The Emergency Department is home to Rowan Plater because it’s where he can make a difference to people right when they need it most.
Rowan joined City Medical Napier last year after 12 years as an ED Nursing Co-ordinator at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
It’s a long way from his hometown of Tring, in Hertfordshire. Rowan enrolled in a nursing degree simply because he liked helping people and wanted a job with a uniform. It was either nursing or the army, he said.
Throughout his training he was set on being a district nurse - he enjoyed the autonomy and the meaningful client relationships - until an ED placement completely changed his mind.
“I had enjoyed other placements including ICU and theatre, but in ED something just clicked. Working in ED puts you in a position to help people and make a difference right when they need it most,” he said.
“If it’s a wound you get to close it, if it’s a broken bone you get to set it and straighten it and you see immediate results. It’s these sorts of things that really captured me and I decided to make ED my home.”
Rowan “cut his teeth” working in ED at Hemel Hempstead Hospital gaining additional specialist qualifications and experience. “Back then part of our role was to assist with pre-hospital trauma. I remember scrambling around in the rain for the remains of someone’s ankle bones under a car seat. His seat had shot forward in a crash and almost sliced his foot off. It was a long road for that patient but he did walk again.”
Rowan completed further qualifications allowing him to work as a nurse practitioner, where he could deliver care throughout a patient’s journey. When it was announced Hemel Hempstead would lose its ED to nearby Watford, Rowan decided to look for new opportunities.
He and his wife moved with their young family to New Zealand after being enticed by his brother-in-law’s photos from Maraetotara. After a brief stint in Tauranga, Rowan landed a job in ED at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, later stepping into the “challenging” co-ordinator’s role.
He described it like an advanced game of Tetris.
“It’s about prioritising cases, having a trusting relationship with the triage nurse and making sure the right people are dealing with the right cases and ensuring patients receive comprehensive care.”
It was a satisfying role but after 12 years Rowan was ready for change and accepted the nursing manager role at City Medical.
His focus lately has been to create care pathways to support the team in their decision-making and reduce the number of patients being transferred to ED.
Rowan highly recommends nursing as a career; it has allowed him to travel to the other side of the world where he considers himself very fortunate to continue working in a career that he loves.
“Nursing is both rewarding and challenging. There are so many facets to what you can do, from flight nursing and emergency to renal and aged-care and all of those roles are open to any nurse to engage with - which I think is exciting.”