More face-to-face time for community nurses

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More community nurses would relieve the pressure on the public hospital system, says RN Mimi Chu. A nurse of 14 years, Mimi is passionate about improving the health and lives of her patients in south-west Sydney. She ‘stars’ in a new NSWNMA ad campaign that calls for guranteed nurse-to-patient time for community nurses. [Watch the ad below!]

Mimi appears on the cover of February’s Lamp magazine.

Mimi believes community nursing is about promoting wellness, preventing illness and empowering people in the community to take control of their health. “My job is promoting healthier lives, linking my patients into other services and giving them the power to be healthy themselves,” she says.

While she is proud of the service she and her colleagues provide, Mimi says more community nurses would improve the service and have flow-through benefits for the rest of the health system. “Preventative measures are good for patients. If we can prevent them getting sick then they won’t have to go into hospital. That will help the hospital system. It will reduce waiting lists. If we have more community nurses the health system will run more smoothly.”

Mimi supports the NSWNMA claim for a mechanism in community nursing that would mandate face-to-face hours with patients.

“I definitely think community nurses need something like ratios,” she said. “We’re in their homes and you have to understand that when you are in someone’s home you can’t rush things. They have to feel you’re genuine. If you rush out because you’ve got another six clients you have to visit, they don’t want to see you again because they don’t think you are there for them.”

“Face-to-face time with my patients is very important. If I could change things it would be to free me up to spend more time with my patients. Our service would definitely be better.”

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