Mr Deacon is the first registered nurse at RPH to spend his graduate program in the ICU.
He said he had mixed emotions about being in the unit.
“I’m nervous, but I’m excited as well,” he said.
“I’ve dealt with a few confronting situations in the acute care unit and I enjoy working in an environment where things are changing constantly.”
Mr Deacon worked at RPH for three years as an enrolled nurse before completing studies at ECU to become a registered nurse.
Graduate transition program co-ordinator Nadine Krokotsch has managed 35 graduates recently, in addition to 80 nurses from last year’s program.
Most graduate nurses will complete six months in one area before moving on to another, but Mr Deacon will spend the full year in the ICU because of the nature of the work in the unit.
Ms Krokotsch, who trained as a nurse in Germany, said the ICU would be a steep learning curve.
“There is intensive one-on-one support and the graduates have a senior nurse shadowing them to consolidate their skills,” Ms Krokotsch said.
“Tom will have more support than the others because the ICU is so specialised.
“We hope to send more first-year graduates to the ICU.”