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ADC - ‘Snapshot’ report of community nursing

A significant new INMO report on community nursing, which captures Public Health Nurses’ (PHNs) and Community Registered General Nurses’ (CRGNs) perceptions of their work, was launched at INMO ADC in May.

The report entitled A Snapshot of Public Health Nursing and Community Registered General Nursing in Ireland was introduced to the delegation by the INMO director of professional development, Elizabeth Adams.

It is the first INMO survey to capture the quality of care provided to the patients and clients of PHNs and RGNs from their services.

A total of 632 PHNs and CRGNs responded to the INMO online survey, which commenced in March a 52% response rate. The questionnaire covered four main themes: employment, working environments, patient/client care, and job satisfaction.

Elizabeth Adams, INMO director of professional development,pictured at the ADC presenting ‘A Snapshot of Public Health Nursing and Community Registered General Nursing in Ireland’

At the ADC, Ms Adams delivered a presentation on the report’s findings. The report begins by providing a short history of community nursing and a brief look at the policy documents surrounding community nursing and midwifery. It also provides a demographic profile of the nurses and midwives working in the community based on the survey responses.

An overview of staffing in the area of community nursing and the subsequent caseload and workload issues is also included in the report.

In her presentation, Ms Adams pointed out that, while aspiring to deliver appropriate, safe and high quality nursing and midwifery care to patients and clients, PHNs and CRGNs must face the challenge of reduced staffing levels due to the moratorium.

They must also endure significant variation in caseloads, increasing workloads, an ageing and growing population, widening gaps in health status, escalating demands due to the shift from acute to community care, and inadequate technical and administrative support.

One respondent to the INMO online survey said: “Our documentation has increased significantly to the extent that paperwork takes three times as long as the nursing needs of the patient.“

The new report highlights how the ongoing changes in policy direction for example, the shift towards the management of chronic diseases without appropriate resourcing is causing a significant additional burden on an already over-stretched service.

Commenting on this, another survey respondent said: “The role of the PHN is becoming more about nursing the acutely ill and losing the role of health promotion. The capacity of the public health nurse to reach the healthy population with health promotion is being decreased by lack of staff and resources.“

The report will form a vital part of the INMO strategic plan to address issues and engage with the government, the HSE and key policy makers to support safe and appropriate nursing and midwifery services in the community.

The report which is available on the INMO website at www.inmo.ie was produced with the help staff of the INMO Professional Development Centre and the INMO library under the direction of Ms Adams.

ADC - ADC - ‘Snapshot’ report of community nursing


June 2013 Vol 21(5)
June 2013 Vol 21(5)
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