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CRANAplus facilitator spotlight: On home soil
CRANAplus course facilitator Jackie Hanniver reflects on the magnetic pull of country Australia, and the less obvious benefits of delivering training where remote health staff work and live.
“CRANAplus offers excellent courses and the fact that they are provided in environments close to where the participants work is a real plus,” says Jackie, Regional Services Manager with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in Broken Hill.
“From Broken Hill, it’s a five-hour drive to a major centre, adding a day on either side of the course. To have courses held close by and accessible is an extra bonus.
“Telehealth and online courses work well, [but] there’s nothing quite like hands-on.”
When courses are available where remote health professionals live and work, participants are more likely to feel comfortable and actively participate and engage, Jackie adds.
“[Participants] are happy to share information about what works and doesn’t work in the context of their own environment, bringing it back to their world,” she says. “This is so useful for everyone.
“As facilitators, we don’t walk in there thinking we know it all. We are always learning ourselves, learning from each other. And from the participants.”
“These courses also show you that you are not alone. Whatever your concern, it’s nice to bring you back to this fact. It’s good for your mental health. There will always be others in the room who have been there, and who can advise you.”
Although she is originally from Melbourne, Jackie has always had a fascination for small communities.
“For my nursing training, it was no surprise to anyone when I took a job working in Warrnambool in country Victoria,” she says.
“I also knew that I’d get a well-rounded experience rather than doing the same thing every day.”
Just before she headed off for a nursing stint in Abu Dhabi, an advert for a flight nurse with the RFDS caught Jackie’s eye.
“I realised that would challenge me and expand my skills,” she says.
“You need to be at the top of your game to do that job.
“My time overseas was a fantastic experience, with exposure to people from different backgrounds, and when I returned to Australia I studied midwifery, and worked in emergency and critical care. Always with that advert in mind.”
Since Jackie joined the flight nursing team in Broken Hill 12 years ago, she has seen the primary health and mental health teams expand, reflecting the industry’s growing focus on prevention.
After her son was born, Jackie moved into an education role and when she took on her current managerial role last year, she saw an opportunity to volunteer as a facilitator with CRANAplus. She hopes to be able to facilitate two courses a year.
“I had [participated in] CRANAplus courses myself, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service uses the CRANAplus courses for its training,” she says.
“So I know how valuable they are. And I urge anyone who gets the opportunity to attend one to take it.”