Innovative orientation program to support new CALHN staff

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) will deliver a comprehensive week-long orientation program next week for more than 210 new nurses and patient assistance officers, one of the largest intakes in CALHN’s history. 

Working in small groups, the new starters will include 175 registered and enrolled nurses and 40 patient assistance officers. 

They will receive an introduction to CALHN’s clinical procedures and processes, including blood and clinical transfusion practices, cannulation and venepuncture, infection control and Aboriginal cultural learning. 

“Ward-ready” training 

Held largely onsite at the Adelaide Showgrounds, the new nursing and patient assistant staff will also be fitted for N95 masks and receive wellbeing and workforce information, to ensure that they are “ward-ready” when they start in coming weeks. 

Nursing Project Manager, Sarah Kemp, says the “O Week” initiative was an ideal way to deliver a thorough and inclusive orientation for such a large group.  

“We are keen to support our incoming staff and set them up for success by delivering a comprehensive program to introduce them to our organisation,” she says. 

“We have such a large intake it makes sense to bring everyone together and do it at the same time. 

“It also provides opportunities for new staff to form networks across the organisation beyond the people they will be working with day-to-day. 

“We hope they will feel ward-ready at the end of the week, as they will have been introduced to Sunrise EMR (Electronic Medical Record) and other clinical processes, been fitted for their uniform and N95 mask and obtained their ID pass.” 

New non-clinical role to support patients 

Sarah was also looking forward to welcoming CALHN’s first patient assistance officers, a newly developed non-clinical role aimed at supporting patients and other clinical staff. 

“They will offer extra support to patients who may be at risk of harm through falls, cognitive impairment, or pose a challenge to others through wandering or intrusive behaviour. 

“These staff can be accessed on an as-needs basis across all programs to provide support and diversional therapy to patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.” 

Workforce partners come together 

Sarah says it will be the first time SA Health has gathered all workforce partners together onsite, including: 

  •  Learning Central  
  • Security  
  • Maxima  
  • Uniform provider ADA 
  • Australian College of Nursing 
  • Aboriginal Hub team 
  • Infection Control team 
  • Nursing educators 
  • CALHN Digital team 

“Innovative” approach 

 CALHN Chief Executive Officer Lesley Dwyer says the “innovative” approach to delivering this year’s orientation illustrated CALHN’s preparedness to do things differently. 

“This is an exciting time to be beginning a career at CALHN and to be able to serve our community at a very challenging time,” Professor Dwyer says. 

 “We are confident this innovative orientation format will support them when they begin their new roles and inform them about our world-class organisation and values. 

 “We are looking forward to seeing them on the wards soon.”