Founded over 35 years ago, NZTC’s values have been embedded into the delivery of its early childhood education programs, now these values guide the delivery of its health and wellbeing programs which the college has offered since early 2017.

“NZTC is committed to ensuring carers with our qualifications can wrap the care they gift with the Vision to see, understand, to know how and when to act. The Heart to care with overflowing compassion. The Competence to care with knowledge, expertise and skills, and the Spirit to care with courage, respect and above all, love,” said Selena Fox, NZTC Chief Executive.

Already, a diverse group of more than 70 carers from across New Zealand have graduated with a Health and Wellbeing qualification from NZTC, with 95 currently studying towards a Level 3 or Level 4 qualification.

As NZTC’s flexible learning modes enable students to stay in their communities and not have to attend a college campus we have attracted students aged 17 to 66 who live across New Zealand, from Kaitaia in the North Island to Dunedin in the South Island. For Donna Harvey, Clinical Nurse Manager at Te Ata Rest Home in Te Awamutu, the difference in care by her team members who are studying a Health and Wellbeing qualification through NZTC has been remarkable.

“Our care staff are enthusiastic to be empowered by knowledge through learning. They are able to recognise the importance of the rationale for care provision and delivery, and have gained a greater understanding of clients’ needs in accordance with person-centred care in a holistic approach,” said Harvey.

Te Ata Rest Home Clinical Nurse Manager Donna Harvey (second from left) with her team.

“I have observed that our care staff have learnt from the connection made between theory and practice. Students’ ability to recognise the importance of family involvement, and the importance of promoting independence, health and wellbeing, cultural safety, the health and safety of the client, and The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights has really stood out for me.”

Following last year’s pay equity settlement agreement recognising care and support workers, the important role of healthcare assistants in the sector came into the spotlight, along with the value of having skilled carers in the workforce.

NZTC Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee member Dr Jenny Letts, a Waikato General Practitioner who works exclusively in a rest home setting, hopes the private sector whether that be in a rest home or at home, will become aware of the important role a healthcare assistant plays in the sector.

“For every hour I, as a doctor, spend with one of my patients now entering end-of life care, many more hours are in the care of nursing staff and even more hours in the care of a healthcare assistant who becomes, if they choose to practice their craft in this manner, intimately familiar with the needs and wishes of that person, their family and other loved ones,” Dr Letts said.

L-R: NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox, Health and Wellbeing Program Manager Mandi Smith, NZTC Values Award winner Sonali Sangvhi, and Health and Wellbeing Lecturer Joy Radford.

“A healthcare assistant is often the person who notices the more subtle changes in both physical, emotional and spiritual needs and alerts their support team of the need for a change in care plan.”

Recent Level 4 graduate Sonali Sangvhi who received an NZTC Values Award at the recent Health and Wellbeing graduation, was both grateful for the enhanced knowledge and skills gained through study and for the opportunity to receive a pay increase.

“I most enjoyed the person-centred approach. I related well to this, because I want to give my clients the best care possible. I also got a pay rise, which has made a huge difference in my life,” Sangvhi said.

For more information about NZTC’s Health and Wellbeing programs, visit: www.nztertiarycollege.ac.nz/health-and-wellbeing

 

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