Northland Anaesthetic Technician's Conference Success | Northland DHB

Northland Anaesthetic Technician's Conference Success

Abbey Cameron,

Northland DHB anaesthetic technician's (ATs) proved their talents are endless after successfully pulling off what their colleagues around the country have called one of the best New Zealand Anaesthetic Technician Society (NZATS) conferences ever, early this month in Waitangi.

The NZATS Conference is usually held in larger centres, so this year's new location saw ATs flock to the Bay of Islands for the event. Northland DHB charge anaesthetic technician, Matthew Lawrence said they had roughly 75 delegates on any given day, from 37 institutions, encompassing both public and private institutions. Unfortunately, the Australian and the Pacific Island ATs were unable to attend due to COVID-19. 

Matthew said the conference's theme, 'Balance is Life', was well supported and helped them form the programme plan to include plenty time for activities to make the most of the beautiful location, which they are all proud of and were happy to share.

"I quoted myself in the prelude to this conference by saying, 'We need to remember our past, our present and our future. We need to know ourselves, cherish what is around us every day. Stay the course of living. We will be afraid. We will experience loss. We will rise and have joy and love again. Just remember you are not alone.' Following what has been a tough year, we need to remember these words." 

During the four days, they managed to pack in high-level meetings, nine workshops and a range of speakers, including ATs sharing their insights and talks from Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain and former New Zealand rugby league representative, Richie Barnett. The weather complimented the well-attended social occasions each evening that included a BBQ at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell and black-tie dinner on the final night which Matthew said was very special. Northland DHB ATs, Terry Leftley and Greg Mann won second place in the best speaker awards for their presentation on 'Reflection', and Vanessa Lawrence won the Medtronic Excellence award for her historical essay, 'Where were you in 1975? A look at our profession through the years'.

"It's been a tough year. We had many companies supporting us through this process, so a big thank you to them and Nick Chamberlain for giving us his time. Finally, to the techs of Northland, thanks for putting this conference on - it was nice to get it up and running and now completed," said Matthew.

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