AIM: There is little research on the role of the practice nurse in Australia. However, there is some evidence that practice nurses are no longer primarily receptionists, but rather function as nurses. This article reports on a small qualitative study that set out to identify areas of effective shared care between general practitioners and practice nurses. METHOD: Semistructured interviews were conducted with general practitioners and practice nurses in eight general practices. A general practitioner who did not employ a practice nurse and a general practitioner and two nurse practitioners at a Community Health Centre were also interviewed. RESULTS: It was found that general practitioners and practice nurses have established effective working relationships that enhance patient care. Shared care was not found, except to some extent in the area of wound care. CONCLUSION: Most GPs and practice nurses interviewed believed that the current funding model, requiring GPs to sight all patients before a fee can be claimed, restricts the potential use of practice nurses' expertise, for example with patients returning for routine blood tests or blood pressure monitoring, or wound dressing. A change to the current model would have implications for the education and accreditation of practice nurses.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Australian Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2000|