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A day in the life of…
Finance and Business Graduate at WA Department of Health
Daniel Dalby studied a Master of Professional Accounting at University of Western Australia in 2017, and is now a Finance and Business Graduate at WA Department of Health.
I wake up spontaneously and wonder what the time is as I reach around in the darkness to find my phone. Dragging myself over to the kitchen, I’m revived by the smells of freshly ground coffee as I make myself a latte and pack lunch from last night’s cooking. My personal goal is to start work as early as possible, today is more successful than most!
Leave for work, listening to an audiobook my mentor recommended whilst cruising along the highway. I’m stationed at Fiona Stanley Hospital for my first rotation of 4 months but the finance department there overseas a large section of the Perth metropolitan area.
It’s quiet and peaceful in the office; I greet the other person in my team who’s already arrived. I check my emails and calendar for any meetings so my work can be planned around them.
I don’t have any routine tasks at the moment; it’s all project based. I check with my supervisor if there’s anything pressing to go on with, nothing today. Opening the project timeline, I peruse the 200 or so scheduled tasks and prioritise a handful to continue with. We’re looking at improving the costing system by introducing rules around what costs are allocated to each division. I’m drafting the rules for pharmacy currently. I look at what has been done nationally and repurpose elements for use here.
My supervisor wants to chat. He provides feedback on a presentation I prepared earlier for a meeting next week that’s pitching the project to a group of directors. We brainstorm ways to guide the discussion and I incorporate it into the presentation.
Back to the project – I am examining a chart of cost centres across multiple hospitals, analysing and documenting the issues with them. This builds the backbone of the changes that will be made and lets me build points of discussion to have in future in technical meetings.
Moving on, the next task is to look at the accounts for each cost centre and identify gaps in information or inconsistencies between hospitals. I draft summary along with a number of key questions to ask. All this information is collated in a background document.
Time for lunch! I meet up with two other graduates in the hospital food court. It’s always bustling with activity. Pushing past the tempting smells of fresh muffins and cakes, we choose a shady spot outside. We trade stories about the day and the projects we’re working on. They work with clinical projects that are all about the day to day happenings in the wards so I’m always curious to hear what’s been going on.
My supervisor asks for help examining why full time hours per patient bed-day in one of the hospitals has skyrocketed up in the last month. We examine data trends for employees at work and on leave against the number of beds occupied by patients throughout the day. A probable cause is determined.
One of the most interesting things about working here is that a seemingly small change can amount to millions of dollars over the year!
I get to sit in on an executive meeting. Whilst I’m just there to observe, it’s a good opportunity to hear about the major happenings in the health service and get insight into the issues the executives are grappling with.
The meeting is over and it’s time to head home. I say goodbye to my team and head out. I’ve worked over the standard hours for a working day so have accrued some flexi-time I can take off at another time – so helpful when you have appointments during the day!
I do some quick grocery shopping and then go for a bike ride for hour. Being out in the fresh air is great after a day in front of the computer so I make sure to go at least twice a week.
Refreshed and hungry, I make dinner and get to some chores around the house –dishes and vacuuming this time.
Netflix and guitar is the plan for the rest of the night!
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