“The enthusiasm and capability of our new graduates never ceases to impress me.”
These words from Ian Starkey, physiotherapy head of department at Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals, sum up why Western Sydney Local Health District is so excited to welcome 16 eager new physiotherapist recruits.
Among them is one of Ian’s new graduates, Tim Wass, who was employed as a Physiotherapy Allied Health Assistant and subsequently enrolled in a Masters Physiotherapy Program which he completed in 2021.
As a result, he progressed from his assistant role to a physiotherapist at Blacktown Hospital last week – a goal he had in mind from his first week at the hospital.
“We have a terrific, supportive team that genuinely cares for people, and I was fascinated by the medical side of hospital work,” said Tim.
“It’s an honour to start in one of the few first-year graduate physiotherapy positions and I’m most excited to work alongside this highly knowledgeable and professional team, continuing to learn more and gain skills to help people.”
The Allied Health workforce in WSLHD comprises of 1,400 clinicians from over 23 disciplines and work with medical and nursing staff to support all clinical specialties.
“I have had the privilege of working with our physiotherapist new graduates over the last 10 years, many of whom have either stayed on or returned to us as valued staff members,” said Ian Starkey.
“They are embraced as part of the WSLHD family and to see them thrive gives myself and other staff a real thrill.”
Westmead Hospital acting physiotherapy head of department Stephen Harvey added: “The arrival of the new graduate physiotherapists each year represents renewal and growth within our department.”
They bring new ideas and ways of thinking to what we do and represent how improvements to care are made every year.”Stephen Harvey
Stephen said the COVID-19 pandemic also represents an opportunity for these new graduates to learn and apply skills in a real-world setting which they would not have the opportunity to do elsewhere.
“The new graduates will be able to use resources such as telehealth for the treatment of their patients, something that was not done frequently in our department prior to COVID-19,” said Stephen.
“COVID has also allowed these new graduates to gain additional training into areas such as ICU and in methods of infection control, which was part of their work beforehand but now have an increased emphasis in their day-to-day functioning.”