"It's about the passion," says Allied Health Assistance (AHA) Course Coordinator Peter Prskalo. The sentiments are simple yet important. When chasing your goals it's about choosing the career path that is right for you.
"You do it for the passion and for the love of helping others. Unashamedly, unequivocally. It's one of those things where the rewards are phenomenal," Peter is quick to observe.
Currently in Australia, the demand is high for allied health assistance. With over 90,000 allied health professionals working across a range of healthcare professions – including physiotherapy, rehabilitation and speech pathology – 20% of the industry is comprised of these workers. Couple this with an ageing population and the opportunities are available to those willing to put in the hard work.
"It's a very compassionate industry," Peter says as an introduction. "To see someone be able to talk, communicate, or just do something that they couldn't do a day or even an hour ago, that carries you through."
The role of the allied health assistant is a crucial role in the health industry. For Peter, working closely alongside this industry is vital. As a coordinator, he keeps in regular contact with clients and plans the course to reflect any changes and developments.
"We go on clinical placement, we ask the clinicians where are their gaps and what are they missing these days. Every one or two years, we have a committee of these professionals come in and speak to us about what they see [is happening in the industry], what is coming up and what they think would be required from the student," Peter explains.
Delivered at the Moorabbin campus, the allied health assistance course incorporates a strong practical focus. These teachings make use of the simulated training environments and interactive work space. Similarly, clinical placements are also significant to the learning process, with Holmesglen actively sourcing opportunities for students. Placements have included Cabrini Hospital and new industry connections such as the Royal Children's Hospital.
"We've developed the relationships with the external parties to get these clinical placements. We've grown that over time and improved our standing within that community to the point that some of these parties are saying to us that if a job opportunity comes up and a student from Holmesglen puts in their application, they get a look in much easier."
Equally, by having industry experienced staff, the teachings remain both current and consistent. "The fact that all staff are still in the industry means they're abreast of the changes, they'll make the adjustments," Peter says.
As Peter is also quick to highlight, the joy comes from helping others. "Our job is to implement. That is where we get our satisfaction because we get the community process happening and help to build the relationship."