Rural community based nurses: moving towards a primary health care role and identity
Van Galen, R and Stirling, CM, Rural community based nurses: moving towards a primary health care role and identity, Australian Rural Nurses and Midwives: Official Conference Program, 6-7th November 2008, Adelaide, South Australia, pp. 34. (2008) [Conference Extract]
RURAL COMMUNITY BASED NURSES: MOVING TOWARDS A PRIMARY HEALTH CARE ROLE AND IDENTITY.
Ree Van Galen and Christine Stirling
University Department of Rural Health, University of Tasmania
Many issues impact on the continuing ability for rural communities in Tasmania to provide for the health and wellbeing of their residents including an ageing population, with increasing focus on the management of chronic health issues, difficulties in recruitment and retention of health professionals and a documented sea change/ tree change of older people to rural/seaside areas (Tasmania's Health Plan 2007). The issues are not isolated to rural Tasmania but reflected both nationally and internationally, motivating the urgency for primary health system reform.
The WHO has highlighted the critical role of nursing in the provision of primary health care in rural areas.
In 2007, the authors conducted a small single site case study research project (funded under the PHCRED program) utilising semi structured interviews within a qualitative methodology. The aim of this research was to explore the fit between health professional’s role and identity in primary health care and their practice. The findings confirmed a tension for rural nurses in their practice – their struggles in negotiating a primary health care approach within their practice site.
The key themes emerging for the participants in this research will be presented. This will include the organisational enablers and barriers to implementing a primary health care approach to practice as well as the tensions between philosophy and practice for rural community based nurses.
Currently, with a national focus on primary health care strategies, this presentation will be particularly relevant in supporting the ongoing development of community based rural nurses practice.
Ree Van Galen
372 Firetower Road
Dr Christine Stirling
Assistant Director - Workforce
University Department of Rural Health
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 103
Ph 03 6226 7798
Ree Van Galen has many years of community based nursing experience and currently works as a community based rural nurse in Tasmania. She is also a PhD candidate with University Department of Rural Health at UTas. Her PhD topic is:
"Primary health care and rural community based nurses: a study of identity to inform a transformational model for Australia's health sector by exploring Australian and New Zealand current nursing practice."