Calvary Adelaide and UniSA partnership

Calvary Adelaide and UniSA taking nursing and allied health training to a new level

A new partnership between Calvary and University of South Australia is thought to be the first of its kind between a private hospital and public university.

Juanita Ielasi, CEO of Calvary Wakefield and Calvary Rehabilitation Hospitals , praises what she says is taking nursing and allied health training to a new level.

“For more than 20 years it has been based on university training and clinical placements, but under the collaborative partnership it will be based on information sharing” she says.

The partnership is in the planning stage for the creation of a clinical training school at the Calvary Health Group’s new Calvary Adelaide private hospital, opening in 2019.

The new hospital will replace the current Calvary Wakefield and Calvary Rehabilitation (Walkerville) hospitals, to increase capacity from the  Wakefield site and Walkerville site to 340 beds. Its 24-hour emergency service will more than double in capacity as well.

“In the past placements have also been compartmentalised, where medical schools organised training separately from nursing and allied health. The Calvary and UniSA partnership is being coordinated across the three disciplines. There’s been a traditional approach, particularly when you look at nursing when it went into universities, and there’s always been placements,” she says. “Hospitals would negotiate those placements and how they would work. We’re doing it from a medical perspective with clinicians and how they think it would work based on their practice, the university’s teaching and patient needs.”

CEO Calvary Wakefield Hospital

The partnership will take in community care and home-based services under the supervision of Calvary’s clinicians, which has also been underused for private sector placements.

“For us as an organisation the more we expose our existing clinicians to evidence-based practice it helps their practice, it keeps their knowledge current, it opens the way to research partnerships,” Ielasi says. “They feel they can make better decisions and be at the forefront.” Ielasi says that while the healthcare provider has taken nursing students for years, it has not always taken many allied health students. The partnership will create greater opportunities for those allied health students who have generally gone into the public hospital system for placements, and puts Calvary forward as a future employer of choice. “The public sector is under increasing pressure and it’s always taken the majority of students and it becomes a case of how we can help,” she says. “The key for me is the quality of the placements we can provide.”

Juanita sees UniSA graduates as passionate and engaged learners, who can successfully adapt to different clinical environments and cultures whilst still putting theory into practice.

“Not only can they learn a specific skill set, but they have the ability to think innovatively and question the perceived norms, and adjust to the specifics of the work environment.”

“Calvary Health Care’s partnership with UniSA allows us to influence practitioner development aligned with the core values we believe are essential to providing reliable healthcare. We look for graduates who are eager to learn, highly motivated, can work independently, and take direction, supervision and feedback.”

Juanita advises students that in order to be career-ready, you need to be self-aware and understand your limitations.

“Realise the possibilities that a degree can afford you, and recognise that study requires hard work, dedication and some sacrifice.”

The story above is an excerpt from The Weekend Australian 11 Feb 2017 Uni of South Australia, Calvary Health to work on clinical training

Find out more

 Calvary Careers website

 Current job vacancies

 Graduate nurse and midwifery opportunities