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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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Karnisha Waru with her four-week-old baby Kauri-Taylor Te Whaiti outside City Medical where she will return from maternity leave to full-time work as a practice nurse later this year

A good working relationship between EIT Tairāwhiti and community health providers turns into a win-win situation for all.

For City Medical, accepting students for onsite practical work experience was working for everyone, says practice manager Ange Perrett.

“The study programme needs placements and we generally can say yes and offer them anything from five to nine weeks practicum in our practice.

“It is basically support for the benefit of the students to allow them to come into the community, develop their skills and see what we do. 

Being a practice nurse is a different job to hospital nursing.

“We have a broad knowledge of all the scopes of health, medical, surgical, accident and emergency, childrens, womens and mental health”, says Ange

“A lot of the students come out and say ‘Whoa! I had no idea.’ after their first day.”

“Practice nursing is underestimated. There is great variety of interesting and challenging work, which is very rewarding.”

 “Having students turns out to our benefit too if we need new staff. We have a low turnover but when we need someone, we have an insight into a former student and how they fit into the team if they apply.”

Over the years City Medical have employed three EIT Tairāwhiti nursing graduates and another one, Karnisha Waru, started in Feb 2020 and went on maternity leave in June and will be back in November.

Stoked to have a full-time job lined up when she finishes maternity leave, Karnisha initially was not considering nursing in a doctor’s practice.

“I did a transition placement at City Medical and I loved it. The hours, the hands-on aspect of the work and the security of having the doctors around.

“I thought I wanted to be up in the wards at the hospital until then.”

She said the team at City Medical had taught her a lot, were supportive and encouraging.

Karnisha is looking forward to starting later this year. 

Ange says with training, they try to help put as much as they can but Covid 19 changed things. 

“We are mindful we want the student to have the best possible experience within our practice and do our best to make sure this happens.”