Familiar faces at NorthTec health centre

21 February 2017

Familiar faces at NorthTec health centre

As hundreds of students start the new academic year at NorthTec, two new nurses who have started work at the student health centre will look familiar to some of their patients.

Zara Stenberg has come back “home”, having completed her Bachelor of Nursing at NorthTec, graduating in 2009. Her job-sharing colleague, Barbara Green, is new to NorthTec but has worked as a Practice Nurse at several medical centres in Whangarei and Northland.

They are both looking forward to working with students and staff at NorthTec, bringing their different strengths and experience to the health centre.

After graduation, Zara spent a couple of years on the wards at Whangarei Hospital before taking off to work in Australia. There, she worked in General Practice in remote areas of Western Australia, seeing predominantly Aboriginal patients.

Returning to New Zealand, Zara worked at a Christchurch fertility clinic before moving back to Whangarei. She said she was drawn to the NorthTec role as she wanted to work in a community setting rather than a hospital, and because it was an exciting opportunity for her to “give back” to NorthTec, where she had a great experience during her student days.

She said: “I started my nursing journey at NorthTec and wanted to return to the place where I had my roots. When I started my studies here I was 17, so I am very excited to be able to work with young people of that age.”

Colleague Barbara Green trained at Whangarei Hospital and has worked mainly as a GP practice nurse. She has worked for Whangarei-based Doctor Jordan Pischief, the after-hours service at Primecare in Kensington and the Onerahi medical centre, before moving with her family to the mid North, where she worked at medical centres in Paihia and Kerikeri.

Coming back to Whangarei, Barbara returned to Onerahi Family Healthcare Centre as a Practice Nurse, and has had two years as Clinical Nurse Leader there prior to starting at NorthTec. She chose her new role because she felt it was “a vibrant and enthusiastic place” with a focus on wellness.

Zara and Barbara will together take on the role vacated by long-standing NorthTec nurse, Judith Hall. Health Centre Coordinator, Jann Leaming, said she was delighted to welcome her new team members, who brought an excellent mix of skills and experience to the health centre.

The NorthTec student health centre provides a range of services to students and staff, including general health advice and referrals to other providers; hearing and vision testing; sexual health including contraceptive advice; cervical smear testing; smoking cessation support and wellness and health promotion.

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