The Australian College of Nursing’s Nursing in the Community Week aims to raise awareness of how nurses can support our community to stay safe at home, wherever that is. This year, the activities will support nurses in having “A Voice to Lead”, in discussion of topical areas affecting nurses working in our communities. To mark the week, we will be sharing stories of nurses working to support the community stay safe on our NurseClick blog. We encourage you to Download this poster or banner to share with your colleagues or at your workplace.
Today, we speak to Shireen Mallouhi, a registered nurse and Clinical Governance Business Partner at MediBank, a proud sponsor of Nursing in the Community Week. Shireen has shared with us how she and her nursing colleagues uses their nursing skills and background to support those in local community.
What is your background in the nursing profession?
Prior to my work in Telehealth, I have been a registered nurse in the ICU/CCU/HDU throughout my hospital career before I joined Telephone Nurse Triage at Medibank in 2010. After a few years as a Triage Nurse, I acted in the roles of Clinical Lead and Clinical Program Specialist before I joined the Clinical Team as a Clinical Governance Business partner. Across these roles, I have had the privilege of providing support, direction and education to callers from the general public nationwide. I have also enjoyed mentoring and coaching colleagues as well as working on the development of support tools for the frontline telephone triage nurses.
What is your current role at Medibank and how crucial are your nursing skills to your role?
I am responsible for managing the incident management system for Nurse Triage and Health Concierge, ensuring clinical compliance with best practice guidelines and industry standards. My other responsibilities include driving improvements in Telehealth delivery, engaging with front line staff, generating and delivering report data, writing and updating policies and procedures, and liaising with key external stakeholders such as funders and external accredited certification bodies to ensure the organisation’s quality assurance is maintained.
I have been with Medibank for 11 years and continually enjoy the challenge of applying my clinical skills and knowledge to support our telephone triage nurses in delivering the best outcomes for our callers. I have also contributed to future innovations in this space, such as codesign of a model for aged care and disability care facility queries, in addition to liaising with third parties such as Medical Deputizing Services and exploring eMRs for continuity of care.
Can you highlight the role(s) nurses play in Medibank?
The nurses at Medibank play a vital role in providing that reassurance callers are seeking. People who call our service are looking for that peace of mind that can be provided by a registered nurse (RN) who has that warm and trusted touch over the phone or via webchat.
The value of having an RN is the ability to assess a patient using only the sense of hearing (or even just reading via webchat!) in order to assess the full clinical picture of a patient. An RN can use the clinical autonomy and sharp interpretation skills to read between the lines and deliver the safest and most appropriate clinical advice and direction. This is a great characteristic of an RN that cannot be substituted!
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve also been able to support the national COVID response – assisting Federal and State governments through phone support, welfare checks, in-home COVID testing, contact tracing and mental health services.
Why is it important to shine a spotlight on nurses working in the community?
I am proud to be using my nursing skills and qualifications to help people across our community. My role in telehealth allows me to help people right across Australia, including in regional and remote communities, or people who may be hesitant to go and see a health professional in person.
I know my homecare colleagues providing hospital-in-the-home services feel similarly; the opportunity to connect directly with patients in their home provides valuable insights into the way they live and what type of care they may need.
I have worked in hospitals and in the community and continue to find nursing provides me with new challenges and fulfillment as a clinician.
The Australian College of Nursing would like to thank MediBank for their support of Nursing Community Week, along with our Partner the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, Founding sponsor Regal Home Health and sponsor Smith & Nephew.