• Rachael Jones

    NZATS President

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  • Matthew Lawrence

    NZATS Immediate Past President

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  • This could be you

    NZATS Secretary

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  • Nicola Smith-Guerin

    Registration Examination Coordinator

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  • Jess Barbridge

    NZATS Treasurer

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  • Katrina Walsh

    NZATS AUT Liaison Officer

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  • Katrina Prosser

    NZATS Communications Officer

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  • Aimee Atchison

    NZATS CPD Officer

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Rachael Jones

NZATS President

Rachael qualified 23 years ago in the UK as an ODP, and worked in a role doing 50/50 anaesthetics and scrub. She has a partner, Steve, and a grown-up daughter, Abby. They moved to New Zealand together in 2008, for some life experience, initially for a couple of years; 16 years later they are still here and call New Zealand home.

Rachael initially worked at Middlemore, then moved to Southern Cross for a few years where she became Training Coordinator for the Auckland region. Rachael then went to work at Te Toka Tumai Auckland, firstly, as educator for Level 4 (cardiothoracic and ORL) and level 8 (General, Trauma, Neuro etc), and then as Charge Anaesthetic Technician for level 9 (Women’s Health). Rachael is currently Theatre Manager at Waitemata.

Over the years Rachael’s passion for the professions has led to numerous projects and roles. In 2022 Rachael completed a Master of Health Service Management at Massey University.

Rachael LOVES her job and our profession. She is proud to be an Anaesthetic Technician and feels a sense of pride for what we do, what we can do in the future and our community. She gets immense satisfaction from inspiring others and helping individuals and our profession to grow and develop. To be President of NZATS and able to represent our workforce is a real honour.

Matthew Lawrence

NZATS Immediate Past President

He started his career over 20 years ago at Middlemore hospital, before moving to Mercy Hospital where he finished his training in anaesthetic technology through what was AIT. After a few years at Mercy he went to the UK and spent four years working around the UK on a few agency contracts. Did a lot of travelling as well!

Back to NZ and girlfriend in tow (now wife), worked again at Middlemore for a short stint. Matt then took up a position at Auckland DHB, staying there for 14years, where in this period joined the Liver transplant team and gained more experience in the radiology suite, especially with clot retrievals and endovascular work. In the last 3 years he has been up at Northland, becoming the Charge tech a few years ago.

Matthew has done a lot of work behind the scenes for NZATS and this profession. He has organised two NZATS conferences, a couple of Waiheke island symposiums, the Whangarei symposium and was instrumental in helping start the Obex Airway Day that has been running successfully for the last 7 or so years. Of late he has started an ultrasound half day course and will be looking to run this just as successfully as all the other courses.

He has been a national registration examiner for the past 18 years, retiring just recently. Also, he has been on the NZATS executive committee as the treasurer of the society. Within this role Matt set up a fund for educational activities, strengthened the accounts for educational days and conferences.
He highly recommends joining NZATS.

This could be you

NZATS Secretary

Join us and help shape the future of the profession, get in touch if you are interested.

Nicola Smith-Guerin

Registration Examination Coordinator

Nicola is the Professional Leader for Anaesthetic Technicians, ADHB.
She has been an Anaesthetic Technician for a very long time; some of you would not have been born when she qualified! Over that time she has been an educator, and a charge tech at ADHB for 23 years before moving into her current role.

She has been heavily involved in NZATS for decades and been responsible for the registration exams since 2007.
When describing herself Nicola would say she is warm, friendly and cheerful. She values personal connections and cares about people’s needs, and finds herself wanting to do her best for everyone she meets, including patients, staff and her family.

Jess Barbridge

NZATS Treasurer

I have worked as an Anaesthetic Technician for the past 5 years at Palmerston North Hospital.

I am originally from South Africa, I’ve lived in New Zealand for 13 years now, meeting my now husband while I was on my OE in the UK and then traveling to New Zealand with him. We have two beautiful girls aged 5 and 9. As well as doing my clinical work, I also do all the accounts and admin for my husband’s business, During our free time my love relaxing with a good book.

Katrina Walsh

NZATS AUT Liaison Officer

Katrina works at Waitemata DHB and has been there for 7 years. Previously, she was at St George’s Hospital in Christchurch for 11 years.

Her career in the operating room started as a Registered Nurse at Burwood Hospital, so Orthopaedics was her specialty. During her nursing training, which she did in Australia, Katrina had a placement in theatre and immediately decided that was the area she wanted to work in. She was particularly interested in Anaesthetics but on returning to NZ in 1999, she found out that there was such a thing as an Anaesthetic Technician. She completed her Diploma in Anaesthetic Technology in 2007, sat the very first ‘registration’ exam and hasn’t looked back.

Her favourite thing about her work is the variety, especially at her workplace. One day she’ll be in theatre, maybe ‘having a baby’ in the Obstetric theatre, or working in one of her favourite specialties, ENT. The next she might be rostered on to be part of the Resus team, attending emergencies all around the hospital, including ED. She also has an extended scope of practice, so usually does a list of PICC insertions once or twice a week.

Outside of work, Katrina loves to be creative. Projects on the go at the moment are knitting washcloths, making macrame plant hangers (her mother taught her how to do this way back in the 70’s), and producing solid shampoo and conditioner bars (reduction of packaging and waste is a bit of a theme at the moment).

Katrina’s philosophy is she cares for her patients as she would like her family members to be looked after. Simple, but effective.

Katrina Prosser

NZATS Communications Officer

Katrina Prosser is one of the Anaesthetic Technician Educators based at Auckland City Hospital, specifically Level 8 Operating Rooms – the primary location for Adult Acute and Trauma Surgery.

Having completed technician training in 2011, she has been involved in various aspects of teaching over the years, from preceptorship inhouse, AUT marking, and more recently as part of the NZATS Examiner team.

The primary focus of her teaching at ADHB is for fellow registered members of staff and orientating newly registered staff to the expectations of being an independent practitioner. Katrina has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education in 2022 in her spare time.
In the 11+ years of being a qualified and then registered anaesthetic technician, Katrina has been a member of the Liver Transplant team at times alongside Matthew, helping improve the quality of life for over 100 recipients and counting.

As the NZATS Communications Officer, she has updated the look of the NZATS Newsletter and tried to gain regular submissions for readers to keep up to date with what affiliated groups are doing and how they might impact our members. She also answers questions from the community who are interested in joining our wonderful profession, managing the Facebook page, and slowly introducing the use of Instagram with the potential for Twitter and other social media. Katrina also maintains and updates the NZATS website and its resources.

Outside of work, Katrina spends her days looking after her two children, one husband and four cats, playing video games and all those normal household activities. A bit of a nerd, she enjoys doing puzzles of most types (jigsaws, Wordle and similar) and building (LEGO, shelves etc).

Aimee Atchison

NZATS CPD Officer

Aimee is currently based as an Anaesthetic Technician at Te Whatu Ora Waitemata where she completed her training at the end of 2022. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland from which she hopes to achieve further postgraduate study in the future.

Her favourite thing about work is the wide range of specialties technicians are able to apply their skills – whether that be in the operating theatre or elsewhere in the hospital as part of the resus team. Aimee finds great value and pride in the work we all do to help others.

In her spare time, she can be found down at the beach with a coffee in hand or reading a book at home with her two cats.