Disability Action Week (26 November – 2 December) recognises the contributions people with disability make to our lives, families, workplaces and communities. The 2022 Disability Action Week theme, ‘Workforce Diversity: open up to opportunity’ highlights the skills, talents, qualifications and abilities people with disability bring to Queensland’s workforce. Not all disabilities are visible, some are present at birth and some are acquired through injury, illness or aging.
Metro South Health is committed to building diversity into our workforce. Staff member Greg Parrot shares his story about what it is like to live and work with a disability.
Tell us about yourself and where you work?
- Greg Parrot, Disability Nurse Navigator, Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Have you experienced any challenges in the workplace and what adjustments are helpful?
- It is challenging being hearing impaired in the workplace, it requires additional attention and can be very difficult if multiple people are talking at the same time.
- The COVID-19 pandemic compounded the difficulties of coping as it became impossible to lipread when people had/have to wear face masks.
- Some adjustments that are helpful are when people take turns talking and wait to get my attention prior to communicating with me.
How does your current job compliment your strengths?
- As a Nurse Navigator I work with patients and develop rapport as I assist them to manage their health. The role of Nurse Navigator allows you to look for bespoke solutions to difficult problems and make a difference for patients.
How can recruitment panels support applicants that are hard of hearing?
- It may be useful for recruitment panels to talk about how the applicants experience is going to inform their role in healthcare.
Do you speak openly about your disability in the workplace? What is that like?
- Yes, I discuss the challenges and will ask for people to repeat themselves if needed. I have not had a bad experience asking for adjustments.
How do our services and patients benefit from being an inclusive workforce?
- It shows our patients that they are valued and are an important part of society.