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Healthcare at your doorstep

Thursday 29 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Opinion

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Healthcare at your doorstep
Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services - Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora directors and nurses Maui Daniel (left) and Tarina Moorfield. 2212826

Premium nursing and health services are now available to provide unwell and vulnerable people in the community with the best possible care and support they need in the comfort of their own homes.

Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services is a local privately owned health care service provider on the island established six months ago by registered nurses and Cook Islanders Maui Daniel and Tarina Moorfield, who are both the directors of the company.

Between them the women have over 30 years of nursing experience locally and abroad.

The company philosophy “Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora (TNOO) – My Health, My Life” symbolises the range of services they provide from caregiving to home health aide, health education, and assistance through navigating the healthcare system to access other healthcare providers on the island. 

Daniel started her nursing career in New Zealand hospitals in primary health care and also completed a stint working in the outback of Australia.

Returning home, Daniel started working in the emergency department at Rarotonga hospital five years ago where she learnt a lot about how the system works and noticed specific areas which could be improved on.

Moorfield began nursing 15 years ago in New Zealand working in cardiology, primary health care and pre-hospital emergency care for St John’s as an ambulance officer.

Living in the Cook Islands for the past five years now, Moorfield has volunteered and worked for Te Marae Ora, training new ambulance recruits and working at the Emergency Department. She is also a Puaikura Fire Brigade volunteer.

Having the experience of working on the island, Daniel and Moorfield both identified areas they could assist in.

Last year the women began discussions on providing health care – “out of hospital care services” – filling the gap, and for homecare services.

Knowing exactly what they needed to efficiently run the operation, they have also taken on the services of two caregivers who can provide assistance for clients and families.

Rarotonga being such a small place one thing their service does guarantee is confidentiality, says Daniel.

“We can provide a service in the peoples own homes so they don’t feel embarrassed. Making things more convenient and confidential for the client and with consistency, making the experience better for the patient so there’s no waiting around.”

Engaging in the services of Rarotonga Home Health Care Services, the nurses will conduct an initial assessment which is basically a head to toe look at the home environment and the situation the client is in.

Discussions are also held with the client/family to ascertain what the particular areas of need are.

“We want to keep people out of the hospital and keep the hospital for the really sick people,” says Moorfield.

“When you start empowering the patient and make them feel confident, it actually improves their compliance in them wanting to get better.”

Services provided also include assisting clients in taking their medication, insulin can be administered by the nurses and vital signs checked so when family members are overseas, they can have peace of mind, says Moorfield.

“We are going to work every day and making a difference.”

Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services - Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora directors and nurses Maui Daniels (left) and Tarina Moorfield hit the road to visit clients. 22122827
Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services - Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora directors and nurses Maui Daniel (left) and Tarina Moorfield hit the road to visit clients. 22122827

Caregivers can also be engaged for clients who require assistance with personal care like showering or assistance to the bathroom.

Some people who have chronic wounds have managed to take care of their wounds at home for many years, choosing to do this themselves rather than having to visit the hospital several times a week for new dressings or waiting for several hours to be attended to. Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services provide this service and will conduct a clinical check to see how the wound is healing.

Blood tests and check-ups on families are also part of the services they provide.

The nurses advocate and liase between the doctors, the hospital and the patient.

Dr Nini Wynn of Rarotonga Medical Centre is the first point of call for Daniel and Moorfield if they need further advice and management for patient referral to hospital, and they facilitate that process with the client.

The nurses also have a good working relationship with Te Marae Ora – “we do need to work with them, we need their support and they have been supportive, they have services that we also need to access.”

Those planning a trip to the Cook Islands and have an impairment of some sort or need medical assistance can also access the services provided by the Rarotonga Home Healthcare Services.

The Healthcare providers can facilitate their holiday in terms of ensuring the equipment they need is available on the island, or the support if something was to occur.

Visitors who become involved in an accident, get injured or become ill can contact the nurses for advice who can facilitate the medical processes.

The nurses also provide palliative care – specialised medical care for people living with a serious illness – and in some cases they have intervened early at the family’s request.

“We want to be an early intervention so don’t be afraid to contact us even if they’re well, you don’t have to wait until they’re really sick…” says Moorfield.

Daniel and Moorfield would to acknowledge and thank Mahai Daniel for designing the company logo, Dr Roro Daniel, Dr Wynn, Vaikai Mataiapo Tutara – Sonny Daniel, Dallas Young, Fletcher Melvin, Te Marae Ora, Elizabeth Hosking, family and friends.

Visit the Rarotonga Home HealthCare Services Facebook page for any questions and more information.