Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jobs For The Boys... and Girls? Part 2

Claud started a temp job yesterday [Tues] working at one of the large Australian Banks. Sort of PA stuff but with a bit of room for manouevre in the marketing area. I'm sure she'll tell you more about it, but she certainly enjoyed her first day...

I had my proposed "chat" with a really nice Manager at a Melbourne clinic on Monday, following my application to work there as a CPN [Community Psychiatric Nurse]. Basically, he explained that I wasn't likely to be offered a job there at this point, as I had the three-fold disadvantage of not having worked in the community, having worked solely with older age since graduation, and the fact that I'm British...

Actually, the third one isn't quite true - what he said was that I hadn't worked in the Australian system, so legislation, procedures, Mental Health Act and so on were quite different here, so it would be a real baptism of fire to drop straight into managing a caseload of 30 or so patients in the community.

Having said that, I have an interview to do just that on Monday, albeit in a different area of the city... although, given his caution about this, even if I got the role I probably wouldn't, or shouldn't, take it at this point. He was really helpful in explaining how the system works in Oz, and Melbourne in particular; suggesting areas of the city that I should look at working in; and some subtle advice - areas that he couldn't recommend [one of which is where I have the CPN interview above!]. But, given 6-12 months in the system, in a ward-based role, I should be able to take on a community role quite easily. It was fantastic that he took the time out of his day to go through this with me, in full knowledge that I wouldn't be working with him.

I think the fact that he originally comes from the Mother Country influenced him, having experienced the baffling and apparently impenetrable mental health / hospital system here. Easy once you get your head around it, but looking at it for the first time...

If I wanted to continue to work in older age, I should be able to become a CPN even sooner, even immediately, but at this point I've decided that I want to broaden my experience, with a view to working as a CPN or similar community-based role in "adult" mental health.

It's one of those weird nursing things that if you're over 65 you're no longer termed an adult, but instead take on whatever the currently fashionable politically correct term for such a person happens to be [not geriatric, not over 65, not pensioner]. Is it just me, or does that seem patronising, implying that all people ultimately end up reverting to a kind of pre-adolescent or baby-like state once they hit 65? That perhaps the term "adult" is the word that needs to be modified in this context never seems to enter the equation. Or maybe I'm just being too politically correct? Anyway, continue...

In light of the "chat", I emailed my CV to a Melbourne hospital he'd recommended to me. Within half an hour the Ward Manager was on the phone, inviting me in for another "chat". It crossed my mind that I could maybe spend my career having chats whilst remaining perpetually unemployed, but within 20 minutes I was on my way to visit her [By the way, I'm not naming names or places as I should be a wee bit discreet at this point]. She had already spoken to the "Clinic Guy", had perused my CV, and thought she should take the opportunity to show me round and talk through my previous experiences.

I wasn't actually particularly nervous, which was a relief as I hate interview situations and frequently sweat, shake and lose the feeling in my limbs. I'm serious - I just get so stressed about it. But this time I felt I was on familiar ground, it was all very informal and easygoing, with no difficult moments. It was particularly straightforward as it felt like she was selling the ward to me rather than selling myself to the ward...

The ward was fantastic, very well furnished with excellent facilities, lots of programmes for patients, and a really chilled atmosphere [and thst didn't appear to be down to over-medication]. The end result is that I was then invited me in for a more formal interview on Monday morning.

At last, things seem to be moving...

I'm now in the odd situation that I have two interviews in a day, one in an area that I didn't really want to return to but that I now really like the look of, and another in a role that I really want to undertake but don't actually want to do just yet. But it's nice to have some options.


Anonymous jammy said...

Wahey, good for you.. having all the stuff explained a bit sounds really useful..

I tell you what, it's freezing over here in the UK at the moment, my feet are numb.. brrr!

But I did go and see Beth Orton last night and she was hot hot hot (in a purely musical sense of course!) - I really like her new album and she played virtually all of it, plus took requests for the second (count 'em) encore *sigh*

.. and unlike at the Manchester Academy, people didn't talk all the way through her set (remember that?)

Thursday, 23 February, 2006  

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