A real Westie helping Westies

Emma has recently been appointed as our very first Nurse Practitioner, specialising in community palliative care. This is a role that has brought new opportunities for both Emma and Hospice West Auckland. We are extremely proud of Emma who has joined a small and elite group of Nurse Practitioners in Specialist Palliative Care in New Zealand.

Being brought up in West Auckland, she proudly claims to be a “Westie” and felt as if coming to work at Hospice West Auckland was like coming home. From the age of 17, after experiencing the loss of both of her loved grandparents, she was determined to pursue a career in nursing. Being involved in her grandparent’s end of life experience at a young age gave her the awareness of the complexity of death, and how crucial support is for a patient and their family.

Emma is passionate about meeting the needs of her patients and their families in the community. "We have the ability to go into the home, and assess the environment alongside the pain. The effects of the home environment can be downplayed, yet all of these factors affect general wellbeing and therefore impacting on their experience of pain. When you are looking at managing pain, it’s not just the medication, but also managing many other issues”.

As well as providing medical care to relieve the pain that her patients may feel, another critical way in which she alleviates pain is by physically being with her patients and showing her support. Emma noted that “people who are feeling as if they are being listened to and heard actually helps their pain levels a lot”.

Getting to the heart of the matter is important to Emma, and understanding the many other variables in a person’s life allows her to assess and care with empathy. 

Emma’s new role will touch the lives of many and is opening doors for Hospice West Auckland to better care for those who need it in our community. 


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