3rd-year student, Bachelor of Health Science in Case Management
Her 10-week work placement at Lifewise Health & Disability Services was an eyeopener, says Faza Azharashid who is about to graduate with a Bachelor of Health Science in Case Management.
“During my placement, I learned how Lifewise delivers care to support vulnerable adults and people with disabilities. I also watched and learned how a case manager supports clients’ physical activity, and found out what types of programmes or referrals are most likely to be effective. Another thing I was tasked with was to identify the cultural diversity in the organisation’s clients, which contributed to my professional understanding of how to build rapport with diverse clients and the long lasting healthy impact it has on them.
“I’m grateful that a non-profit organisation like Lifewise has given novice students like me this priceless work opportunity. I’d also like to say a special thank you to my lecturer Dr Caroline Stretton who helped me navigate the system, and provided guidance and reassurance every step of the way.”
She says the career of a case manager resonates with her because she believes in lending a hand to turn lives around for good.
“A case manager’s role is to evaluate and coordinate treatment visits, medication and overall care. However, my favourite task is motivating the patient and their whānau to be active participants in their own health. We’re aging not just as a community, but as a world. Hence, working with the elderly is an important job in our society. As a case manager, I’d like to address the root cause of social issues, so that individuals, families and communities can have a better future.”
Inspired to make a difference
She has always wanted to work in healthcare to help the community, says Faza who is originally from Singapore but went to high school in Christchurch.
“I was diagnosed with a bilateral hearing impairment at the age of three, but I was fortunate to be blessed with such kind caregivers and health practitioners that I aimed to become one too. Both my parents are my idols. Dad is a paediatric dentist and mum runs her own charity foundation. Being a case manager fulfils my ambitions of working in healthcare like my dad and helping the less-abled in the community like my mum.”
However, Faza initially came to AUT with a different health career in mind.
“As an international student, I was over the moon when I was offered a spot in one of AUT’s coveted clinical degrees. Regretfully, I didn’t read about the programme thoroughly and the programme wasn’t a good fit for me.
“Fortunately, I had AUT guardian angels like Dr Caroline Stretton and the AUT International team who offered educational advice and motivated me. I was encouraged to speak to AUT’s non-clinical health science team who put together a list of degrees that would suit my strengths. They were also very positive and encouraged me to explore a few general courses before I made the decision to stick with a major in case management. After that, my motivation soared as did my grades. I was no longer ‘just passing’ but scoring A’s.”
Advice for other students
Faza’s advice to other students is simple: never give up.
“There is no right or wrong timeline for when one needs to finish a degree. What is best for someone else may not be the best for you. Be patient when things don't go your way. Most importantly, seize every opportunity that comes. The right moment will be revealed to you at the right time.”
She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s case management degree.
“It’s a good programme for healthcare students who are interested in a managerial role. Not every student can be a doctor, but I believe all doctors need a case manager to help them organise patients and treatments. If you enjoy meeting others, have a knack for motivating and educating people, and are willing to take charge, then this is the healthcare degree to pursue.”