03 October 2023

Due to family commitments, Kerry Feighan divides her working week between Casula Mall Medical Practice (two days) and Newcastle/Lake Macquarie. She began her career as an Assistant in Nursing before completing a Bachelor of Nursing Degree in 2000. Kerry worked across the medical spectrum but decided 15 years ago she wanted a lifestyle change which would work for her young family. She discovered primary care nursing was where she “shined and thrived”. 

How long have you been a practice nurse and how long have you been working in the Liverpool LGA? 

I’ve been a registered nurse for more than 22 years now and a practice nurse in primary healthcare for 15 years.

I work in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and more recently in Casula (Liverpool LGA). I commenced working as an Assistance in Nursing in 1994 and decided I wanted to do more in nursing, so I completed my Bachelor of Nursing Degree at the University of Newcastle in 2000.

I did my transitional program in the private section working at Warners Bay, Lingard and Christo Road Private hospitals in Newcastle. My placements were in orthopedics, general medical/surgical nursing and oncology. I worked for about five years in orthopedic nursing at Warners Bay Private.

When/why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and specifically in primary care? 

I was after a change and something which would work well for me and my young family at the time. I found primary care nursing is where I shine and thrive.

Tell us about the role of nurses in primary care

My role as a primary healthcare nurse in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and South Western Sydney (Casula) is enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding. My daily tasks range from care planning, health assessments, administering immunisations to all ages, wound care, patient education and blood collection.

The role of a practice nurse is to aid and assist the GP by performing various tasks which improve the clinical outcomes for the patient. For example, care plans are tools performed by the primary health nurse whereby the GP can monitor the patients’ health more closely and refer patients to allied health professionals for care, such as dietician for education on correct nutritional intake and podiatrist for foot assessment and foot care to prevent/minimise complications and aid in better patient outcomes.

What do you love about nursing/what do you find most fulfilling about your role?

Primary health nursing is newish to me at Casula. I find myself meeting new people from many different cultures. I help them to become the healthiest they can be even though they may have significant health issues. I thoroughly enjoy working with people of all ages and find Casula Mall Medical Centre a family friendly practice.

The husband and wife GPs, Dr Sudesh Uppal and Dr Surinder Uppal, are great to work for and the practice manager, Grace, and receptionist Patsy are lovely and so dedicated to their work. I feel honoured to be part of this amazing team working together to aid in providing the optimum level of care to our patients. Furthermore, this will enhance a positive outcome for our many patients.