Since she was young, Fijian-born EIT nursing student Miriama Tawake had an interest in health and nursing. It’s fair to say, that this interest had been sparked by Miriama’s mother who works as a theatre nurse at Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital.
Miriama’s family – Miriama is the youngest of four children – moved from Fiji to Rarotonga when Miriama was two years old. Seven years later the family left the island and came to Hawke’s Bay.
During her high school years, Miriama worked in aged residential care, where she met a few EIT nursing students who were on placement. Chatting to them about their studies and experiences fuelled her passion for people’s health and wellbeing even more.
Straight after high school Miriama came to EIT and completed a Certificate in Health Science and went on to study towards the Bachelor of Nursing.
“I’m in my last year now and I absolutely love it. I have made so many friends and we pushed and supported each other throughout the years. Our lecturers also help us through everything and are really approachable.”
Miriama received the Ministry of Health Pacific Health Scholarship, as well as the Tūruki Scholarship from the Hawke’s Bay DHB, which helped to pay her study fees. She is also working part-time in the Mary Doyle Retirement Village in Havelock North.
Miriama can picture herself working in Aged Residential Care after graduating.
“I really enjoy caring for older people. They can be so funny, and there are so many little moments of joy.”
The number of placements which are part of the degree introduced her to a broad variety of nursing experiences.
“It was great to get so much real work experience – from community mental health to the specialist surgery ward at the Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
Although Miriama and her mother share a common passion, nursing was never a regular dinner conversation in the Tawake household.
“But it’s great to be able to reach out to my mum if I have questions or concerns. She is a great support.”
After graduation Miriama wants to realise one of her dreams. “I always wanted to travel through Europe. And I guess I might deserve a little holiday.”