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Nurse practitioner model of care embraced

Since the UQ Health Care nurse practitioner model of care was introduced at Aveo Durack the number of aged care residents admitted to hospital has significantly decreased.

UQ Health Care Chief Executive Officer Darryl Grundy said a nurse practitioner available full time on site has enabled residents’ medical requirements to be attended to more rapidly and in many instances treated on-site.

“Previously residents may have been more likely to be admitted to hospital or sent to the emergency department in an ambulance which can be traumatic and potentially detrimental to residents’ health,” Mr Grundy said.

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse educated and authorised to function autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role.

Nurse practitioners are qualified to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a general practitioner, and are able to order pathology and radiology tests and prescribe medications.

UQ Health Care Nurse Practitioner and UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery alumna, Julie-Anne Whittaker has been welcomed by the general practitioners, multidisciplinary teams and residents she works with at Aveo Durack.

“Nursing staff have commented they are pleased I am available anytime for them to discuss issues around resident care and residents have been lovely to work with as I am always greeted with a friendly smile as I enter their rooms,” Ms Whittaker said.

“A typical day includes visiting residents with acute health concerns and prescribing a treatment plan, reviewing residents who have been unwell to ensure they are responding to treatment, reviewing healthy residents monthly as part of a general check-up and arranging geriatrician reviews via telehealth.

“Providing end of life care to residents is an important part of my role to ensure they remain comfortable and family are supported during this difficult time.”

The types of conditions Ms Whittaker treats include a wide variety of both acute and chronic health conditions.

Aveo Group Executive General Manager, Integrated Retirement Communities Jason Eldering said this new model of integrated care has proven to be very beneficial.

“Having a nurse practitioner on the healthcare team has provided residents with personalised medical care, proactive chronic disease management, and ongoing access to preventive health measures resulting in improved well-being,” Mr Eldering said.

“We have been extremely pleased with the professional and caring healthcare service that the UQ Health Care nurse practitioner has provided to residents.”

Enquiries: UQ Health Care Communications, Kirsten O’Leary, k.oleary@uq.edu.au

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