New program aids health graduates

ALLIED Health graduates and young professionals are receiving more hands-on help than ever, thanks to a new graduate program that is being implemented in the northern suburbs.
The program is aimed at bridging the gap between study and the workforce for those chasing careers in allied health fields, such as physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology and occupational therapy.
Graduate programs are common practice for fledgling doctors and nurses, but this is the first time allied health professionals have been able to access the hospital sector at the Lyell McEwin Hospital during their transition.
Twelve allied health graduates are currently participating in the inaugural 12-month program.
Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) Graduate Program co-ordinator Jessica Frost said the initiative provides a “wonderful” opportunity for young graduates to hone their skills at their local hospital.
“Other professions, such as nursing, have long had graduate programs and we are thrilled to now be able to offer this to our allied health graduates,” she said.
“We believe this will help maintain a dedicated and talented workforce in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, and help in attracting and recruiting the best graduates to our hospitals in the future.”
Program participant and physiotherapist Madeleine Milne said the program has provided a supportive environment, which has helped foster her learning.
“I loved my placement here, the team and the hospital as well,” she said.
“It’s expanding and things are changing all the time.
“Being part of the graduate program has helped in building relationships across a variety of areas in allied health and given me confidence going forward in my career.”
NALHN director of allied health Sandra Parr said the program is expected to produce future leaders across many allied health fields.
“It is so important to develop our next generation of allied health staff, including physiotherapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, social workers and dieticians into
confident and collaborative professionals,” she said.
“Our graduate program has been designed to foster their skills and knowledge so they can be future leaders in their field.”

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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