Bridging the gap

Efi Madentzoglou, a transitioning nurse in APNA’s Transition to Practice Program, says the program has been a great support for her work as she moves from being a graduate in nursing to further study and working in primary health care.

Efi has completed a Bachelor of Health Science and a two-year Master of Nursing, and applied for APNA’s Transition to Practice Program as part of her postgraduate course.

Mentor Kate Spurway is the CEO of NurseWatch, an aged care services company, and registered nurse of many years. She says she’s excited to be part of the Transition to Practice Program. ‘This is a fairly new and accelerated program. It’s basically bridging the gap between studying and practising nursing. Primary care is so different because it focuses on prevention rather than treatment. It’s the progressive arm of nursing.’

‘The program contributes to workforce development and sustainability by supporting nurses recently graduated and new to primary health care. This assists with workforce retention as well.’

Efi says she benefits greatly from all the extra learning and mentoring which comes with the program. ‘My study was very broad. I could have specialised in paediatrics, mental health, anaesthetics or general ward. I chose to focus on primary health care and community health and I know now, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.’

When asked how she became interested in this area Efi says: ‘I’ve always wanted to help people but I never really considered it before because university was so hospital oriented. Now that I’m doing it, I’m really enjoying it and curious to see where it takes me.’

She says the mentoring helps because she meets with Kate one day a week and they go through her goals and what she wants to achieve. ‘We might look at doing a course and reflect on how we can put the theory into practice,’ she adds.

Moving to palliative care

As part of the Transition to Practice Program, Efi works one day a week with Holdsworth House Medical Centre and she also does a community placement with Westmead Hospital, PEPA Placement for her palliative care, along with her mentoring sessions with Kate.

Her next step is to complete a community placement with hospitals in palliative care. She says she’s looking forward to working in palliative care but knows it won’t be easy. ‘Yes, I’ve talked to people from palliative care and they’ve told me they found it difficult at times—but so rewarding.’

So far, Efi has found, ‘The program goes through basic care and basic skills along with all the extra information you need. We went through this at the start of the university course but it’s nice to have a refresher, intertwined with more advanced information.’

Efi also attended the APNA National Conference. ‘At the three-day conference in Adelaide we got to connect with other primary health care nurses, along with companies that provide products and up-to-date evidence-based solutions to the evolving problems we’re seeing as the population is growing older. We attended presentations on wound care management and diabetes clinics among others.’

Nurse 2022 pledge: Valued. Visible. Respected.

Efi says one of the highlights of the course was getting to pledge to be part of the future of primary health care nursing—the Nurse 2022 pledge. As Efi says: ‘It’s really saying we’re going to promote our role as nurses and support our profession by expanding our scope of practice and at the same time ensuring we’re educated properly.’

‘It’s also about educating our patients at the same time. If they can learn what to do, they can advocate for themselves and take charge of their own care. Then we can make the whole team work smoothly and everything’s connected properly. People become more in charge of their lives.’ 

Would you like to be part of APNA’s Transition to Practice Program? Find out more at www.apna.asn.au/transitiontopractice.

To learn more about APNA member NurseWatch's unique model of care, go to nursewatch.com.au.

The Australian Primary Health Care Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


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