Articles on Health workforce

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Personal care attendants are responsible for residents’ personal hygiene – they’re not trained to undertake more complex assessments. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Here’s why we need nurse-resident ratios in aged care homes

Nursing home providers looking to cut costs are bypassing registered nurses and employing less-skilled personal care attendants (PCAs) who aren't trained for the job.
Patients often rely on their GP to make the choice of specialist for them through the referral process with little or no discussion of prices. gtfour/Shutterstock

How much?! Seeing private specialists often costs more than you bargained for

Why is it so difficult to find out exactly how much it's going to cost to have that suspicious mole removed or to be admitted to hospital for that colonoscopy or hip replacement?
One element of emergency departments (EDs) which can cause frustration is the triage assessment. Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr

From triage to discharge: a user’s guide to navigating hospitals

Whether it's an emergency or a planned admission, going to hospital can be anxiety inducing – not knowing where you're heading or who will be looking after you. Here's a cheat sheet to guide you.
It’s estimated general practitioners see up to five abused women every week. Aikawa Ke/Flickr

Acting on family violence: how the health system can step up

Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence will today hear how the health system can better respond to partner abuse, with the help of trained professionals and broader, government support.
We need a plan to provide patients with the right care at the right place in the right time. AAP/Alan Porritt

Shaping 2015: Time to go back to the drawing board on health

As the 2015 parliamentary year approaches, The Conversation is examining five key policy areas that have a new minister in charge: health, immigration, defence, social services and science. Today we begin…
Physician assistants provide high-quality care and can help fill Australia’s rural doctor shortage. Dr.Farouk/Flickr

Good news for rural health: physician assistants join the workforce

At a ceremony in Townsville today, four people will graduate from James Cook University’s physician assistant program. They will be Australia’s first bachelor’s graduates in that field. This is an important…
People who experience compassion fatigue are taking on the issues they witness without an appropriate outlet. Mr.Nikon/Shutterstock

Compassion fatigue: the cost some workers pay for caring

Health and social workers often choose their profession because they want to help people. But seeing trauma and suffering on a regular basis can have a deep impact on these workers. “Compassion fatigue…
National registration would set educational and professional standards to better protect patients. AAP Image/Peter Scarf

Paramedics administer drugs and deliver babies, they deserve national registration

Paramedics are one of the few health practitioners who can administer drugs and anaesthetics, deliver babies and perform high-risk interventions, all with relative autonomy. Yet the paramedic profession…
The budget has introduced a $7 co-payment for visits to the general practitioners. Dave Hunt/AAP

Federal budget 2014: health experts react

The Abbott government has announced a A$20 billion medical research “future fund”, to help discover what Treasurer Joe Hockey calls the “cures of the future”, paid for with money generated as a result…
Replacing registered and enrolled nurses with lower-skilled workers leads to poorer patient outcomes. DIBP images

Replacing registered nurses isn’t the answer to rising health costs

A shortage of qualified nursing staff and rising health costs have led to an increase in the employment of unregulated nursing workers. In 2012, the average weekly salary for full-time nursing professionals…
Australia already has a category of nurse specialists who can prescribe some medicines – nurse practitioners. Burlingham/Shutterstock

Leave prescribing to doctors and nurse practitioners

We started the week with a new proposal by the Grattan Institute to shake up the hospital workforce and allow nurses to take on more roles traditionally performed by doctors. But should registered nurses…
Health care is one of the top three issues of concern for Australian voters, but it has received little attention in this election campaign. Esther Simpson

Absence of health issues on election agenda bodes ill for much-needed reform

So far in this election campaign, the Coalition has provided dollar promises for worthy projects but no new health policy initiatives. The government has mentioned one policy of note – to remove family…

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