Jude Foster RN
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A REGAL COMMUNITY NURSE.
I hope as the Clinical Director I can honour the work of all the wonderful Regal Nurses who care for people across Sydney 365 days a year. I’ve created a pseudonym ‘Patricia’ out of respect for the founder of Regal 50 years ago, who identified the need for veterans to have clinical support at home. Regal has now expanded their clinical services to assist private health funds, workers compensation insurers and not for profit organisations and they continue to support veterans at home.
Fast forward to today. Patricia runs an independent clinical practice in Sydney. She sees clients with a range of different clinical and holistic needs. Patricia sees many of the clients regularly which provides continuity and enables Patricia to identify deterioration early, in consultation with the GP, carers and family.
Patricia starts work around 7.00 am and on a typical day, she might start by checking the blood glucose and supervising the insulin to Maureen who has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes and needs support until she is confident.
Next there is a new admission which requires a comprehensive health assessment on Frank to determine his ongoing needs. Nurses in the community have the privilege of being invited into people’s homes, which provides a lot of extra information that isn’t available in an acute setting. Nurses can see who they live with and what their interests are. They can assess the risks around the home and the level of mobility which determines whether risk assessments need to be undertaken.
Regal Nurses need to be strong advocates for the client and this can be challenging at times. Patricia will need to develop strong negotiation skills to monitor if/when the risks for clients being at home become too great. Patricia works closely with the GPs and pharmacists in her area as well as the specialist medical teams to flag any concerns early and to link clients up to local health services.
The next client is Peter who had a complex gangrenous ischaemic ulcer with poor circulation and plans for amputation. Patricia is determined to heal the wound and persisted with this rigorous wound regime for 2 years and recently achieved a healed wound when many people would have given up and Peter would have suffered amputation.
Patricia has completed training to deliver intravenous antibiotics to people like Maria at home. Maria is a 41 year old woman who following debridement of a leg ulcer in Hospital returned home with a PICC line insitu. Regal Nurses visited daily for 6 weeks to review the PICC line and change the Flucloxacillin infuser.
When I’ve asked Regal Nurses what they enjoy about working in the community they respond: they love the relationships they develop with their clients, they enjoy the flexibility of working autonomously and they appreciate the clinical variety.