Friday 02 February 2018

A lot of nurses completing their graduate year at Bass Coast Health talk about the exceptional support they have received. As she reaches the end of her grad year, Randy feels that this support has made an enormous difference to her during the last twelve months.

Randy’s journey at Bass Coast Health began in 2011. “I’ve worked at BCH as a Personal Care Attendant, then I did my Diploma while working full time, then I worked in the aged care and acute settings before taking on a grad position”, she explains.

Randy says she has worked, in various capacities, in most of the clinical areas of Bass Coast Health and feels strongly that it is the positive culture and extraordinary support of her colleagues that sets the health service apart from others, ”It’s a family, a home. You form really close relationships with other nurses, doctors, cleaners, ward clerks. They know the highlights and the low-lights of your life and because of that closeness you feel very supported and safe”.

Randy says she is pleased she was supported to jump out of her comfort zone to gain new skills during her grad year. “I was a bit nervous at first, because I was so comfortable working in the Medical Ward but I was encouraged to work somewhere different. I didn’t know how I’d go doing my grad year in the unfamiliar areas of the Operating Suite and Surgical Ward, but everyone was fantastic and now I have a whole set of new skills which has boosted my confidence”.

Bass Coast Health now offers an extension of this support to its graduate nurses through a one year transition program, where assistance and guidance is available to graduates from the Learning & Development team and Associate Nurse Unit Managers in the areas they are working.

Randy chose not to participate in the transition program for two reasons. “I’m thrilled to say that I’ve already secured an ongoing position in the Medical Ward, and apart from that, I’m expecting my first child, so will be on maternity leave most of this year”, she beams. 

Randy believes working in a rural hospital gives graduates more varied experiences than their metropolitan counterparts, as they have the chance work in a variety of areas such as Medical, Emergency, Operating Suite, District Nursing. ““I love how BCH tries to accommodate grads by asking ‘What are you looking for and how can we give it to you?’”, says Randy.

Securing grad nurses to become part of the BCH team in a meaningful and permanent way at the end of their grad year or transition year is something the organisation tries hard to achieve. “They’ve seen you develop from a novice grad, so they know what your strengths are and have supported you with your limitations and they really care about catering what they offer you to suit your individual situation”.

"I'd absolutely recommend doing your grad year at BCH!"

For more information about the graduate program offered at Bass Coast Health, please call 5671 3320.