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Real job outcomes in aged care: Adele’s work placement success story

by alina

Adele Norman: Aged Care Professional

Adele Norman was drawn to aged care for very personal reasons. She saw her mother suffering with dementia in her later years, so Adele studied the Certificate III in Aged Care to show her passion for this important and under-sourced sector.

The aged care industry in Australia: The Facts

Aged care is a growing industry in Australia, due to the ageing population. According to a recent government report, over one million older Australians receive aged care services.

The report looked at the future challenges in the industry, including the increasing numbers and expectations of older people. Another issue is “the relative fall in the number of informal carers, and the need for more workers. By 2050, over 3.5 million Australians are expected to use aged care services each year” says the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, “Caring for Older Australians”.

Some might say that there has never been a better time to get into the aged care industry. For Adele from Harrington Park in New South Wales, the decision was personal.

How do you get a job in the aged care industry?

One way to get a foot in the door of the industry is to gain accredited qualifications by doing an online course. Adele made the decision to enrol in the CHC30212 Certificate III in Aged Care through Open Colleges. She felt concerned about the sector after seeing the care required by her elderly parents who were both unwell in their later years. Adele saw this as an opportunity to contribute to her community and to potentially work in an industry where she could see that lots needed to be done, and caring people were needed.

Taking the first step towards finding a new career, Adele managed to find a flexible course online. This meant that she could still pursue her studies while her young children were at school. Studying online was a good option for Adele. Originally from Adeliade, she needed to find a way to get the skills she needed in a flexible way. The course she chose to do was flexible in that students can go at their own pace and take their time handing in assessments when they are ready.

“ What I love about aged care is meeting the residents and learning their history and what they’ve contributed.”

Aged Cared Industry Australia: An aged care worker helping the residents

An aged care worker helping the residents

Learning how to care for older Australians with a work placement

As part of her course, Adele had to secure a work placement at an aged care facility. This was to ensure she gained real on-the-job skills. Students start their work placement after completing several study periods and gaining some theoretical knowledge.  Students doing aged care will work under the guidance of a supervisor to learn the real skills they will need on the job. Sometimes, work placements can even lead to real job outcomes – this is exactly what happened with Adele!

According to the government report, “Most Australians who reach old age can expect to need aged care services. Within limits, the types of services, their intensity, and their duration, are provided according to each older person’s assessed needs.”

Adele got a job from doing a work placement in aged care

This savvy online student managed to find a placement at the Carrington Centennial Care Centre as a part of her course requirements. “It wasn’t hard to find the placement at all!” she says. “I just rang them up and spoke to the organisational development coordinator. We arranged an interview and that was that.”

Older Australians generally want to remain independent and in control of how and where they live; to stay connected and relevant to their families and communities; and be able to exercise some measure of choice over their care. Adele says she is passionate about providing the best level of care she can, a factor she took into account when seeking a placement.

Learning the theory of aged care practices, gives you confidence

So did the skills she learned in her course help ease those first day nerves at her placement? Adele says,“Yes! I was a little bit nervous and got thrown in the deep end as soon as I got there! Yet the supervisor was very supportive and the other nurses and personal care workers were very helpful too”.

Aged Care Work Placement: An aged care worker serves drinks to the residents

An aged care worker serves drinks to the residents

 

To fuel her confidence and competency prior to commencing her placement, Adele was able to complete the theoretical requirements of her course in full. “There was plenty of reading of texts and materials on the internet!” In fact, Adele settled in so well at her position, that after her three weeks of placement were up, the centre offered her a job.

Adele balances caring for her kids with working in aged care

Being a mum to a 6 and 10 year old, Adele loved the ease and flexibility of studying online. “I could just contact my teachers online via OpenSpace and they were very helpful to get back to me quickly if I had any problems”.

Still, the skills Adele has gained  in her Certificate III in Aged Care will allow her to make an easy transfer to residential home care, which has more flexible hours to suit her family lifestyle. Nursing or homecare alike, what Adele loves about her chosen vocation is meeting residents and finding out their personal stories; “their history and what they’ve contributed”. Also she concedes, “people are at serious at end of their life. You need to be strong and empathetic to look after those residents and support their family too”.

Adele working in aged care

Carrington’s values are written on the back of Adele’s security pass

 

Thinking of doing the same course?

The CHC30212 Certificate III in Aged Care  allows you the professional skills to provide the personal, physical and emotional support required for Australia’s rapidly ageing population. If you are passionate about the rights and independence of the elderly community, the nationally recognised certificate  is the first step in skilling yourself to operate effectively as a care worker or nursing assistant in a residential aged care facility or as a community care worker.

Offered in partnership with ICM Training, this course includes a practical work placement for ‘real world’ experience. You will be supported in your learning by expert trainers, and a Structured Workplace Learning component will give you the practical, hands-on experience that you need to become fully job-ready.

Check out Open Colleges for more information on this course.

Photo credits, many thanks:  AnnParker Knight and Herry Lawford

5 Responses

  1. Agedcarereviews Aged care online do you want to know about residential aged care in Australia? Click here: http://www.agedcarereviews.com.au

  2. Harpreet kaur says:

    Hi Adele’s my name is harpreet, i m doing certificate 3 in aged care course, I m looking for Workplacement, I tried the many centres but centres not good response, I was very disappointed so can u any help me? I have two kids so I m looking for the placement in my close home , but is not move ment the placement, thax kind regards.

    • Sarah MacDiarmid says:

      Hi Harpreet, thanks for getting in touch.
      If you have attempted to find work placement on your own without any success, we can provide support in finding a placement in your area. Open Colleges have formal agreements with some industry partners to make things easier. If you’d like to know more about what’s involved, call one of our Student Support team on 1300 650 011.
      All the best, Sarah, Open Colleges team

      • Suzanne Stilloni says:

        Hi Sarah,

        what an inspirational story, congratulations on successfully gaining employment in Aged Care.
        Sarah I have worked in the welfare industry for many years and I possess a Diploma In Community services.
        I am currently studying Certificate Vl in Disabilities.
        There is a lot of study in aged care with the course and I was surfing on the net for a work placement and come across Carrington Centennial. I will apply for work placement there. and ITR, Camden house. My work placement is 120 hours.
        I’m very interested in placement at Carrington Centennial.
        Do you know if they would be interested in taking on work placement at their service?
        As I’m not doing the course you have completed.

        Looking forward to your response

        Suzanne Stilloni

        • Sarah MacDiarmid says:

          Hi Suzanne,

          Thanks for connecting. For a work placement at Carrington Centennial, you will need to contact them yourself, as it is the student’s responsibility to arrange work placement. You will have access to a template introduction letter on OpenSpace which may come in handy. We also have a Work Placement Team to provide support in finding a work placement in your area and we have formal agreements with some industry partners to make things easier. If you’d like to find out more contact our Student Support team on 1300 650 011 .

          Best of luck!
          Sarah, Open Colleges Team

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