Meet Jacqui Banham – ACFI & Clinical Services Director with Provider Assist. Here she speaks to us about her history in the industry and how Provider Assist’s services positively impact the lives of residents. Watch the videos or read the transcripts below.
Jacqui Banham: I did my general nursing training in Sydney. Once I completed that and worked for a while in the acute area, I then decided that I would embark upon a different direction and went into the mental health area. I really loved mental health. It was very challenging, but rewarding at the same time.
Then, I decided that I would do a sea change and move from Sydney to Adelaide. In that sea change, my whole passion and my determination, I guess, was to really explore the mental health area in South Australia. While I was waiting to get further information about how that all worked, I had to work. So I got a job as a registered nurse in a private aged care facility.
Having worked in that facility for probably about eight weeks, I fell in love. I fell in love with aged care. I fell in love with the holistic approach to nursing and found it incredibly fulfilling and exciting.
At that time, there was a lot of change starting to occur in the industry for the better, and I wanted to be on that wave and be part of that, which I’ve been able to do. So I’ve been in the aged care space really, actively participating for the last 35 years.
We currently have 33 specialists Australia-wide, all who are registered nurses, who then go and work with facilities to achieve their best financial outcome through the ACFI instrument.
It’s just been so rewarding to see pain well-managed, care well-managed, people content, happy, reconciled, all those sorts of things. So it’s very much the holisticness in approach.
Jacqui Banham: We have got the absolute privilege of when we go into a facility, to focus on nothing else other than ACFI. Often care managers are balancing a thousand bowls in the air, and ACFI is just one of them. So they’re dealing with complaints. They’re dealing with illness. They’re dealing with staffing. They’re dealing with all sorts of other issues, and then they’re dealing with ACFI.
I guess it’s about getting them to see we’re not there to be a burden. We’re actually there to be a blessing and to give them that extra pair of hands and that extra focus on the areas that they’re often struggling to have the time that they require to do that part of their job really well. So it’s trying to get them to see it as a win-win, that we’re coming alongside. We’re not coming in to critique. We’re not coming in to tell them what to do. We’re coming in there to support and help them through the process.
This is going back a couple of years, but I’ve never forgotten it. It was early in the day of Provider Assist in the ACFI space. We sent a team of two people into an aged care facility. This one gentleman was wracked with pain, but a very proud man, didn’t want to accept anything. His life was very much what we call a shut-in. He never left his room. He was pretty much bed-bound or chair-bound. He never wanted to go out with his family. He didn’t really want to engage in the life of the facility at all.
Through the assessment process, what we were able to establish is that this man needed much better pain management, but we had to coerce him to accept it. Also, he had a cardiac condition, in which he became very, very breathless on any level of exertion. So we were able to implement some oxygen periodically for him. That, coupled with the pain relief, his daughter came to seek us out to say, “I want to see the person who has been caring for Dad and organising all this extra equipment and strategy.”
One of my specialists put her hand up meekly and said, “It was me,” thinking, “Oh, dear. What’s going to happen?” The woman just grabbed her, embraced her, cried, and said, “This is my dad. This was my dad 10 years ago. You have given him a new lease in life, and I can’t thank you enough.”
That in itself, it’s just been one of those benchmark memories that it’s just stuck. That’s why we do what we do.