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Dayna - Nurse

13 December 2021
Dayna Hero

Ko Takitimu tōku waka
Ko Kahuranaki tōku maunga
Ko Tukituki tōku awa
Ko kahuranaki tōku marae
Ko Ngati Kahungunu tōku Iwi
Ko Dayna Porter tōku ingoa.

Dayna Porter describes what motivated her into becoming a nurse at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison.

It may be surprising to discover, but the corrections setting is one of the hidden gems of the nursing world.

Dayna Porter is a Nurse at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and says it provides a rich and rewarding career for those that are willing to put their preconceived notions to the side.

“People ask me why I chose to work in a prison, aren’t I scared to work with criminals?

“My answer is: have you ever been to a prison? It’s the complete opposite to what you think it is.

“Behind the tattoos is another human, just like you and I,” she says.

During her studies, Dayna requested a placement at Ara Poutama Aotearoa. From there on, she decided it was the place for her and hasn’t looked back.

“I went in after my primary health placement and absolutely loved it. It’s one of the most diverse settings available, the scope and standards of practice are wide.

“Unlike traditional settings, we follow the men throughout their healthcare journey.”

A benefit for Dayna is the mixture of the medical and mental health.

“I thrive in mental health.

“Here, you look after whole tinana (body) and hinengaro (mind), not just one part. It fills my cup with everything I was looking for as a nurse.”

Speaking of security, it may seem strange to think of prisons as a safe or secure environment however Dayna says security is more notable than in other settings.

“There is a lot of aroha on site and there has got to be.

“Assaults happen in hospitals and nurses there don’t have the same protections as you would in a prison. There are strict safety protocols to ensure we are safe.

“The Corrections Officers have our back.”

She admits nursing at Corrections isn’t for everyone. People in prisons are some of the most vulnerable people in Aotearoa with existing health conditions.

“It’s a unique place to work. It’s a place for healing and rehabilitation.

“Bring buckets of empathy, patience, a good sense of humour and you’ll be just fine.

“No night shift is a bonus,” she says smiling.


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