Nurses learn te reo to bond with Māori patients

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Nursing students at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Taradale are learning Te Reo Māori in an effort to help connect with more Māori patients. Efforts that will see more Te Reo Māori spoken in the health sector.

Basic greetings are at the core of their learning to help break the ice when engaging with patients.

Nursing student Clair Rochester says, “It's quite difficult from anything that I've ever tried before and I do speak other languages and so for me, I think that's why I enjoy having a go at it. I think it is important to be able to say something, even if it's just hello, I want to be able to say it properly.”

Māori language teacher, Kare Tipa says, “For a long time we've been learning the Māori language in a health context, but last year, we though that we would concentrate of pronunciation first and foremost for people in the health sector.”

Once they've mastered that, they will go on to learn their genealogy before advancing to specialist words specific to the health sector.

“Research tells us that when it comes to patient care, showing respect to their language helps to lift their spirits,” says Tipa.

Their new found confidence in Te Reo Māori will hopefully boost their confidence when it comes to wherever it is they may end up in the Health Sector.

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