World of possibilities for high school health trainees

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High schoolers Georgia and Tanahia are taking part in health traineeships at the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service. They are pictured with clinical facilitators Robert Winstone and Meg Landers.

High schoolers Georgia and Tanahia are taking part in health traineeships at the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service. They are pictured with clinical facilitators Robert Winstone and Meg Landers.

It’s a well-known fact that working in the health sector can open the door to not only a world of different possibilities in the workplace, but it’s also a career that can take you anywhere in the world.

Across the world the health industry is facing a skills shortage, and in Australia the population continues to grow, and get older, meaning that in years to come the workforce needs to double to meet the demand on health services.

Clinical Development Facilitator Robert Winstone believes the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service’s Deadly Start School Based Traineeship Program in Ipswich is a great way to reach kids at school who are keen on a career in the health service, and often it can give them a head start.

“I’ve been in this role for two years now and I think it’s a great way to get a start in healthcare,” Robert said. “My role, along with others, is to support the students to become registered nurses, to support them on their journey, and to help with any learning needs they have, so they can grow as clinicians.

“The Bachelor of Nursing degree itself takes about three years, some people stretch it to six, and part of that includes 860 hours of clinical placement, so that’s where we come in, working close with universities to provide those spots.”

Students can get involved in their final years of school, and get a head start on their careers, with many knowing from a younger age this is what they wanted to do. The traineeship is Certificate III in Health Services Assistant which includes 375 paid clinical hours, giving students real-world experience in the job.

“We see these kids come here and tell us often that they’ve always wanted a job in this field, so if we get them on that path before they finish school we can take away many of the ‘fear factors’ for them so the transition can be seamless,” Robert said.

“Many aren’t sure exactly what field they want to work in, but that’s the beauty of the industry, there are hundreds of options open to you in your hometown, across the state and around the world. Personally, I’ve always been passionate about nursing so to see the enthusiasm these students have for healthcare is wonderful.”

Meg Landers works as a clinical facilitator in the team for the last two years and thinks that supporting the students is a great form of education and encouragement.

“We make sure they feel supported and can grow as clinicians while enjoying their time here,” Meg said. “If they enjoy their time at West Moreton Health we find they come back and apply for roles full time.

“This program allows them to prove themselves before they become full qualified. Our role is very important as we are the first people they know here, and seeing them have the confidence as they get experience on the wards is so rewarding. I feel that getting those clinicians at the start of their journey, to show them the things they can do, is so important.”

Georgia is a grade 11 student in Ipswich and as part of her traineeship spends time in her week getting a feel for what the job will eventually involve.

“I’ve always wanted to work in healthcare, initially I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but then I got into The Good Doctor on TV and thought that being a registered nurse would be a good option for me,” Georgia said.

“I have two classes a day on a Friday and we get to do things like occupational therapy and physiotherapy at the moment, which is something I really enjoy, as I always knew I wanted a job that helps people.

“I’ll do my nursing degree when I finish school and from there I can move into occupational therapy, it’s a rewarding job and my family are so proud of me.”

Tanahia Knox is another local student in Bellbird Park, and now sees her future career options in a much clearer light.

“I always wanted to get into healthcare but didn’t think I could do it,” Tanahia said. “Now I’m doing the training I love it, the people, the work, it all just feels nice. I really think I could make a career for myself now, this could set me up so that I never have to worry about finding a job.

“The training is good, I like the fact that I’m helping people, that’s what makes it rewarding. I’m sure now that is what I want to do, and hope that I can stay close to home, I would feel more comfortable after meeting so many people here.

“My family are so happy that I’m doing this.”

West Moreton region residents can find out more about vacant positions at:,

To find out more about the Graduate Programs in West Moreton visit:

To see what jobs are offer across the state with Queensland Health visit