February 7, 2022

Welcome new Non-Clinical Ward Assistants

During the recent Omicron surge, Northern Health held a virtual ‘Ideas Lab’ to help generate ideas on how we could minimise the impact to our workforce and patients. One of the ideas was to seek interest from the community in assisting our staff on the wards with non-clinical duties.

That is how the Non-Clinical Ward Assistant role was born.

“The Non-Clinical Ward Assistant role works with nursing staff to deliver the non-clinical part of the nursing duties. This includes things like helping patients at meal time, answering phones and call bells, unpacking stock to the ward, helping patients with personal items and calling family members with updates,” explained Katherine Anderson, Manager, People Experience.

“An external expression of interest was released via the Northern Health social media accounts, reaching almost 17,000 people. In one week, we received almost 300 applications. The People and Culture team screened over 100 applicants, appointing 55 candidates to roles. It’s been an incredible effort from the People and Culture recruitment and payroll teams to get these 55 candidates on board and commenced so quickly,” Katherine added.

One of the new recruits is Sandra Eastick, who heard about this opportunity from a family member.

“I have always had a passion for helping and assisting people, and when I heard about this opportunity, I thought it would be perfect for me to do what I love doing most,” she said.

Sandra found her first day at Northern Hospital Epping to be a rewarding one, as as she was able to work alongside so many nurses and help patients.

“I assist in Ward 4 and enjoy chatting with patients. It is very rewarding knowing I’ve finished my shift and have put a smile on someone’s face,” she added.

Her colleague, Kusum Talwar, comes from a background of looking after our youngest in kinder.

“One of my friends works here, and she told me about the opportunity. It is really great that I can help the community. Recently, I was able to interact with a patient by speaking with him in Punjabi, and he was so grateful and comfortable. I can also speak Hindi and I am able to really connect with patients in their own language,” she said.