Vic Management Interns' blog

Blog posts by Victorian Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.

Oscar Chaffey
Oscar Chaffey

Health Management Interns, ACHSM

Reflections on the end of my HMIP journey (Yang Su)

By Yang Su

2nd Year Management Intern

As my HMIP journey is coming to an end, I reflected on three lessons that the program has taught me.

  1. There is always more to learn

HMIP has been a great learning experience, and a very humbling one. With each placement, we are often placed into a work area that we have not being exposed to before, and the learning curve tends to be quite steep.

Before starting the program, I thought I had a pretty good understanding about how hospitals are run and how the health system worked, having worked clinically across acute (medical and surgical), sub-acute and mental health in two health services. I quickly realised how wrong I was during my first placement, which was in quality and safety at Ambulance Victoria. Before the placement I had no idea how pre-hospital care worked and no knowledge of quality and safety apart from medication safety. Throughout the placement, I learnt about the operational side of the Ambulance Victoria, I even spent some time in the 000 call centre and spent a day on an ambulance. I learnt a lot about quality and safety, from the various people and teams I worked with, and obtained a certificate on quality and safety from IHI. As I became comfortable and confident in my position, the placement was coming to an end, and the cycle started all over again, being placed in a new organisation and a new area.

There is always more to learn about the health system and health organisations, so stay humble and be curious on your journey.

  1. Be proactive

Throughout each of the placements, we are often tasked with leading or supporting a variety of projects. Although the types of project, the organisations and project teams vary, but proactivity has been an ingredient for success in all of the projects that I have worked in. Being proactive may mean ensuring the project moves along even if you are only playing a supporting role, or consulting the right people during the planning phase to make sure there is buy-in and support for the project.

I learnt the second point the hard way, where a project I worked on was disrupted significantly because I didn’t consult a group of frontline clinicians before moving to implement the project. My project had approval and support from senior management, and I had thought that was enough to start implementation and save some time by skipping a wider consultation process. In the end the disruption caused took longer to fix than what a wider consultation process would have taken.

Be proactive in the early phases of a project can save a lot of stress and headaches later on.

  1. Keep an open mind

One of the most important thing we get out of HMIP is the ability to adapt to new environments and change. Through my two years, I moved through Ambulance Victoria, a subregional health service, DHHS and a tertiary health service. During these placements, I experienced two restructures, a cyber-attack and COVID. I’m sure I will experience many more changes of workplaces and changes within workplaces in the future as I pursue a career in health management.

Keep an open mind and embrace change, as the only constant thing in life is change.

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