Community nursing in palliative care: how more real can it get? As someone is ending their life you get a glimpse of what that life has been. You see the person… his wedding photo, his daughter on his arm at her wedding, the grandchildren’s graduations … their life and all that they have lived. You’re part of that. For a brief moment they allow you into their lives and enrich you with theirs – Dr Judi Greaves, MACN
Whether it’s helping newly-arrived refugees navigate the Australian health care system, ensuring prisoners in correctional facilities maintain good health, or providing end-of-life palliative care, Community and Primary Health Care Nurses are the backbone of the Australian health care system.
Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week recognises and celebrates the impactful work of nurses in the community. Running from 18-24 September, the theme for 2017 is “Nurses Where You Need Them”.
As part of the annual celebration, the Australian College of Nursing will unveil the Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week eBook, documenting stories from and about Community and Primary Health Care Nurses and why their nursing work is so vital to the health and
well-being of our society. The extract above is just one story in this year’s eBook.
In addition, Community and Primary Health Care Nurses from around the country will don orange and host their own celebrations to honour the week.
Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said: “ACN recognises the invaluable role of Community and Primary Health Care Nurses and is proud to put the spotlight on this dynamic field of nursing.
“The Community and Primary Health Care Nursing Week campaign is a wonderful opportunity to not only acknowledge and celebrate, but also thank the remarkable men and women, who work tirelessly to maintain the health of our communities,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“Australia’s health care system has always relied on primary health care nursing roles to provide health promotion, preventative care, rehabilitation, education and direct care to individuals, families and communities, often in the most remote regions and to the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Population ageing, emerging infectious diseases, an increase in chronic disease as well as health inequalities between Australian sub-populations all require a community and primary health care response.
“The week also allows ACN to put the spotlight on the diverse, exciting and fulfilling nature of this work.
“Community and Primary Health Care Nurses make up a huge component of the nursing workforce – they are Enrolled Nurses, Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners who work in hospital-affiliated clinics, community health centres, homes, schools, prisons, maternal and child health centres and a range of other health service settings including Nurse Entrepreneurs.
“ACN would like to thank our official partner, Regal Home Health, for helping bring this wonderful week of celebration and recognition to fruition.”
ACN’s National Nursing Forum last month highlighted how acknowledgement, innovation, support and continued investment in community and primary health care was needed to address recruitment and retention issues of nurses as well as measures to promote continued training and career development.
The Australian College of Nursing supports career development of Community and Primary Health Care Nurses and offers a Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing. The certificate is designed for nurses working in a variety of community, primary health and general practice settings and aims to enhance nurses’ knowledge and skills in prevention, early intervention and management of a range of complex illnesses.