Following a Victorian government announcement on Wednesday, first-year healthcare students and retired nurses will be eligible to join Victoria's COVID-19 vaccination workforce.
The move forms part of a new state government recruitment drive to add at least 1000 vaccinators to the program.
Fourth year paramedicine student Mollie Housego has been working at Bendigo Health's vaccination clinic since July 2021.
"It's been wonderful," said Ms Housego, "it's incredibly busy now as we've started doing kids and boosters."
The La Trobe student applied for the position after the university advertised the recruitment opportunities to her cohort.
"There were only a few of us that started during that time, and as the vaccine rollout went on more people were hired," she said.
"The nursing students were the first ones to go, followed by the paramedicine students."
Ms Housego said the job has given her invaluable experience in the healthcare field.
"Working with other health professionals has been super interesting," she said, "as a paramedic I will have to do that every day of my job."
"Learning how to build patient rapport and learning how to vaccinate is super interesting.
"Learning about vaccines has also been great, learning how they work and reconstituting the vaccines - that's a really cool part of the job that I love doing."
However, Ms Housego says the job isn't devoid of challenges.
"Regulations, laws and government rules change almost every day," she said.
"So it's up to us to keep up our education on those sorts of things up to date.
"It's challenging to keep on top of who we can and cant vaccinate when it changes all the time.
Nonetheless, Ms Housego says she would encourage all newly eligible first and second year healthcare students to take up the opportunity.
"It definitely would have been something I'd taken up at that time if it was available," she said.
"It's great to already be working in the healthcare sector before I've even graduated."
Children's vaccinations began on January 10 and Ms Housego says Bendigo Health has been ready for the new cohort for some time.
"We've got lots of paediatric nurses on board, and we've been given lots of training on the best way to vaccinate the kids," she said.
"There's a few tears sometimes, but mostly it's pretty cute."
Students looking to join the workforce can register their interest on the DHHS website.
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