Marie Fergus

A tribute to Berry Bird, New Zealand’s first Infection Control Nurse

Berry Bird both pioneered and documented the development of the infection prevention and control nursing role in New Zealand. This presentation highlights her contribution.  “ History is the record of an encounter between character and circumstances.” Donal Creighton (Canadian historian)

Marie Fergus lives in Dunedin and has had a long nursing career at Dunedin Hospital. In 1980 the Medical Director of a newly established Infection Control Committee sent Marie to Palmerston North Hospital to meet Berry Bird, who in 1974 was New Zealand’s first Infection Control Nurse. Marie was to learn from Berry how the role was set up and functioned. So began a professional and personal relationship that spanned Marie’s career in Infection Control Nursing from 1980-2003.

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