Meet RAN Jackie – Her journey in the APY lands

3min read

RN Jackie

31 years nursing experience

Starting her career back in 1993, RAN Jackie’s comprehensive Emergency background has taken her around many facilities around South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales. More recently, she’s been exploring rural health care in the Northern Territory and making her way from Multi-Purpose Health Services (MPS) to remote clinics.

1. Tell us a bit about your nursing background.

I have a background in Emergency, but have really enjoyed exploring a variety of roles in rural health care over the last 10 years.

2. You’ve worked in a few Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) facilities previously – why did you decide to work as a RAN, and what are the main differences between MPS and remote clinics?

I’ve worked in Multi-Purpose Services but decided to work as a RAN to expand my autonomy, scope of practice, and focus on remote primary health care.

The nature of the work necessitates a greater reliance on good history taking, assessment skills and critical decision making given the scarcity of resources available. It’s really challenging and professionally so rewarding.

3. What are the rewards of working remotely? Can you describe any particular scenario or situation which you find most rewarding?

There are many rewards working remotely. I value working in a health care model that allows practitioners to spend the time needed to assess and treat acute problems, but also engage in chronic disease management and health promotion.

A large part of the role is building the relationships necessary to facilitate lifestyle changes that can really benefit the health of individuals and families.

4. Working remotely can have a lot of challenges, especially the language barriers and the culture challenges. What do you find the most challenging about working remotely, and how did you handle the challenges?

What to do with my time off when in community has been the greatest challenge.  With no access to a car and limited luggage limits you need to ensure that you pack well. 

I usually take a specific craft project to complete during my contract and have worked hard to maintain strong self-care routines. Whether it be a movie date with my husband, sharing a podcast with a friend or a long phone conversation with my family, it’s important to spend time with the people you love and refill your cup.

5. Would you like to share any experiences where you have made an impact to a community through positive health outcomes?

The joy of being a RAN is that you can directly see the impact of your work with individuals who you can follow-up with over time. The most positive impacts have been gained when the locums and the Indigenous staff work together to build trust.

6. What are some of your fondest memories of APY Lands?

My fondest memories are of the landscape, the inspiring night sky and the spectacular sunrises. I have met some really amazing people who have changed how I think about the world.

7. You are on your 5th RAN placement with us – what has been the highlight working with Affinity so far?  

The variety of contracts that Affinity have been able to offer has been a highlight of working with this agency.  They are a national provider who can facilitate travel all over our great country. I also value having a placement specialist who knows me and can help me find contacts that I am best suited for.

8. What advice would you give other nurses who want to become a RAN?

Have an open and inquiring mind and draw on the expertise of the clinicians and the elders of the community who you will be working with.

It’s possible to explore Remote Area Nursing jobs for you, just like RAN Jackie! With over 20 years of expertise and a dedicated remote placements specialist, register with Affinity today!

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