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Challenges and contributions of rural community nursing into Tasmanian health workforce and services: A qualitative study


Barrett, A and Terry, DR and Le, Q, Challenges and contributions of rural community nursing into Tasmanian health workforce and services: A qualitative study, 7th International Congress of Innovations in Nursing, 20-21 November 2014, Western Australia (2014) [Conference Extract]

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Rural community nurses often work in isolation, particularly in rural areas where many other non-government adjunct health services are absent. Their role remains less well defined and is influenced by many factors such as an ageing population, chronic disease and a higher number of patients with complex needs. At times, they feel overwhelmed, stressed, undervalued and experience difficulty in maintaining diverse responsibilities within the role, such as health promotion and anticipatory care. This study aimed to examine the benefits and challenges community nurses experience when working in rural and remote areas of Tasmania, while determining the speciality skills and practices to meet rural health needs.

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 15 community nurses from the North and North-west rural areas of Tasmania for better understanding of the skills, practices, and experiences of community nurses when caring for clients in rural community settings.

The key challenges identified included coping with altered expectations of the role, maintaining the knowledge and skills to deal with the diversity of the role, communicating and integrating with other services, particularly those in the acute care sector, coping with increasing administrative and documentation aspects associated with the role and coping with the emotional stress and pressure of working with palliative care clients. Despite these challenges community nurses interviewed indicated high levels of job satisfaction and long term employment.

The project findings provide insight into the rural workforce challenges, gaps in services and offer directions for developing better policy for healthcare provision in ways that address current and future workforce and health needs within rural communities, particularly among older citizens.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Community health, rural health, nursing, skills, challenges, employment satisfaction
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Barrett, A (Ms Annette Barrett)
UTAS Author:Terry, DR (Mr Daniel Terry)
UTAS Author:Le, Q (Dr Quynh Le)
ID Code:97839
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2015-01-15
Last Modified:2015-01-23

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