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Wimmera Health Care Group has begun welcoming its new support workers in preparation for an expected increase to the hospital’s workload from Covid-19.

WHCG Human Resources manager Glenn Hynes said the new team members were being employed as support workers or SAINTS - Student Assisting In Nursing Temporary Support.

"The Covid-19 recruitment campaign is designed to attract as many able, responsible and suitably skilled people as possible, who are capable of carrying out all sorts of everyday tasks across a range of departments," Mr Hynes said.

"We anticipate that at this stage in the planning process, anywhere from 70 to 120 new team members will be required in various new roles such as support workers and SAINTS for the more clinical areas," he said.

"That will help with the basics while maintaining quality, safe and informed supervised care.

"All nurses whether currently practicing and registered, or even retired or still on maternity leave, are encouraged to get in touch with us as well."

Mr Hynes said The support worker role was very broad and would range from patient services assistants, food services, leisure and lifestyle activities in the residential settings, administration and cleaning.

"For those that are new to health and wanting to get a head start to build a career in health, this is also a wonderful opportunity to gain some essential knowledge and skills," he said.

The first round of people employed under the program commenced orientation this week and workplace trainer/careers advisor Amelia Crafter said the group was excited to start and help their community at this difficult time.

"We usually run one orientation session for new team members a month but with so many new people starting and with social distancing to consider, we are actually having two to three orientation sessions a week," Ms Crafter said.

"That will continue for at least the next few weeks so we can get the smaller-sized groups through as quickly as we can," she said.

"The first session had six participants and all of them had lost their usual employment through the circumstances of Covid-19.

"While they could have been really down about their circumstances, it was so great to see they were all really excited to work at Wimmera Health Care Group and find a way to help themselves and their community during this time of uncertainty."

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