More Than A Vocation
There are certain professions that are considered pillars of the community. They're not measured by a simple process of ticks and crosses. Instead, they are important in the way they always help others. Nursing is one field that extends well beyond a basic job description.
"The public view us as a really trustworthy profession," Nursing Undergraduate Coordinator for Teaching and Learning Andree Gamble says. "You're allowed into someone's life. I think that's such a valuable position and should be respected so much."
Like any worthwhile job, nursing provides the perfect blend of rewards and challenges. However, the first thing taught is also the most significant. It's always about the person you're assisting. For Andree, it's a point fundamental to Holmesglen's teaching approach.
"We make sure our students are well trained and appreciate that in that bed, surrounded by the beeping machines, is a person, and that person has a family," she says.
With over $5 million invested in Holmesglen's specialised health precinct at the Moorabbin campus, and the institute the only TAFE in Australia offering the Bachelor of Nursing, the focus is therefore on highlighting both the realities and expectations of the profession. "For us, the main thing we try to start with is to really expose students to what it's like to be a nurse."
With simulated labs utilised on campus and industry partners such as Epworth Healthcare, Ramsay Health Care and Healthscope providing consult, students are given the knowledge to make the transition from study to the workforce.
"We're one of the few nursing courses that have a clinical placement in the first semester. Our students do a two week placement."
"We want our students to appreciate from the start that nursing is a profession not just a vocation. They need the knowledge and the skills, but they also need the professionalism. Particularly in the first year, we focus heavily on communication and that spreads right through each year," Andree observes.
From a paediatrics background and with the essential clinical and academic experience, Andree is a valued part of Holmesglen's teaching staff. She understands that students need an inclusive and well-rounded environment to succeed.
"Our students are always seen as very well prepared academically and very professional. Nursing is a teaching role. I often spend hours with students just providing support," she says.
Previously, Holmesglen announced their partnership with the aforementioned private healthcare operator, Healthscope to establish the Holmesglen Private Hospital. Currently in the construction stage, when complete, it will mark Australia's first ever TAFE-based hospital and will house 147 medical and surgical beds. It is due to open in 2017.
"Having somewhere we can send our students and somewhere Healthscope staff can come and do some education [is important]. We're also hoping it can provide some opportunity for current nurses who can't work clinically to do some clinical shifts to make sure they're current."
Nursing is a fulfilling career option for those willing to put in the hard work. Equally, it's a selfless role where the needs of others are put first. As Andree surmises, "It's about patient focus."