Date: 17 June 2022
The Health Science Academy (HSA) held a Fono for students, their families and teachers last week.
This very enjoyable and informative evening was run entirely by the students themselves, capably MC’d by Gloria Tautaiolefua.
Principal Deidre Shea, welcomed students and guests and thanked them for attending.
Counties Manukau, programme manager, Aihaosea Ahokovi Soane, introduced the FOU (The Future is Open to Us) initiative. This Pasifika focused initiative aims to nurture and build a workforce that is representative of the communities they serve, growing participation in all areas of the health sector. FOU provides both activities and support for students and teachers, including organising trips to Middlemore hospital to learn about the hundreds of careers there are in the sector. Year 13 students will have the opportunity to attend a four day leadership programme at the Middlemore Training Center later this year.
Congratulations to Eliza Tuave and Samontae Dickey who have been chosen to represent OHS on the HSA Council and were presented with their badges on the night.
Entertainment was provided by Timena Veni Moenoa, Sauilepo Falesii, Eliza Tuave and Janet Tuave, who performed a mesmerising Siva Samoa.
Former student Sophia Vavia, who is in her second year at AUT studying for a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Case Management spoke of her journey from leaving school to finally finding her passion in a non clinical major. Sophia will eventually work with clinicians, clients and their families to oversee a plan of care. As well as studying, Sophia is an Oceanian Navigator, a mentor who guides students throughout their journey at AUT.
Shirley Tang, another former student shared her experience as a Registered Nurse and as a patient. Shirley works in the Emergency Department at Middlemore and as a research nurse working on clinical trials. She also has responsibilities overseeing junior nurses. Shirley explained how her attitude to her work changed markedly after she herself was a cancer patient. She became acutely aware of the need for patients to have an advocate and nurses who truly care, who take the time to communicate with their patients, actively listening to them, and telling them what is happening. Shirley now advocates for both patients and staff.
The advice to students from both Sophia and Shirley, was to make sure you do something that you really want to do, not something that other people think you should do. Shirley reminded students of the saying, “ if you do something you love, you won’t work a day in your life.”
This truly enjoyable evening ended with refreshments and an opportunity for questions and socialising.
We would like to sincerely thank both Sophia and Shirley for taking the time to share their experiences with us.
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