10 Stories from the HCA Team

The Healthcare Australia Team

“Individual commitment to a group effort; that is what makes a team work, a company work…” – Vince Lombardi

We recently asked our longest serving employees to reflect on their time at Healthcare Australia, sharing their memories from when they started to now. We’ve chosen ten (10) unique memories to share, from Granny’s infamous cakes back in the early days of Malvern Nursing Agency, to the satisfaction of having a 24/7 call centre for candidates and clients.

If you’ve been following our series of articles of ‘45 things to say’ for our 45th Anniversary, here you will find numbers 26 through to 35. Take a look back at some of our other articles marking this milestone:

Celebrating 45 Years of service to the Healthcare Industry | 9 Fun Facts about Healthcare Professionals | 5 HCA Healthcare Recruitment Innovations | 5 Amazing Stories from our Healthcare Professionals

Growth on the West Coast

When I first started working for HCA WA in 2003 there were only two of us (myself and the Manager running ASEPS WA) based in a small office in Subiaco, Perth. We had to take the phone home with us, so you would be on call every other night and write everything down with a pen and paper.

We now have an office of 30 people in Perth, with WANA, Defence and Community Care, and we’re literally bursting at the seams.

Celine, WA Business Manager, 14 Years with HCA

From Humble Beginnings

I think I may be the longest serving HCA employee.

HCA, was founded as Malvern Nursing Agency (1972) in a Federation/Edwardian style home in leafy East Malvern!  In those days’ the hospitals and nursing homes remained the employers and Nurses paid a cheque to the agency. Staff were inducted at a mahogany desk by Elizabeth (founder of Malvern), whilst her World War II veteran RN mother (referred to by all as “Granny”) would help out and also cook us delicious cakes for morning and afternoon tea.

No computers or mobile phones were around those days, and bookings were entered in a large double sided ledger. Availabilities were entered in a diary and Nurses were required to bring in a photo of themselves so we could laminate and create a name badge.

From these humble beginnings, Elizabeth and her family created one of the first and largest Nursing Agencies in Melbourne and had a loyal following of highly skilled and reliable Nurse and Support Workers.

Pretty much every Nurse who trained in this era at some point joined Malvern.

Julie Stobart, VIC Client Service Manager, 25 Years with HCA

Technology Evolving the Business

When I first began 11 years ago we relied heavily on faxes, paper and time sheet booklets. HCA’s advancement with technology has enabled Nurses to be more engaged with us, allowing them to be more in control of their employment opportunities and create a smoother process for finding work, allocations and being paid. The technology has also opened up opportunities for certain clients to directly input their required shifts. The speed and ongoing system improvements have increased the quality of work we can provide.

HCA has always managed to create a warm and welcoming environment for employees, candidates and clients. I’ve enjoyed the social gatherings that have been arranged for us to meet our Nurses face-to-face, which in turn strengthens our working relationships. These events are highly enjoyed and anticipated by everyone and create great comradery.

I have great memories of family garden BBQs, boat cruise Christmas parties, visiting the Maternity ward with cupcakes for International Midwives Day.

There is so much warmth and support for such a large company.

Amy Blunt, VIC Operations Consultant, 11 Years with HCA

Building Great Relationships with our Clients

From when I first started on the Gold Coast to this point in time we have grown and grown and grown. I truly believe this is due to the great relationships that we have developed with our clients.

Tim, QLD Branch Manager, +5 Years with HCA

Changing Demands of our Candidates

I remember establishing an EN Transition Program in 2008/09 where we recognised the need to help our EN qualified Support Workers upskill.

Many of our Support Workers at the time had completed their EN training and due to limited EN work opportunities at the time were taking Support Work shifts. Identifying this challenge, I wrote our current EN transition program which we commonly get feedback along the lines of “you gave me an opportunity when everyone was insisting on experience”.

 Sharon, SA Nursing Services, 11 Years with HCA

Oh, How Times have Changed…

Back in the day, Agency Nursing used to be known as the job you had whilst you were looking for a permanent job. Fast forward to today, where Agency Nurses are known as flexible, adaptable, highly skilled healthcare professionals. Agency nursing is now first choice for many.

I remember when…after hours and on weekends we didn’t have our 24/7 Call centre, but had to take our after-hours calls at home. After work, on the weekends and public holidays all calls were transferred to a mobile and bookings were taken on a piece of paper.

Kelly, NSW Nursing Services Manager, 14 Years with HCA

From One to Many

When I first started with HCA I was working for Staffing Synergy.

I was working on my own doing my own bookings, recruitment, payroll and client visits. I was a one-woman band. All of this was done via a mobile phone after hours which meant I was on call 24 hours a day for any bookings that came in. Shifts were entered on Monday when I got into work.

We were excited the day we launched our 24/7 Nurse call centre, which meant we could offer the most efficient service to our Nurses and Midwives.

Joanne McKeown, QLD Recruitment Team Leader, 8 Years with HCA

Word of mouth travels fast

When I first started in 2002 I wore many hats. I would be managing the Operations Centre staff and rosters, working in Nursing Services covering any queries from Clients or Nurses, cover all Mental Health Clients (which is my specific background) and of course the Chief Social Club organiser!

Today, my focus is on our Nursing Service and Education.

The one constant throughout my experience is our recognition as a quality service provider. Clients are always guaranteed suitably qualified staff and receive immediate follow-ups on all bookings.

Fiona Bell, SA Nursing Services Manager, 15 Years with HCA

The Ability to Travel

I feel very lucky as I’ve been able to grow alongside the business.

HCA has afforded me many opportunities including transferring through different parts of the business i.e. from ASEPS WA to WANA and then HCA as a whole and also physically from WA to VIC. These opportunities are also available to our external staff.  They have such great opportunities to work in different states, hospitals, rural towns or remote locations.

Skye, VIC Operations Manager, +5 Years with HCA

Adapting to Market Changes

Working in the QLD agency for five of my seven year, we had to adapt to different challenges in the market. We’ve seen a number of changes in government, the opening of new hospitals on the Gold Coast and the establishment of new satellite offices in Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

In July 2016, I was given the opportunity to become the National Quality Manager for HCA Defence, as the business diversified its offering to become a complete Healthcare Workforce solution.

Kate Hill, National Quality Manager HCA Defence, 7 Years with HCA

 
A career in helping others with their career can be an incredibly rewarding job. If you have a strong interest in the healthcare recruitment industry and you’re looking for a flexible, fun and busy role, we want to hear from you. Contact our team on 1300 422 247 or you can email hr@healthcareaustralia.com.au