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SIT Educators tutors selected to make presentation


Johanna Rhodes, Southern Institute of Technology, Head of School of Nursing and Mary McMillan Paper Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nursing Year Two, Professional Issues, and Year Three, Clinical Practicum in the mental health practice settings have been selected to make presentations at an international conference to be held in China in October.

The 7th Sino NZ Vocational Education and Training Model Symposium demonstrates the shared commitment between both New Zealand and Chinese Ministries of Education, and showcases best practice in the delivery of vocational teaching.

Johanna and Mary put forward two abstracts for the symposium and feel very honoured and humbled to be invited to China to present. “We did not expect to be selected and were extremely humbled to get our acceptance email”, they said.

The pair embrace teaching pedagogies that reflect the ‘real world’, believing that they are critical to developing ‘work ready’ graduates who are equipped to work in the intricate, and fluctuating world of health care.

They will give two presentations. The first is the Southland Interprofessional Education Project in collaboration with SIT’s School of Nursing, University of Otago and the Southern District Health Board at Southland Hospital. Mary and Johanna developed and have run this project since 2014.

The development of the Interprofessional Education Programme came about due to the recognition that health professional education happen in traditional silos. Mary and Johanna believed that health education training paradigms require the acquisition of teamwork skills during clinical practice. The old paradigm does leave the development of these skills to serendipity, and may affect patient outcomes. Therefore, the IPE programme offers an opportunity for students to work together.

“Interprofessional team training by means of shared learning, active communication, team dynamics training, and collaborative assessment and treatment planning can potentially improve the teamwork of health professional students”.

The second presentation is one Johanna has worked on with five inspiring third year Bachelor of Nursing students, implementing a student mentorship programme. This programme aims to foster better communication and community between students, reducing stress and anxiety, and essentially helping to improve a sense of belonging said Johanna.


“New students to SIT are invited to join the programme during orientation week. The mentorship programme leaders then match the mentors and mentees”, Johanna said.
At the symposium, she will provide an insight into the implementation of the student-driven mentorship programme, highlighting its value.

Both Johanna and Mary are delighted to have been selected to present at the symposium and are looking forward to absorbing the knowledge, inspiration and creativity of the many educators/teachers who will be presenting.

“We will be enriched by the cultural diversity and unique situation that we have been offered,” Mary said.

“We know that this will enrich our teaching and learning”.

The symposium will be held on October 14 and 15 October at the Qingdao Technical College.


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