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Near death experience prompts Mark to change his lifestyle and his career

Mark Carson woke up one morning and went to go to lay bricks, like he did every other day. But this day was different – he had pains in his chest.

“I came to Frankston Hospital and ended up having three stents put in at 45,” explains Mark.

“I had an ‘I’m not going to live forever’ moment, so I quit smoking and decided to change my job.”

After 30 years of bricklaying, Mark decided to give back to the hospital that had saved his life. So he enrolled in the course to become a PSA – Patient Services Assistant.

“I love it and I love dealing with people,” says Mark when talking about his new career.

“I find it very satisfying. It’s been absolutely life-changing for me.”

After starting as a bank PSA, he then moved into a role working on the Intensive Care Unit and then the Ward Support Team. Three months ago he was promoted to the role of Patient Support Services Supervisor for Frankston Hospital.

Part of the role of Mark and his team is to help clinical staff de-escalate incidents, stop potential violence towards staff and provide support to patients.

“Based on the clinician’s advice, we make sure everyone, including staff, is safe and deal with the matter in the calmest possible way,” explains Mark.

 “If staff members don’t feel safe, or are in need of assistance with their patient, then the Ward Support Team or Security, or both, will respond as appropriate.”

Mark’s role also includes looking after all of the PSA and SSA staff at Frankston Hospital.

His experience shows it’s never too late to change your lifestyle, or your career.

Jessica Mills
JMills@phcn.vic.gov.au