Caption: EYES ON THE PRIZE: TAFE Digital graduate and Eye Clinic Albury Wodonga practice assistant Jen Kelly is one of a growing band of locals to join the emerging profession.
TAFE NSW is helping Border GPs and medical clinics respond to a growing demand for more medical receptionists with the rare mix of both administrative and clinical skills.
In one of the fastest growing employment trends in the health sector, regional GP and medical clinics are increasingly looking for medical receptionists with the skills to do basic nursing tasks such as blood tests, ECGs and sterilisations.
TAFE Digital Clinical Health Teacher Emma Foley said the Certificate IV in Practice Assisting had seen a surge in enrolments in recent years, particularly in regional areas, where smaller GP practices and outpatient clinics benefited greatly from multiskilled staff.
Bethanga mum-of-two Jen Kelly is one of a number of locals to enrol in the course to gain the practical skills and experience to relaunch her career. A former beauty therapist and pharmacy assistant, the 44-year-old turned to TAFE NSW after her youngest child reached school age. She is now employed as a practice assistant at the specialist Eye Clinic Albury-Wodonga.
“I really wanted to get back out there and work and I loved the idea of working in medical reception again and having the variety of also doing clinical work,” Ms Kelly said.
“I always wanted to do nursing but never did it and this is a great way to learn more clinical skills and research things I’m passionate about, like eye conditions.
“I love the idea of helping others and you get so much out of the job, you learn from each patient and colleague.”
She said learning via virtual classroom was an ideal fit for her busy lifestyle.
“It was better financially because I could remain working and study on my days off, during my lunch break or when the kids went to bed,” Ms Kelly said.
“The TAFE Digital were so responsive and experienced in the industry.”
Ms Foley, who has almost two decades’ experience as a registered nurse, said the TAFE Digital course was offered via virtual classroom, allowing students to study when and where it best suited them. The course runs part-time over two years and includes a face-to-face skills workshop.
“This is such a growing part of GP practices because it’s more financially viable to employ a medical practice assistant than a full-time nurse,” Ms Foley said.
“It really is two roles in one and the job also offers a great taster for nursing or for GP practice management.”
Ms Foley said those already working in the medical field could be assessed for the practical component of the course while in the workplace.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428