2nd-year student, Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine
She chose to study paramedicine to make a difference in people’s lives, says health sciences student Joyce Giheno who came to AUT as an international student from Papua New Guinea.
“I’m studying paramedicine to make a difference to my country by providing adequate services to the people who need it most. Papua New Guinea is a developing country, and there’s no adequate access to proper healthcare. 94% of people live in rural areas and often travel for days to the nearest hospital.
“After I finish my Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine, I’d like to go back to Papua New Guinea and work with the government to improve the country’s health services, in particular establishing adequate pre-hospital services in the rural areas of Papua New Guinea.”
Creating world-ready graduates
She would highly recommend AUT’s paramedicine programme, says Joyce whose studies are supported by a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship.
“AUT is a leader in the field of paramedicine in Australasia. The academic staff are experienced paramedics themselves, and have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their profession. Your AUT training will set you up as a competent paramedic wherever in the world you decide to practise your profession.
“Paramedicine can be challenging but the support and expertise the lecturers bring to the classroom keep you engaged and encouraged to succeed in your profession.”
Her biggest challenge was moving to New Zealand to study, Joyce admits.
“I initially had some trepidation and thought It would be harder for me to assimilate to the study environment here at AUT. However, choosing AUT has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learnt and experienced so much, and the camaraderie and friendship you build with your classmates while studying is wonderful.”
Experiencing life as a paramedic
She enjoys the practical aspect of the clinical placements, Joyce says.
“The first thing you’re introduced to is transporting patients, and by the third semester you’re on the frontline where all the action happens. You meet a lot of paramedics and EMTs on shift and learn so much from their life experience. No two days are the same, and you get to see the sign of relief on the patients’ faces when they see the paramedics have arrived. That’s so rewarding.”
Joyce could also draw on her paramedicine skills when she and a classmate were the first on the scene of an accident earlier in 2018.
“My friend Annie Finau and I came across a multiple vehicle accident while heading home after our exams. We assessed and treated some 40 patients on scene, before emergency personnel arrived. I saw how well the training at AUT had equipped us with the skills needed to help people. Even as students we could make a difference in people’s lives.”