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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rural locum program a great opportunity for personal care assistants, nurses and managers

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The Rural Locum Assistance Program (Rural LAP) Aged Care, facilitated through a Federal Government partnership with Aspen Medical, is providing a unique and exciting opportunity to work and travel in tandem.

Aged care workers — be they personal care assistants, nurses or managers — are being offered subsidised travel and accommodation to work locum placements in rural and remote areas across Australia.

These placements, ranging from 14 and 90 days, will support under resourced facilities in employing more staff during shortages, or to facilitate annual holiday or sick leave entitlements for their contracted staff.

Organisations that employ locum aged care workers are required to pay locum workers’ wages through the duration of the placement. 

Aged Care News has previously detailed workers’ experiences through the existing general Rural LAP program, which you can read via this link.

However, a spokesperson from the Rural LAP program has answered some additional questions to inform interested aged workers of the specific benefits of this new program stream.

What are the benefits of working as a locum and why might a metropolitan-based aged care worker consider this form of employment?

“Working as a Rural LAP Aged Care locum is a fantastic experience.

Our locums report the opportunity to explore Australia and step away from the city as key benefits.

Others include:

  • Receiving an hourly rate plus superannuation, and we organise and pay for their travel and accommodation. Depending on the role they fill, there are also daily allowances to cover food and other essentials.
  • Stepping away from their urban practice to extend their skills with hands-on experience in a rural or remote health facility.
  • The rewarding benefit of knowing that they are helping their colleagues in rural and remote Australia to take leave and continue their own professional development.

Most of our locums return from their placements, ready to commence the next one, which is a great indication of the success of the program.”

Are there still plenty of openings at the moment for interested workers?

“Yes. We see a regular influx of locum applications from health facilities across the country, so we strongly encourage aged care health professionals who are interested in becoming a locum to register with us on our website.”

What exact positions are hirable under the Rural LAP Aged Care?

“Under Rural LAP Aged Care, we can hire registered and enrolled nurses, residential aged care facility managers, residential support workers, personal care workers, care coordinators, community support workers and allied health professionals.”

Are there any particular aged care positions that you are needing to fill most?

“We are currently in need of residential aged care facility managers.

In this role, the locum is primarily responsible for providing calm, rational, and effective leadership, leading a multi-disciplinary team, applying infection control measures and adhering to all guidelines, policies and procedures, and OH&S work practices relevant to their role and workplace.

They’ll receive an hourly wage plus superannuation, an incentive of $150 per working day and a $100 travel allowance.

We’ll arrange and pay for their travel and accommodation.”

How is the program being received by rural and remote facilities?

“Under Rural LAP Aged Care, we can accept applications from residential care facilities, home care organisations, multi-purpose services and flexible aged care services.

We are seeing a steady flow of applications from existing and new clients as the knowledge of Rural LAP Aged Care continues to spread.

The program is in its very early stages, and it’s been very rewarding to see our aged care locums already in place, supporting the rural and remote health workforce.”

Further information is available on the Rural LAP website, via this link, or by calling 1800 861 819 (free call).

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