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Mater moves forward with nurse practitioners

Two Mater nurses completed their Masters to become Nurse Practitioners in 2009.

Rebecca Keating and Kerry-Ann Creevey join 11 other Mater nurses in this new realm of nursing care.

Nurse Practitioners represent an advanced level of clinical practice for nurses and are only a recent development on the Australian healthcare landscape.

Ms Keating works in Mater Adult Hospital’s respiratory section caring for patients suffering from all respiratory conditions with a focus on Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease (COPD) and asthma.

Qualifying as a Nurse Practitioner has seen Ms Keating extend her role in the department, particularly in the area of case management.

“I am now able to practice much like an advanced clinician,” she explained.

“I can manage patients right through their journey which improves continuity of care and has been shown to improve patient outcomes.

“I am also currently involved in developing a set of health management protocols,” she said.

Ms Keating said becoming a Nurse Practitioner had given her the opportunity to pursue an advanced career path while retaining her hands-on clinical work.

“Prior to the advent of Nurse Practitioners, moving into management was really the only advancement option for nurses. Now nurses can move into this clinical management style role by becoming a Nurse Practitioner,” she said.

Meanwhile, by gaining her qualification as a Nurse Practitioner, Ms Creevey, who manages the Mater Adult Hospital Heart Failure Education and Support Service has been able to enhance patient care.

Working with patients from throughout Mater who are suffering from heart failure or with high-risk chronic heart conditions, Ms Creevey is now able to work closely with staff consultants and cardiologists to provide education and support regarding heart failure and chronic disease management monitoring, along with management to patients and carers. By supporting the optimisation of heart failure and chronic disease management regimes, there is improved coordination of services across the hospital-community interface.

“The goal of the Heart Failure Service (HFS) is to promote the evidence-based, contemporary management of people with heart failure, (with/or without) chronic cardiovascular disease across the continuum from acute care to the community setting. The overall service aim is to empower patients to better self-manage their chronic condition and to support lifestyle modifications and medication management,” Ms Creevey explained.

“In extending my role we have been able to achieve greater patient compliance and less re-admission,” she said.

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