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Invest in vibe for aged care

Without qualified and heartfelt employees you cannot serve people, their families and the broader community within the aged care sector. Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) invests in its own workforce by offering those that have completed their Certificate 3 in Aged Care in-house training to hone their skills and if successful permanent employment.
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Recent Graduate Personal Care Worker Bharat Kundra withClinical Nurse Educators Margaret Ann Shelvin (L) and Kylie Natadra (R).

As an organisation, Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) believes in hiring the right people, and then engaging and training them in programs such as the Graduate Personal Care Worker Program, which results in a lower employee turnover and better customer outcomes for their customers. 

Bharat Kundra is a passionate worker who recently completed the program, receiving on the job training and support. The program employs participants on a six-week casual contract and offers a mix of classroom lectures and supervised work. After successfully completing the program Mr Kundra is now employed as a full time Personal Care Worker at Southern Cross Care’s Gawler Transitional Care Program (TCP)

The Graduate Personal Care Worker Program is known for its supportive nature. The program focuses on two elements — improving foundation and employability and increasing technical skills of graduates so they can be successful in an Australian workplace. The training incorporates activities specifically targeting new migrants and refugees, who are learning English and developing skills required to effectively participate in the Australian workforce.

The support from Clinical Nurse educators, available both during the program and then after the program ends, creates a logical and emotional connection between all parties. Graduates, who stay connected with the program leaders, even after the program ends, find this to be a key element to their success. The ongoing learning occurs at all stages and the first year of a graduate’s career can be the most crucial.

At a recent Graduate Personal Care Worker class, the group was asked to demonstrate their passion for the aged care industry through the sound of their hands clapping. A full rousing cheer filled the room making it evident the graduates are not in the room to simply ‘fill a job’; they are there to make a difference.

Mr Kundra says he treats his job as a business; one where he feels by putting great effort in, he will reap great rewards. He talks from the heart; there are stories where he stops by after his shift to hold the hand of a lady who is in her last days of life and where he puts his customer’s safety and wellbeing first before leaving the room to complete other tasks demonstrating his mind is set to always consider his customer before his own needs.

New graduates within the aged care system, meeting existing staff with busy workloads and pressures, don't always align perfectly from day one. It requires a connection and patience from both sides. This is where the support through the program assists through the induction phase, to support graduates to find their best working space and place.

Mr Kundra sums it up beautifully, "simply divert any negativity that comes your way and focus on the person in front of you - the one who needs your help. If we treat it like a business and focus on the wellbeing of that person, we can make it our time to get the maximum benefit and do something for humanity. You leave your day with satisfaction in your mind that you have done something for humanity", he says.

Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) believes staff training and development is not only a requirement for compliance with mandatory industry standards, it is also a vital element in ensuring that older people will continue to receive the best care and support services.

Mr Kundra speaks from the heart when he shares with the group of graduates “you have not been selected (for this job), you have been trusted".

Find out more about Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) Graduate Personal Care Worker Program.

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