Mama Pēpe Tamariki Ora nurse , Tamariki Ora Service
Mama Pēpe Tamariki Ora nurse, Romane Stockman is relatively new to Tui Ora and new to nursing. Graduating as a registered nurse in 2015 the Okato born and bred nurse joined Tui Ora in 2016.
“I was a latecomer to nursing,” says Romane (pictured above) who previously worked in retail and had been busy raising children, Zack (10) and Ella (8). “But it’s the best job I’ve ever had.”
At Tui Ora, she is part of a team that visits clients in their own homes performing WellChild checks for tamariki, aged five and under.
WellChild checks are a series of free health visits that start at six weeks and cover everything from monitoring a child’s growth and development, to offering advice on breastfeeding and baby’s nutrition and sleeping.
As children approach school-age, B4 school checks are carried out to test hearing and vision. The team also provide childhood immunisations, often in a client’s own home.
“It makes a big difference to our clients that we can visit them. Not everyone has transport and it can make the difference between a child being vaccinated or not.”
Romane worked alongside a colleague in her first weeks before she took on her own clients. She visits whānau across a geographical area that spreads from Fitzroy and Glen Avon in New Plymouth, through to Bell Block and as far as Lepperton and Brixton in North Taranaki.
A typical day starts in the office but Romane and her colleagues are usually on the road by 10am.
“On any given day I visit between three and five families. We are there to see the children but it’s often the mums or other members of the whānau who require support.
“It helps being part of such a diverse organisation where we can draw upon other colleagues to provide specialist support such as a lactation consultant to help mum with breastfeeding, or the stop smoking service if someone in the household is trying to quit smoking.”
Romane says some of the biggest challenges are recognising when a mother is suffering from post-natal depression or domestic abuse, and then getting them the help they require.
“Our priority is always the child but you can’t treat them in isolation if there are other problems in the household. That is one of the things I really like about my job. We take a holistic approach to health and provide a wraparound service.”
Romane has nursing in her blood, her grandmother and her aunt were both nurses, but it took a few false starts, including studying to be an electrical engineer before Romane followed the calling.
“We work in such a special place, we have fun, we support each other and we make a real difference to the whānau we serve. I feel really honoured and really lucky to be here.”
The Tui Ora team works alongside Plunket colleagues to ensure all whānau receive WellChild checks, care and support.