CRANAplus Does Not Support Single Nurse Posts
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.