Christine Clark

Christine Clark

Chief Executive, Kalandra Education Group
Doctor of Health Science
Master of Health Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Health Professional Education

What she enjoyed most about her studies was the support she received every single step of the way, says Dr Christine Clark who completed her Doctor of Health Science in 2018.

“I decided to enrol in the Doctor of Health Science because I loved the idea of being part of a group and of completing papers prior to starting my doctoral thesis. I enjoyed the huge amount of support provided not just by my supervisors but also by the leaders of AUT, the other students and by the Grounded Theory Group.

“You never feel alone and the support includes really preparing you for submission of the thesis and for the oral defence of your thesis. I had both of my supervisors with me on the actual day and they were totally wonderful.”

Making a difference to the healthcare sector
For her doctoral research, Christine used grounded theory to research how healthcare assistants managed their day. Her research was supervised by Dr Barbara McKenzie-Green and Professor Valerie Wright-St Clair from the AUT Centre for Active Ageing.

“The theory that resulted from my research explains that the healthcare assistant works in a very blurred domain; frequently extending their role into the realm of the Registered Nurse. My research findings can definitely be used to support the call for regulation of this very vulnerable workforce.”

Her studies also inspired her to start her own business; successful training organisation Kalandra Education Group.

“During my study I started a business called Kalandra, developing programmes and facilitating training in the care of the older person. My studies revealed huge gaps and inconsistencies in care, and at Kalandra we’re working to close these gaps.”

Taking on postgraduate study
Postgraduate study wasn’t always easy, Christine admits.

“I started postgraduate study 30 years after completing my diploma as a Comprehensive Registered Nurse. It was so very different that I was given a large booklet to help me understand all the new jargon and requirements, including APA referencing.

“I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Health Professional Education at the age of 53, and decided I wanted the white tassel on the mortarboard and thus enrolled in the Master of Health Science. From there it wasn’t a difficult step to complete a doctorate, and I actually really enjoyed it.”

She has some great advice for other health professionals considering further study.

“I think there are three very important points: you need to have a real passion for your subject, you must ask questions no matter how stupid you think they are, and you must timeframe your study very clearly and stick to it.”