Primary health care and general practice nurses: What is the nexus?
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This paper presents the findings from three separate qualitative studies that sought to explore the current and potential role of nurses employed in general medical practices in Australia. General practitioners', practice nurses' and consumers' views and perceptions were gathered from individual and group interviews. The data indicate that practice nurses (PNs) are involved in first level or primary care of individuals and engage in some form of preventive health care. Some PNs have a family/community focus in addition to their focus of care on individuals. Engagement in health promotion was found to be opportunistic rather than planned and focussed on interventions to free individuals from medically defined diseases, the aim being compliance with therapeutic procedures and advice. The broader concept of health promotion, as documented in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion was not pronounced in the PNs' reported practice. Consumers do not articulate confidence in PNs acting autonomously as primary health care practitioners but rather as complementary to general practitioners (GPs), undertaking initial assessment for triage purposes and providing ongoing management, education and support under the GPs' delegation. They would also like them to be family oriented and holistic in their practice; supporting emotional and social needs in the context of their family lives.
Australian Journal of Primary Health
Copyright 2005 La Trobe University. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.