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Changing careers from training for the Olympics to fighting COVID-19 with Mineral Resources.

Rachael Lynch was training for the Olympics six days a week and working part-time as a nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital when COVID-19 hit WA. Suddenly the Olympics had been cancelled and Rachel had to rethink her 2020.

Rachael commenced working as the Regional Screen and Nurse Manager at the Mineral Resources COVID-19 testing clinics that are backed by Australian Clinical Labs and Safe Work Laboratories.

Rachael is enjoying her role at MRL commenting that, “It was amazing to be part of the unique experience and MRL has been incredible in supporting this initiative, as not all mining companies have taken the same rigorous approach to testing for their employees.” She said that quite often her team gets thanked for keeping them safe from COVID-19.

At present, MRL are running one the largest private COVID-19 screening facilities in Australia and, since commencing in April, over 60 000 swabs have been completed at the ten facilities located in Perth and regional areas in Western Australia. The facilities service over 60 resource sector companies and with all the mining employees being tested 48 hours before they travel to site to ensure the safety of the mining operations. The screening programme is one of the few clinically mandated and privately established in WA. They also provide a drive-in service and conduct testing at the doorways of hotels and homes.

Mineral Resources fighting COVID-19

More recently, our COVID-19 screening facilities have helped customers as far south as Margaret River and the Traditional Owners in the north. At present, the screening facility located near the Perth airport has 20 staff working each day and it is open seven days a week.

Denise Slattery has been a team leader at the clinic since the program began and when asked what she enjoyed about the job she replied, “I enjoy the amazing team I work with and the friendships we have formed along the way while providing an essential service to our community.”

She was asked what she found the most challenging task in her role and she commented that it was wearing full PPE for extended periods of time and dealing with people who don’t acknowledge the importance of COVID-19 screening for our community. However, Denise did say that most people are very friendly and polite towards the nurses and collectors.

Thanks to all of the staff that are working on the front line to help all the mining employees stay safe in WA.