"Always up for a chat"

By Petrina Wright | Posted: Sunday June 25, 2023

Southern Institute of Technology first year nursing students Jorja Richards (left) and Fareen Shabnam hone their communications skills with Peacehaven care home resident Heather Rance.

As part of their Bachelor of Nursing programme, first year students were partnered with volunteers from Peacehaven Village for one hour a week for four weeks where they learned about the volunteer's background and medical history. The experience was designed to give the students the opportunity to enhance their communication skills and learn how to build rapport.

Enliven Southland has a long-standing connection with the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Bachelor Nursing Programme.

This year, 22 students partnered with 11 Village and Care Home residents. The programme ran on Wednesday mornings from 24 May to 14 June.

Jorja said the students could choose which location they visited, including school classes and aged care homes, but she chose aged care because she was interested in working in the sector and wanted to see what the environment was like.

Resident Heather Rance said she was happy to volunteer for the assignment.

"I'm always up for a chat," she said.

SIT nurse educator Paula Stephenson said part of the students primary health and health promotion paper was to learn about effective communication styles and work with people to promotion wellness. 

The students learned about the residents' health and wellbeing and their interaction with the healthcare system. They discussed health conditions, looked at health promotion ideas, and had a general chat about health. she said.