7 Rural & Remote Nursing Training & Education Tips

R&R Professionals in front of Ayers rock

The Healthcare Australia Rural and Remote (R&R) division rewards Nurses that complete a +6 week R&R placement with up to $500 in subsidised training – Find out more.

HCA’s Regional, Rural and Remote division prides itself on having some of the best R&R trained professionals in the country. Our team is always willing to guide you along in your career development.

If you’re considering a short-term sea change, a working holiday or a chance to try a different side of Nursing or Midwifery, here are a few skills and training considerations to help you secure your R&R placement.

Consideration #1: Multipurpose Sites

Most of the rural facilities we place candidates in are hospitals where there is one key ward with visiting specialties. You need to be able to deal with all sorts of patients that come through the doors. In smaller Multipurpose Sites (MPS), additional skills and certifications may be required before you can consider applying for agency work.

As an example, to work at a small MPS as a Registered Nurse, you will need to know how to cannulate and have venepuncture experience.

Consideration #2: Mandatory Training

A key requirement of working with HCA’s R&R Team is completing the online module Managing Difficult Behaviours, which can be completed through our eHCA education portal prior to commencing your contract.

All HCA Nurses & Midwives will find additional mandatory modules on eHCA. These modules are completely free and will aid you in your Rural and Remote Career.

Consideration #3: Advanced Life Support

Completing your Advanced Life Support (ALS) course is very useful in preparing for R&R work. For many contracts this course is a prerequisite, hence completing it will open more opportunities for work.

HCA offers ALS courses across the country. You can view upcoming locations, dates and then book in by visiting the courses page of our website.

Consideration #4: Do you contemplate nursing in WA?

In Western Australia, the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Triage Certification is important for Nurses who wish to work in public health facilities in the Emergency Department or in a Multipurpose facility. For 95% of contracts, this certificate is a mandatory requirement. The requirement was introduced by the WA Department of Health to ensure that appropriately skilled Nursing staff can triage using the Australasian Triage Score.

The competency is NOT a training course, rather it recognises prior experience and training in triage. Nurses must have a minimum of two years’ experience in an Emergency Department or Critical Care environment where the triage role is completed. You can achieve this competency in several ways, including on your first placement in WA with Healthcare Australia.

The HCA Rural and Remote consultants are a wealth of knowledge, and should be your first port of call if you are looking to work in remote Western Australia. They will speak to you about your eligibility for this certification and pathways to achieving this competency.

Consideration #5: Working Remote

The terms ‘remote’ refers to the location of Primary Healthcare Clinics in Australia where we place RANs (Remote Area Nurses). To become a RAN there are some fantastic courses available.

The main course required is the REC course (Remote Emergency Care course) which is facilitated through CRANAplus. This course is a prerequisite in Remote Northern Territory for clinic work and is very highly regarded in all other remote areas nationally. This course usually runs over 3 days and is offered in various locations across the country. Click here to book your course.

Consideration #6: Maternity in the Bush

Following on from the REC is the MEC course (Maternity Emergency Care course) commonly referred to as “Birthing in the Bush”.  This course is highly regarded and fast becoming mandatory for RANs. You don’t need to be a midwife to complete this course. It’s designed for Nurses who are placed in remote communities, where there is no Doctor nearby and an emergency birth may take place before they can arrive. Click here to book your course with CRANAplus.

Consideration #7: Immunisation Certificate

When working remotely you’re often required to give immunisations, which you need a certificate to provide. There isn’t a Nationally Recognised Immunisation Certificate available, however the one that is preferred across most areas of Australia is the South Australian certification.

This course is online, which means you can do it self-paced whilst awaiting a contract. To access information on this, visit SA Health.

Additional Courses

Other valuable courses include:

Pharmacotherapeutics Course, which again is becoming widely requested in the NT and in WA for remote clinic work.

A 4WD course can assist in ensuring RAN safety in all aspects of Remote work, not just clinically. Many RANs have nationally recognised driver and safety training. The roads are not often sealed, so when the wet season arrives, it’s vital to be confident in driving in tougher conditions.

Looking for your first Rural & Remote opportunity?

Our team of Rural & Remote consultants are always eager to hear from all types of Nurses across the country. Whether you currently nurse with HCA or are working anywhere else, you can enquire about Rural & Remote Nursing & Midwifery positions by calling 1300 885 728 or registering your interest below.

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