The health cadetship is a pathway into a health career for Māori and Pasifika people. We know that having a nursing workforce that reflects our population can only lead to better health outcomes. We’re really keen to increase the number of Maori and Pasifika nurses working at Auckland DHB. The cadetship is just one of the ways we reduce barriers to joining the health workforce.
Throughout the programme you’ll receive mentoring from our nursing team as well as pastoral and cultural support. All the learning is in a whānau/aiga learning environment.
The programme takes about 9 months to complete. At the end of the 9 months, you will have completed your level 3 qualification in Health and Wellbeing and you’ll remain at Auckland DHB as one of our valued Health Care Assistant.
The level 3 certificate can be a springboard to other careers in health such as nursing, phlebotomy or midwifery. If you chose to go into a nursing role there may be scholarships available to help you.
To apply for the programme, you will need to be Māori or Pasifika and be at least 18 years old and have completed a minimum of three years secondary school or equivalent. You do not need to hold any qualifications in the healthcare field to join the programme.
Pauline Martin took the cadetship programme as an opportunity to move from being a hospital cleaner to becoming a healthcare assistant. “It was an excellent programme to be on,” she says. “It’s given an opportunity for people like me who have not been in education for a while. I think the beauty of this programme is that it gave us an opportunity to work hands-on, to learn the practical skills that we needed to do and implement them into our written work. It is much easier to do it that way.”
Pauline was assigned to different wards that enhanced her learning experience. “It was great to work alongside, and be trained by brilliant health professionals, says Pauline. “I was able to use various equipment and help with the patients. I feel quite blessed to be able to do that because that’s my passion – to help people in need, people that are sick, or just be there for someone to talk to for comfort. I was able to use best practices within my wards.”
Pauline’s late father inspired her to get into the healthcare industry. “I’m now able to say yes, I’ve done it, I’m a healthcare assistant and I’m qualified. I know what I’m doing.”
Calvin Fuimaono Aiesi Naoia has his eyes are set on becoming a nurse one day. He was already a semester into doing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing when his father got diagnosed with cancer. “I had to drop out and stayed home to look after him,” he says. “He passed away a few years ago of lung cancer. I tried to get back to study but my head wasn’t in it. So I’m glad the cadetship programme came along.”
He has since re-enrolled to do nursing after getting inspiration from working with nurses on the wards.
Calvin thinks there should be more young Pacific people working in health. “I think there’s not enough Pacific Islanders in there,” he says. “There’s a lot of Pacific Island patients but not enough Pacific Island HCA’s and nurses.”
Calvin feels there is a perception issue that deters young people from considering a career as an HCA. “They see it as a dirty job because it’s cleaning up after people,” he says. “Yes, that is part of the job but that’s not the only thing there is to look at. You look at the relationship you build with the patients and their family. When you go to work, it feels like working with your family. When I go to work in the hospital, it’s my other home, my co-workers are my family.”
Calvin encourages young people to consider joining the profession and be open to on-the-job training. “They not only get the experience, but also get to work and get paid. It’s a really good way to get your foot in the door.”
“A good shift is when I get to break out my dance moves to make patients laugh. A good shift is when everyone is happy, the day is running smoothly, and patients are getting better, “he says. “The best part actually is seeing the patients progress until they get discharged, either walking or going in a wheelchair, and family picking them up. That’s the best part.”
Sascha Henry was so inspired that she decided to pursue nursing soon after she completed the cadetship programme “This cadetship helped me take the next step. I don’t think I would have gone on to nursing if I didn’t have this behind me,” she says. “For me, learning and gaining hands-on experience, really made me want to do nursing. As a healthcare assistant, you see nurses do so much and it made me want to be that person helping that patient.”
Sascha is now studying nursing with a focus on Māori health. “Being a young Māori-Pasifika, and hearing about the statistics of our people in health, it really made me want to push to be in there,” she says. “I want to make a difference for our people within the health sector. I believe I have found my calling.”
She encourages other young people to work in healthcare and consider all educational pathways. “I would highly recommend on-the-job learning, gaining practical experience. We need more of our whānau looking after our whānau. I encourage young people to join the health sector.”