Nurse Practitioner steps up for Hospice in Central Otago
Otago Community Hospice Central Otago services have been boosted with a newly graduated nurse practitioner in the Central Otago Community Team.
Louisa Ingham has worked for Hospice as part of Cromwell-based Hospice team as a Care Co-ordinator for the last six years. During this time Louisa completed her Masters Degree at The University of Auckland and graduated as a nurse practitioner in March this year.
Nurse practitioners combine advanced nursing knowledge with diagnostic reasoning to assess, diagnose and interpret diagnostic and lab tests as well as prescribe medications.
Otago Community Hospice CEO Ginny Green says adding this extra layer of expertise to the Central Otago Community Team brings a real strength to the service that delivers Hospice care to the region.
“Central Otago has its challenges, being our fastest growing population whilst at the same time our most distant. Louisa will be focussed on providing education and support to the carers in Aged Residential Care. Increasing palliative care knowledge within these facilities will promote confidence in staff and enhance symptom control for people with palliative needs. Louisa will also be instrumental in progressing the practice of teaching family carers to administer medications by injection, which can be essential to enable people to stay at home close to the end of their life. To be able to progress this aspect of training in Central is very exciting.”
Louisa studied for her nurse practitioner certification while she continued as a part-time Care Co-ordinator for the Hospice. After four years of study she says it’s great to have her life back.
As well as papers in pharmacology, clinical assessment and pathophysiology, in her final year Louisa was accepted onto the nurse practitioner training program at the University of Auckland, which involved two papers; an advanced practicum and a prescribing paper.
“Working rurally is always challenging with the geography of the region. But with my new scope I’ll be able to work collaboratively with the GPs as well as the wider team to better meet the needs of our patients, and enhance our primary health carer palliative knowledge.”
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