Wintec Health Services now home to two registered nurse prescribers
Jo Brown (left) and Kaylene Henderson (right) are both qualified nurse prescribers, a first for Wintec Health Services.
Wintec Health Services in Hamilton is now home to two nurse prescribers, as nurse Jo Brown has recently become a designated registered nurse prescriber in community health (designated RNPCH).
Brown was in the first cohort of nurses to gain the new qualification under the Midland Collaborative designated RNPCH recertification programme. Wintec Health is part of Pinnacle, and Brown is the seventh Pinnacle nurse and first Waikato Pinnacle nurse to achieve this qualification.
The one-year recertification programme is open to all registered nurses working in community settings, and it provides them with education and training to manage care for ‘normally healthy people’ who might be presenting with symptoms for common infections and other minor ailments.
The new course is surging in popularity, with Brown stating there were around 60 in her cohort, and the recently completed second intake. Another two nurses at Wintec Health Services will begin their recertification in the third intake commencing in August.
“It’s become quite popular and soon, more nurses working in primary health care will have this recertification,” says Brown.
“It’s a way for nurses to stay current and to future-proof their careers and has great benefits for our healthcare systems. It’s supporting nurses to work to the top of their scope of practice.”
As a nurse-led practice, Wintec Health Services nurses triage all patients, provide comprehensive health assessments and often provide medicines under ‘standing orders’, meaning that they can give treatment to patients, but this must be signed off by a doctor.
Nurse prescribers however don’t need to have sign-off from doctors when writing scripts within their scope, taking personal responsibility for their recommendations.
Nurse prescribing is a positive move towards enhanced healthcare with an emphasis on equity, accessibility and health literacy. It reduces financial stress, improves patient/practitioner relationships amongst a raft of other benefits.
“It’s a big shift,” says Brown.
Brown joins Kaylene Henderson as the second prescribing nurse at Wintec Health.
Henderson mentored Brown throughout her course, providing guidance and support from her own experience. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Registered Nurse (RN) prescribing, and has a wider scope of prescribing abilities, able to prescribe for common illness, as well as other long-term conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.
“She got the ball rolling as a nurse prescriber, and her enthusiasm just flowed onto me,” says Brown.
Both nurses are grateful for the support that Wintec provided to enable them to achieve their qualifications as nurse prescribers.
“We couldn’t have done this without our peer support, especially Jo Spence, the Health Services Manager, who has enabled us to pursue our passion in this field,” says Henderson.
Working in collaboration with the doctors at Wintec Health is something that the nurses are proud of, and their doctor colleagues reflect this enthusiasm.
Dr Ruth Knowles, who joined Wintec Health Services earlier this year, says, “I feel privileged to be working as part of such a caring and professional healthcare team. I have been very impressed with the ability and competence of the nursing team who give compassionate, good, quality care to students and staff who attend the clinic.”
“Kaylene and Jo provide a valuable service, being able to provide a high standard of care when prescription medications are required. I’m impressed with the excellent service they provide,” she adds.
Operating out of two clinics – at Wintec’s City and Rotokauri campuses – Wintec Health Services not only offer health care and advice, but they actively provide health and wellbeing education on campus, pastoral care, and counselling services.
“We all believe in a holistic model of health care that supports patients with meeting their individual health care needs in a unique way,” says Henderson.
“We’re both really passionate about pastoral care and supporting our patients to self-manage through living healthy lifestyles.”
About Wintec Health Services
Wintec has a long-established Health Services business unit of 20 plus years, operating five days a week for Wintec students and staff, across both its City and Rotokauri campuses. Winte Health Services is a College of GPs Foundation Standards accredited PHO practice.
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