Thinking of Nursing in the Private or Public Health Systems in Australia?

By Samantha Qaranivalu
Medical Jobs

Nursing in either a Public or Private Hospital comes with its rewards and challenges.
Being a Nurse in 2018 is very different to Nursing in 1920 however the basic need for care, advocacy, collaboration and patient safety remains a priority regardless of where we work.

Working in a Private Hospital or a Specialist Clinic can have its limitations due to the emphasis on predominately Surgical and Orthopaedic Procedures. Therefore, Theatre Nurses, ICU Nurses and Surgical Nurses are in high demand.
There is also a large focus on Cardiac Services; making the importance of attracting and retaining experienced CCU and Cardiac Ward Nurses a priority.

Many Private Hospitals across Australia and New Zealand have contracts with other corporate organisations to provide services like Dialysis, Radiotherapy, Radiology and Obstetrics which widens the scope of opportunities available for Nurses looking to work in or to extend their careers in the private sector.
The Public Health System and Public Hospitals are notoriously busy environments, with heavy demands on all staff across the entire team.

However, the Government adheres to safe workload practices ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their patients as well as their staff.

In the Public Hospital System there are more opportunities to work in different fields and explore various specialities and special interests where roles as a Nurse are available, including the opportunity to be seconded to other Hospitals and Districts throughout the State. For some, this is a major enticement to choose the Public Health System and to grow your skillset and scope of practice.

Working in small Rural remote Hospitals can open the door to developing a diverse range of skills and be exceptionally fulfilling working with small highly specialised teams.

The education provided in the Public System is more established and widely available than that in the Private Sector, so for new Nurses entering the workforce the Public System can be a good starting point.

Work conditions and payrates is usually equal throughout both systems. The Public System generally provides a Professional Development entitlement which allows Nurses to pay for work related educational services to assist them with meeting their educational requirements for AHPRA Registration.

Ongoing commitment of investment in Public Health has ensured that building new hospitals with state of the art equipment is becoming a top priority for the Government.

Historically, Private Hospitals have more advanced equipment and practices. They are constantly developing new marketing ideas and finding innovative ways to increase their client base and loyalty from their patients. This can pave the way for new opportunities and career paths for Nurses.

Either way, the expectations of patients in both systems is high. Quality of care from all clinical and non clinical teams is the key to patient satisfaction, whilst delivering on patient outcomes. It is therefore paramount that Nursing knowledge, experience and dedication to the profession is a high priority for all who are considering undertaking studies in Nursing or those taking your next career step as an already qualified and working Nurse.
A successful career in Nursing is based on passion, commitment, the need to care and advocate for the injured and the ill.

Irrespective of who a Nurse works for at any level, their profession will always be based on the same principles.

Healthcare Industry Knowledge, Nursing

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