May 20, 2021

Becoming a Patient Service Assistant

Matthew Moore is excited to become a Patient Service Assistant (PSA).

PSAs are responsible for a variety of tasks including cleaning on the wards, cleaning beds when a patient is discharged and transportation throughout the hospital.

Matthew, who has autism, recently completed a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance at Victoria University. As part of the certificate, Matthew underwent placement training at Northern Hospital Epping.

“I decided to do the PSA course because I spent most of my younger years in the hospital, and I thought what better way than to give back,” Matthew said.

“I am looking forward to being able to get myself out there and start working.”

Matthew began his course in early 2020 and, with many things last year, his studies and ability to begin placement at Northern Health was impacted by COVID-19.

Steve Carnell, PSA Support Supervisor, said Matthew had to complete his theory work online.

“He didn’t have a lot of contact hours so placement was his chance to actually get his hands into it,” Steve said.

“If you do the course face-to-face, it’s maybe a three month course. Doing it online, it’s obviously a little bit different.”

“With COVID-19, the course extended out because institutions weren’t taking placements, so we had to shut down taking students in the hospital because of the potential risk.”

At Northern Hospital Epping, students are provided with the best possible experience when completing their placement.

“This hospital has a really good reputation amongst the schools,” Steve said.

“We are giving them lots of experience, lots of hands on work instead of just throwing them in a corner and asking them to wipe down a table again. We are getting them to do the actual work.”

“One of the teachers from Victoria University was saying that students were jealous of the ones that got to come here because of the access and the things they actually got to do and that is great for the hospital.”

Matthew has been offered a PSA position at Barwon Health. He said he was thankful for the experience and knowledge he gained at Northern Health.

“Steve was an awesome trainer, he’s passed on his knowledge. People have been really helpful and everyone has been nice to me. I will miss it a lot,” Matthew said.

Featured image: L-R Steve Carnell, PSA Support Supervisor, and Matthew Moore.