More than 240 Wintec nursing students have had a unique welcome from Waikato District Health Board (DHB).
The students, who hope to graduate at the end of 2016, had orientation sessions on the Waiora Waikato hospital campus on 7 and 14 November.
Previously the welcome for students was in small groups when they entered individual units or wards.
For the first time the DHB offered a group orientation for students who will have placements within the Waikato DHB over the next two years.
These students will begin their clinical learning experience at the start of next year, their second year of study. The Waikato DHB will work closely with Wintec, as they hope to maintain these orientations for students on a regular basis.
The whakatau used at the orientation acknowledges the partnership between the Waikato DHB and Wintec to grow the future nursing workforce.
Nursing student Terereawai Kipa said the mihi whakatau made her feel welcome, “a part of the DHB whanau”. Another student, Lara Ward, mentioned that there was “a great spiritual atmosphere” within the room.
The purpose of welcome was to include students as part of the Waikato DHB team, to help them get the most from their clinical experience by participating in the team, rather than as observers.
Bevan Dawson, another student, said it allowed the students to “put our textbook knowledge into practice”.
This change also advantages students, as it enables them to identify what is available to them later in their career.
Terereawai is eager to see what different paths and opportunities nursing can lead to from her orientation.
Another benefit included reducing students’ anxiety levels.
Looking after the health of others often places a lot of weight on an individual’s shoulders.
“I want to be able to leave my personal worries at the door, so I can focus on others [patients]. The introduction made him feel this is possible,” said Bevan.
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