Tina Grasso - Nurturing our Nurses

06 October 2022

Introducing Tina Grasso, SA Pathology’s new Nurse Clinical Educator.

Tina’s resume is impressive to say the least. She is a qualified nurse with over fifteen years’ experience in nursing education.

Her most recent role as COVID-19 Nurse Educator, in the Department of Health and Wellbeing’s COVID-19 Operations Team Infection Control Service (ICS), provided an exciting opportunity to educate healthcare and non-healthcare workers in infection prevention and control, helping to navigate the ever-changing world of COVID-19.

“Initially this training focussed on a risk-based approach for staff working within the quarantine pathway (Medi hotels and supporting agencies) in understanding infection prevention and control strategies. This included safe and correct use of PPE to minimise transmission from overseas and interstate travellers. This education evolved with the implementation of the particulate filter respirator (PFRs).

Of the numerous training programs developed over 2 years over 8,000 attendees participated in face to face and virtual training sessions provided by a team of highly skilled staff within the COVID Ops ICS.”

 Tina’s passion for education commenced in the former RAH Staff Development Department –Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in 2007 beginning in a clinical support role in the Re-entry/Refresher program supporting nurses transitioning to acute care nursing and student nurses undertaking studies in the Diploma of Nursing enrolled nurse program.

“I didn’t have a teaching or education background, however I completed the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and later the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Education which developed the inherent qualities which are required when educating adults. I had always wanted to be a teacher, so I feel I ended up where I was meant to be.”

Tina continued upskilling and was encouraged to try other roles and advance across a variety of portfolios including Basic Life Support, Preceptorship, Vascular access, CALHN Orientation for new staff and SUNRISE. During this time, she also established close ties with SA Pathology team members working within Frome Road through development of Venepuncture education resources and specialised blood collection training package for advanced ENs.

So what does Tina hope to achieve now?

“Staff wellbeing is a really huge thing that I’d like to be involved in and being cognisant that burnout caused by the demands of the last few years has affected workers significantly. I want to look at how to support staff faced with increasing demands, whilst continuing to provide high quality services to the community. We have amazing staff, so I feel this appreciation is important.”

Tina believes that the learning journey is incredibly important, having been on one herself, and it’s something done well within SA Pathology.

“Working in the COVID-19 environment presented opportunities to develop networks of people who were passionate about maintaining not only their own safety, but that of the wider communities they provided services to. This was achieved by having consistent, supportive, education programs focussed on high levels of compliance and minimising harm to self and others. I look forward to working with established training models and continue to build on collegial support which is critical to achieving good outcomes.”

Now, just a few weeks into the role, Tina has hit the ground running, helping in a rapid upskill program. She says nothing so far has daunted her and she is excited to learn more about the people within SA Pathology and the organisation itself.

“I have been fortunate to work with some incredible role models and leaders. Parting words from one of the best in SA Health were ‘if we can achieve what we have in the COVID-19 environment, we can do anything’, so I hope she’s right.”

Welcome Tina!

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