Name: Leigh Miller
What made you decide to enrol in NZTC’s New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Health Assistant Strand (Level 3)?
I completed a Level 3 certificate through my workplace in 2014, but when I heard about the qualification being offered through NZTC, I jumped at the opportunity to repeat it. I felt that repeating the qualification would be invaluable in reinforcing my knowledge and to learn new things.
Tell us more about your career up to this point.
I have worked in the healthcare sector for 16 years, both as part of the district health board as an orderly and in private care facilities – predominantly in elderly care. I worked in a small hospital for nine years, which I loved. However, I sustained shoulder injuries that required surgery, so I was unfortunately unable to continue that role due to the heavy manual handling it required. I then moved into a community support worker role, where I still am today.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love meeting and working with people. The daily tasks are the job, but the people are my passion.
What has been your experience studying with NZTC?
The NZTC Health and Wellbeing Level 3 experience has been better than I could have hoped for. I have already learnt so much more than the previous time I did the certificate. I’ve had a bit of difficulty sorting out a study regime, but it is a work in progress. The tutorial support has been fabulous.
What has been your favourite subject so far?
In terms of learning something new, the content that focuses on abuse has been the best for me. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the subject but it was definitely an eye-opener. There are so many types of abuse, so many signs to be aware of and angles to come from if you suspect abuse. It’s such a broad topic and very prevalent in society today.
What would your advice be for people who are already in the profession and thinking of furthering their studies?
I believe this is the best way to gain this qualification. In my experience, you do not get the support or knowledge that comes with studying through NZTC when doing the certificate another way.
What do you think the importance of a qualification like this is?
They are essential in the healthcare sector. It is not enough to simply love working with people. Of course compassion, kindness and respect are essential, but in the 21st century healthcare assistants are so much more and need so much more knowledge and skills. The dos and don’ts, health and safety, professional boundaries etc.
How do you think this qualification will help you in your work?
The knowledge I have gained so far has shown me that, even though I feel I have been doing the right thing, I need to be reminded that a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous – both for the client and myself. It has reminded me that it is easy to forget the teaching and fall back into bad habits and corner cutting.