Will you be joining us at the 2024 Remote Nursing & Midwifery Conference?
23-25 October 2024, Naarm/Melbourne. We are now accepting abstract submissions. Click here to learn more or to register and access the early-bird discount.

Introducing Amanda Forti

7 Apr 2023

Amanda Forti RN RM joined CRANAplus as a Remote Clinical Educator in July of last year. Amanda has a Master of Philosophy in the field of Midwifery along with experience in private and public sectors, research, management, and education. Here, she discusses the power of a smile, her career-long dream to get to Nhulunbuy, and a bit about our Maternity Emergency Care courses.

When I was a grad­u­ate nurse in 1989, a fam­i­ly friend involved in the eval­u­a­tion of Remote Area Teacher Edu­ca­tion pro­grams in North East Arn­hem Land said, You’ve just got to come up here and work’,” says Amanda. 

Just a heart­beat away from pack­ing her bags and book­ing the next avail­able flight, Aman­da learnt that she would first need to become a midwife.

So, I went and did my mid­wifery, but I nev­er got back there,” she says.

After becom­ing a reg­is­tered mid­wife in 1992, Aman­da con­tin­ued to build her skill set over the next three decades, adding research, man­age­ment, and edu­ca­tion notch­es to her belt.

Keep­ing her hand in clin­i­cal prac­tice, Aman­da also worked as a mid­wife at the Roy­al Women’s Hos­pi­tal, Mel­bourne; in Neona­tal Inten­sive Care Unit (NICU) in Lon­don; and lat­er as a clin­i­cal mid­wifery con­sul­tant (CMC) for high-risk preg­nan­cy for NSW Health, among many oth­er clin­i­cal roles.

Aman­da facil­i­tat­ing on a MEC course in Kather­ine, 2014.

All stars aligned

Aman­da recounts a chance event in 2009 that went on to shape her life and career: meet­ing CRANAplus Fel­low, Prof Sue Kildea at a bike store in Brisbane.

We met when I was a nurse unit man­ag­er. We’d both moved to Bris­bane at the same time,” says Amanda.

[Short­ly after] there were some love­ly women from Arn­hem Land that came down to have their surgery. She was help­ing with cul­tur­al aware­ness for our staff. Her and I got chat­ting about the dis­par­i­ties of health care and what we could do.

[Not long after] I became a researcher and mid­wife with [Sue], and it was soon after that she said, I real­ly think you should become a facil­i­ta­tor for CRANAplus’.”

Aman­da went on to facil­i­tate CRANAplus cours­es as a vol­un­teer for around 10 years, pri­or to com­menc­ing her role as a casu­al Remote Clin­i­cal Edu­ca­tor for CRANAplus in July 2022.

It all came togeth­er at the end of last year,” she says, talk­ing of her increas­ing desire to align with a val­ues-based organisation.

Edu­ca­tion, to me, is the absolute cor­ner­stone of chang­ing health out­comes. Whether it’s for women, fam­i­lies, patients and the work­force, it’s all about edu­ca­tion for me.”

Hav­ing heart and a pos­i­tive focus

Being emo­tion­al­ly avail­able, hav­ing your heart in what you do, and form­ing a part­ner­ship with each indi­vid­ual woman are cru­cial steps to being a good mid­wife, Aman­da says. 

We teach skills and the­o­ry, but also a lot about atti­tudes, and [why it’s impor­tant] to smile when some­one comes through the door,” says Amanda. 

It’s impor­tant to approach all women and fam­i­lies with a non-judge­men­tal lens, be open and accept­ing of dif­fer­ences, and under­stand that fun­da­men­tal­ly, all peo­ple have sim­i­lar wants and needs.”

It’s an absolute fun­da­men­tal essen­tial that you have attrib­ut­es of kind­ness, open­ness, are non-judge­men­tal and pos­i­tive, and offer encouragement.

[We aim to empow­er] health providers to know how pow­er­ful their roles are, how cru­cial their roles are, and how they can influ­ence out­comes in so many ways.”

When we edu­cate, we try not to sug­ar­coat the chal­lenges, but we always try to off­set them with the positives.”

On CRANAplus courses 

The CRANAplus Mater­ni­ty Emer­gency Care course teach­es par­tic­i­pants to iden­ti­fy risks and pro­vide mater­ni­ty emer­gency care, along with health pro­mo­tion and pre­ven­tion strate­gies to sup­port a healthy preg­nan­cy and birth.

We talk about not get­ting over­whelmed by solv­ing all the prob­lems at once,” says Amanda. 

We teach stu­dents to pri­ori­tise, to be organ­ised, to plan ear­ly, and to take a team approach.

It’s not about accept­ing a lack of resources. You may not have med­ical devices like ultra­sound machines, but you have a mea­sur­ing tape, and you can mea­sure a preg­nant bel­ly with­out those things. We teach those skills.” 

There are lots of things that can be done with­out technology.”

Aman­da and Leonie touch­ing down in Nhu­lun­buy, Sep­tem­ber 2022.

Mak­ing it to Nhulunbuy

Things came full cir­cle in Sep­tem­ber of last year when Aman­da was invit­ed to facil­i­tate a Mater­ni­ty Emer­gency Care course in Nhu­lun­buy along­side CRANAplus Remote Clin­i­cal Edu­ca­tor Leonie McLaughlin.

It was a dream come true… 35 years lat­er, I final­ly got to Nhu­lun­buy and Yir­rkala com­mu­ni­ty and made some friends… I felt a real affin­i­ty for the place.”

It is amaz­ing how CRANA and my work have woven their way through my life and my career. 

CRANAplus has been inte­gral not just to my expe­ri­ence as an edu­ca­tor, but to my life experience.”

Aman­da in Nhu­lun­buy, Sep­tem­ber 2022.

Find out more about our Mater­ni­ty Emer­gency Care course.