate International Nurses Day than by being thankful that the Cook Islands is a Covid-free nation.
Manea is president of the Cook Islands Nurses Association. She said since the border closures, nurses had been working at the main hospital, health centres and also at each puna.
“They are not easy tasks, leaving your family at home, dedicating that time to ensure we do what we are called to do for the country,” she said.
“Some training scenarios were held at the hospital in case we did get a case, so nurses could understand what situation would be and to gain confidence and experience.”
Manea said the dedication shown by the nurses had been great; they had managed to work together and respond to the Covid-19 preparedness need.
“The Cook Islands Nurses Association recognises and salute the nursing workforce here for stepping up and playing lead roles in our fight against Covid-19,” she said.
“We admire the hard work and commitment that has gone into setting up the punas to ensure that are people are kept safe and healthy, the relocation of Outpatients Emergency Department to Tupapa to keep our hospital safe.
She paid tribute, too, to the nurses in the Pa Enua who provided excellent care while the borders were closed to the Pa Enua. “My heart goes out to you and your families for all you are doing to care for people and keep the world safe.”