From Enrolled Nurse to Registered Nurse in the Rural Setting: the Graduate Nurse Experience

This article reports on the findings of a study into enrolled nurse (EN) to registered nurse (RN) transition in South Australian rural settings. Rural RNs are required to be multi-skilled generalists capable of providing a wide range of nursing services to a diverse range of clients. This frequently occurs in situations without medical or specialist assistance. The objective of this study was to gain an understanding of the EN to RN transition process within this unique context. [from abstract]

Desired Attributes of New Graduate Nurses as Identified by the Rural Community

Preparing nurse graduates for practice is challenging because of the diversity of skills expected of them. The objective of this study is to identify the attributes a rural community expect in new graduate nurses in order for them to provide quality care. [from abstract]

Interprofessional Education in Rural Practice: How, When and Where?

Interprofessional education (IPE) has been suggested as an answer to improving the effectiveness of health professional teamwork, which in turn is regarded as a key strategy for improving the delivery and outcomes of increasingly complex healthcare approaches. There is a strong theoretical base to support the implementation of IPE for all health professionals, and in response many training programs now do this. This article presents some theory-based but practical advice for how to develop effective IPE activities. [from abstract]

Study of Demand and Supply of Pharmacists, 2000-2010

This study aims to project the supply and demand for pharmacists between 2000 and 2010. On the supply side, these include the latest information on student intake and projected graduations. On the demand side, they include a consideration of the impact of the Third Community Pharmacy Agreement, the increasing focus on safety and quality of medicines use across the continuum of care and a host of clinical governance and Commonwealth and State/Territory government policies which impact on the demand for pharmacists. [from summary]

Snapshot of the Australian Public Hospital Pharmacy Workforce in 2003

The first study of the Australian hospital pharmacy workforce (public and private hospitals) was undertaken in 2001. Data from this study provided a baseline and were used to estimate the future demand for hospital pharmacists. This article summarizes an update of this survey done in 2003. [adapted from author]

Attracting Psychiatrists to a Rural Area 10 Years On

In rural areas across Australia the recruitment and retention of adequate numbers of medical specialists, including psychiatrists, has been a long outstanding problem. Latrobe Regional Hospital reached a major crisis in 1994, with only one psychiatrist and a large number of vacancies. This led to a focus on the recruitment and retention of psychiatrists in order to improve this essential element of the workforce. [from abstract]

You Have to Face Your Mistakes in the Street: the Contextual Keys that Shape Health Service Access and Health Workers' Experiences in Rural Areas

Rural healthcare provision is limited in many areas because of workforce recruitment and retention issues. Pharmacists and social workers are examples of allied health professionals who play vital roles in the provision of rural health care. Personal factors including an individual’s fit with a local community and their professional role were explored to determine the way they affect access to rural health care. [from abstract]

Developing Sustainable Models of Rural Health Care: a Community Development Approach

This article reports a project that investigated the way government policies, health and community services, population characteristics and local peculiarities combined for residents in two small rural towns in New South Wales. Interviews and focus groups with policy makers, health and community service workers and community members identified the felt, expressed, normative and comparative needs of residents in the case-study towns. [from abstract]

Aboriginal Workers Key to Indigenous Health in Australia

As a group, indigenous Australians are much less healthy and more likely to die at younger ages than their non-indigenous counterparts. Training more indigenous people as health workers could help to reduce these startling inequalities, say experts. [author’s description]

Decision Criteria in Health Professionals Choosing a Rural Practice Setting: Development of the Careers in Rural Health Tracking Survey (CIRHTS)

Rural background and training have previously been found to increase the likelihood of rural practice. However, practitioners of many health professions remain in shortage in rural and remote Australia. This study builds on previous work in that it includes medical, nursing and allied health professions, considers the role of the health professional’s family in employment decisions, and includes a broader array of factors influencing employment preference and the preferred location of practice. The survey also examines when students might work in a rural area. [introduction]

What Are the Effects of Distance Management on the Retention of Remote Area Nurses in Australia?

Australian remote area nurses (RANs) are specialist advanced practice nurses. They work in unique, challenging and sometimes dangerous environments to provide a diverse range of healthcare services to remote and predominantly Aboriginal communities. There is an emerging skills gap in the remote nursing workforce as experienced and qualified RANs leave this demanding practice. There is a shortage of new nurses interested in working in these areas, and many of those who enter remote practice leave after a short time. Distance management was examined in order to gain a better understanding of its effects on the retention of RANs. Distance management in this context occurs when the health service’s line management team is located geographically distant from the workplace they are managing. [introduction]

Zero Tolerance Response to Violence in the NSW Health Workplace: Policy and Framework Guidelines

The purpose of this policy and guidelines is to ensure that in all violent incidents, appropriate action is consistently taken to protect health service staff, patients and visitors, and health service property from the effects of such behaviour. The guidelines are provided as a reference tool and should be used to develop local policies and procedures that reflect the intent of this document, and that are specifically targeted at and adapted to local workplace cultures, situations and needs. [from introduction]

Costs and Potential Savings of a Novel Telepaediatric Service in Queensland

There are few cost-minimisation studies in telemedicine. We have compared the actual costs of providing the telepaediatric service to the potential costs if patients had travelled to see the specialist in person. In November 2000, we established a novel telepaediatric service for selected regional hospitals in Queensland. Instead of transferring patients to Brisbane, the majority of referrals to specialists in Brisbane have been dealt with via videoconference.

Developing Research Capacity Building for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Workers in Health Service Settings

This article outlines the development and content of a community-based research capacity building framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. The focus is on the major issues that enhance a proactive service delivery model using culturally appropriate research methods. The overall aim of the framework is to supplement current institutionally-based education and training resources for health workers with community-based research training modules. These modules can be tailored to provide research and evaluation skills relevant to health workers taking a more proactive role in facilitating health and wellbeing programs in their own communities.

Attracting, Retaining and Managing Nurses in Hospitals: NSW Health

The NSW Department of Health is responsible for managing nurse supply. It needs to identify the extent and nature of shortages and develop ways to attract, retain and best manage nurses working in public hospitals. This audit looks at how nurses are managed in four of our public hospitals and examines how the Department has responded to expected nurse shortages. It also highlights actions that have helped reduce the number of nurses leaving hospitals. [from foreword]

Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: a Case Study in Australia

This research study gathered baseline information about occupational violence in the health care industry in Australia, to identify the contexts in which violence most commonly occurs, and to provide guidance on high-risk sites and commonly reported patterns of violent incidents. [adapted from author]

Guidelines on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: Comparison of Major Known National Guidelines and Strategies: United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, USA (OSHA and California)

The present study reviews and analyses major known national guidelines and strategies for prevention and management of workplace violence. The purpose is to get a detailed picture of strategies recommended, a better knowledge on existing guidance for employers and employees. Another objective is to obtain information on the implementation processes and the impact of the reviewed guidelines. Identification of good practices as well as gaps shall serve as a basis for lessons learnt for the development of future guidance materials.

When the Tide Goes Out: Health Workforce in Rural, Remote and Indigenous Communities

There is compelling evidence for the success of the “rural pipeline” (rural student recruitment and rurally based education and professional training) in increasing the rural workforce. The nexus between clinical education and training, sustaining the health care workforce, clinical research, and quality and safety needs greater emphasis in regional areas.

Task Transfer: Another Pressure for Evolution of the Medical Profession

The medical workforce shortage and efforts to maintain the safety and quality of health services are putting acute pressure on the profession. Task transfer or role substitution of medical services is mooted as a potential solution to this pressure. This has the potential to drastically transform the profession. How task transfer will evolve and change medicine depends on the vision and leadership of the profession and a flexible pragmatism that safeguards quality and safety and places patient priorities above those of the profession. [from abstract]

Australia's Health Workforce: Research Report

Australia is experiencing workforce shortages across a number of health professions despite a significant and growing reliance on overseas trained health workers. The shortages are even more acute in rural and remote areas. It is critical to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the available health workforce, and to improve its distribution. This report describes the Australian government’s objectives of developing a more sustainable and responsive health workforce while maintaining a commitment to high quality and safe health outcomes. A set of national workforce objectives are also proposed.

Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: Country case studies: Brazil, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, and an Additional Australian Study

The International Labour Office (ILO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Services International (PSI) launched in 2000 a joint programme in order to develop sound policies and practical approaches for the prevention and elimination of violence in the health sector. When the programme was first established and information gaps were identified, it was decided to launch a number of country studies as well as cross-cutting theme studies and to conclude by drafting guidelines to address workplace violence in the health sector.

Remittances of Migrant Tongan and Samoan Nurses from Australia

Migration and remittances are of considerable importance in the small Pacific island states. There has been a significant migration of skilled health workers in recent decades to metropolitan fringe states, including Australia and New Zealand. This paper reports the findings of a re-analysis of a survey of Samoan and Tongan migrants in Australia where the sample is split between nurse households and others.

Planning Human Resources in Health Care: Towards an Economic Approach, An International Comparative Review

To inform the design and implementation of improved workforce planning systems, a review of healthcare systems and interaction between systems of service delivery and approaches to planning human resources was done in five countries: Australia, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These represent different welfare state regimes, and a range of health systems dominated by national taxation, local taxation and social insurance. [from executive summary]

Migration of Nurses: Trends and Policies

This paper examines the policy context of the rise in the international mobility and migration of nurses. It describes the profile of the migration of nurses and the policy context governing the international recruitment of nurses to five countries: Australia, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.