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Nursing experience shapes career in architecture

Learn about the career path of our graduate architect, Josh Wheeldon.

6 April 2016

When Josh Wheeldon sits down with healthcare professionals to consult on design for hospitals, he brings first-hand knowledge of the medical jargon, technology and procedures they describe.

That’s because Josh spent seven years working as an assistant nurse while he studied to become an architect.

As a graduate architect at Peddle Thorp, Josh is part of the practice’s health team and uses his experience working inside hospitals to understand users’ needs and contribute to design solutions that support improved clinical processes.

“At university I worked in a number of different areas within the Prince Charles Hospital including the central sterilisation department, intensive care unit, operating theatres and wards,” he said.

“I got to see a lot of the inner workings of the hospital and that has given me a great perspective on what works and what doesn’t, and an understanding of the roles and demands on doctors and nurses.”

Josh joined Peddle Thorp after a stint of work experience, having sought out the practice because of its focus and reputation in healthcare design.

While his passion for healthcare has been shaped by his work in hospitals, Josh had known from a young age that he wanted to be a part of the construction industry.

“I always knew I wanted to build something, to be able to leave my mark and help shape society,” he said.

“At school I was good with my hands and used to draw a lot, and did well in graphics and manual arts subjects, so architecture was a natural career path.”

Although his nursing experience is valuable, Josh is also grateful for professional development opportunities. He was recently supported by Peddle Thorp to attend the Australian Healthcare Week 2016 conference in Sydney.

“It was great to get first-hand insights from a variety of perspectives within the industry about trends in health architecture and future-proofing hospitals,” he said.

“I learnt more about intelligent ways that hospitals can plan for future expansion while implementing funding for smaller stand-alone projects, which is a key challenge facing healthcare especially in regional areas,” Josh said.