Taking their first steps into the healthcare space at Goulburn Valley Health, a group
of dynamic individuals have begun their professional journeys through the esteemed 2023 GAP Year Traineeship Program.
The initiative sees high school graduates presented with the chance to delve into different areas of healthcare, explore roles and unlock their passions.
This year the program has five trainees, with two positions in Health Assistance in Nursing and three positions in Allied Health Assistance.
The five participants have jumped straight into the work, making their way around the hospital, and assisting health professionals in any way they can.
For Tom Gaylard, it has been a perfect opportunity to gain some insight into the profession, working as a health assistant in nursing.
He said he always had an interest in pursuing a career in nursing, currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing at La Trobe University at Bundoora.
“Seeing [patients’] recovery has stood out to me, it’s really powerful.
“To see them go from their lowest point and get better and to be part of that is special,” he said.
Allied Health Assistant Paris Patafio is currently working in occupational therapy and speech pathology, which aligns with her long-term career goal.
“I’m studying occupational therapy next year at La Trobe in Bendigo.
“My favourite thing about being an allied health assistant is you get to know the patient and watching them progress is always rewarding.”
“I find it rewarding when patients start to do things independently and to see them react to being able to do the little things again.”
Working in the rehabilitation ward, Lachy Rumbiolo said he was still deciding on his future education but said studying a degree in exercise science or environmental science was on the cards.
The allied health assistant said witnessing patients move from the surgical ward into rehabilitation had been memorable.
“My favourite thing about being in the rehab ward is getting to see patients start from the bottom and every few weeks you get to see them get a big better, depending on what they have come in with.
“You get to see the difference between where they were and where they are now,” Lachy said.
For Kailee Filliponi, a career in nursing has always been a dream.
She said her grandmother, Maryanne, inspired her to pursue a nursing career and apply for the GAP Year Traineeship Program as a health assistant in nursing.
“She is a huge inspiration for me and a great role model.”
Kailee said her favourite part of the program had been gaining the experience.
“I like getting to work with the patients and nurses and getting an insight into the work,” she said.
Archer Ford was originally enrolled in a Bachelor of Paramedicine but has now changed his mind since commencing the GAP year program earlier this year.
Inspired by his role as an allied health assistant working in physiotherapy, he has now enrolled in a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University.
He said enrolling in the GAP year program had not only given him an insight into the healthcare system but allowed him to form great friendships.
“My favourite thing about being an allied health assistant is the engagement with the patients and with the other physios,” he said.
Alison Nolan, from the GV Health People, Development and Engagement team, said one of the best parts of the program was having the opportunity to work within various areas of the hospital.“„
“They get a chance to work alongside different seasoned nurses or allied health professionals and they have that sort of shadowing,” she said.
“I know that the following year when they head off to pursue further studies, they’re already leaps and bounds ahead of their classmates or colleagues because they have been immersed in health settings, which is the best thing to see.”
Alison said the program had been a huge success over the past few years.
“The most rewarding thing for me is to see them at the end because they‘ve developed their confidence and they walk into the hospital, and people are saying hello to them because they are a familiar face.
“It’s always amazing to see the skills they develop throughout the year. Their growth is exponential,” she said.
Applications for the 2024 program will be available at the end of September this year.