When Director of Nursing, Kila Lua, realised students were coming and going from the Corporate One building that also houses Panch Day Surgery Centre, she decided to investigate. The result would be a partnership with far-reaching benefits.

Ms Lua soon discovered the students were enrolled with healthcare education provider, All Health Training. As a registered training organisation, All Health Training offers a range of nationally recognised training courses including aged care, disability and pathology collection.

But it was a health services assistance course that caught Ms Lua’s attention.

‘Having students undertake their placement with us at Panch seemed like a natural fit.’

‘Healthcare assistants (HCAs) support other healthcare professions, including nurses,’ says Ms Lua. ‘We understand how important HCAs are in the day-to-day operations of hospitals and day surgeries. This is especially true in post-pandemic era, as the healthcare system deals with ongoing workforce shortages.’

HCAs provide broad support to allow nurses more time to focus on clinical tasks, says Ms Lua. ‘They might assist with moving patients around the facility, making sure patients are comfortable, transporting gas tanks, stock management, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and making beds.’

After learning the students must complete an 80-hour industry placement as part of the course syllabus, Ms Lua saw an opportunity.

‘Having students undertake their placement with us at Panch seemed like a natural fit,’ she says. Vision Hospital Group, which operates Panch and other day surgeries around Australia, and All Health Training agreed with her idea.

Panch has now hosted its first HCA student. ‘Mentoring these students is a great way to give back to the local community and profession, while the extra set of hands really takes pressure off our nurses.’

The Panch team with our first All Health Initiative student. (L–R) Bonife Nagal, Tahlia Dakin, Sandra Hollis, Somporn Wongjampa (All Health Initiative student), Constance Chitambo, Karen Heather and Loverne Verano.

The Panch team with our first All Health Initiative student. (L–R) Bonife Nagal, Tahlia Dakin, Sandra Hollis, Somporn Wongjampa (All Health Initiative student), Constance Chitambo, Karen Heather and Loverne Verano.

‘Importantly, we teach the students that patient care is more than just clinical care. Many of our patients are elderly and may be anxious about their procedure. My team is always conscious of taking time to have a friendly chat and put them at ease. It’s wonderful seeing our students do the same. The patients love it.’

In June, Ms Lua spoke about the value of healthcare assistants in an ophthalmic setting at the 2023 Australian Ophthalmic Nurses’ Association Conference. ‘The feedback was very positive, and we are looking to roll this across other Vision Hospital Group day surgeries.’

‘Importantly, we teach the students that patient care is more than just clinical care.’

The student perspective: Somporn Wongjampa

Originally from Thailand, Ms Wongjampa moved to Australia to discover a new culture and new opportunities. Despite enjoying several stints in the food and hospitality industry, she felt something was still missing.

‘I wanted to help people and have a positive impact on their life, as well as make a real difference in the community,’ Ms Wongjampa says.

‘The healthcare industry appealed to me because it also offers good career prospects, career flexibility and opportunities to keep learning. Working as a health care assistant will be my first step in this industry, using the learning and knowledge I have gained during my course.’

Ms Wongjampa was the first All Health Training student at Panch Day Surgery Centre, a busy two-theatre facility dedicated to specialist eye procedures. ‘I was impressed by the technology, equipment and high-quality standards,’ she says.

‘The staff believe in exceeding patients’ expectations.’

‘At the same time, they encourage a positive work culture where employee wellbeing and support are priorities. It didn’t matter that I was inexperienced or came from a different cultural background. Everyone made me feel so welcome. ‘

At Vision Hospital Group, we’re committed to providing exceptional care to patients and are continually striving to improve our service – which is why patient feedback is so important to us. So we were especially pleased to see that our most recent patient surveys have been overwhelmingly positive.

All of our patients and their families/carers are invited to provide feedback about the treatment and care provided by us. We seek this feedback through an online survey sent to each patient after every visit.

The number of Vision Hospital Group day surgeries across Australia has grown to eleven, with the addition of Boroondara Day Surgery in Victoria.

Vision Hospital Group CEO Amanda Cranage says the site is currently being refurbished and expected to be operational in September. ‘Boroondara Day Surgery expands our offering in Melbourne, with patients now able to access a range of day procedures at five locations across the city.’

During the recent Australian Private Hospitals Association Congress, Vision Hospital Group’s General Manager, Greg Brown learned that the combined healthcare sector has the same CO2 footprint and waste generation as the fifth-largest polluting country in the world. Like fellow attendees, he was shocked.

We might be past the halfway point of 2023, but there are no signs of slowing down at Vision Hospital Group!

Australian Ophthalmic Nurses’ Association (AONA) Conference
Ophthalmic nurses play a critical role in Vision Hospital Group’s national network of day surgeries, all of which cater to ophthalmic surgery. So, unsurprisingly, we had some strong ties to this year’s AONA Conference in Melbourne on 18 June.

Vision Eye Institute, Australia’s largest private ophthalmology provider and operator of eleven day surgeries through Vision Hospital Group, announced today a change in its leadership: James Thiedeman has stepped down from the position of Chief Executive Officer after more than five and a half successful years at the helm.

Delivering health services in today’s challenging environment – where staff shortages and burnout are rife – is a balancing act for all providers, regardless of size. Yet, Vision Hospital Group (VHG) is forging another path, where its nurse teams are thriving rather than just surviving. And ophthalmic surgeons and patients are coming along for the ride.

The winners of The Vision Way Awards – our quarterly staff awards – have been announced!

Jacinta Goldsack, our People and Culture Manager, says The Vision Way Awards celebrates staff members who embody our shared values, known as The Vision Way. ‘The Vision Way is a set of 10 guiding principles to support our code of conduct and acts as a benchmark for the expected behaviours of all Vision Hospital Group staff,’ says Ms Goldsack.

As one of the peak bodies for the private hospital and day surgery sector, the APHA (Australian Private Hospitals Association) Congress brings together industry leaders and decision makers to discuss healthcare opportunities and challenges. Representing Vision Hospital Group – which was also one of this year’s sponsors – were CEO James Thiedeman (centre) and General Managers Greg Brown(Day Hospitals; left) and Rodney Fox (Business Development and NSW/SA Operations; right).

Ophthalmic journal mivision explores how eye surgeons are discovering Vision Hospital Group’s network of day surgeries offers the ideal operating solution for smaller/solo practices.