All of these things are possible at South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) in Foster, right in the heart of the Corner Inlet district and not much more than a couple of hours’ drive from Melbourne.
Imagine knocking off after a truly satisfying shift in a small but comprehensive rural health service, and being home with your kids, bees or alpacas, or on your surfboard or riding your horse in literally a matter of minutes.
A top-quality balance between working and living is the star of a new promotional video made for South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) in Foster to encourage health professionals to settle in South Gippsland.
The three-minute, 25-second <a href="http://<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/715416938?h=04fd1cc1be" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/715416938">SGH_MakeTheShift</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/driftmedia">drift media</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.Make The Shift video may be seen online at https://vimeo.com/715416938 and has already had nearly 1500 views.
In the video, a group of six SGH people discuss the many wonderful opportunities the Hospital, and its Community Health and Banksia Centres offer, allowing them to achieve a fulfilling career as well as an ideal personal lifestyle.
Together with his professional colleagues, Foster and Toora Medical Centre general practitioner Dr Antoun Boulos contributes to SGH’s broad range of acute and community care services.
In Make The Shift, Dr Antoun treats a patient in the SGH Urgent Care Centre, and then, within half an hour after the end of his working day, he’s surfing at Walkerville.
In blue operating garb, SGH Theatre Nurse Adam Deere describes how much he loves living and working in the local community.
In the next scene, Adam has changed into his beekeeper’s outfit to attend to his hives, and says “when I’m at home, I hang out in my own piece of paradise.”
Registered Nurse and Midwife Meg Patterson reckons the SGH team “is the best I’ve ever worked with” as she looks after a mother and her new baby, and that “the work/live balance is second to none” as she mounts her horse.
Mental Health Counsellor Karen Santos says, “I haven’t seen any other place as beautiful as South Gippsland” and that she’s glad to “serve the community here” as she crosses the bridge in Foster’s Pearl Park with her family.
SGH Allied Health Manager and Social Worker Justine Kleeman is also a working parent, which she says can be “tough”.
“[SGH has] made it flexible so I can work from home when possible and spend time with my kids, and still get the work done.
“I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful environment and among such a supportive community.”
Community Nurse Lilli Lush believes that “working at SGH connects me to my community, but it’s not just about work.
“Ten minutes down the road, I live in a beautiful location with lots of space so I can keep my own herd of alpacas.”
Make The Shift was made by Inverloch-based production house Drift Media, which was also responsible for SGH’s COVID-19 booster promotion film I Do It Because released in January 2022.
Make The Shift has attracted a lot of positive reactions, including, “Great video showcasing our marvellous hospital and region. Well done!” and “What a great indication of a workplace with positive culture.”
One of the shorter observations sums the overall sentiment very snappily with “Best hospital! Best people!”
SGH Chief Executive Officer Paul Greenhalgh said he was heartened by the level of response Make The Shift had received so far.
“I absolutely agree with the comments people are making, especially the one about our positive culture, because the culture here at SGH is so rich and healthy, it really is a great place to work,” he said.
“In the SGH team are highly-skilled nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals, executive, administrative, and ancillary staff.
“The vast majority of them say they find real worth and purpose in their work, and the time to live their own lives, as well.
“The Make The Shift campaign is intended to bolster our own troops, and to encourage more suitably qualified people to join us here in Foster so they, too, can get the best of both worlds, and be part of a lively rural community.”
Mr Greenhalgh said SGH currently has quite a number of vacancies, similar to many if not most hospitals and health services across Australia.
On the list are positions for graduate, registered, and enrolled nurses, along with places in allied health including physiotherapy, podiatry, and social support.
SGH also has jobs in administration and for cooks and cleaners available.
“SGH’s big point of difference is the scope of acute, community and support services we provide in our 16-bed Hospital, and in and from our Community Health Centre and Banksia Centre,” he said.
“These include Urgent Care, Maternity Care, Acute Care, Perioperative Care, Transitional Care, Community Nursing, Allied Health, Respite Care, Palliative Care, and Home Care Packages.
“We need more staff to help us deliver these services and we’re actively looking for people who want to work in a first-class professional rural health service setting where they are valued.
“We can also assure anyone who is prepared to take on such a change that they certainly won’t regret making the Corner Inlet district their home, because the lifestyle really is great!”
Mr Greenhalgh said that according to some of the findings in the Victorian Government’s People Matter Survey 2021 of the State’s rural and regional health services, “96 per cent of our staff are proud to tell others that they work at SGH.
“The survey also found that 96 per cent of staff would recommend a friend or relative to be treated at SGH, and that 95 per cent of staff say that senior leaders actively support respect, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on how well we look after each other, our patients and our community, and the Victorian Government is putting more staff on the floor in the State’s health services following amendments to the Safe Patient Care Act, which come into effect on July 1, 2022.
“Small rural and regional health services like SGH are particularly recognised as being important and integral to the provision of first-line health services,” Mr Greenhalgh said.
“Please help us find more staff,” he said.
“If you have or someone you know has the qualifications and the will to come and work at SGH and live nestled between the Strzelecki Ranges and the coastlines of Wilsons Prom and Waratah Bay, please make the shift!”
Find the Make The Shift video and the details of all available positions at South Gippsland Hospital in Foster at www.southgippslandhospital.com.au