I landed my dream job in cardiac rehabilitation

The last time you heard from me, I was still a student undertaking my degree in clinical exercise physiology, dreaming about working in the field of cardiac rehabilitation.  Now, seven months after graduation, I have landed my dream job, all thanks to the training and real life experience I received while studying at UQ.

In this post, I want to share with you what my job entails and the benefits it provides to the community. I will also share with you some tips that may help you land your dream role once you graduate.

About my job

I am currently working as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Queensland Health, running the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit in Gladstone Hospital.  This clinic is aimed at providing education and rehabilitation to those who have undergone heart surgery, suffered a heart attack, developed heart failure or are at risk of any of these. Being a regional town with limited access to health facilities, the service we provide is imperative in improving the health and well-being of the Gladstone community.

Our clinic runs for five to ten week blocks, depending on the nature of patients’ health and how much support they require. We split patients into small groups of up to six and run simultaneous sessions. This gives patients the chance to develop social connections with others who can empathise. Both myself and a clinical cardiac nurse supervise the clinic and can provide various levels of expertise on exercise, medications, nutrition and managing your lifestyle after a heart event.

Being able to provide this service and support system to the Gladstone community is very rewarding. I have seen patients who have not had the capacity to walk down a corridor without needing to take a rest, complete a 3km fun walk after ten weeks in our program. A big part of being an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab is helping your patients get over their fear to exercise and educating them on safe and enjoyable ways to keep their heart healthy.

Tips for landing your dream job

It is rare that new graduates land their dream jobs right after completing university but it certainly does happen. After graduation, I was working in a job that I loved but I knew it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do with my career. I kept my eye open for any possibilities and it just so happened that one came my way. However, this job didn’t just fall into my lap – a lot of hard work and perseverance went into getting me where I am today.

Here are some of the tips that helped me land my dream job:

1. Make a mark while on placement

Your supervisors on placement become your greatest advocates when seeking employment. Using them as a referee is highly recommended, as future employers look to see how you presented yourself in a professional working environment. Demonstrating a good work ethic, volunteering to do extra projects, showing initiative by researching patient conditions ahead of time or preparing for each work day, are all fantastic ways to prove to supervisors and employers that you would be a great addition to any workplace.

2. Be willing to look beyond your comfort zone for work

You study in Brisbane, you go on placement in Brisbane, you land a job at one of your placement sites that you loved in Brisbane – that is the ideal situation for many new grads. However, there are many great job opportunities, and experiences, in regional locations. Be willing to widen your job search location if you are passionate about wanting a job in a certain field. It opens up more opportunities and you can gain even more experience moving out of a large scale city.

3. Get experience in every field first 

As a new grad, it is important to gain experience in every field and specialty area possible. It increases your skill level and your employability and makes you a more versatile practitioner. Even if you know your niche, 99 per cent of patients have more than one presenting issue, therefore you need to know how to treat each condition to be able to treat your patient holistically.

 

Last updated:
7 September 2018