Adele has been at Murdoch for 15 years, starting as the After Hours Clinical Nurse Specialist and then moving into nurse practitioner roles for 10 of those years.
The newly established orthopaedic and neurosurgical nurse practitioner role is predominantly based on St Rose and St Francis (orthopaedic/neurosurgical) wards and after a trial of 12 months, was made substantive in August this year.
"It is a relatively new model in this setting at St John of God Murdoch Hospital and a very exciting opportunity for me. It is still evolving and will no doubt develop over time," Adele said.
"It aims to provide comprehensive management and advanced nursing care in an expanded nursing role to orthopaedic and neurosurgical patients. This includes surgical and non-surgical patients,"
While the fundamental core is a nursing model, there are some aspects that will overlap with the traditional medical model.
A typical day for an orthopaedic / neurosurgical nurse practitioner:
The general daily routine of an orthopaedic and neurosurgical nurse practitioner is checking any patients who needed medical review overnight to ensure any follow-up is done. The nursing coordinators will flag any patients they may have concerns with and Del will follow up any patients reviewed the day before.
"I have a list on the desk of each ward where the teams write up any non-urgent jobs. This includes charting medications, clinical reviews or anything else that they may need help with,"
"Throughout the day I am available to review any patient at the request of the teams, this could be due to medical deterioration, to review a wound, review medications or just generally help with anything,"
"It is very much a collaborative role between the VMOs, ward managers, nursing staff and allied health teams within the inpatient setting."
Pain Management is an important part of all patient care. Adele's role (along with the rest of the team and the patient) is to determine what is working, what is not and have the ability to tweak the regime in real time to better serve the patients, minimise adverse side effects and ensure patients have "ownership" of their pain management.
She is currently planning a small research project with a Murdoch pharmacist into opioid stewardship which leads into the aspects of pain management in this cohort of patients.
The new nurse practitioner role will brings multitudes of benefit to the ward and patients by working within a cohesive team environment and having consistent access to a multidisciplinary team.