12 May 2016

On International Nurses Day (12 May 2016), Capital Health Network (CHN) is celebrating the key role nurses play in providing health care in primary, aged and community care settings.

Nurses have been found once again to be the most ethical and honest profession.  The Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey has shown that Australians have rated nurses in the top position for 21 years in a row, since nurses were first included on the survey.

CHN Chair Dr Martin Liedvogel said nurses provide dedicated and person-centred care in a variety of settings.  One example is the growing role of nurses in general practice which is delivering many benefits to patients and the general practice team.

“I’ve seen first-hand in my general practice how practice nurses can reduce a GP’s workload and provide faster access to care for patients.  They share the clinical workload, introduce new services for our patients, manage patient recall and reminder systems, and assist us to maintain and improve the quality of care.  There are 173 practice nurses in the ACT, with almost 75% of general practices employing at least one practice nurse.  CHN supports them by providing resources, education, regular networking and other professional development opportunities,” said Dr Liedvogel.

CHN values the key roles nurses play in the areas of aged care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and also sexual health.

“Capital Health Network has a registered nurse delivering care coordination for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease.  We also have a registered nurse working in our HIV Program who provides education, screening and support services for patients, as well as education and networking opportunities for GPs,” said Dr Liedvogel.

Nurse Practitioners assess and treat health conditions, order and interpret blood and radiology tests, and prescribe medications.

“Capital Health Network established a primary health care service with funding support from ACT Health to provide accessible, affordable and connected health care to vulnerable Canberrans attending the Early Morning Centre, a service run by UnitingCare Canberra.  A Nurse Practitioner is part of the team providing valuable care to these vulnerable locals,” said Dr Liedvogel.

Local nurses will be honoured today at the ACT Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

Capital Health Network is the ACT’s primary health network supporting health professionals to improve the coordination of care so that patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.