‘Quiet’ neonatal nurse makes a difference

November 1, 2020

Long-time Christchurch Women’s Hospital nurse Bernard Hutchinson has been awarded neonatal nurse of the year by the neonatal nurses college Aotearoa (NNCA) for his quiet “behind-the-scenes” work to make a difference.

Neonatal nurse of the year Bernard Hutchinson with Tina Saltmarsh of Fisher & Paykel (award supporter.)
Neonatal nurse of the year Bernard Hutchinson with Tina Saltmarsh of Fisher & Paykel (award supporter.)

“Bernard quietly goes about his work, always trying to make things better for those needing neonatal care or working in neonatal care,” outgoing chair Gina Beecroft told the NNCA symposium. “He is always available to support and soothe (both staff and parents!)”.

Hutchinson helped establish the hospital’s human milk bank, set up parent support groups and has represented the college on Baby Friendly Aotearoa, which supports breastfeeding, Beecroft said.

Now an associate clinical nurse manager, Hutchinson is overseeing the neonatal service’s baby-friendly hospital initiative.

“He is always watching and supporting the three key components in NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] – parent, nurse or baby,” Beecroft said. “You never ever feel unsupported or indeed you are never unsupported as either a staff member or parent or baby when he is about.”