Nurturing Healthcare Excellence: Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in partnership with Whakatāne Hospital

Published date : Wed, 13 September 2023 02:00 PM

Nurturing Healthcare Excellence: Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in partnership with Whakatāne Hospital 

In a heartfelt tribute to Whakatāne Hospital's remarkable 100-year journey, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi takes this opportunity to express profound gratitude and admiration for a partnership that has helped shape the landscape of how nursing education is delivered in our region.  

One example is the inspiring journey of Andre Aramoana, a graduate who embodies the spirit of dedication and resilience. Andre graduated earlier this year from ‘Te Ōhanga Mataora - Bachelor of Health Science Māori Nursing,’ and his experience bears testament to the profound support and sense of whānau that is at the center of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and its programme delivery. Amid health challenges, Andre highlights how the close-knit relationships that flourish there are underpinned by the core values of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi: “I experienced great support and a strong sense of whānau." This echoes the nurturing environment that has allowed students like Andre to thrive. 

Choosing Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi was an intuitive decision for Andre, drawn by the institution's offering of the Nursing programme. The journey was a redirection from a Bachelor of Social Work and part-time work in the kiwifruit industry, prompted by health setbacks. Andre reflects on his journey and shares that it was a chance encounter that had him sign up on a bridging course to nursing. "That’s how my journey began."  

Beyond the degree, Andre's time at the Wānanga nurtured his appreciation for the cultural aspects delivered within the programme. Andre's embodiment of the wānanga's cultural values in his clinical practice led to a special acknowledgement from the wānanga, providing deeper insight and understanding of the importance of cultural competence within an ever-evolving world of healthcare. 

Andre's journey resonates with the essence of the partnership between Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Whakatāne Hospital. Since 2015, the hospital has welcomed nursing students, delivering clinical placements for over eight years. This collaboration bridges the theory-practice gap, allowing students to cultivate critical hands-on skills, including patient communication, physical examinations, and professionalism. 

Approximately 40 nursing graduates, including Andre, have benefited directly from this partnership, transitioning seamlessly from studies into health professional roles.  Andre is currently working on the medical ward at Whakatāne Hospital. This mutual commitment to cultural competence and equity is helping to reshape the healthcare landscape, fostering competent Māori healthcare professionals, and narrowing health disparities. 

As Whakatāne Hospital celebrates its centenary, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi is looking forward to continuing this partnership. Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi extends heartfelt gratitude to Whakatāne Hospital, a steadfast ally, and a source of unwavering support in the journey of health education and transformation. 

(Published in the Whakatāne Beacon, September 13, 2023) 

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