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Moving rural for the perfect job

Jenna Coote is an Occupational Therapist at Swan Hill District Health. She was employed into this role through RWAV at the end of last year. We caught up with Jenna to hear about how she found the recruitment process and what inspired her to work rurally.

Can you tell me about your current role as an Occupational Therapist at Swan Hill District Health?

The job opportunity at Swan Hill District Health has been a massive learning opportunity for me. Working in a small town, with minimal services has challenged my thinking, clinical reasoning and problem solving. My workload currently consists of paediatric and transitional care programs, however due to the amount of services we deliver, I have been lucky enough to work alongside occupational therapists and other allied health staff that work in acute and aged care.

What was the RWAV recruitment process like for you, and would you recommend the process to others?

RWAV has made it so easy to apply for jobs, as well as assisting me with the process of interviews. When I first applied for a job through RWAV, the position was in a small rural town east of Melbourne. RWAV helped me to apply and also encouraged me to put in my application in surrounding areas. If you’re willing to move rural for the perfect job, I would recommend health professionals to utilise RWAV’s recruitment services and programs.

You took up the opportunity to apply for a RWAV relocation grant. How has this helped you when relocating to Swan Hill?

Being eligible for the RWAV relocation grant was amazing as it made the move to Swan Hill possible by covering the fees for a removalist and assist with setting up a rental. The grant reduced the stress and financial burden of moving, which assisted with transitioning into a new town, and becoming involved within the community.  

From your perspective, how do residents benefit from having an OT in the community?

Throughout my time at Swan Hill District Health there has been a strong need for OTs within the region, particularly for the geriatric and paediatric populations. A large amount of my case load consists of enabling the elderly to stay in their home for longer by putting strategies in place and recommending home modifications to ensure their safety at home. There has also been a high demand in paediatrics, to assist children in reaching milestones and ensure they are ready for school.

What inspired you to work rurally? Any unexpected positive experiences you’d like to share, working in rural health so far?

It was evident throughout the interview process at Swan Hill District Health that the team was small and close knit. They had a real team spirit of working together to achieve the best outcomes for the clients. I love that all the OTs share the same office, as it allows us to learn off each other, be exposed to different areas of practice, and broaden our knowledge when it comes to navigating complex client cases. Especially in a rural area, where there are often less services and resources.

RWAV supports health professionals at every level of their career. If you are seeking a position within regional and rural Victoria, visit www.rwav.com.au/vacancies to explore current listings or contact the recruitment team on 03 9349 7800.

RWAV acknowledges the funding received from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Rural Workforce Support Activity Program.

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