Victoria Zeyfert: Te Mata Peak Practice

As a Russian-speaking immigrant, Victoria Zeyfert knows the difficulties that immigrants face settling in a new country.

Which is why the Nurse Practitioner at Te Mata Peak Practice, has gone out of her way to provide health care to Ukrainian refugees.

Victoria is from south Urals in Russia and came to New Zealand in 2011 to seek a better future for her family in a safer country.

She had recently completed a medical degree and was starting her post-graduate studies when she fell pregnant which prompted her to start learning English and prepare to move to New Zealand to study nursing.

Completing a Bachelor of Nursing at the Eastern Institute of Technology improved Victoria’s English and gave her a good understanding of the New Zealand health system.

Student nursing placements at Te Mata Peak Practice influenced her career pathway and she was excited to be offered a position at the practice following her graduation – where she graduated as the top nursing student for that cohort.

Victoria says she likes the continuity of primary healthcare and that no day is the same.

“Ten years working in the same place, people get to know you. It’s a life journey and it’s precious that people trust us to be there for them.”

In 2021 Victoria graduated as a Nurse Practitioner – taking the next step in her nursing career.

“I wanted to use what I’d learned in my medical degree in Russia and enrich my nursing.”

It’s also given her more opportunities to help the family of Ukrainian friends in Hawke’s Bay.

Victoria is well-connected in the Russian-speaking community and has been encouraging immigrants to engage with a primary healthcare provider – especially as Ukrainian refugees can access funded care.

“As an immigrant, I understand how hard it is to transition to a new country. Some of these people do not have the language or know the culture and often it’s easier to keep quiet about problems rather than burden families

“I want these people to know that they can come and see me, as a Nurse Practitioner I can enrol them as my patients and speak to them in their own language.

“I feel I’m in a privileged position so I can help. Often you feel helpless and don’t know what you can do but I’m pleased I can contribute and help some people.”

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