Good days and bad, We love what we do.
Hello and welcome to our very first blog post. Let me tell you…it’s taken us weeks of brainstorming, writing, rewriting, and sharing ideas, stressing, editing and a nervous breakdown to write this blog post. It’s much harder than it looks, and we’re nervous and excited to share our journey with you all.
The aim of this blog is to share with you our journey from nurse to nurse practitioner and beyond. We have developed The Ocean Road Health Group as part of our grand plan to open a nurse practitioner led clinic in southwest Victoria in the coming years. As an adjunct to this we are developing and hosting healthcare events that promote the role of the nurse practitioner and offer a variety of educational opportunities to nurse practitioners, nurses, students, doctors and allied health professionals. We believe there is no variety in the education that is currently available to nurse practitioners in Australia and want to give nurse practitioners and advanced care nurses the chance to access education that’s tailored to their needs, is evidence based and clinically relevant.
Basically we want you to be able to use what you learn in everyday practice.
Our blog and our events are interactive environments that encourage the participation of our members, non-members, the community and other healthcare professionals. We want to hear from you, and we encourage you to share with us your stories, your opinions, and your hopes and dreams for the future.
So…Who are we?
We are Kylie and Suzanne. We are emergency nurse practitioners with almost 25 years of combined nursing experience. We are mums, we are entrepreneurs and we want to make a difference.
We live and work in Warrnambool; a regional city located about 3 hours south west of Melbourne. We love our city and our community and want to promote Warrnambool as the breathtaking place it is. Warrnambool is the healthcare HQ of southwest Victoria servicing a vast area that includes several regional and rural towns.
As you can imagine the number of Emergency presentations we have often overwhelms us!
Kylie loves animals, fitness and the outdoors and is known for her inquisitive questioning. She’s worked predominantly in clinical roles over her 11-year nursing career in cardiology and emergency and became a nurse practitioner to challenge herself and make a difference in the healthcare community.
Suzanne is also passionate about health and fitness, promoting the role of the nurse practitioner and encouraging her colleagues to be the best they can be. She’s worked in many areas of nursing including clinical, management and education roles, however her passion has always been emergency nursing. Suzanne has progressed from nurse to nurse practitioner over her 17 year career and has also moved into forensic examination.
We are surprised each and every day how similar we are. We have similar aspirations for the future, and similar value systems and work ethic. We make a great team and hope this resonates in our business and professional endeavours.
So….What is a nurse practitioner you ask?
As nurse practitioners our skills are varied and include:
- First Aid
- Diagnosing fractures, ear infections, common colds and flus, urinary tract infections, abdominal pain and gynaecological conditions- just to name a few
- Stabilizing fractures
- Suturing wounds
- Examining eyes
- Resuscitating patients
- Ordering and interpreting tests
- Dodging punches from drunk or drug effected patients
- Wrestling a 2 year old to look in their ears and throat
- Retrieving objects that mysteriously ended up in a hole that they do not belong (like noses and ears!)
- Supporting grieving families
- Organising referral, admission and or discharge
- Reassuring patients and their families
- Wrangling the waiting room
- Supporting nurses and junior doctors
- Being a sounding board and invaluable resource to the consultant
- Assessing and treat minor injuries, illnesses, wounds and burns in both children and adults
- Fast-track higher acuity patients to the appropriate healthcare professional
- Prescribing medications
- Issue medical certificates
This list is no way complete and to include everything we do would be impossible…..But you get where we’re coming from right?
A nurse practitioner is a highly experienced registered nurse that can do things other nurses cannot—diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, refer, issue medical certificates and much more.
We can work independently and collaboratively with other healthcare professionals and offer holistic patient care that is grounded in a nursing model. When patients are outside of our ‘scope of practice’ (our individual skill set) we can refer them onto our colleagues such as doctors and allied health professionals.
How are NPs different to doctors and other nurses?
We’ve heard it so many times: ‘Oh, so you’re somewhere between a doctor and a nurse.’ Essentially, that’s true, but nurse practitioners like being nurses—we don’t want to be doctors.
NPs are highly intelligent and ambitious, have many years of clinical experience and want to advance to the highest clinical role possible in nursing.
This quote sums it up nicely:
“Doctors study diseases and how to cure them. Nurse practitioners study people and how to heal them” (Maverick Health, date unknown)
Patients are at the very core of our focus. Every. Time.
But I’ve never heard of a nurse practitioner…
The nurse practitioner role has existed in Australia and overseas for many years, but it hasn’t reached anywhere near it’s potential, especially here in Australia.
We believe that’s due to a lack of public awareness about what we do and why we’re so important in community health care.
We’ve launched The Ocean Road Health Group to raise the profile of the nurse practitioner and increase educational opportunities for healthcare professionals. We aim to promote positive relationships between healthcare professionals and show Australians why nurse practitioners should be utilised to their full potential.
We have been working on a health practitioner conference in that will run in Warrnambool, Victoria, on 19th and 20th May, 2016 called:
Making Waves 2016: The Health Practitioner Movement
There’ll be speakers and delegates from many different healthcare professions that will discuss topics such as hand injuries, gynaecological conditions, pharmacokinetics and dynamics, judicious use of antibiotics, musculoskeletal injuries, immunosuppression, renal impairment and hepatic impairment and how this affects our patients, the common cold- red flags to look out for and much more!
There will be human-interest stories detailing different NP experiences in different physical and clinical environments and a variety of different practical sessions.
For more information about the conference, our WAVES club program or how to become involved please take a look at the events, membership and sponsorship pages on our website.
Subscribe to The Ocean Road Health Group and follow our blog for up to date evidence based clinical information, video blogs, instructional videos and forum discussions. We want you to be a part of our journey and help us build the group into an amazing clinical resource for health professionals all over the world!!
Thanks for reading! Until next time.