Hello Victorian trainees, my name is Rob and I'm a CICM trainee and the current Victorian CICM Trainee representative.
Just when you thought there was going to be a slight loosening of the grip that COVID has held on us for the last 2.5 years, it strikes again. Our hospitals and ICUs seem to be under more strain than ever and it makes you wonder how long it can hold it together?
Workforce sustainability, staff retention and burnout are big issues at the moment. It’s really important to emphasize that trainee burnout does not indicate a problem with the individual, however it is a problem with the system. With all that’s happened recently it’s become increasingly clear that we need to protect Trainees and there are some simple ways this can be done. Firstly, clarity of communication is key. Here are some suggestions of what could be done by the systems to help:
Consider the College, ANZICS WIN and AMA EBA policies on part time work and training, along with parental leave. Understand how these are applied at your current or future workplace and seek advice about how to discuss these with your employer or Supervisor of Training seeking to access it.
Guide to CICM Training: Trainees (T-33: Part-time training, page 13)
CICM parental leave policy (T-3)
ANZICS WIN Part Time Training
AMA Victoria Doctors in Training EBA 2018-2021
AMA Victoria EBA negotiations 2022 update
I continue to advocate for expanding access to ‘pinch-point’ Training rotations across the State in Anaesthesia, Paediatrics and Medicine time. This has got to be my number one voiced issue I hear from trainees - it exceeds the others by a long way. Recognise that many employers have a ‘waiting list’ for these rotations and it is worthwhile, in the current state-wide workforce arrangements, to seek advice about how these rotations can be obtained well in advance.
Consider attaining 360-feedback on your performance. Contribute to 360-feedback in your department – this helps with gradually managing behaviours associated with Bullying, Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. Trainee representatives can help support you in this process.
Seek formal and informal mentorship options. Get to know who’s in your unit and set up bonding opportunities. A team in the trenches together will always work stronger, harder and with greater satisfaction.
We need to remember that as trainees we need to look out for each other. We, better than most, are the ones that might understand how each other will be feeling. Remember that, if you're feeling well, stop and talk to others to check in and see if they are too. If you're not feeling well, reach out to someone you feel you can trust.
Over the coming months, I’d like to develop a group of Victorian Trainees at each training site who can assist in advocating for local and broader issues in improving the Training and workforce experience.
I would like to hear from you if you have got any ideas, concerns, or good news stories.
Victoria CICM Trainee Rep