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Steph jumps into the fray to assist testing team

Published:  25 January 2022

When Townsville local Stephanie Jones joined the health service aged 18 as an occupational therapy assistant, she never expected that just a few years later she would be on the frontline testing for COVID-19.

Jumping into the fray during the height of the pandemic, Stephanie said the role was incredibly rewarding.

“My journey into health started at Townsville University Hospital as an occupational therapy assistant at the age of 18 but after six years of that, I wanted to try something different,” Stephanie said.

“I made the switch into the testing team and I have absolutely loved it; it’s fast-paced but the work is easy to learn and get the hang of.

“The 1300 Smiles team has been very welcoming; everyone is so lovely to you there and the environment itself is really great.

“We get looked after well, with lots of hydration, lunch provided, icy poles for the heat and regular breaks in the air-conditioning.

“I highly recommend putting your hand up to work a shift or two to help out our fellow HHS staff.

“I never thought I’d be doing this, especially at such a young age, but I definitely want to continue.”

Stephanie said helping people during such a challenging time was tough but rewarding.

“For the most part the community has been supportive, and people are appreciative of the work we’re doing,” she said.

“I love the feeling of being able to help the community, we’re testing to try and keep everyone as safe as we can.

“It is demanding and there has been a lot of pressure, but we’re doing everything we can to get people through the clinic and get their results to them.

“The message I have to the community is to be patient with staff; we’re all working as quickly as we can.

“Bring some water and something to do in the car while you wait and know that we’re here to help you.”

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