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Korowai Aroha: A GP’s perspective

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Korowai Aroha GP Mike Tustin says the centre has worked hard to involve nurses in clinical roles that fit in with Rotorua Area Primary Health Services (RAPHS’) quality plan.

Mike is in a good position to shed light on this, having previously held a role as clinical leader for the Quality Team at Rotorua Area Primary Health Services (RAPHS). Mike says a lot of the early-nursing administration and general clinical tasks have been shifted to Health Care Assistance roles. This has freed up nurses so they can focus their time and energy on improving health target outcomes and being more responsive to the acute demands of patients on a daily basis.

“The nurse-led clinic has been a huge success for us,” he says. “Nurses are seeing and treating patients under the clinical oversight of our GP team. This has improved patient access and allowed our GPs to focus on the more clinically-challenging aspects of primary care.”

The specialist nursing roles in Cardiovascular Risk Assessment (CVRA) and asthma/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have made “huge gains” in adding to Korowai’s collective medical knowledge-base as nurses become experts in their fields. That knowledge has improved treatment outcomes for patients and allowed a team approach to managing long-term conditions which can be taxing on human resources. Mike believes that as nurse-led work continues to grow in future, the RAPHS quality plan might diversify to complement the new skills and competencies in the nursing workforce.

“The most satisfying outcome has been seeing our nurses practise independently,” Mike says.

“Their growth in confidence that has arisen out of this approach has been amazing.”

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