The partnership between Yooralla’s Ventilator Accommodation Support Service (VASS) and RMIT University has officially commenced, with the first stream of undergraduate student nurses successfully completing their four-week placement at VASS.
Kristy McMurray, Manager of VASS, said that Registered Nurses (RNs) play a fundamental role at VASS, given the combination of both, disability and complex health support needs of residents and respite customers.
“As part of the longer term plan to recruit more RNs to VASS, we’ve been working with hospitals and universities to establish new partnerships. It’s really important to find Nurses that have the right skills and knowledge to work in a community setting, where residents direct all their care. It’s very different than working in a hospital,” said Kristy.
The focus on enhancing and immersing disability supports into traditionally health-focused care has resulted in the inaugural undergraduate nursing student placement program at VASS with RMIT University, and the development of a postgraduate respiratory nursing rotation program ‘Advanced Practice Respiratory Course: Care across Continuum’ with Northern Health.
Kristy said the partnerships provide an opportunity for both residents and students to work together to teach and learn.
“Some of our residents have now been also invited to speak to university students about what is important to them,” she said.
Kristy said RMIT University nursing students, Cass and Heather, who were part of the first stream of the placement program, did “incredibly well”.
“Both Cass and Heather have been here for four weeks and really enjoyed their learning experience, especially the customer-centred approach to nursing at VASS. They were involved in every part of life and supports with the residents – not just the health supports. One of the highlights was them helping Sam, one of our residents, to make cakes for our Christmas in July festivities,” she said.
Cass said the placement program at VASS has been “so rewarding” for her.
“I have enjoyed so many things here, especially the social aspect of getting to know the residents and being involved in their lives. I have not only gained nursing skills and knowledge but I have gained invaluable life experience too,” she said.
Yooralla’s VASS is a unique service that was purpose built for people who are dependent on mechanical ventilators and require high level 24-hour support. It is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and offers both residential and respite accommodation.
RMIT University nursing students, Cass and Heather, with a client they supported.