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April graduation for our healthcare support staff

Theatre group of graduates

Photo: Heather Gifkins, nurse educator, with the Waikato Hospital theatre group of graduates, and Jason Laurent, associate charge nurse manager for Theatre on right.

Fifty-one Waikato healthcare support staff graduated from the latest Careerforce Level 3 Certificate in Health and Wellbeing earlier this month. The certificate covers staff from mental health, maternity, theatre, and acute settings. A separate strand covers hospital orderlies/attendants.

As well as 37 Waikato DHB staff members, there were 14 graduates from local organisations that Waikato DHB partners with (Griffin Healthcare, Pohlen and Braemar hospitals).

Associate director Cheryl Atherfold with Julie Washington-Smith

Associate director Cheryl Atherfold with Julie Washington-Smith, one of the 51 graduates in the Level 3 certificate for healthcare support staff.

Waikato DHB’s Associate director of nursing practice and education Cheryl Atherfold spoke to the group, recognising the contribution care and support workers make in every place we deliver care.

“We are committed to ensuring you are equipped, qualified and recognised for your contribution. The course has been specifically crafted to support the way you contribute to the teams you work in.”

She said the care and support staff should feel very proud of the achievement this certificate represents. “For some of you, it will be the first post-school qualification you have had. There are two things about getting this qualification I’d like you to think about. First, it makes you a role model for the next generation, to show them what can be achieved, and that learning doesn’t finish when you leave school. Secondly, it is a stepping stone to other things, if you want to take your development further.”

Pauline Ruff from Careerforce also spoke, and picked up on that last point, saying that two staff who previously completed this certification have now started on an undergraduate pathway (with support for their fees).

She described the programme as a true partnership between Careerforce, Waikato DHB and Waitemata DHB to develop this Level 3 certification programme.

“We are leading the way in New Zealand for healthcare support training.”

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