Final-year Nursing students in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) enjoyed a fun-filled and informative day at the annual Exit Orientation and Graduate Recruitment Programme on the Howard College campus.

The Exit programme was first introduced at the College in 2013 as a support tool for final-year students exiting the academic programme. It is an important first step for graduating students as it provides valuable introduction into expectations in the work scenario and offers useful strategies to overcome fears and problems.

The 2018 programme – attended by about 60 final-year Bachelor of Nursing students – coincided with World Mental Health Day and thus embraced relevant aspects of self-care and mental health issues.

Student Councellor, Mrs Wulganithi Thaver, welcomed and applauded students for nearing the end of their educational journey, saying they were participating in a significant transitional activity.

‘Your physical appearance and how you carry yourself can indicate whether or not you take your job seriously,’ said Thaver, while giving a talk on CV writing, interviewing skills, image and grooming.

Thaver also advised students about efficient financial management. ‘Understanding finances is key for new graduates entering the workplace. They should be able to differentiate between needs and wants and learn to live according to their financial means,’ she said.

Medical School based Student Counsellor, Ms Suzanne Stokes, engaged students on ethics and professionalism, also exploring moral and ethical dilemmas that could occur within the world of work. She also touched on how social media can have a negative or positive impact on professional image and explored how it could be used as an online tool in, for example, building awareness or facilitating campaigns on health-related concerns in a community. The dangers of using social media and ethical implications were also emphasised, ‘Think twice before you post or share something on social media platforms as it can come back to haunt you,’ she warned.

Clinical Psychologist and Student Counsellor in the CHS, Ms Sithabile Ndlovu, led a discussion about Mental Health and Wellness. The discussion focused on dispelling popular myths and empowering students to be able to identify mental illness and seek appropriate help as early as possible.

Words: Lihle Sosibo