The Wimmera Health Care Group has appointed its first emergency department nurse practitioner.
Jarrod Hunter's years of hard work and devoted study has culminated in his appointment, which is being hailed as a bonus for the emergency department at Horsham's Wimmera Base Hospital.
Mr Hunter's extensive nursing and paramedicine career began in 2002 and he moved to Horsham seven years ago.
A nurse practitioner is able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patient under their care.
They are able to use their advanced training to meet particular service needs.
Individual health services use nurse practitioners in different ways, such as to help with diabetes and asthma care, with the Wimmera Health Care Group harnessing Mr Hunter's skills for emergency care.
Emergency Department nurse unit manager Odette Richards said Mr Hunter worked exceptionally hard to obtain his qualification and develop the nurse practitioner role in the emergency department.
"To become a nurse practitioner requires university study and the completion of a Master's degree. The care provided by nurse practitioners is safe, effective and of high quality and the introduction of this role will enable us to better meet the needs of our community," Ms Richards said.
Mr Hunter has engaged in more than 5500 hours of supervised advanced clinical practice in the past three years to become qualified for the role.
"I am enjoying the challenges of delivering care to present who present to the Emergency Department. That includes providing an extra clinical service alongside those that currently exist under the traditional medical model," Mr Hunter said.
Nurse practitioners have additional responsibilities for administering patient care to registered nurses.While each nurse practitioner model is different, they can order diagnostic tests, undertake diagnosis and health assessments, and prescribe patient care management, medicines and therapies.
It is hoped that Mr Hunter's new role will contribute to a decrease in emergency department waiting times and improve the experience of patients at the hospital.
The most recent Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset statistics from October to December 2019 reveals that 3864 patients were treated at the Wimmera Base Hospital's emergency department.
Almost 70 per cent of patients were treated 'within time', which varies based on the severity of the presentation.
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