elocal returned to Roulston Street, Pukekohe to find out a
bit more about the Cutting Edge Plastic Surgery team.
e After last month’s profile in elocal people are asking what’s different now?
It’s just that now, 11 years after coming to Pukekohe, we can give a better service and add more depth to what we do – like skin cancer screening, all in our own purposely renovated building. We have a studio in which we take a 30 picture sequence of images of all of a patient’s skin so that we can compare year on year with the help of artificial intelligence spotting changes and alerting me to them. The patient still gets a full body examination with dermatoscopic examination of anything that worries me in the way I have always done, but technology guides me to changes much faster.
e So the same local business and staff, but better?
Absolutely! The nurses have been fixtures in this community for much longer though. Annie Bruce started in plastic surgery in Middlemore in the 1980s and brings a wealth of specialist nursing experience to the practice, but she is also learning a new skill - qualifying as a dermatoscopist to diagnose skin cancer with a dermatoscope.
For over 25 years Sue Hatch ran the ear suctioning service at Pukekohe Family Health, but now she treats patients through ‘Ear Me Now Ltd 3 days each week with us. Sue is a member of Ear Nurse Specialist Group Aotearoa and is able to treat children and ACC patients. Sue’s also training to be a dermatoscopist and will join the skin cancer screening team working with me each week as well.
Our other nurse, Michele Ball (now Chawner), went to school round the corner and has worked locally all her life. Michele is qualifying to be dermatoscopist and she micro-suctions ears with Sue Hatch.
Our receptionists: Ashleigh Smith, Karen Flynn, Michele Fox and Patricia Lloyd all worked alongside me previously and came to join me when I opened up in this new building. Ashleigh’s on maternity leave for a few months. Karen, who has worked with me for 11 years, has always lived and worked in Pukekohe, so she seems to know almost everyone who walks through the door. Patricia made Pukekohe her home 14 years ago and Michele Fox has lived in the area all her life; working as a medical receptionist for 25 years and with me since we opened.
e So you have a team of old friends?
I’m very wary of friends choosing their friends and working together in healthcare. In fact, I’ve seen disasters happen that way in health care settings if cliques form and the caring ethos evaporates. I wanted a team bringing different strengths to our mix. Working with them and knowing their strengths helped me when I set up in my own building, and I picked my team for our many strengths. That we get on and have fun while we work professionally is a bonus that flows through into our patients’ experience. We get many lovley compliments on how our work environment puts patients at ease when they come here for diagnosis and treatment.