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CRANAplus Clinical Education Manager Leanne Laurie discusses how COVID-19 has evolved our course delivery, the enduring popularity of face-to-face courses, course updates and exciting conference plans.
It was the beginning of COVID-19 when Leanne Laurie joined the Education Team as a Facilitator, a time when borders were closing and a new régime of online and hybrid education was being rolled out to adapt to pandemic restrictions.
Now deep into 2022, the Education Team is back on the road and Leanne, moved into the position of Clinical Education Manager, is happy to see participants again enjoying face-to-face learning and benefiting from revamped education materials.
COVID-19 impacted the delivery of education courses, says Leanne, and the organisation met the challenge head-on.
One of CRANAplus’ main points of difference is reaching remote nurses in out-of-the-way locations all over the country, so all stops were pulled out to deal with the logistics and the ramifications of such a difficult situation.
“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes,” says Leanne. “We have listened to stakeholder feedback, including participant and industry sector requirements. We recognise the need to continually revise the content of the courses, implement these changes and deliver best practice throughout our course content. The participants, after all, go back to their posts and often have to immediately put into action the skills they have just learned.”
Face-to-face courses are highly valued by participants, says Leanne, because they provide the opportunity to network with other rural and remote health professionals, time to debrief, to share lived experiences and to make new friends and contacts with other people in similar work positions. For many, it’s also time out of communities to learn and to relax.
“We have a raft of revamped face-to-face training courses and more changes are on the way,” Leanne says, referring in part to the recently updated PEC + PALS Course which Kylie Fischer discusses in a few pages.
“I am very excited about the education course we are developing for Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, working closely with Aboriginal Health Organisations,” Leanne says.
“The course will present participants with a menu focusing on local requirements, providing various clinical scenarios, and they will be able to choose what is actually required for the role.”
The Midwifery Emergency Course (MEC) is being rewritten in partnership with stakeholders with reference to feedback from former participants. The new course will see more skills-oriented course content, giving participants greater opportunity to practise emergency midwifery skills.
“The new Triage Emergency Care (TEC) online course is now into the second course delivery with fabulous reviews and feedback. All our courses are being reviewed with a focus on providing contemporary evidence-based content, contextualised to the remote and isolated regions,” Leanne says.
This includes the Remote Emergency Course (REC), revamped to increase the focus on skill stations and realistic scenarios for the rural and remote practitioner.
While all that is happening, the Education Team of Facilitators and Remote Educators are playing catch-up on all courses that had to be rescheduled.
While face-to-face courses are becoming easier to deliver again, Leanne says CRANAplus will continue to offer the hybrid and online delivery options that the organisation refined during COVID-19, because there will always be a need to serve participants with limited travel options and time away from communities.
Learning and providing education for others is what motivates Leanne, who has always worked rural and remote since completing her training, going to the furthermost point of WA, Wyndham, for her first post as an Enrolled Nurse.
Leanne has since completed her RN training, then postgrad studies including Child Health, Midwifery, Nurse Practitioner and most recently Leadership and Management qualifications in Health Care.
“I believe in lifelong learning and am passionate in ensuring high-quality health and education is available to all.”
“I love being part of the CRANAplus Education Team. Everyone is so passionate about providing education to the remote and isolated workforce and this is so rewarding with the amazing feedback we receive on every single CRANAplus course that is delivered.
“It is always humbling when we hear from participants how much value they receive from the course content, the increase in confidence they come away with and often the stories they share of skills learned and put into practice.
“What sets CRANAplus apart from other service providers, apart from its rural and remote focus, is that the courses are delivered by people who understand the challenges faced.
“I started as a facilitator about two years ago… I think, like most facilitators, you get to the point of asking, ‘how can I give back to the nursing profession?’ That’s how most people come into the role.
“I moved into the role of a Remote Clinical Educator (RCE) last September and then this year moved into the Clinical Education Manager (CEM) role, providing support and assistance to the RCEs who deliver all our courses with our volunteer facilitators.
“The CRANAplus team as a whole and especially the Director of Education has been so supportive and the team of Remote Clinical Educators are amazing, along with all our fabulous Facilitators. I feel very supported by those around me.
“While I am in the managing role, I still want to keep doing the courses. The beauty of working with CRANAplus is the flexibility.
“Our Education Team is also looking at our presence at the CRANAplus Conference in October,” Leanne says in conclusion.
“We hope to showcase our new equipment and resources and provide an opportunity for conference attendees to participate in some scenario sessions with a few prizes up for grabs. We will have displays and information from all our current courses and our Remote Clinical Educators will be available throughout the conference.”
Book now for an upcoming CRANAplus course to secure your spot.