Nurse-led clinics give a nurse management of their practice, their resources and their patients, and nurses such as Jodie Gartner, pictured here, say it’s a rewarding experience. Jodie’s wound clinic in Melbourne’s Hawthorn East is one of 11 nurse-led clinics in an APNA research study funded by the federal government. The clinic is based at the Junction Place Medical Centre, and runs two days a week, during which Jodie assess wounds, determines aetiology, writes up management plans, educates patients and changes dressings.
Jodie says she feels like a ‘valued partner’ in the general practice team, and enjoys the opportunity to specialise and build knowledge. She works another two days at the clinic as a practice nurse, and other nurses at the clinic can cover her patients if she’s away.
Jodie said that without the wound clinic, local patients would be sent further away to wound clinics or vascular surgeons, making some patients less likely to follow a regular care regime due to transport issues.
“I’ve been a practising nurse for a long time so you end up learning a lot of different things – you do a lot but you can feel like you’re not an expert in anything,” she says.
“This has allowed me to really focus in on an area and follow patients from start to finish. It’s been great for me. I’m looked at in the practice as a leader in this field.
“There are doctors here who bring their parents and their children in to see me if they’ve got wounds. I do feel I have their respect as a wound care nurse.”
Not all of the 11 doctors at the busy family clinic use her services, she says, but she respects their choice and she enjoys giving her mostly elderly patients her best efforts to help them recover from their wounds.
Her goals are to increase by 20 per cent the number of patients with complex wounds accessing best practice, evidence based wound care services at Junction Place Medical Centre; and to increase the profitability of the clinic by 40 per cent.
The Junction Place Medical Centre is a GP-owned one, which has a practice manager, 11 doctors, 3 division one practice nurses, a phlebotomist and 7 reception staff. It also has a nurse coordinated aged health assessment clinic and provides training placements for both medical and nursing students.
Read more about APNA and their nurse-led clinic project herehttp://bit.ly/2aLUHPL .