Ru­ral grant to bring two stu­dent nurses to town

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

HEATH­COTE Health has re­ceived a grant from Mur­ray PHN to fund two stu­dent nurses.

In to­tal, Mur­ray PHN is in­vest­ing more than $170,000 in six health ser­vices in­clud­ing Castle­maine Health, Boort Dis­trict Health, Co­bram Dis­trict Health, Nu­murkah Dis­trict Health Ser­vice and Rochester and El­more Dis­trict Health Ser­vice.

The money will be put to­wards 22 ru­ral nurses — two of whom will be at Heath­cote.

The Ru­ral and Iso­lated Prac­tice En­dorsed Reg­is­tered Nurses Schol­ar­ships Grant (RIPERN) will aim to sup­port ru­ral nurs­ing staff and build on a RIPERN model of care. RIPERN ac­cred­ited nurses have more ad­vanced skills in as­sess­ing pa­tients, and can be­gin treat­ing them with­out wait­ing for a doc­tor.

Mur­ray PHN chief ex­ec­u­tive Matt Jones said in many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties it was not al­ways easy to ac­cess a doc­tor or phar­macy, and some­times pa­tients needed to travel long dis­tances for treat­ment and medicines.

“We know many of our ru­ral health ser­vices rely heav­ily on gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers to pro­vide ser­vices for ur­gent care. How­ever doc­tors aren’t al­ways avail­able when a pa­tient ar­rives,” Mr Jones said.

“In many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, phar­ma­cies are not open on week­ends or out­side of busi­ness hours — or there may not be a phar­macy at all.

“Nurses who un­der­take ad­di­tional train­ing can pro­vide a wider range of pri­mary care and emer­gency ser­vices to en­sure peo­ple get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”

Stu­dents re­ceiv­ing the train­ing must be ex­ist­ing Reg­is­tered Nurses Di­vi­sion 1. They will en­rol in or have en­rolled in ei­ther the Ru­ral and Iso­lated Prac­tice (Sched­uled Medicines) Reg­is­tered Nurse course of­fered by the Univer­sity of Queens­land or the Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate of Health (Sched­uled Medicines) of­fered by Queens­land Health.

Both cour­ses are on­line cour­ses of study with clin­i­cal prac­tice time. It is an­tic­i­pated the stu­dents will be­gin their stud­ies dur­ing in­takes through­out 2018. The fund­ing is made pos­si­ble through the Aus­tralian Govern­ment’s Af­ter Hours Pri­mary Health Care Pro­gram.

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