Eleven new graduates will start their careers with the South West Hospital and Health Service from 11 February.

South West HHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services David Tibby said the new graduates would undergo a week’s orientation at Roma Hospital before dispersing to their various designated locations for their 12-month graduate transition program.

“Once their orientation is complete, the 11 graduates will be assigned two each to our health facilities at Quilpie, St George, Augathella and Mitchell, and one each at Mungindi, Surat and Charleville,’’ he said.

“They will be working in a variety of areas, including acute medical, surgical, emergency, aged care, community and primary health.

“As in previous years, we will also be welcoming a second intake of graduates in August when we expect to take a further 10–15, depending upon applications.’’

Mr Tibby said over the past few years, the South West HHS had been experiencing a strong level of interest from new nursing and midwifery graduates in joining the health service.

“I think this is reflective of the fact the South West HHS is being viewed as an increasingly attractive area in which to pursue their careers,’’ he said.

Mr Tibby said this year’s February intake included one dual-trained registered nurse/paramedic, who would be based initially at Quilpie for six months, before rotating to the Queensland Ambulance Service at Roma for the final six months of his first year.

A second dual-trained graduate nurse was expected to be employed in the August intake also.

“These are nurses who have completed a dual degree in paramedicine and nursing,’’ Mr Tibby said.

“Upon completing their studies, these dual-trained nurses undertake the same 12-month graduate transition program as all our newly graduated nursing staff, except that their program will be split between the health service and the QAS, spending six months with each organisation.

“In many of our smaller, more isolated communities, the local ambulance services are actually operated out of the local hospital or health facility by hospital and health service employees.

“Our nurses staff these hospital-based ambulances, supported by a volunteer driver program coordinated by the QAS.

“As our nurses are first responders to an incident in these situations, it actually makes very good sense for them to have both nursing and paramedical skills.

“It’s also an attractive career option as it allows the successful graduate to choose a career either in nursing or paramedicine, and to swap over more easily later in their careers if they want a change.

“It also improves the capacity of both the health service and the QAS to attract and retain staff as it gives staff more options for their future career progression.’’

Mr Tibby said the health service and QAS were working together to promote the concept of dual-trained registered nurses.

“In 2018, we also had two dual degree nurses undertake their 12-month graduate program with us and the QAS here in the South West and both are still with us,’’ he said.

Mr Tibby said the health service was very excited to welcome the first of this year’s planned graduate intake.

“As a health service, we are committed to providing training opportunities for graduate nurses,’’ he said.

“They are an important part of our team, and we value the contribution they will make.

“They have chosen a rewarding and fulfilling profession that provides many pathways for career development, and is a fabulous way of serving the community in which we live.’’

For further information contact:

James Guthrie

Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld

Media and Communication

Department of Health

(07) 3708 5379