Former Project SEARCH Intern Impresses

By Naomi Gilling & Alan Heney

Christchurch Hospital Orderly Wiremu Manahi-Holm has only been in the job a short time but is already making an impact with his focus, positivity and work ethic.

The former Project SEARCH intern came to the role after taking part in the programme at Burwood Hospital. 

Project SEARCH is an employer-led programme providing a year-long internship to students with learning disabilities, so they can learn new skills in the workplace, supported by a transitional school environment. 

Wiremu first came for a tour around Christchurch Hospital to get a feel for orderly work in an acute setting, says Orderly Daniel Mayers. 

“He then spent October to December last year with us as an intern. We were so impressed by his work ethic, his determination to learn and do the job correctly that he was hired as a casual. He proved to be reliable, hardworking and willing to learn.” 

As a result, in February, Wiremu was offered a full-time permanent position.
Wiremu, aged 21, who plays basketball with Special Olympics Canterbury, says the best thing about the job is getting to meet new people – both staff and patients.

“The job makes me happy and I am excited and proud of how far I have come starting with Project Search and now here. I enjoy learning and helping people.”

Wiremu is about to commence the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) Level 3 orderlies paper, is learning the Vocera communication system so he can work in the Emergency Department hub and has already passed his certificate for Hoverjack lifting device training.

Daniel says Wiremu is consistently in the top two producing orderlies. 
“He is enthusiastic and very focused on tasks and wants to learn. He knows all about privacy in relation to patients, he passed a test on that with flying colours, and has learnt Canterbury DHB’s core values. Everything that’s been thrown at him he is just spot on with it.”

Orderlies Manager Alan Heney says Wiremu is a warm and interesting person and the orderlies are impressed by how quickly he has picked things up.

“Some people weren’t sure how he would cope working in what can be a pressured environment, but he has absolutely flown. He has a great attitude and continues to grow as a person, to learn, and push himself to be better every day. 

“He has a great work ethic, he’s never late and always smiling. If it wasn’t for Project SEARCH we wouldn’t have met Wiremu and he would never have got this opportunity to show to people and prove to people what he can do. We are extra proud, and he has done so well,” Alan says.

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