Fostering future healthcare professionals
Published at: 14 Feb 2020
FOUR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES FROM ACROSS THE REGION HAVE TAKEN UP GAP YEAR POSITIONS AT GOULBURN VALLEY HEALTH. THE INITIATIVE HAS ALLOWED THE BUDDING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS THE OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS WHILE WORKING IN A LOCAL SETTING.
GV Health received a fantastic response to the inaugural gap year program advertised late last year, according to GV Health Executive Director People & Culture, Stacey Weeks.
Four school leavers began the 2020 Gap Year Traineeship Program at GV Health’s Graham Street Campus last week in departments throughout the health service.
Ms Weeks said the amount of applications received demonstrated an interest in gaining employment at GV Health from school leavers.
She said the decision to advertise the gap year roles came after a staff member had suggested the initiative could be beneficial.
Ms Weeks said the suggestion aligned directly with GV Health’s Workforce Plan and, in particular, around the growth of GV Health’s workforce.
“They are all local people who want to study health,” she said.
Ms Weeks said allied health was one area in particular where it could be challenging to recruit and retain staff and therefore two gap year positions were offered for that department.
“We also partnered in a research project with the University of Melbourne on allied health recruitment and retention, in which the grow your workforce was a recommendation,” she said.
Ms Weeks said the new staff would have the opportunity to rotate through different areas of the health service in an effort to align their interests with their work.
“It will give them a great opportunity to see what roles are available within healthcare and what field they may wish to pursue,” she said.
“It’s also an opportunity for them to gain a wide range of skills.”
Ms Weeks said GV Health hoped to continue to offer the gap year positions on an annual basis.
GV Health Community Rehabilitation Centre Manager Katherine Lowe said the new recruits had been very keen and quick to learn since starting their positions.
“They’ve been very mature with the staff and patients,” she said.
ALLIED HEALTH ASSISTANT, COMMUNITY REHABILITATION – MADI DOWELL
After completing the VET in Schools program during Year 11 and 12, Mooroopna’s Madi Dowell knew a gap year at GV Health was for her.
The former Notre Dame College student said she had completed a Certificate III in Allied Health Service Assistance and Health Service Assistance which cemented her desire to work in the medical profession.
“I did placements with that,” she said.
“I just loved being hands on with the patients and getting to talk to different people from different backgrounds.”
Ms Dowell said she was excited when she found out she had been accepted into the program and began working at the health service last week.
“(I’ve been doing) a lot of group therapy sessions… and a couple of sessions with a physio,” she said.
Ms Dowell said she found out about the role through her connections with GV Health staff through the VETiS program.
She said she was looking forward to being in the hospital setting every day after only experiencing it on placement days during school.
“You get to see how things run behind the scenes,” she said.
ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT – BRODIE LITTLE
Before attending university to study a Bachelor of Nursing, Brodie Little said she wanted to take a gap year.
Ms Little said she discovered her love of the healthcare profession when studying a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance and Health Assistance in Nursing in Year 11 and 12.
After completing high school at Numurkah Secondary College, Ms Little said she was eager to apply for the gap year program at GV Health.
“I just wanted to take a break from study,” she said.
“I love working in the hospital setting so I thought it would be a good opportunity.”
It was while undertaking placement at the Numurkah Hospital when Ms Little said she found out about the gap year positions.
“One of the girls there said it would good to apply for,” she said.
HEALTH ASSISTANT IN NURSING – STEPH HICKS
Steph Hicks has immersed herself in GV Health’s Dialysis Unit since beginning her gap year position last week.
After attending Notre Dame College and completing work experience at GV Health in Year 10, the Tatura woman said she planned on studying a Bachelor of Nursing next year.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it and I thought that this would give me good insight into whether it’s something I want to do in the future and what ward I find the most interesting,” she said.
“At the moment I’m in dialysis which I’m finding really interesting.
“When you come into the hospital you don’t realise what it’s all about so I’m learning so much behind the scenes.”
Ms Hicks said she was accepted into a nursing course at La Trobe University’s Shepparton campus after applying for universities around the region.
ALLIED HEALTH ASSISTANT – LILY KENNEDY
Lily Kennedy knew she wanted to pursue a career in health.
So, when the gap year position advertised at GV Health popped up, she thought it was a great opportunity.
After taking on work experience in the allied health sector during high school at St Mary of the Angels Secondary College in Nathalia, Ms Kennedy discovered her love for healthcare.
“(I like) helping people and getting to meet lots of different people,” she said.
“Some of the people you meet are so nice.”
Ms Kennedy said she found out about the position through word of mouth and thought it would be a good opportunity.