Wanted: Healthcare staff making a big difference in small communities

Most Australians know that we’re experiencing a healthcare skills shortage. Healthcare workers have been in high demand for many years, but COVID-19 has bumped demand up to a new, unprecedented level. Compounding the problem, the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic have suppressed supply.

Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) continues its commitment to the delivery of safe, high quality, efficient and effective care and while it’s challenging, we are consolidating our strengths, resilience, and ability to adapt to change and staff shortages. During these next three months we are sending, with the help of a Victorian Government’s initiative called “International Recruitment Program”, three staff to the UK to attend different Job Fairs for Health and Social Care Professionals assisting in efforts to recruit healthcare staff.

TDHS Community Health Nurse Amanda Nash, Diabetes Educator Cheryl Poole, and Social Worker Hayley Weel, will be spruiking working in our Victorian healthcare industry in this wonderful part of the world and with their combined healthcare experience and age range, will provide a different perspective.

Amanda was first to tackle the long-haul flight to attend the Job Fair in Bristol on June 10th. “Having lived, worked and played here for over 40 years, I know how much this part of the world has to offer and I am very grateful for this opportunity to represent TDHS.” Amanda said. “Working in a rural setting provides a varied scope of practice and no day is the same.”

Arriving a couple of days before the Job Fair gave Amanda the opportunity to rest after the long trip and, being a keen walker, exploring some of the area by foot, helped her to recover from the jetlag, with an 8-hour time difference, very quickly. “I caught the early train to Bristol to make the most of the time.” Amanda said. “It was interesting to see ambulances waiting for those spilling out of the pubs and clubs on a Friday night.”

The Job Fair was hectic and very busy with lots of interest in overseas jobs. “Sarah from Swan Hill District Health and myself presented the prepared slide show explaining the process and spruiking living and working in this beautiful part of the world.”

The London Job Fair, held in September, will be attended by Hayley, who is keen to share her enthusiasm for working in small rural communities with the younger Job Fair attendees. “Working here requires a holistic community view and approach, which means you continue being challenged and learn from the team environment you work in.” Hayley said.

For Cheryl, who will be going to the November Job Fair in Birmingham, it feels like coming full circle. “I was only born in Australia because my mum was working for an Australian dentist in London and his enthusiasm about this wonderful country, resulted in my mum convincing her entire family to migrate to Australia.” Cheryl said. “My family has gone on to produce nurses, scientists and a soon to be podiatrist! How great is it that I can go back to the UK to do some more spruiking for the Victorian healthcare industry and hopefully TDHS.”

Please continue to keep an eye on our social media as we follow Hayley and Cheryl on their travels.

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