The number of qualified health care assistants is on the rise at Waikato District Health Board with 63 health care assistants and seven therapy assistants recently graduating.
Waikato Hospital staff graduated with a Level 3 National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged support. This brings the total of trained health care assistants to 143.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged for the hard work we do,” said Emily Brown who received her qualification.
The programme was started by Colleen Mellsop, nurse co-ordinator of health care assistant training, four years ago with 13 graduates.
The programme has grown to 108 enrolments for the coming year, demonstrating the need for a large number of health care assistants throughout the Waikato District Health Board.
This year a small number of psychiatric assistants will be undertaking the qualification as part of the group.
“The assistants have taken the opportunity to become qualified, and they now take their place as a trained member in the health care team,” said Colleen.
Nurse educators Lyn MacLeod and Jane Widdowson have worked alongside Colleen to teach and assess the assistants over the last three years.
The Waikato District Health Board have partnered with Industry Training Organisation Careerforce to adapt the qualification and shorten the time it takes to complete.
“These graduates have used workplace learning to gain a qualification and we look at this as the start of a long-term education journey,” said James Lord from Careerforce.
Other health care providers from around the country have shown interest in utilising the programme.
Health care assistants work under the direction of registered nurses or other health care professionals, and perform patient care and housekeeping duties with the main focus on making sure patients are comfortable in their environment.
Staff are proud of their achievement as they model the importance of education, development and qualifications to future generations.
A further nine health care assistants will be graduating next month at Thames Hospital.
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