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.
“Jackie (Regal Nurse) gives you a feeling of security. She knows what she is doing, she lets you know when she is coming next time”
“The Regal Nurse would make sure I was dry – even between my toes.”
“The Occupational Therapist in the hospital defined all the in home care we had to have – one of the Nurses recommended Regal and said they provided 7 day care. I got in touch and we went from there”
“If I lost him (the Regal Nurse) I’d feel bereft. It’s almost like when you are a soldier, you have that mentality of a band of brothers”
“Herb (Regal Nurse) is very caring.”
“I could not fault the service. All the nurses were pleasant and very efficient. All the staff were very obliging and attentive”
“I found the nurses to be very helpful and caring”
“I am very happy with the treatment I have received from the Regal Community Nurses”
“In the environment in which you are delivering services to the community, the ideas of others I thought were enlightening and I felt that you showed a keen awareness to listen and learn.”
“Your staff were efficient, courteous and knowledgeable. This was a great service enabling me a limited stay in hospital. Grateful to use your service twice this year – I am so glad I only have two knees! Thank You”
“As the grand-daughter of a soldier who served In both World Wars I and II, I feel privileged to lead a home health service that cares for so many whose lives have been impacted by war”
“At all times Regal Health Services has displayed excellent interaction with the patients. We always find the staff display the highest professional integrity”
“Regal believes in quality and is prepared to be publicly scrutinized to attest to this quality in process and performance”
“I am a 91-year-old ex-serviceman and have been receiving help from Regal Health Services for some considerable time and I can’t speak highly enough of the health benefits I have received from them. My Nurse has helped me recover from numerous accidental falls on discharge from a hospital. Her happy disposition and general demeanor has a psychological healing effect in itself”
“I had three uncles who served in World War II who shared with me their many experiences of war and wisdom passed down through generations. I am grateful for the many sacrifices our war veterans have made that allow us our freedom today”
“Regal have been market leaders for 2 generations in promoting consumer empowerment and registered nurse led professional care in community health. Their commitment to measurable quality outcomes and sheared decision making promoting innovative models of care is outstanding. I can only wish them success as the real winners are the recipients of care in their homes.”