By Natalie Francis
VIC/SA/TAS Operations Manager
Vivir had the pleasure of attending the LASA Tri-State Conference in Albury this month. There were a wide range of topics presented and much discussion had both during the day and at the conference dinner.
Workforce was a hot topic across several presentations. Here is a summary of my findings.
Aged care is a speciality
Aged care is a broad area and Australia’s senior population has a wide variety of clinical presentations involving neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory conditions. These conditions are likely to be both chronic and multiple in nature, and there are often other factors, such as cognition and mental health which further complicate the way older people can clinically present.
These complex presentations mean aged care clinicians need to have a broad understanding of all areas to determine primary and secondary contributing factors. They need to possess a wide skillset to effectively treat and support quality of life.
Vivir recognise that an intensive on-boarding process ensures all clinicians are prepared for the requirements of aged care and understand the new industry they are in. Buddy shifts and onsite inductions are also an integral part of on-boarding to ensure new clinicians perform well in these roles.
There is greater opportunity to increase awareness of the skills required and increase the perception of aged care as a speciality.
Aged care is an area people choose, so they can help and care for others
Making Lives Better is Vivir’s motto and something I strive for every day. Attracting like-minded clinicians is at the forefront of our recruitment drives.
The impact our clinicians have on residents’ lives and the subsequent butterfly effect onto those around them is hugely rewarding. There are many aspects where our clinicians can shine, from a simple smile and dedicating time to spend with residents, to thinking outside the box and taking someone kayaking or for walks on the beach.
These moments can go unnoticed. Sharing the successes and rewarding aspects of our work will attract more clinicians to aged care.
Millennials require a different approach to previous generations
Providers who wish to attract new clinicians to the aged care workforce, require new approaches compared to what has been done in the past.
Millennials look for culture, purpose and impact. Vivir understands this and these ideas are weaved into the roles we make available to new clinicians. By putting these ideas at the forefront of everything we do, clinical roles become more engaging and create steps towards a sustainable workforce.
- Culture: the number one driver
- A sense of belonging
- Work-life balance
- Accessible management
- Variety in work and relevant training
- Must be values driven
- Facilitate self-actualisation
- Celebrate wins in your team and share them
Being aware of these differences is the first step. Second is to know what your culture, purpose and impact is and how you deliver it. Finally, spread your message to passionate clinicians through your people and marketing avenues.
Migration has a large effect on workforce
Migration is increasing in Australia which will impact culture and needs to be considered as part of any workforce. I was particularly interested to know that migration is different between states.
- QLD: mostly New Zealand
- NSW: mostly China
- VIC: mostly India
Knowing these differences allows a more targeted recruitment approach to attract these clinicians into the aged care workforce.
In Jenny Mowatt’s blog, she highlights that Australia faces a dire aged care workforce shortage with half the workers in aged care reaching retirement in a mere fifteen years. This trend is happening fast and all providers across healthcare need to review their workforce strategies now and into the future.
Culture, purpose and impact are contagious, embed this into your organisation and they will come along for the ride.
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