Ward 32 takes on High Acuity Nursing in Monash Health first

Melinda Kant stands next to a monitor. She's smiling at the camera, wearing navy blue scrubs and has her blonde hair tied back.

When we were little kids, we had crazy dreams about being mermaids, rockstars and more when we grew up. 

But for our newly appointed Ward 32 Nurse Manager Melinda (Mel) Kant, she knew she wanted to be a nurse right from the very beginning. 

“When I was little and people would ask me what I wanted to be, I would always answer a nurse,” she said. 

“I just love to help people and get them through their sickest times and be able to help those and their families who need it, to transition to palliative care.” 

With a background in Emergency, General Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Respiratory Services, Cardiothoracic Services and High Dependency Unit, Mel has been working at Monash Health since she graduated in 2009. 

“I’ve been working on Ward 32 for a few years now and I’ve seen it change so much over that time,” she said. 

“Prior to COVID-19 it was a Cardiothoracic and Respiratory Ward, then during the pandemic it turned into a COVID-19 Management Ward, which was one of the longest-running in Australia and treated the very first COVID-19 patient. 

“As that slowly decommissioned, Ward 32 is now being recommissioned, as our Cardiology and Cardiac Surgical Services move to the Victorian Heart Hospital in February as a Respiratory Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Telemetry and a High Acuity Nursing Unit Ward.” 

The high acuity nursing unit will house patients who don’t meet the criteria of an ICU patient but need more care than a patient on a regular ward. 

“Think of it like a step down from the ICU,” Mel said. 

“We’ll be helping patients with infusions, tracheostomies, renal dialysis and more, and Ward 32 will be a space for patients that would otherwise be in the ICU, helping to improve patient flow.”

Melinda Kant is looking at data on a monitor and pointing to it with her right hand. She wears navy scrubs and her blonde hair is tied into a ponytail.

Ward 32 Nurse Manager Melinda Kant couldn’t be more excited to start building her own team for our first High Acuity Nursing service.

The Ward will retain its Respiratory, Non-invasive Ventilation and Cystic Fibrosis patients alongside the new High Acuity Nursing Service. 

“It’s not going to be like a standard Ward, so people who don’t mind working in a fast-paced environment would suit it very well,” Mel said. 

“We are happy to take anyone from a range of backgrounds, including graduates, and we already have some nurses with an ICU background who are interested in focusing on certain elements within the Ward. 

“It would suit someone who isn’t quite ready to work in the ICU, but due to the nature of this new Ward, they’d get a lot more experience in this space that would enable them to eventually move there if they wanted too.” 

The newly appointed Nurse Manager said she was very excited to have the opportunity to build her own team on a first-of-its-kind Ward. 

“We’re essentially building a new Ward that’s never been done before at Monash Health, and I’m really looking forward to embedding a great culture and certain expectations on the Ward,” Mel said. 

“Mentoring junior nurses is very important to me, so I’m also excited to help my team grow and progress to wherever they’d like to end up.” 

As part of the desire to help people grow, staff on Ward 32 will also be given the opportunity to undertake an advanced medical/surgical nursing postgraduate while they work. 

“It’s a yearlong course and you can also continue on to complete a masters for a further two years if you wish, as it will give you the ability to do that,” Mel said. 

Mel is still on the hunt for some talented nurses to join her on our newly re-established Ward 32. 

“Go ahead and apply – we’re willing and happy to help nurses grow and progress, whether that be eventually moving on or building a career within Ward 32,” she said. 

For those looking for a role that is flexible around the demands of their family and personal lives, Mel said this was absolutely something we can offer and encouraged prospective candidates to raise this in discussion with her. 

“If there are particular shifts or hours you’re after, we can offer flexibility here to help support you,” she said. 

If you’re interested in a role within our new High-acuity Ward 32 at Monash Health, head to our careers website today to check out our current opportunities.