11 March 2024

“Being able to help people in their times of need and when things seem uncertain is a wonderful thing.”

Jason Sagredo, from Queen Street General Practice, Campbelltown, has worked as a practice nurse in South Western Sydney for six months.

With a lifelong interest in First Aid, Jason became a cadet with St John Ambulance in Year 8 of high school and was amazed by the nurses on duty: “I wanted to be able to help people the same way”.

Now caring for a variety of patients with different needs, Jason works closely with GPs to deliver quality care to our community and aims to ensure we have a health-educated population.

How long have you been a practice nurse and how long have you been working in South Western Sydney?

I graduated in 2020 and have been a practice nurse in South Western Sydney for about six months.

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

I always had an interest in First Aid.

I became a cadet with St John Ambulance in Year 8 of high school where I met many nurses and was amazed with what they were able to do. I wanted to be able to help people the same way.

Tell us about the role of nurses in primary care

The role of a nurse in primary care is absolutely paramount.

We help people of all ages, from six weeks old to the elderly in their 90s.

We play an immense role in preventative care through health assessments, wound dressings, vaccinations for both children and adults and so much more.

We work closely with GPs to deliver quality care to entire communities and ensure we have a health-educated population.

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

Being able to help people in their times of need and when things seem uncertain is a wonderful thing. At a time when you feel most vulnerable, you want someone there to help you, and it’s a privilege to be able to be that person.

Tell me about your ideal work day…

On an ideal work day I’ll have a variety of patients needing different things. I find being able to use different skills to achieve optimal outcomes throughout the day makes time fly by. It always provides new opportunities to learn.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

On my time off I like to play bass, walk my dog and do some nature trails.

When I can, I also enjoy the odd camping trip. Getting away from your day-to-day life and being in nature can be the refresh you need after a good week’s work.

Do you have any role models and why?

On my placement as a student nurse, I had the privilege of working with many wonderful nurses and doctors who really took the time to teach me many things from their arsenal of knowledge.

It’s these lessons that really stayed with me and I hope to be as knowledgeable as these incredible healthcare professionals one day.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?

I am a big advocate for preventative care, and as such I always like to make sure my patients are educated on their immunisations and know what these vaccines protect against.

We also educate patients on self-administering injectable medications and safely disposing of sharps.

We take the time to get to know our patients and see if they need help in any facet of life so we can point them to the right resources – another great way we improve health literacy for our communities in South Western Sydney.

20 February 2024

The Australian College of Nursing will hold face-to-face courses in Parramatta throughout 2024, including:

Friday, 1 March, 9am to 4.30pm: Clinical Assessment of the Older Person. Register here

Friday, 22 March, 9am to 4.30pm: Introduction to Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs. Register here

Monday and Tuesday, 3 and 4 June, from 8.30am to 4.30pm: Wound Management Update. Register here

20 February 2024

APNA has developed the Primary Health Care Student Nurse Placement Program.

Through the program, APNA works with education providers and primary healthcare workplaces to offer high-quality placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students, showcasing the rewarding and varied career paths a primary healthcare nurse can take.

APNA is looking for experienced nurses to join the program and host student nurses in their workplaces.

Participants will have APNA’s full support and access to education and professional development, and your workplace will be paid $50 per student per day.

APNA will organise everything for you, allowing you to focus on sharing your know-how with the next generation of primary health care nurses.

APNA is hosting an information session on Zoom where you can find out more about the program and what it involves on Monday, 4 March at 2pm – register here.

You can also visit the APNA website and complete an expression of interest form.

09 January 2024

Receive free Authorised Nurse Immuniser in NSW training and administer vaccinations independent of a medical officer.

Registered nurses who work in general practice or residential aged care homes in South Western Sydney have the opportunity for 100 per cent cost reimbursed training to become an Authorised Nurse Immuniser in NSW.

Completion of the Immunisation Endorsement Pathway (Nurse Immuniser) course authorises nurses to administer vaccinations independent of a medical officer. The course is delivered by The Benchmarque Group.

An increase in the number of Authorised Nurse Immunisers will support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in our region to healthcare workers, vulnerable populations and the general community.

 

Training entry criteria

  1. You must currently be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia as a registered nurse or midwife.
  2. You must be working within the nursing profession in a general practice or residential aged care home located in the local government area of Bankstown, Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly or Wingecarribee.
  3. You must have two to three years’ experience within the nursing profession since initial registration, with the last 12 months prior to making the application spent in employment in NSW or the ACT.

 

100 per cent reimbursement of course fee

Complete the course in 2024 to receive a 100 per cent reimbursement of the course fee. 

Submit completed forms in the below order before 30 December 2024 to receive your payment.

  1. completed reimbursement form (linked below)
  2. completion certificate
  3. invoice
Reimbursement form

Nurse Immunisation Training EOI

Complete this expression of interest to undertake nurse immunisation training.

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Tick all statements which apply to you.

 

Funding for this initiative is provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

More training available for practice staff

 

Participants with any questions can email covid19@swsphn.com.au

30 November 2023

Despite being a curable condition, hepatitis C remains one of the leading causes of liver cancer in Australia.

To meet the World Health Organization’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination targets by 2030, we need to increase screening and diagnosis, upskill the workforce, and implement innovative models of care.

Reaching people in rural and remote locations remains a key challenge in the HCV response.

The NSW Hepatitis C Remote Prescribing Program aims to address this.

The program utilises a nurse-led and patient-centred model of care.

Nurses perform the initial hepatitis C assessment and patient work-up then refer to prescribers who review the information and initiate direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy.

Several resources have been developed and/or tailored to facilitate the efficient exchange of clinical information and virtual prescribing. 

Only patients who meet the Remote Consultation Criteria can be included in the program (ie patients must be non-cirrhotic or have compensated cirrhosis and have no significant co-morbidities).

The NSW Hepatitis C Remote Prescribing program was established in November 2020 to facilitate linkages between nurses and prescribers to increase access to treatment in regional areas.

Funded by NSW Health and coordinated by ASHM, the program has since been extended to other settings where treatment may otherwise be limited, including mental health services, alcohol and other drugs services, Aboriginal Medical Services and homelessness settings.   

During the past three years, the program’s model of care has demonstrated highly successful outcomes, enabling more than 210 patients to be initiated onto treatment.

While all medical practitioners and authorised nurse practitioners can prescribe direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for the treatment of hepatitis C, the program can expedite and facilitate increased access to treatment in patients’ preferred settings.

Nurses participating in the program provide flexible, patient-centred, on-treatment support, harm minimisation education and individualised follow-up to help these patients through treatment and achieve hepatitis C cure.

For more information about the program, visit the program webpage at www.ashm.org.au/hcv/nsw-hepatitis-c-remote-prescribing-program or email NSWLinkages@ashm.org.au if you are interested in joining the program as a prescriber or referrer.

For more information about hepatitis C, see www.ashm.org.au/resources and the Reach-C website at www./reach-c.ashm.org.au which provides an online form for practitioners who are not already experienced in hepatitis C treatment to gain specialist approval within 24 hours to initiate DAA therapy.

ASHM also provides free online training and on-demand learning in HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexual health medicine.

For more details, go to www.ashm.org.au/learning-hub.

03 October 2023

This is the last chance to apply for the October 2023 intake of APNA’s Transition to Practice Program, with applications closing this Friday, 6 October.

What is APNA’s Transition to Practice Program?

The program, hosted by the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA), offers a 10-month, fully funded education framework for nurses transitioning to primary healthcare. It provides valuable clinical and professional support, and mentorship opportunities.

Who can apply?

  • Transitioning nurses: Graduate nurses and experienced nurses transitioning into primary healthcare roles
  • Clinical and professional mentors: registered nurses or nurse practitioners with primary healthcare

If you’re new to primary healthcare, this tailored program is designed to provide the support, knowledge and tools nurses need to succeed. 

In the mentor role, experienced primary healthcare nurses help shape the future of nursing. Mentors have the full support of APNA’s experienced team, and will be paid for their valuable time in the program.

Download the TPP flyer to share with nurse peers and networks.  Eager nurses can learn more about the program on the TPP website.

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.

21 September 2023

The University of Sydney and University of Wollongong are seeking 30 general practice nurses to participate in the validation of a new data collection method involving a cloud-based electronic interface called OCEAN (Occasions of Care Explained and Analysed).

Find out more / register
01 August 2023

Mandeep (Mandy) Dosanjh (pictured right) has been a practice nurse for just six months, but she is already dedicated to her role at Walker Street General Practice, Bowral. Her ideal day is when she can conjure a smile on the faces of her elderly and youngest patients. Mandeep was drawn to nursing after hearing stories about her great grandmother who served as a nurse in World War II.

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

I have been a practice nurse for six months and have been working in nursing for almost five years.

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

I decided from school age, as I used to see how nurses care for people so gently. I did a Diploma of Nursing in my home country and then advanced with a Bachelor Degree at Western Sydney University.

Tell us about the role of nurses in primary care

Day-to-day: I check on the care of our regular patients and make sure they are keeping on track with their lifestyle. If changes are needed, then I encourage them; childhood vaccinations and adding reminders to the system so they don’t forget their next one; wound care, both acute and chronic; COVID-19 vaccines; BMI checks; flu vaxes.

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

I love everything about nursing. It starts with caring for old people when they need our care and respect. I just love taking care of their wounds and the ageing process, to help them where needed to feel more independent without them realising that’s what I’m doing.

Tell me about your ideal workday

For me each day is ideal, but I can be more fulfilled by making both my elderly patients and the little ones finish with a smile on their face. I remember one day my patient felt so good after talking about his wife whom he had lost a couple of years before. I just listened to him sharing his memories with me, without focusing on my care plan completion.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

If at work, I love cleaning and stocking up to make it easy for all. If at home, I enjoy cleaning, listening to calm music and cooking.

Do you have any role models and why?

My great grandmother was a nurse and served in World War II. I used to hear stories from my mother, it created a picture of her and I started to like nursing. I wanted to be a good nurse like her.

How do you help educate your patients about maintaining good health?

Just to keep up the physical activities as much as they can tolerate, intake of good fibre and less sugar, listen to good news instead of negative, drink more water than sugary drinks, just keep moving and stay positive as much as possible.

28 April 2023

The all-encompassing, often challenging but hugely rewarding work of primary care nurses will be celebrated across South Western Sydney and the world, on International Nurses Day, Friday 12 May.

More than 400 nurses are employed at general practices across our region, providing high quality, and respectful treatment and care.

International Nurses Day, held each year on the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, acknowledges the dedication, compassion and professionalism of our nurses.

This year’s theme, Our Nurses. Our Future, aims to shine a light on nurses, moving nurses from invisible to invaluable in the eyes of policy makers, the public, and all those who make decisions affecting the delivery and financing of healthcare.

South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said the huge difference practice nurses made to the health of our community could not be overstated.

“The knowledge and skills needed to be a nurse in primary care is vast,” he said. “Nurses can be responsible for everything from excisions and immunisations to liaising with allied health teams and educating their patients.

“International Nurses Day is an important opportunity to ensure that contribution, their skills and empathy, are recognised.”

Trained nurses, SWSPHN Clinical Support Coordinator, Kristina Allen (pictured right above), and Clinical and Quality Improvement Officer, Lisa Cerruto (pictured left above), work closely with nurses across the region.

Mrs Allen said the role of a practice nurse required many skills to help with different areas of healthcare.

“Nurses work collaboratively with doctors and pharmacists to keep up with disease management, referrals or acute illnesses.

“Nurses can also empower their patients and their families with knowledge We can help our patient to understand their disease process and the plan of care, it is an awesome feeling. Nurses can bring understanding and peace during what can be a confusing or challenging times.

Mrs Allen said practice nurses differed from other areas of nursing, as they handled such a diverse set of circumstances daily.

“Essentially, a practice nurse is an all-rounder in a general practice setting,” she said.

Mrs Cerruto said she loved the versatility of nursing and the opportunities to evolve and grow across a range of different clinical fields.

“You never know what the day or situation may bring so it challenges you to always be thinking of a solution to help, whether it be a skin tear, helping bring a new life into the world, or helping one pass from it,” she said.

“Nursing is a career in which you will never stop learning and growing. This is why I love being a nurse.”