School of Nursing and Midwifery Fellowship Program

School of Nursing and Midwifery Fellowship Program


In the School of Nursing and Midwifery
at Deakin University we have a number of clinical fellowship programs that are on
offer to our undergraduate students. Within the fellowships there are a lot
of different models and the models of the fellowships really are designed to
suit the healthcare organisation’s needs for their future workforce. The clinical fellowship program
at Eastern Health is a unique relationship that we have with
Deakin University and it’s a very exciting opportunity for students to
work with us at the health service in a collaborative relationship. So we have 32
students in each of our cohorts in first, second and third year with our Bachelor
of Nursing. The idea is that you’re here for pretty much the whole of your
training across our Epworth site. We provide you with facilitators who you meet in
the classroom or your seminars. They’re there to support you while you’re on the
wards. They also support those preceptors who you work with day in and day out
while you’re on clinical placements. The students come here for their
seminar classes in which they do small group and large group work and they
cover their academic content. They learn about patients and their disease
processes and then they come into simulation classes where they learn
about the skill base using the equipment and policies of the hospital. Because the fellowship allows a really immersive environment there’s no lag
time between the integration of theory and practice and the students are able
to develop those skills that they will need as a registered nurse. Through familiarity with the environment here at Eastern Health, those students in the
fellowship program get to develop more non-clinical skills such as
communication, teamwork, their confidence grows as a result of that familiarity. Being at Epworth, you know where everything is in the hospital so when it
comes to placement you’re not spending your first couple of days orientating
yourself. I think this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It gave me the hands-on
experience with the fellowship hospital plus you get the guidance and support
from the dedicated educators and also you get to explore different speciality
areas. For Eastern Health the key goals of the fellowship
program are to help to grow and nurture and support students coming through The
Bachelor of Nursing. To actually, at the end of their program, feel work ready
and feel supported by the health service to start their career in nursing. Epworth sees a great value in this fellowship program. We see we are contributing to
the undergraduate education for nursing and that’s really helping us develop our
future workforce. There’s a very clear pathway from when you finish and this
fellowship gives you that certainty and clarity and direction of where you want
to go. It’s kind of cool because being a part of the fellowship I felt a part of
Eastern Health. I saw that connection to Deakin but from the start I sort of felt
like an Eastern Health employee so it’s really quite special that relationship
you form with the organisation and then coming here I know that I’ll be getting
a grad year here to work here and bring my journey full circle. A benefit of the clinical fellowships is that students are offered a guaranteed
graduate year interview in the healthcare organisation in which they’re based. Getting an interview at the end of your third year is always a bit scary
there’s so many other students not just at Deakin but throughout Victoria, everyone
will be looking for a job and to be able to be a part of a fellowship makes you
stand out a little bit more. The best part of the fellowship program is
working with Deakin University and having that strong partnership with a
customized program which benefits the health service, the university and
students as well. I chose the fellowship program because it offers a lot of
opportunities both career-wise and educational. Career-wise I get to do my
training at the Eastern Health hospitals and so I get to know a lot of the staff
here and I get to develop good rapport with the Eastern Health community. The educators can provide real life case examples from this hospital and then you
can go on to placement and bring that back to your debriefs with your educator,
so the fact that you have the single educator through your tutes, your pracs
and also on placement makes a big difference. It’s more real world and
you’re actually using the hospital facilities within the hospital
environment. That really appealed to me. You can hear all the alarms going, you
can hear the PA system going, it feels like a hospital, it smells like a
hospital and it works the same way as a hospital. It’s like you’re already on the
job so I would highly recommend it for people to just have those added
experiences and just have the support network as well

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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