Graham Zinsli

Red Cross and ED nurse Graham Zinsli has become the 27th New Zealander to be awarded the world's highest nursing distinction, the Florence Nightingale Medal.
Graham has worked with Red Cross for two decades, helping in conflict zones and responding to some of the world's worst natural disasters.
He was deployed to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed 230,000 people. The following year, he worked in an ICRC field hospital in Pakistan after the devastating Kashmir earthquake.
Graham's first Red Cross mission was to Afghanistan in 1996, where he worked as a surgical nurse in Kandahar. He returned to Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 events, to work in a hospital in Jalalabad.
Other missions have taken Graham to Ethiopia, Jordan, Sudan, Papua New Guinea and Yemen, where he provided health care and medical training.
Graham is only the 27th New Zealander to be awarded the medal, which also recognises exemplary services and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health and nursing education.
In addition to international work with Red Cross, Graham has worked in Western Samoa and in Cook Islands and Tonga as a teaching nurse. In New Zealand he been an emergency room nurse and has currently returned home to Auckland where he is working at Waitemata DHB.
His work has involved juggling the resources and demands in an often hostile environment, including surgical duties,  overseeing food, shelter and sanitation programmes. Graham recently worked with refugees in Jordan, where, along with striving to improve everyday conditions in refugee camps, he built playgrounds for children.
Graham is a fair conscientious and humble man who has agreed to speak to us about his experiences with the Red Cross and over his nursing career.  He offers to provide his perspective and insights into the skills he has developed to process what would be for many overwhelming demands in an often hostile environment. 




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