The first students to study in Ko Awatea have arrived, beginning a journey which will transform them into qualified healthcare professionals and “brilliant improvement experts”.
About 12 third year AUT midwifery students and 100 MIT final-semester nursing students were welcomed into Ko Awatea on July 11.
They were given a welcome and a tour of the centre before their classes got underway. Students raved about how “lovely” Ko Awatea is and how it has everything they need, such as coffee, computers and classrooms available for study groups.
“The facility’s fantastic and they’ve put a lot of thought into it,” says MIT nursing student Rachel Dunn. “Like the glass walls – seeing people walk past will spark different ideas and spread inspiration. We can grow, meet new people and develop our ideas from there. Or, if you need to jump to the ward and ask questions there, we’re within walking distance now.”
MIT and AUT representatives were also praising the centre and the linkages it will make possible.
“We are just excited beyond belief. The potential for doing loads of stuff with both maternity and the wider CMDHB community is really here,” says Jackie Gunn, Head of Midwifery at AUT. “This is the culmination of such a lot of planning and it’s just a fantastic facility. Our students are blown away. They came in this morning and went ‘wow, wow, look at all those computers’.”
Michelle Nicholson-Burr, Final Semester Coordinator at MIT, is looking forward to involving some CMDHB clinical staff in training.
“That link between theory and practise is hugely important to us and I think this strengthens that. It starts to become seamless.”
Ko Awatea Director, Professor Jonathon Gray, talked about workforce development interlinking with quality improvement and performance and systems improvement at Ko Awatea, and challenged the students to become “brilliant improvement experts” themselves.
“Success for me will be when fantastic people like you come out of your training not just as nurses but also brilliant improvement experts. How do you identify the problem, maybe make some suggestions about what we could do better, drive forward the improvement and then check to see if it has got better?”
Speaking to the nursing students, Director of Nursing Denise Kivell also challenged those present to be “fresh, friendly and approachable” ambassadors in their new environment.
“This is so exciting that you are part of history and actually working in the health environment. I look forward to working with you and maybe even pinning your medals on so keep that vision.” Classes for first and second year AUT midwifery students, and third-semester MIT nursing students, started at Ko Awatea the following week.