APNA Workforce Survey 2022 - Influencing policy and practice

Nurses form the backbone of Australia’s primary health care (PHC) system and are fundamental to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the Australian population. APNA’s Workforce Survey is fundamental in helping APNA lobby for changes to ensure that PHC nurses are valued, visible and respected for the work they do.

Supporting rural primary care

The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) has been advocating for an innovative model of rural health care that aims to overcome the professional, financial and social barriers faced by health care workers who wish to work in rural contexts. The Primary care Rural Integrated Multidisciplinary Health Services (PRIM-HS) model is an evidence-based policy solution that will improve access to affordable, high-quality, culturally safe care, when and where it is needed.

Caring for children with acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Erin Ferguson runs the Happy Heart Clinic in far north Queensland, where she cares for children with acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, a condition that is 124 times more common in First Nations peoples than in the general population. Erin and her team are working hard to raise awareness about the condition in high-risk communities. She says that primary health care teams have a vital role to play in the prevention and eradication of this insidious illness.

Primary retrieval nursing with the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Spending much of her childhood and teenage years in hospital inspired Alise Tilbury to take on a career in the medical world.

A quick guide to smoking cessation care for primary health care nurses

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia. Primary health care (PHC) nurses witness daily the health impacts of smoking in their patients and the significant burden tobacco use places on general practice. PHC nurses can support patients who smoke to quit using a quick guide found at Quit Centre: the 3 simple steps of Ask, Advise, Help (AAH) brief advice for smoking cessation.

Expanding nurse clinics across PHC settings

As the health-care needs of Australians continue to change, and we adapt to a post-pandemic health-care environment, the burden of chronic conditions is adding pressure to an already stressed and overwhelmed health care system.

It’s been a busy 6 months advocating for PHC nurses

I’m sure at some point you will get an APNA President’s Message that reports a steady-as-you-go 6 months with business as usual (BAU). This message will not be a BAU report. The last 6 months has been even more active than in my December 2022 message.

CEOs report - APNA’s impact continues to increase

With more members, the largest team and the greatest presence in media and government than at any other time over the past 21 years, the APNA Board and Executive have been taking steps to plan and manage our growth.

School nurses – Transitioning to practice

Health assessments, vision and hearing tests, ice packs, Panadol and bandages: Decades ago, this described the very limited scope of practice many school nurses experienced when treating their student patients. Today, things are very different.

Introducing the new my health app!

My Health Record is a secure online summary of key patient health information. However, not all health-care providers have access to My Health Record via their clinical software systems. The new my health mobile app provides consumers with secure and convenient access to their My Health Record information, anywhere, anytime.

Building PHC nurses’ confidence to implement CISS in the workplace

APNA is excited to announce that we are back in 2023, supporting Victorian primary health care (PHC) nurses and health-care teams to implement the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) in the PHC setting.

Improving care for people with intellectual disability - Removing barriers to general practice

While all patients are being impacted by falling bulk-billing rates and increased demand for GP appointments, patients with intellectual disability face particular challenges in accessing health care. Evidence shows that people with intellectual disability experience poorer health outcomes compared to the general population. Therefore, it is crucial to remove or minimise any obstacles they may encounter in their quest to access general practices.

Working effectively in primary health with people who inject drugs

In order to access the health care they need in a timely manner, people who inject drugs need support to establish a therapeutic and trauma-informed relationship with primary health care (PHC) providers. Here, we describe the findings and recommendations of a recent study exploring the barriers and enablers to accessing PHC among a community of people who inject drugs in Melbourne.

Nurses transforming digital health: From idea to action

APNA recently identified that greater knowledge of digital health policy, services and tools in primary health care (PHC) would help to increase workforce efficiency and improve patient outcomes. In 2020, we recruited nurses with an interest in digital health technologies to educate and transform the practice of their peers and other health-care professionals. We call these nurses, APNA Nurse Transformers!

WA’s first paramedic private practice model

It was a tongue-in-cheek question that led paramedic Alecka Miles to begin working alongside doctors and nurses at Dianella Family Medical Centre in Perth, Western Australia/Whadjuk Nyoongar Country. Dianella is the only private health clinic in the state to employ a paramedic in such a capacity.

Quality dementia care must be prioritised

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recently reported that dementia is now the leading cause of disease burden for Australians aged 65 and over, and as such, quality dementia care needs to be an intrinsic, core element of aged care in Australia.1 A dementia-informed health-care system is needed to ensure Australians impacted by dementia receive appropriate support and care throughout their experience of the disease.

Primary Times Winter 2023

Members-only articles, interviews, columns, and clinical updates from the latest edition of APNA's Primary Times magazine

Social prescribing

Loneliness and social isolation can have negative impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health, including higher risk of chronic illness. Many Australians suffer from chronic loneliness and ‘social prescribing’ is an intervention designed to strengthen community connections for people at risk. Connect Local is a new Melbourne-based program that involves social prescribing to reduce the loneliness and isolation of older Australians and to improve their health and wellbeing.

Sharing the care

Last edition we looked at the role of new digital technologies in health care and their impacts on nurses’ day-to-day work. In part two of our series that looks to the future of primary health care (PHC) nursing, we consider the nurse’s evolving role as part of a multidisciplinary team.

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The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses 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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