Nurse Exchange Programs Help Urgent Care Experiences

From Left: Christine Said-PDH nurse, Cathy Radford-HRH nurse, Kristen Rowe-PDH nurse & Deb Tozer-PDH Urgent Care Centre Manager
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Two new nurses exchange programs are giving Portland District Health urgent care centre nurses both teaching and learning roles.

This week a new program started at PDH with Heywood Rural Health nurses spending two days working alongside PDH nurses in the Urgent Care Centre.

While the PDH staff take on mentoring roles in this exchange, they are also undertaking training themselves with regular facilitated visits to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Trauma Centre.

PDH Urgent Care Centre nursing unit manager Deb Tozer said everyone was benefitting from the exchanges.

About 12 Heywood nurses will work at PDH for two days alongside Urgent Care Centre nurses to see how patients are assessed and how the centre operates.

Heywood has an Urgent Care Centre but doesn't have direct access to doctors after hours. The main aim of the program is to assist the nursing staff in developing assessment and treatment pathways for common presentations to Heywood Rural Health during these after hour periods.

It's a way of refreshing their skills and improving their confidence on emergency patient assessment, Ms Tozer said.

The exchange also further consolidates the close working relationship between the two health services.

On the other side, PDH staff are spending time at the Royal Melbourne to see how a busy metropolitan centre handles cases.

It's all about sharing knowledge and resources and better understanding how things differ in different hospitals Ms Tozer said.

Urgent care nurses in small rural centres are often the first responders in time-critical emergencies and it is vital that we support best practice to ensure patients receive best quality care.

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