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Meet call taker Eseta

Meet call taker Eseta

Meet call taker Eseta

To mark Samoa Language Week, we’d love you to meet Eseta, a proud Samoan and a Wellington Free Ambulance call taker. Eseta is a busy mum of 5 golf-loving kids who takes pride in her culture and heritage – it’s her strong connection to her community that drives the work she does here at Wellington Free Ambulance.

 As a call taker, Eseta’s daily life at Wellington Free Ambulance puts her at the end of the phone with our patients and community where she relies on her communication skills to offer reassurance and support. In her busy role, she’s arranging patient transfers, including emergency transfers to and from medical centres and between hospitals; arranging picking up emergency patients after being assessed by healthcare professionals; and doing patient call-backs to check how they’re doing if they’re waiting for an ambulance.

Caring for our community

Wellington Free Ambulance serves a wide and diverse community across Greater Wellington and the Wairarapa. In fact, Wellington has the second highest number of Samoan residents in the country after Auckland, which is why being able to communicate and support all Wellingtonians is so important.

Eseta’s bilingual language skills (she’s fluent in both English and Samoan) can make a big difference when talking to patients. As Eseta explains, “Being able to get the right information from our patients and then sharing information from our team helps everything run smoothly.”

Another barrier that non-native English-speaking patients can face is the difficulty of learning, and speaking, English. This is why Eseta reminds people that it takes patience and time to speak to non-native English-speakers. Because of her language skills, Eseta is always keen to offer her services to others in the organisation. A memorable recent example is where she acted as a translator for an emergency call, helping the patient to communicate what exactly was happening and how urgently she needed help.

‘Be proud of your language and grounded in your identity’

The theme of this year’s Samoa Language Week is ‘Be proud of your language and grounded in your identity’. This really resonates with Eseta who has a “strong Samoan background – my culture sticks with me, wherever I go, including at Wellington Free Ambulance”. She recently spent 2 months in Samoa, connecting with her culture and speaking her language fluently.

For Eseta, Samoa Language Week “represents family and who you are. It’s a reminder to not forget who you are and to remember your roots. Although you might be taught your ABCs at school, in Samoan families we’re taught our own guidelines – respect and honesty being the biggest ones. Kids can lose their culture so quickly these days, especially when they start school. Speaking Samoan at home helps teach kids to be proud of who they are, it’s a part of your identity.”

To find out more about Samoa Language Week and how to get involved, visit: https://www.mpp.govt.nz/programmes/pacific-language-weeks/samoa-language-week



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You Rights & More info


Your Rights

As our patient, and under the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Rights, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect
  • Be fully informed
  • Freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment and exploitation
  • dignity and independence
  • Services of an appropriate standard
  • Effective communication
  • Be fully informed
  • Make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • Support
  • Respect of teaching or research
  • Complain

If we don’t respect these, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to put it right.

Support in the process

If you need support or help with making a complaint, you can contact the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and ask for an advocate.

0800 555 050


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