CRANAplus Does Not Support Single Nurse Posts

29 Jan 2010

This fol­lows the report of an assault on one such nurse work­ing alone in a sin­gle nurse post in the remote Tor­res Strait.

In its posi­tion­al state­ment of May 2002, The Coun­cil of Remote Area Nurs­es Inc. stat­ed its oppo­si­tion to Remote Area Nurs­es work­ing in sin­gle nurse posts. The find­ings of a two year study enti­tled Unfin­ished Busi­ness” by Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor Trudy Yug­i­novich and Remote Area Nurse Lyn Hin­speter into the stres­sors of Remote Area Nurs­ing sup­ports this posi­tion and shows strong links between nurse’s con­cern for their per­son­al safe­ty and work­ing in sin­gle nurse posts. Those inter­viewed dis­cussed lev­els of vio­lence with­in com­mu­ni­ties and how this cre­ates fears for their per­son­al safe­ty. They also expressed con­cern at the dif­fi­cul­ties in main­tain­ing the appro­pri­ate lev­el of pri­ma­ry health care need­ed for peo­ple dwelling in these small iso­lat­ed communities.

Many of the fac­tors that con­tribute to the stress lev­els and ulti­mate­ly the reten­tion of Remote Area Nurs­es work­ing in sin­gle nurse clin­ics could be over­come if Health Depart­ments replaced sin­gle nurse posts with two or more nurs­es. CRANAplus is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing nurs­es work­ing in these loca­tions and believe that their work plays a major role in the health out­comes of peo­ple in all remote com­mu­ni­ties. How­ev­er, CRANAplus is also com­mit­ted to the safe­ty of nurs­es. It is clear that unless we can assure poten­tial and cur­rent staff that their work is appre­ci­at­ed by Gov­ern­ment and that their safe­ty is para­mount, nurs­es will be reluc­tant to go into areas where they are most needed.

Once again we ask Health Depart­ments to urgent­ly look at all sin­gle nurse posts and replace them with secure clin­ics with two or three nurs­es. This is vital if we are to con­tin­ue to pro­vide the health care remote peo­ple need; health care that most Aus­tralians take for granted.