Fri 21 Jun 2019

Huia's story

Tēnā koe,

Ko Taranaki te Maunga

Ko tongaero te Awa

Ko Aotea te waka

Ko Nga Ruahine me Ngati Ruanui te iwi       

Ko Haumoa me Hapotiki te Hapu

Ko Taiporohenui te Marae

Ko Kura Matatini O Taranaki tauiria nehi Māori a hau

Ko Huia Brady toku ingoa

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi; without foresight the people are lost.

Kaupapa: Nursing is a privilege. To deliver kindness, compassion and empathy is a necessity. The provision of holistic care is recognising the relationship of multidimensional beings and the universe.

I grew up in Okato, Taranaki. A small town on the surf highway 45 coastline. It’s a beautiful town known for its farming and coastal lifestyle. My whanau is from south Taranaki on my father’s side and Bay of plenty on my mother’s side, which provides fantastic diversity and whanau across New Zealand and Australia.

Growing up surrounded by the surf, mountain and farming provided me with unique opportunities, which crafted me into the person I am today. However, coming of age and entering a journey of education hasn’t always been easy. At the end of secondary school, I found myself with limited options, low familial support, no income or divers’ licence, increasing identity and mental health challenges.

My situation consisted of becoming a child of the state accessing the youth benefit and figuring out how to finish school, and learning how to be living with my Grandparents back in Okato. At the end of year 13, I presented with lack of understanding of myself, what was happening in my environment, sense of direction and purpose. My grandmother gave me a stern but truthful discussion about my options. In the end, she told me to look at nursing, so I did. I investigated it and set my ambitions toward becoming a nurse. However, I missed four credits on my NCEA to enter nursing - even though I had university entrance. I had to really look at my situation and re-evaluate my decisions to undertake a nursing degree right out of high school. Therefore, I decided to take a gap year and aimed at undertaking the challenge of entering tertiary education in 2015 student loan free.

I enrolled at WITT to undertake further learning to achieve entrance into nursing. It took one semester to achieve the credits then I looked at finding work. I worked three jobs at once whilst learning how to drive and learning to balance my hauora. I worked excessively for six months and slowly reduced the number of jobs to sustain my ambition. I successfully saved my fist year of tuition fees and received support from my grandparents for my course related costs. In my first year, I was lucky enough to be awarded a Sir Maui Pomare Scholarship through WITT. It was worth the first-year tuition fees. I thought to myself: I did it, two out of three years paid. Now for the challenge of getting through the study. Studying at WITT provided me opportunities to study in New Plymouth close to my support networks, and income to promote my ability to access further education.

The school of nursing at WITT allowed me to not only hone my strengths in a clinical practice as a nurse but also in my own identity. The faculty of nursing provided a safe and educative environment for me to expand into a nurse and as person. I faced many challenges regarding both professional and person growth.  I never felt alone in the journey. I had the amazing support from course tutors, leaders and faculty but also from why ora, partner and whanau. I thoroughly enjoyed the practice simulations, clinical experiences and layout of the nursing degree.

The theory content when accompanied by clinical/patient experiences demonstrated a foundational and futuristic approach to learning. WITT achieved producing a nurse who believes in holistic practices and in initiating change in the governmental system.

Throughout my journey, I found the passion and drive for holistic paediatric nursing. I received the support and gained experience from aspects of the district health board and was made to feel as a valued member of the team. I worked alongside highly knowledgeable and holistic health professionals both in the community and hospital settings. Therefore, I developed a new ambition to expand my skill set and knowledge to effectively bring it back for my community and tangata whenua.

At the end of year three, I applied to Nursing entrance to practice (NETP) at both my local district health board (DHB) and Auckland district health board. I made one of the most difficult decisions of my beginning nursing career and chose to make Starship Children’s Hospital my goal. I had to prepare myself for the options of leaving my support networks, whanau and the interprofessional relationships I had made at my local DHB in pursuit of advancing my nursing skill set and personal growth.

It was a sacrifice which allured me to as it would promote my contributions to my community in the future with fierce diversity in my abilities as a nurse/allied health professional.

I was accepted as a new graduate nurse at Starship Children’s Hospital Oncology and Haematology ward. So far, I have faced multiple challenges and increased my learning capacity. Nursing is a continuous learning journey and WITT has provided me with a secure foundation of knowledge and practice to endure the compacity and complexity that is Starship Children’s Hospital Oncology and haematology ward.  I am currently continuing postgraduate study in child health at AUT to endeavour to complete my postgraduate certificate in child health nursing.

My long-term goals are to complete my postgraduate certificate and explore medicine as a future goal. I aim to be a representative health professional for tangata whenua in the provision of an equitable service.

“Take care of our children, take care of what they hear, take care of what they see, take care of what they feel. For how the children grown will be the shape of Aotearoa.”

-           Dame Whina Cooper.


Pictured: Huia Brady.