23 June 2014

APNA continues to deliver important and valuable professional development education and networking opportunities nationally.

Last week in Adelaide, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating the 4th in a series of APNA Continuing Education Workshops for Nurses in General Practice. I am very proud as a South Aussie to have co facilitated this with the APNA team and with an amazing attendance of more than 70 nurses.  For further workshops nationally see APNA NiGP Workshops 2014.

One of the many highlights was a keynote presentation on Lifestyle and Weight Management from Dr Rick Kausman, author of If not dieting, then what? Dr Rick Kausman, a medical doctor based in Melbourne, is recognised as the Australian pioneer of the person-centred approach to wellbeing and healthy weight management. He has many years of experience in the field of weight management and offering training to health professionals throughout Australia and overseas.

Rick’s presentation for me, brought a breath of fresh insight into how we work with our communities around healthy eating. Rick’s presentation was at times confronting when we realise the damage we as health professionals can do to people who struggle with healthy weight management, when we have such opportunity to instead encourage our clients to be the healthiest they can be, and as a result of that, achieve and maintain a healthy, comfortable weight for them without being deprived of food or losing quality of life. To enjoy food without feeling guilty, see If not dieting.

Another highlight was keynote Dr Rob Grenfell, a GP and Public Health Physician and the National Director, Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation. See Heart Foundation Professionals Information. Rob leads the Cardiovascular Health Team which includes the full spectrum of heart health activities from prevention to clinical care.

Rob entertained us with his many anecdotes, all of which demonstrated the importance of the team approach to heart health in general practice and the rising evidence of nurses as leaders in cardiovascular disease management in primary care. Rob also spoke of the imperative and responsibility we have to adopt evidence based practice for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
By the end of both of these presentations many of us wanted to work with these very enlightened and entertaining doctors who truly understood the value of working collaboratively in teams, with nurses leading health improvement for their identified communities.

Networking was paramount and much conversation was had with the delightful Peter Larter refreshing us with innovative ways to support our work using MBS and the PNIP.  Peter is a Health Economist and a long term supporter of nurses working in General Practice and primary health care and shed new light on creative use of business cases to further enable nurse led delivery of care and coordination.

We also had many wonderful presentations from many local nurse leaders around CKD, compression therapy, diabetes, immunisation, travel health, COPD and Asthma.

The two days finished up with a wonderful Q&A session led by Samantha Moses “The progress of nursing in Australian general practice”. Sam is a Registered Nurse, Nurse Consultant for APNA and Primary Healthcare Consultant with over 20 years’ experience in primary health care.  Sam was the founder and inaugural president of the Australian Practice Nurses Association and remains committed to advancing the role of the primary care nurse in Australia.  APNA is thrilled and delighted to be able to share Sam’s passion, skill, knowledge and experience with its members and thanks Sam for her ongoing commitment to APNA and PHC nurses.

I recommend if you haven’t attended one of the APNA Continuing Education Workshops please consider registering, and please watch APNA’s enews and website for more exciting face to face and online opportunities throughout 2014-15. www.apna.asn.au 

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.

6 January 2014

Happy New Year to all APNA members and friends.

I was very fortunate to have a lovely yet busy Christmas and New Year, spent surrounded by family with more or less an open house catching up with friends. I suspect, like many, we partook too much of all things Chrismas and now it is back to reality. I hope many of you were fortunate enough to enjoy a least a few days hard earned time away from work and the opportunity of a few laughs and lots of fun over the festive season.

2014 brings with it new challenges for all of us working in primary health care. Fiscal restraints may not be new but undoubtedly will require a change in direction. At APNA we know that utilising our discipline of the Australian nursing workforce to its full capacity will be crucial. In order to appropriately support our communities we need to find the recipe to work smarter to deliver the level of care and education required to address individual and community needs. Not an easy task, but as the professional organisation supporting primary health care nurses, APNA remains committed and seriously focused on this.

As you will be aware, APNA together with AML Alliance are partnering to jointly deliver the Nursing in General Practice (NiGP) Program over the next two years. Whilst this program has a fundamental focus on NiGP it will be applicable and deliverable to most of our primary health care nursing discipline. New initiatives will be developed through demonstration projects and further development of the strong foundations of nursing leadership, education, resource development, research and policy work, and strategic promotion and positioning of NiGP and primary health care nursing nationally. For more information please see your summer edition of Primary Times.

2014 will be a very busy and very exciting year for APNA members and APNA’s hard working team. I look forward to working with many of you over the next year and perhaps meeting with many of you at various APNA gatherings across our beautiful nation throughout the year.

Once again, I wish you a happy and safe 2014.
Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.

25 November 2013

It has been another very exciting and busy fortnight for APNA with submissions to the review of the national ehealth record (PCEHR) and draft standard for medical refrigeration equipment for the storage of vaccines, both of which will be available on the APNA website very soon. APNA was also represented at the AML Alliance National Primary Health Care Conference 2013 and the Health Workforce Australia conference Skilled and Flexible – The health workforce for Australia’s future. Two recurring themes at both of these conferences were around the international growing burden of chronic disease and the urgent need for smarter workforce solutions to ensure we can adequately manage this growing health burden.

APNA is advocating strongly that primary health care nurses are an integral part of the workforce solution, able and committed to fighting the the tsunami of chronic disease confronting us.

As the peak national body supporting and representing nurses in primary health care, APNA’s top advocacy priority is the development of an education and career framework for nurses in general practice and other primary health care settings. Part of this framework needs to be around preparation and entry to practice.

APNA is concerned that there is no formal education and training pathway into general practice and primary health care nursing and no framework for skills development and career progression. Access to education and training specific to nursing in general practice and primary health care is patchy, variable and inconsistent. There is no supported program for undergraduate nurse clinical placements in general practice and primary health care, or for induction and support for graduate nurses and others new to the setting. In the absence of appropriate education, training, and induction programs, there are significant risks that the number of nurses needed with the appropriate skill sets will not be available to meet the needs of general practice and primary health care in the near future.

To begin addressing these issues, through its partnership with the AML Alliance on the Nursing in General Practice Program, APNA will shortly be commencing work to develop improved options for the future for undergraduate clinical nursing placements in general practice and primary health care settings, and for transition to practice programs for nurses entering general practice and primary health care. APNA will be consulting widely with its members and stakeholders in undertaking this work, and it is hoped the outcomes will provide a blueprint for government action.

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.