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Mater Education graduate making a difference in allied health


Since the introduction of the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance program last year, Mater Education has partnered with Mater Health to support 33 students with placements in Audiology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Speech Pathology, Mater at Home and Mater Private Rehab.

As we celebrate the success of the fourth graduating cohort from the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance, we caught up with Helen Cook who completed the course earlier this year and is now enjoying her new role as a Rehabilitation Assistant with Mater Private Rehab.

Helen commenced her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance after a varied career as a physical education teacher and flight attendant. Helen was ready for a change and the opportunity to study and complete her course placement at Mater was too good to pass up and she’s never looked back.

As part of their program, Helen, along with the other students, completed an 80 hour placement working alongside Mater Health’s Allied Health Assistants and clinicians to support our patients.

Upon completion of her studies Helen applied for, and was successfully appointed to, the position of Rehabilitation Assistant with Mater in August 2017.

“When I attended the Mater Education Open Day, I knew it was going to be a good place to learn,” Helen said.
“This time a year ago I was just putting my application in and now I work here.”

Helen loves the patient interaction in her role and the opportunity to learn from other health practitioners.

“There are some amazing dedicated staff members at Mater and they have a beautiful way with the patients,” she said.

“I love being a part of the team that helps patients and I love that I’m learning something new every day.”

An average day for Helen can be quite varied. She can be taking patients to and from the gym, assisting patients with their treatment and exercise programs, coordinating patient education resources, ensuring infection control is maintained for equipment and any other tasks that are delegated to her from the clinicians.

Mater’s Allied Health Services is proud to be partnering with Mater Education in the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance program to develop our future workforce.

Helen’s manager Deirdre Cooke, Rehabilitation Coordinator at Mater Private Rehab, said, “It’s great for people to be able to get a practical foot in the door and it’s a good opportunity for people to see what a role is and what it isn’t.”

When asked why Helen was successful with her application for a Rehabilitation Assistant at Mater Private Rehab Deirdre simply said “she’s the best.”

“Helen impressed the whole team on her placement. The therapists, other rehabilitation assistants and patients benefit from  her level of interest, organisation, flexibility, and her down to earth caring personal approach.

Learn more about the HLT33015 Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance and how to apply.