Meet Rachel Barnett - Our Trainer in Radiology and Medical Laboratory Quality Management

27 Sep 2021

In our series of trainer profiles, we have the pleasure of introducing you to our talented trainer Rachel Barnett.

Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself? 

I’m a self-confessed ‘nerd’ with a relatively unique employment history but one which has nicely landed me to where I am today! I’m a trained Anaesthetic Technician with a Diploma in Applied Science in Anaesthetic Technology and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physiology, which has taken up the majority of my career, however, I went in search of new sights and sounds and landed at International Accreditation New Zealand in 2017, and became the training manager in 2020, where I now get to work closely with NZQC as a trainer for the Radiology Quality Management, Medical Laboratory Quality Management and Medical Internal Auditing courses. I have an unhealthy obsession with paper notebooks and always seem to have a new hobby on the go, one of which is wedding planning!

Wedding planning sounds interesting! Rachel, we have the advantage of other insider knowledge, so we know that you wear many hats and one of the bigger hats is that of an assessor for Radiology. Tell us a bit about what does it involve and what does it mean for medical imaging services?

On top of my training manager responsibilities, I love still having the opportunity to interact with the medical imaging services of New Zealand and keep up to date with the ever-evolving technology updates! During an accreditation assessment, our key objective is to give each organisation every opportunity to demonstrate that their systems and processes comply with the requirements of accreditation; essentially, are you doing what you say that you are doing and does it meet good practice. A huge part of this is interacting with all levels of an organisation’s staff and finding out about the various intricacies of their job. Accreditation is very much a collaborative process so it’s important to be able to talk with many different people and if they’re not quite reaching standards, work together to find a solution.

Again, thanks to our spy on the inside, we are aware that you have a strong flair for creativity and that you love creating interesting workshop exercises during your training courses, among many other creations of yours outside of training! Is there any creative piece you are really proud of? 

Without this being a shameless plug for the course, I’m actually most proud of the Technical Expert Training course NZQC created to help supplement the foundation knowledge technical experts must know in order to participate in accreditation assessments. For me, it was the first time I had been involved in the creation of an online course from start to finish, including all of the filming and editing, being the face of the course, right through to creating the digital platform to house the course and providing technical support to course participants. There’s something incredibly rewarding about seeing people complete a course that you worked months on behind the scenes and, more importantly, them enjoying it and finding it useful.

What advice would you give to those of us who also want their creative juices to start flowing? Especially during this lockdown phase? 

The beautiful thing about creativity is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all model. My idea of creativity is completely different to someone else’s; that’s what makes us unique! I think it’s important to not compare ourselves to others, particularly when it comes to creative flair. I think one of the reasons I have so many hobbies is that I love to try out new things and, ultimately, find new passions. There’s plenty of hobbies I’ve tried that I’m just not good at, but I’m glad I gave them a go. If you feel you are wanting to be more creative, particularly during these extended lockdown periods, the most important thing you can do is make time for yourself. Even if it’s just 5 minutes out of your day, giving yourself that time to follow your dreams or passions or learn something new, is one step closer to your goals than you were yesterday!

What aspects of training do you enjoy the most? 

I love the variability that comes with training, particularly with adult learners. Every single person that attends a training session, whether it’s an informal 5-minute discussion or a 5-day course, comes with their own background, motivators, passions and learning objectives. The true success of a trainer is being able to meet the needs of everyone in that training session so that they come away having achieved progress towards their goals. It’s not always easy, and there’s plenty of curveballs that come your way with trying to do this, particularly within large training settings, but I believe in fostering a culture of equality; I learn as much from my learners as they learn from me.

How do you like to spend time away from work?

Coming back to me being a self-confessed nerd, I spend the majority of my time away from work learning new skills or ‘things’. From video editing, animation and web design, to knitting, learning how to DJ, and trying to make macarons. I’ve only really been able to make time for my creative passions in recent years (there’s something about working in cardiac surgery that doesn’t allow for much time for anything else!) so I think I’m making up for lost time and just trying all the things all the time!

What is your source of inspiration in your life?

I’m a millennial so spend a fair amount of time on social media (although will never admit how long…) which provides a fair source of my inspiration. I love seeing people follow their passions and find creative ways to make their mark on the world. That being said, I don’t believe in comparing yourself to others in any real quantity; it truly is the cause of death for any personal growth. Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. So, I guess my main source of inspiration is…me, and trying to constantly improve on that! Wow…welcome to my TED talk everybody!

Do you have any inspirational messages that you might like to share with our readers?

Following on closely to my answer above, my inspirational message would be “A good plan today will be better than a perfect plan tomorrow”, sometimes it can be scary to step outside of our comfort zones and try something new or make a change, but if we wait until we are ready then we will never achieve anything. Start that hobby. Attend that course. Read that book. By making small steps towards our big goals, we get closer to reaching them than we were 5 minutes ago. Even if at the end of it you realise you’d rather just buy the macarons from someone else!


Thank you for sharing with us your creative insights Rachel. And to our readers, now that you are acquainted with Rachel, check out the courses she will be running in November and see if any of them appeal to you. If you are interested to learn more about Medical Imaging Services or Medical Laboratories Internal Auditing, or are developing your career in the same, book online or call us if you would like to find out more. 

Meet Rachel Barnett - Our Trainer in Radiology and Medical Laboratory Quality Management Image