More than 100 Allied Health graduates will participate in a new Gold Coast Health program aimed at delivering better connected care to the Gold Coast community.
Today marks the start of the Graduate Allied Health Program which brings together recent graduates from a range of fields including physiotherapy, speech pathology, dietetics, pharmacy, occupational therapy, psychology, social work and medical imaging.
Allied Health Professor Sharon Mickan, a joint appointment between Gold Coast Health and Griffith University, said the innovative program would support novice Allied Health staff in their first professional role to become confident and reflective health workers ready to deliver patient-centred care.
“We already invest a great deal in the continued learning of intern doctors and graduate nurses and this program extends that, for the first time, to the wide and varied Allied Health staff working in multidisciplinary teams across our wards, outpatients and community-based services,” Professor Mickan said.
“A graduate program is also an opportunity to welcome new staff and to give them a sense of the culture and expectations of the organisation.”
A team of clinical facilitators have developed the targeted program which currently encompasses a combination of three workshops over six months, facilitated learning and group work.
Nallini McCleery is a Senior Clinical Pharmacy Educator who oversees six intern pharmacists working across wards at Gold Coast University and Robina hospitals.
“In the early phases of their transition from student to professional, we find that graduates would benefit from further developing core professional skills such as communication and and collaborative teamwork,” Mrs McCleery said.
“This program will also aim to counter some of the feelings of isolation and inadequacy often experienced in a first professional role.”
Psychologist Nyketa Noffke began her role with Mental Health and Specialist Services after graduating with a Masters of Clinical Psychology.
She is looking forward to the Allied Health Graduate Program, which is modelled on a similar initiative in Victoria.
“I’ve been working towards my qualification for eight years and I know it’s very important for my development and my growth professionally to have open communication skills and be able to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team,” Ms Noffke said.
Gold Coast Health is the City’s largest employer with more than 70% of staff in clinical roles.