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April 2015

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Graduate Nurses Harry Purvis and Tenille Oliver.

Western District hails new nurse generation

Harry Purvis from Cavendish started thinking about nursing as a career when he saw a double degree offered at Australian Catholic University Ballarat that would allow him to complete two degrees in four years, rather than just one in three.

‘The double degree I completed was nursing and paramedicine and, although I’d like to consolidate my nursing first and get established as a registered nurse, the degree gives me the option to do paramedics later.

Mr Purvis is one of 10 recently-graduated nurses welcomed to Western District Health Service.

As part of the WDHS graduate nurse program, Mr Purvis will spend several months in the medical and surgical units at Hamilton Base Hospital and will then get experience in an aged care setting at the Grange Residential Care Service.

‘I want to learn as much about as many different areas of nursing as possible but my particular interest is to work in acute areas like emergency and theatre.

‘The last few weeks, I’ve been in the medical unit, where the staff have all been great and very supportive,’ Mr Purvis said.

Tenille Oliver studied at Federation University in Ballarat and has started her graduate year at Coleraine, where she will work for four months and then move on to the Hamilton hospital medical and surgical units.

‘I’m currently working in the nursing home at Coleraine and I am absolutely loving it.

‘It’s just such a homely feel, you’ve got that time to talk with residents and find out about their lives and have a good chat while still providing a really high standard of care.

‘I love the patient interaction, I enjoy seeing people smile and making their day better,’ Miss Oliver said.

Both Mr Purvis and Miss Oliver are pleased with their decision to do their graduate year in a rural hospital setting.

‘My preference was for a rural hospital because of the lifestyle.

‘The rent is cheaper and my family is close by – and I’ve also been really well-supported by the staff here on previous placements as a student,’ Mr Purvis said.

Miss Oliver moved from Drysdale to Hamilton with her partner and both are getting involved in the local community.

‘My partner has been recruited to play football for Dunkeld/Glenthompson and I am playing netball, so we are loving life here,’ Miss Oliver said.

Miss Oliver also likes the fact there are three rotations in the WDHS graduate program.

‘Some other hospitals offer four rotations in their graduate program but I think with three, you get more time in an area to find your feet, consolidate your skills and to really feel part of the team.’

The Registered Nurse Graduate Program at WDHS is an educational program designed to consolidate nursing skills and increase professional awareness under the supervision and guidance of experienced and competent nurses.

WDHS Chief Executive Officer Rohan Fitzgerald said the health service was supportive of creating training opportunities for new nurses.

‘We know from the Health Workforce Australia report that by 2025 it is predicted there will be a shortage of 109,000 nurses across Australia.

‘We have a responsibility to ensure the next generation of nurses are equipped to care for our community,’ Mr Fitzgerald said.