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Wel­come to CRANAcast, the remote health pod­cast pro­duced by CRANAplus.

This pod­cast is all about telling the sto­ries of the remote health work­force. Every episode, a nurse, mid­wife, or health pro­fes­sion­al comes onto the show to share their expe­ri­ences of work­ing in rur­al and remote Australia.

CRANAcast is designed for you to lis­ten to on the plane, in the car between clin­ics, or dur­ing your down­time. Down­load it on Apple Pod­casts, Spo­ti­fy or your favourite pod­cast app so you can tune in even when you’re out of range.

Lis­ten on Spo­ti­fy | Lis­ten on Apple Pod­casts | Lis­ten on Google Podcasts

Episode 11 out on 20 Octo­ber 2022


In episode 10 we hear from Tess, last year’s Auro­ra Award win­ner, nurse prac­ti­tion­er and chron­ic dis­ease coor­di­na­tor in the Aṉan­gu Pit­jan­t­jat­jara Yankun­yt­jat­jara (APY) lands – 100,000 square kilo­me­tres tucked in the north­west cor­ner of South Aus­tralia. Despite being ready to retire years ago” Tess says remote nurs­ing can be hard to let go of. Lis­ten in to hear sto­ries from Tess’s cur­rent role; how social deter­mi­nants of health are impact­ing remote com­mu­ni­ties; and what putting on her robe” means and how it has helped her pro­fes­sion­al­ly and personally.


Fix­at­ed from a young age on help­ing peo­ple, in this episode, we meet Theona who kicked off her nurs­ing career in Rock­hamp­ton; now a lead­ing Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er at the Cairns Hos­pi­tal, and a mem­ber of Aus­tralian Med­ical Assis­tance Teams (AUS­MAT) Theona is deployed at short notice to pro­vide sup­port to inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ties fac­ing human­i­tar­i­an crises. Theona dis­cuss­es where her pas­sion for help­ing came from, what it means to be a Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er, and play­ing a small part in the jig­saw” through part­ner­ship, capac­i­ty build­ing and assis­tance, in her work at AUSMAT.


A remote area nurse with a love of all things skin, Sheena com­menced her jour­ney remote health jour­ney with a rocky start. I rolled my car avoid­ing hit­ting an eagle… [Then] rocked up to the hos­pi­tal in white brace over­alls cov­ered in pin­dan and straw, and knocked on the door and proud­ly announced that I was their new nurse!” Inspired by a case of squa­mous cell car­ci­no­ma that fell through the cracks, Sheena com­plet­ed her Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate of Med­i­cine while work­ing full time. She now pro­vides skin checks and has wres­tled peo­ple down in trains” to check out ques­tion­able spots. She also dis­cuss­es how she’s achiev­ing a high lev­el of male engage­ment, cul­tur­al learn­ings, and the art of bodg­ing” in resource-light settings.


Stu­dent nurs­es from West­ern Aus­tralia and mem­bers of WAAL­HI­IBE (West­ern Aus­tralian Allied Health Inter­est­ed in Bush Expe­ri­ence), Kate, Mekay­la and Jas­mine, dis­cuss their clin­i­cal place­ments and first impres­sions of remote nurs­ing. Hear from them on work­ing towns with 10 res­i­dents, pick­ing a hos­pi­tal I’d nev­er heard of before”, approach­ing remote nurs­ing as a city kid”, using the hos­pi­tal land­line to con­tact fam­i­ly, the under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed skill of bed mak­ing, com­mu­ni­ty inte­gra­tion (e.g., coach­ing swim­ming, har­vest­ing), and how place­ments can make you feel con­fi­dent, not scared”.


Lead Clin­i­cal Coor­di­na­tor at RAHC, Jen­nine Laven­der, has been work­ing rur­al since the 80s. Ini­tial­ly, she planned on stay­ing in Nar­ro­gin for 6 months, but after falling in love with a local farmer, she end­ed up work­ing in the same hos­pi­tal for the next 30 years. In 2011, a midlife cri­sis” inspired her to take up a job on Christ­mas Island, kick­start­ing her jour­ney into tru­ly remote areas. Now for RAHC, she helps peo­ple to make the mind shift” from acute care to the busi­ness of help­ing peo­ple find their way to good health”. She also talks about how see­ing peo­ple at their most vul­ner­a­ble can devel­op or threat­en a nurse’s resilience, and what she learned while fish­ing with a vis­it­ing specialist.


A cat­tle sta­tion cook in her youth, Yuwaalaraay woman Dal­las McK­e­own fol­lowed in her moth­er’s foot­steps to become an EN — a move that would even­tu­al­ly lead to her cur­rent posi­tion as CRANAplus’ Exec. Direc­tor of First Peo­ples Strate­gies. In this episode, she dis­cuss­es how her expe­ri­ences have pro­vid­ed moti­va­tion along the way. Observ­ing acute ill­ness at RDH, she decid­ed to ven­ture into the world of pri­ma­ry health care and health pro­mo­tion — where she cam­paigned on pneu­mo­coc­cal, influen­za and smok­ing, expe­ri­enced overt racism, and learned that some­times there’s nobody else but you to pick up what­ev­er comes through the door”.


In a small east East Pil­bara com­mu­ni­ty, eight metres of flood water laps at the clin­ic dri­ve­way. The phone starts ring­ing. At a near­by gold­mine, across the flood­wa­ters, a 50-year-old man is unre­spon­sive. You have to do what you can with what you’ve got,” RN and Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er Chris’ recalls in this wide-rang­ing episode, which also fea­tures: send­ing an injured Joey to the vet via school bus, pack­ing a knife sharp­en­er, swim­ming with man­ta rays, how a busy work envi­ron­ment makes cru­el­ty too easy, and the rela­tion­ship-build­ing ben­e­fits of baking.


RNs Rachel and Gaby dis­cuss their clin­i­cal place­ments in Groote Eylandt/​Gove & Ten­nant Creek. Rachel always had this long­ing” to be a remote nurse and has since moved her fam­i­ly from New­cas­tle to Kather­ine; where­as an acci­den­tal oppor­tu­ni­ty led Gaby to wit­ness the need for sup­port where there’s not enough peo­ple doing it”. The duo illu­mi­nate what it’s like to fall in love with patients, sto­ries, cul­ture, every­thing” and explore the unusu­al work­ing con­di­tions of giv­ing depot injec­tions with a lit­ter of pup­pies at your feet”. Plus, they give their tips on the best mobile net­works, pack­ing favourite foods, and nev­er under­es­ti­mat­ing distances.


RAN Shel­ley talks about her six years of remote prac­tice to date, since leav­ing the urban ICU/​emergency rat race. She talks about learn­ing to suture and plas­ter cast, sup­port­ing a man return­ing from jail to regain his place in com­mu­ni­ty, the val­ue of liv­ing with her part­ner, and becom­ing a vault” of local com­mu­ni­ty knowl­edge. She also touch­es on see­ing peo­ple from the clin­ic out­side of work, the work­load call­ing for 2 or 3 of me”, and going with­out TV for sev­er­al weeks when the TV breaks down.


A nurse for over 37 years, Sue was among the first group of remote area nurs­es to receive uni­ver­si­ty-based train­ing. In our first episode of CRANAcast, she reflects on work­ing remote while bring­ing up her baby; that one time the food truck deliv­ered quail; cut­ting her own hair; and becom­ing so lais­sez-faire about every­thing, when you final­ly come to town, it’s a total­ly dif­fer­ent pace and exis­tence.” She also shares her thoughts on con­tin­u­ous upskilling, adjust­ing your expec­ta­tions, and the impact of tragedy in tight-knit communities.