From intern to job coach for the next generation

06 December 2021

When Nina started at The Wesley Hospital in 2019 as a Project SEARCH intern, her goal was to gain experience and find out what it’s like to work in a busy hospital.

But what she found was her passion for supporting others, and after learning new skills in many different roles across the hospital, gained employment as a job coach for the next generation of interns. 
𠊊n Australian-first program at The Wesley Hospital, Project SEARCH aims to empower young adults with disability to gain experience in real jobs and secure pathways into stable and rewarding employment.

“I joined Project SEARCH because I was looking to gain experience in a hospital and take part in an opportunity which would help lead me to sustaining work somewhere for a long time,” Nina said. “When I started, it was scary and I felt nervous. Everything was new, especially getting used to the hospital.” As part of the 12-month internship, Nina rotated through roles in the emergency, orderlies and pre-admissions departments, and was instrumental in supporting our team of orderlies by sharing her talents.

“Working with the orderlies was one of my favourite rotations because  I got to use their tracking system, and was able to help improve their system and make it even better and easier for the team to track and find the equipment they needed,” Nina said.

After completing her internship, Nina went on to gain employment by applying to become a job coach with the Project SEARCH team. She now brings her skills, knowledge and personal experience to work every day to support other Project SEARCH interns.

“The best part of my job is seeing the smiling faces of the interns and watching them take one more step everyday closer to achieving their employment goals. It’s also great to see so many teams in the hospital wanting to have an intern join their department,” Nina said.

“If someone asked me if they should try Project SEARCH, I’d say do it, because it will change your life. There is always someone here for you to help you achieve your goals.”Now in its second year at the Wesley, Project SEARCH is achieving impressive results with ten young people having now participated in the program.

Please visit Project SEARCH for more information about the program. 

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