A growing commitment to community

A growing commitment to community

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Amber Ford is continuing her commitment to Māori health by becoming a Tamariki Ora Nurse.

Amber had been out of school almost three years when she decided she wanted to be a nurse. Studying for the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (SCP)(external link) at NMIT was the first step on what’s proved to be a very fulfilling career for Amber.

“I quickly realised I knew nothing about becoming a nurse as soon as I started studying,” says Amber, “so it was really good to do the SCP as there is no way I would have been able to do nursing without it.”

Amber went on to gain her Bachelor in Nursing(external link), and after graduating, took up her first full-time role as a NetP Māori Health nurse before accepting her current role as Tamariki Ora nurse for Te Piki Oranga.

Amber says she made great friends at NMIT and really enjoyed her placements, four in total - a district nursing placement going into homes, a hospital placement, a Māori mental health placement, and lastly Te Piki Oranga.

While she experienced the usual set of challenges with study like tough assignments and financial strain, Amber says she simply persevered. “I didn’t sail through it, I really had to study, but I learnt heaps.”

Her understanding of her Māori heritage deepened significantly, due in part to her involvement with the Māori student group and learning to speak te reo Māori part-time at NMIT.(external link)

Amber says being able to speak te reo Māori with her clients has added a deeper level of trust to the client nurse relationship.

“In my job, I can now go to the mums and the babies and speak te reo; it makes such a difference because I’m speaking to them in a way they feel comfortable with and can trust,” says Amber.

For anyone wishing to study nursing at NMIT Amber says: “I thought I’d just be a hospital nurse, but I’ve found a really good niche in Māori health, it is so encouraging. You get a wide range of placements at NMIT which is great and I left feeling really prepared.”

“It feels great to be working for my own people, it’s really rewarding because I’ve got the opportunity to make change long term.”

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