‘THANK YOU’: Praise for our nurses on the COVID frontline
ISABELLA Besmehn is one of 3,000 primary health care nurses on the North Coast who have been working hard on the COVID-19 frontline.
Working in general practice at Nambucca Healthcare Centre, she has been providing local residents with COVID-19 tests since May, when the centre added a respiratory clinic to its services.
The purpose-built facility aimed to provide testing closer to home for Nambucca Heads residents, complementing the existing fever clinic established at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
Ms Besmehn and the 40,000 nurses working in regional and rural Australia are this week being recognised for their immense contribution to their communities as part of Nursing in the Community Week.
Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan this week visited Ms Besmehn to find out more about the hard work she has been doing.
"Thank you, Ms Besmehn, and to all the nurses in our electorate who continuously put locals residents' needs first," Mr Conaghan said.
"Ms Besmehn typifies these nurses as she supports a patient from the moment they walk in a GP clinic's door."
Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton described nurses as the "lifeblood" of rural communities, as many are often the only provider of health care in the region.
"We are seeing highly skilled Nurse Practitioners work autonomously across health services," he said.
The Federal Government has invested $13 million over three years to CRANAplus, the peak professional body for remote health, to provide nurses and other health professionals with training and mental health support.
The local primary health nursing workforce is also being provided with education opportunities through the Primary Health Network Program, delivered by Healthy North Coast.
"Primary health care nurses are the backbone of our primary health system," Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said.
"That's why we run Nurse Networks and Clinical Societies to build nurse capacity across our region.
"It was great to see more than 100 nurses join our Complex Wound Management education session in August and we look forward to offering more great opportunities to local nurses to share and build skills and networks across our region."