Former nurse finds joy in caring for the elderly

Former nurse finds joy in caring for the elderly

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Ella Zhang with her client Mary

Ella Zhang worked as a registered nurse in China, before moving to New Zealand and beginning a different career path.

Now working as a healthcare assistant in a retirement home, the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Support) (Level 4) student enjoys supporting her elderly clients.

With the help of the college’s extensive student support network, Ella has been able to balance her studies with her work and life commitments and gain other valuable skills alongside her qualification.

What do you enjoy most about caring for others?
I enjoy listening to clients’ concerns, cheering them up when they are going through tough times, and trying my best to help make them feel that they are always heard and cared for.

What has been your experience studying online?
Studying with NZTC Online was challenging at the start, with all the new computer skills I had to learn. But with great support from the college’s IT Team, I soon mastered all the things that I needed to know. Before studying this program, I would never have thought that one day I would be doing the things I am now doing on the computer.

Have you experienced any challenges during your studies?
At first I found it challenging searching the internet for information related to a course assessment, as I would get distracted and lose focus. But after completing a few assessments, I learned to concentrate on what I needed to find online and complete the task at hand.

How has the college supported you in your studies?
The support I’ve received from the college is fast, efficient, and above and beyond. The IT Team has been brilliant – especially when I was in China for a few weeks at the start of the program. The college helped me in the best way they could to make my study experience more enjoyable. The lecturers are always there to help through chat, eMessage, face-to-face, or on the phone. My peers from the same program offer support to each other – the online discussion forums are very good to catch up with others and help steer you in the right direction.

Have you been able to apply what you are learning in your work?
It’s a big yes to this question. The last assessment I had was to identify an issue at work and come up with a solution for management. The solution I suggested was well-received by my colleagues and management, and has resulted in a better outcome for our clients’ health and wellbeing. It has changed the way how things are done and everyone at work is more involved, rather than just reporting problems and leaving it to management to address.

What would your advice be for people who are thinking of furthering their studies in health and wellbeing?
Go ahead and get on board with the Health and Wellbeing qualifications at NZTC. This program will not just help you gain a certificate – you’ll also gain other skills along the way. Through this program, the college helps you to open your eyes, look around yourself and have a clear perspective, helping you to gain the skills you need to assist clients to achieve a better health outcome and live the quality life they wish for.