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Mental Health, Drugs & Alcohol Service Inter-professional Graduate Program

The program – purpose, philosophy and aims

The Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Service (MHDAS) Graduate Entry to Practice Program aims to:

  • Build upon the undergraduate program and facilitate the transition of the graduate from novice to advanced beginner practitioner.
  • Integrate the graduate into the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service by providing clinical support, educational experiences and activities.
  • Assist the graduate to develop clinical competency to perform safely, confidently and professionally within his / her role delineation.
  • Promote a learning environment of connectedness, support & continuity this fosters the journey that values the process of furthering knowledge and expertise.

General information

The program is open to:

  • Six nursingpositions (annually).
  • One occupational therapy (OT) (two yearly).
  • One allied health (Social Work or Occupational Therapy) (annually).

MHDAS Nursing Graduates at Barwon Health are employed to work part-time (eight days a fortnight) for 12 months. OT graduates are employed to work part time (six days a fortnight) within a 12 month - two year program. Allied Health graduates are employed to work part-time (eight days a fortnight) within the Youth Mental Health Team.

All graduates attend a 5 day orientation program at the beginning of the graduate program, followed by a three-day Management of Violence and Aggression Training (MOVAIT) course.

Our program commences early February each year. Barwon Health participates in the PMCV computer match process for all graduate nurse positions.

Graduate support & education

During your graduate year/s at MHDAS, you will receive support from a variety of people including your preceptors, clinical staff, managers, other graduates and of course the graduate support team. Whilst there are great clinical staff and educators in your areas, graduates are supported by the Graduate Coordinator and the MHDAS Education Team.

As part of the transition from student to registered practitioner, graduates are also provided with opportunities to learn and reflect on their practice outside of their clinical areas. This includes:

Clinical supervision

All graduates are provided with a trained Clinical Supervisor, who is also a member of the MHDAS education team. All graduates are entitled to and expected to attend at least one hour per month to allow for an opportunity for graduates to discuss any issues in a confidential and supported environment. Clinical supervision sessions provide a safe venue for graduates to reflect on their practice, discuss client issues and other information that the Graduate feels is relevant to their growth as practitioner.

Graduate study days

Graduates attend paid study days held throughout the year. 

Topics aim to increase the development of personal and professional skills and knowledge, looking at the changing work environment, legislation and policy in mental health and opportunity to broaden a wide range of clinical skills. Some of the study days provided include: psychopharmacology, trauma informed care, ICE training for frontline workers and gender sensitivity training held by the Rainbow network.

All graduates will complete a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop.

Clinical competencies

Graduates are expected to complete core competencies related Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD). Graduates may also complete learning modules that they find of interest.

Graduates are required to complete a range of clinical skills assessments and a 20 minute consumer story presentation. Both the clinical skills assessments and consumer story require the graduate to critically appraise and reflect on practice. The consumer story is submitted as a paper and is also presented to the graduate team in the final study block of the year.

Graduates are also provided with a professional development record folder to document their achievements throughout the year.

Graduates are invited to a Graduation Ceremony as arranged by the Graduate Program Coordinators at the end of their programs completion.

Graduate Program

0.8EFT (8 days a fortnight for 12 months).

Nursing graduates complete three x 14 week clinical rotations across our Psychiatric Inpatient Unit- Swanston Centre (University Hospital Geelong), Psychogeriatric Inpatient care- Blakiston Lodge (McKellar Centre) and Community Rehabilitation Facility (Belmont).

Nursing graduates complete a six-week rotation from one of the following areas:

  • Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Adult Community Mental Health
  • Youth Mental Health
  • Aged Mental health
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Allied Health Graduate Program

Occupational Therapy position

0.6EFT (6 days a fortnight for 2 years).

The Occupational Therapy Graduate will be provided with a specialist experience in the Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Service.  Specific rotation/s will be outlined on the recruitment advertisement on the Barwon health website (see How to Apply- Occupational Therapy).

Currently, the position sits within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS); the first year the Graduate works within primary schools as part of the CAMHS and School Early Action Service (CASEA) and moves in to become a case manager within CAMHS in the second year. This is a highly supported graduate program, skilling the Graduate in the specialist area of Child and Youth Mental Health; from early intervention to management of acute illness.

Allied Health position

0.8EFT (8 days a fortnight for 12 months).

The Allied Health Graduate program is offered every year and both Social Work and Occupational Therapy graduates are encouraged to apply. Graduates work an 8 day per fortnight roster within the multidisciplinary Jigsaw Youth Mental Health Team.

The Graduate is supported to develop and care for a caseload of young people aged 16-25 with a severe mental illness or are at risk of developing a severe mental illness.

Post Graduate Nursing Program

Mental Health Nursing Graduates are automatically eligible for recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for three subjects into the University of Melbourne Post Graduate Nursing Diploma in Mental Health following successful completion of all rotations and clinical and theoretical assessment in the Graduate Program. All successful nursing graduates are expected and supported to undertake this Post Graduate Program following completion of the Graduate Program. Post Graduates are financially supported by a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and scholarships are available.

MHDAS provides the required clinical hours and rotations to facilitate the training. Successful nursing graduates have the opportunity to rotate through our adult community mental health teams in addition to our Psychiatric Inpatient Unit- Swanston Centre and Community Residential Facility. This provides Post-Graduates with the opportunity to consolidate skills around community mental health nursing, build on necessary acute assessment skills and crisis intervention within a supported team environment.

Testimonials

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Kayla, Mental Health Nurse

"I am currently one of the graduate nurses completing my graduate year in mental health. I have felt supported every step of the way. I have been given a range of different experiences in the mental health area, from experiences in the community, complex care, forensic care, aged care and the acute setting. This graduate program supports you in growing and expanding your knowledge with many study days throughout the year. No question has been a silly question and this graduate year has made my transition into a mental health nursing a breeze!"

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Shine, Mental Health Nurse

"I am currently in post-graduate year. My initial graduate year was excellent and there were plenty of opportunities to learn and build upon my mental health nursing skills. I would say the exact same for my post-graduate year. I've always felt well supported and looked after. The study days were great and it was enjoyable working in a range of different areas including acute, sub-acute, and community settings. Barwon Health's graduate program has been very enriching and I wouldn't have it any other way!"

Erin, Occupational Therapist

“I completed the Occupational Therapy, Mental Health Graduate position with Barwon Health in 2018 and 2019. It was a wonderful opportunity to start off my career as an Occupational Therapist working in Mental Health. My knowledge and skills developed significantly through all the clinical experience and professional development provided in this position. I learnt so much about child and adolescent mental health, the role of OT within this setting and was able to gain experience working with diverse consumer groups. I felt incredibly supported by my team and supervisors as a new graduate. I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who is interested in working as an OT in mental health, particularly if you are interested in working with children, adolescents, their families and schools!”

Yuki, Mental Health Nurse

“The mental health transition program offered me a great opportunity that I was looking for to develop mental health skills in an acute unit. I enjoyed the great team work and approachable management. Mainly, I enjoyed taking care of clients as a whole. Not only caring for their mental health, but also supporting the psychosocial, financial, family and relationships to assist with the recovery plan. Throughout the program, I have been supported by our education team that offered me a comprehensive orientation, paid professional development days, clinical supervision and competency-based skill development requirements. The key learning from the mental health rotation was developing my skills in managing clients with different presentations and challenging behaviour. It is a pleasure to be involved in clients’ case and support them. I am currently doing my mental health post grad and I am looking forward to acting as a shift manager when I finish study. I am also interested in case managing in community mental health service in the future.”

Click here to view a map. 

How to apply

Nursing - Barwon Health participates in the PMCV computer match process. It is important to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the computer match process prior to applying for graduate nurse positions. Submit applications online via the Barwon Health vacancies site as per PMCV dates.

The following persons are eligible to apply via the PMCV computer match process:

  • Victorian Nurse Graduates/Midwifery Graduates, who are Australian citizens/permanent residents
  • Interstate Nurse Graduates/Midwifery Graduates, who are Australian citizens/permanent residents
  • New Zealand Nurse Graduates/Midwifery Graduates, who are New Zealand citizens

International students cannot apply to PMCV if they do not hold permanent residency status.

For more information regarding the PMCV computer match process, please visit www.pmcv.com.au

Occupational Therapy & Allied Health - Positions will be advertised on the Barwon Health employment website. Applicants are encouraged to subscribe to this site for notification of upcoming Graduate positions.    

When applying for a graduate program at Barwon Health Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services please include the following:

  • Letter of application plus Curriculum Vitae and/or Professional Portfolio.
  • A current, passport sized photo attached (or scanned)
  • Copies of all 2nd, 3rd and 4th (if applicable) year clinical assessments
  • At least one recent Mental Health placement appraisal
  • A  transcript of all academic results (including key to results),
  • Names and contact numbers of two clinical referees - preferably with one from most recent mental health placement
  • A 250 word statement outlining reasons for applying for Psychiatric Graduate Year Program at Barwon Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Service, in particular why the applicant is choosing to define a professional pathway into mental health.
  • Details of experience of mental health, drug and alcohol services, e.g. placement, employment, volunteer or personal.

If your application has been successful, you will be asked to attend an interview. You will be provided with the interview questions 10 minutes prior to your interview and can expect to be interviewed by three staff members. The interview will last approximately 45 minutes and you will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of your interview.

2021 Graduate information sessions

Face to face information sessions for our Interprofessional Graduate Program will be held in the Kitchener House Auditorium. 285-299 Ryrie Street, Geelong VIC 3220.

  • Monday 20 July 11am
  • Friday 24 July 2020 4pm

Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program

The Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program (TTMHNP) is a 12 month program available to experienced Registered Nurses wishing to develop as a skilled mental health nurse. The program provides a 5 day orientation program at the beginning, followed by a three-day Management of Violence and Aggression Training (MOVAIT) course.  The TTMHNP nurses are employed to work part-time (eight day a fortnight) within our Psychiatric Inpatient Unit- Swanston Centre (University Hospital Geelong). This program also includes a 12 week supernumerary placement within our Jigsaw Youth Mental Health Team.

The TTMHNP supports nurses with opportunities to learn and reflect on their practice outside of their clinical areas. This includes:

  • Support from a variety of people including preceptors, clinical staff, managers and the MHDAS Education team.
  • Being entitled to and expected to attend at least one hour per month of supervision with a trained Clinical Supervisor. Supervision provides nurses with the opportunity to discuss any issues in a confidential and supported environment.
  • Paid study days held throughout the year aiming to increase the development of personal and professional skills and knowledge, looking at the changing work environment, legislation and policy in mental health and opportunity to broaden a wide range of clinical skills.
  • Completion of a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop.
  • As part of the TTMHNP Nurses are required to complete a range of clinical skills assessments and a 20 minute consumer story presentation. Both the clinical skills assessments and consumer story require the TTMHNP Nurse to critically appraise and reflect on practice.
  • TTMHNP Nurses are also provided with a professional development record folder to document their achievements throughout the year.

A Graduation Ceremony is arranged by the Program Coordinators on completion of the program.

TTMHNP Graduates are automatically eligible for recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for three subjects into the University of Melbourne Post Graduate Nursing Diploma in Mental Health following successful completion of clinical and theoretical assessment in the TTMHNP. All successful graduates are expected and supported to undertake this Post Graduate Program following completion of the TTMHNP. Post Graduates are financially supported by a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and scholarships are available. MHDAS provides the required clinical hours and rotations to facilitate the training.

How to apply

TTMHNP positions will be advertised on the Barwon Health employment website. The TTMHNP will commence in early 2021.  

Contact us

Enquiries to mentalhealtheducationteam@barwonhealth.org.au

Map: Click here to view a map.

Last Modified: Monday, 25 May 2020