Managing hospital’s biggest asset

Oamaru Hospital is a huge part of this district, and the people who work there have important roles to play in challenging times. The Oamaru Mail continues its regular series profiling staff. Reporter Tyson Young catches up with the new human resources officer, Andrea Cairns.

Q Where do you hail from, Andrea?
I come from Oamaru originally.

Q How long have you worked at Oamaru Hospital for?
I’ve worked at the hospital for 13 years. I started here as the district nursing receptionist. I worked in that role for nine years. Afterwards I worked in a hospital secretary position before I joined as the new human resources officer.

Q Tell me about your new role.
Human resources is about anything related to staffing. It includes a variety of things such as recruiting new staff, conducting performance appraisals and advertising new positions that become available at the hospital. I am currently studying towards a leadership management and human resource qualification, which I started at the end of last year, and have still got a year to go.When this job opportunity arose, I decided to go for it because it just felt right.

Q What has that been like?
It’s pretty hard trying to study and work fulltime. I’m not sure how I’ve managed to juggle it but it’s pretty hard work. I don’t have a social life, let’s just say that, ha ha.

Q What’s the best part about the job?
It’s the working with the people – I love working with people. The recruiting is also really good. In a nutshell, I love working with the staff – they are our biggest asset.

Q Do you believe Oamaru Hospital does well overall?
Yes. I’m very positive about the Oamaru’s Hospital’s future. I’m probably more positive than I have been in my 13 years of working here. I think Ruth [Kibble] is a great CEO and I’m happy to be in her car – she’s a great leader.

Q When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and travelling. We’ve done a lot of travelling as a family. We’ve been to quite a few different countries.

Q If you were prime minister for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do and why?
I would fully fund St John. I think it’s ludicrous that such a critical organisation like that is so reliant on donations and volunteers.

Q If you could catch up with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It would be my mum. My mum passed away 11 years ago. She was such an inspirational woman and is someone that I aspire to be, so it would be really nice to catch up with her again.

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