Career Outlook

Surya Schimana-Chiller

Surya Schimana-Chiller

Clinical Acupuncturist

How did you get your job as an Acupuncturist?

While I was still studying, I landed a job working in a Chinese medicine clinic that focuses mainly on women’s health, fertility and pregnancy support. I learnt the ins and outs of the admin side of the business, met the current client base and gained some clinical experience by observing the practitioners. I was offered a position as an Acupuncturist and, when I graduated, I went straight into practice.

What’s a typical working day like?

I will either work a morning or an afternoon shift which are about six hours long. However, I always make sure I’m prepared before I see my clients. I read intake forms, look at pathology and test results and make notes prior to the consultation. The client comes in, we do the consultation, then I perform any necessary diagnostic techniques and do the treatment. While the client is relaxing, I’m finishing notes or organising Chinese herbs if they are being prescribed. If I have spare time I’m usually researching or resetting my energy with some mindfulness and a cup of tea.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing the transformations that people go through as I work with them towards their health and wellness goals. And, when supporting women and men through their fertility journey, nothing compares to meeting the new addition to their family when he or she arrives safely in this world!

What are the challenges?

One of the biggest learning curves has been managing my own emotional state while working in clinical practice. Empathy and understanding are such an important part of being an Acupuncturist, but it has been challenging at times not to take the emotional aspect of work home with me.

How relevant is your degree in Acupuncture?

My degree is acupuncture is 100% relevant! To practice as an acupuncturist in Australia you must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and to gain registration you must complete an approved program of study, like the Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture) at Endeavour.

What did you love about studying at Endeavour?

Hands down the best part about studying at Endeavour was my clinic supervisors. Their guidance and the knowledge and experience that they shared with me was invaluable. They helped me refine my practical skills and challenged me in a way that taught me to think on my feet.

How has your career developed and what are your career ambitions?

Since graduating I went straight into clinical practice and have been continuing my education through different courses and seminars about women’s health and fertility, integrative TCM and N.L.P (neuro-linguistic programming). My ambitions are to continue to develop my knowledge and clinical skills across these areas and I also have my sights on completing a Master’s in Chinese herbal medicine.

What are your top tips for others wanting to be an Acupuncturist?

Your sessions in student clinic and the practical time you have in class is so valuable. Use this time to practice your skills and always ask questions! Your lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you.

Also, seek out the opportunity to observe or work in some different Acupuncture clinics. My observation in different clinics helped me develop my own style of practice and it led me right into my dream job!