PATIENTS at Orange hospital will get more attention than ever, with a new intake of graduates boosting nursing staff levels to an all-time high.
Yesterday’s intake of 22 graduates brings the number of nurses at Orange hospital to 459, almost twice the number employed at the old hospital.
Director of nursing Sue Patterson said Orange hospital had established itself at the top of the list for graduates, after many more nurses applied than jobs available.
“This is absolutely fantastic because we were able to pick the cream of the crop with the positions oversubscribed,” Ms Patterson said.
Orange Health Service has been campaigning nationally and internationally for the past two years to attract staff to the service, which has continued to grow since relocating to Bloomfield in March, 2011.
“It has been a hard slog in the initial stages, but now we are really reaping the rewards,” Ms Patterson said.
She said this latest batch of graduates showed a strong interest in acute care.
“Many of our graduates have indicated they want to work in emergency, intensive care and theatre and of course our wonderful facilities have attracted nurses for that very reason,” she said.
The Orange graduates and another five who will work at Bathurst hospital were officially welcomed to the health service by member for Orange Andrew Gee.
He told the graduates they were bound to reap the rewards of choosing to work in a large rural hospital and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle living in the country had to offer.
“Everyone in our community welcomes you and is very excited about the contribution you will make to health care,” he told the graduates.
“One of the best things about working and living in the central west is the quality of life you will have.”
Mr Gee said making the move with his family from Sydney was a positive choice.
“I know when I was practising law in Sydney and told my colleagues I was moving out here for a better lifestyle for my family they said I would be back within 12 months,” he said.