Often your practice nurse will be your first port of call when you call or visit your general practice.
Well child checks, immunisations, education and chronic conditions, blood pressure and other checks, dressings and lifestyle advice, monitoring and treatment for asthma attacks and other urgent issues are just some of the services practice nurses offer. They have a wealth of training and knowledge, and work alongside your GP and the rest of the practice team to ensure you get the care you need, when you need it.
The expertise of a practice nurse is wide - it has to be, given the incredible range of health issues the average general practice will see in a day. As one of the largest groups of professionals in the health workforce, nurses play an invaluable, and expanding role, especially with New Zealand’s population growing older and putting more demand on the health system.
Practice nurses are fully trained professionals who have gone through at least three years of full-time tertiary education and are registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Many have completed – or are working towards - further qualifications so they are able to diagnose and write prescriptions for some conditions. These Nurse Practitioners bring significant skills and a new perspective to many practices.
Sometimes your GP’s practice nurse can be easier to see than your doctor, and may be able to answer a question or give advice that saves you time and hassle.
To find out more about the role of nurses in general practice, visit (URL).