Articles on Nursing

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Elderly patients increasingly have multiple illnesses and are much more difficult to care for. Julian Rovagnati/Shutterstock

Why hospitals need more generalist doctors and specialist nurses

New medical technologies and treatments over the past few decades have led to remarkable improvements in treating older patients. The annual death rate for an 80-year-old male in 2011 was just 5.6%, compared…
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…
Keys not cuffs. Banspy

Police cells are no place for mental health patients

It is no secret that mental health services are in a sorry state. Last year saw lots of stories about the increased pressures being placed on treating people in the community and on beds in mental health…
The Australian health care system wastes the contribution of nurse practitioners. DIBP Images

Australia could do so much more with its nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners provide a level of health services beyond that of registered nurses. They diagnose and treat health conditions, order and interpret blood and radiology tests, and prescribe medications…
It’s never easy when someone we’re close to is dying but there are things we can learn from the professionals who deal with this every day. PA/David Cheskin

We need to get over our fear of talking about dying

It’s not always easy to talk to someone who is dying. Conversations about future plans and wishes may appear insensitive and fuelled with great pain and distress when it’s somebody we love. For some, not…
David Cameron meets nurses during an NHS tour but the government doesn’t want to introduce mandatory staffing levels. PA

Finding the golden ratio for hospital nurses

Senior nurses warned this week that the number of patients looked after by nurses has become dangerously high in some hospitals. Quoting research from the University of Southampton, the Safe Staffing Alliance…
The frequently cited Netherlands study doesn’t show it’s safe to give birth at home in Australia. Assy

Thinking about giving birth at home? Look at the evidence on safety

We’re fortunate to live in a society where robust evidence forms the basis of the information health-care professionals provide to patients – and home birth should be no exception. But the evidence about…
The strike in Victoria has drawn national attention to the working conditions of nurses across the country. AAP

Who’s really looking after emergency department waiting rooms?

Ongoing industrial action by Victoria’s nurses has focused public attention on acute health-care services, and provided an opportunity to examine the way those services should best be supported, funded…
An equal relationship between doctors and nurses working in general practice will mean comprehensive primary health care for patients. nursing pins/Flickr

Equal but not the same: why we need to rethink how doctors and nurses work

Doctors and nurses appear to work harmoniously together but this apparently serene state of affairs is actually hiding inequality. Instead of giving nurses the room to shine in their workplace, the traditional…
Home help is much more effective than written instructions from a doctor.

Why home help is the best bang for our health buck

The new Victorian Health Plan 2012-22 offers a bleak prognosis: forever rising medical costs, doctors in the wrong places, hospitals overwhelmed. To make matters worse, it claims that patients can’t be…

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