Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Breast care nurses in Australia

Roger Watson, Editor

The role of breast care nurses in Australia is examined in a study by Ahern et al. (2105) titled: 'A survey of the breast care nurse role in the provision of information and supportive care to Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer' published in Nursing Open.

A survey of 50 breast care nurses from across Australia showed, as reported in the article: 'Patterns of service indicated higher caseloads in urban areas, with fewer kilometres served. Breast care nurses in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were less likely to work in multi-disciplinary teams and more likely to spend longer consulting with patients. Breast care nurses reported they
undertook roles matching the competency standards related to the provision of education, information and support; however, there were barriers to fulfilling competencies including knowledge based limitations, time constraints and
servicing large geographical areas.'

The authors concluded: 'This was the first Australian study to describe the role of the breast care nurse nationally and the first study to investigate breast care nurses perceived ability to meet a selection of the Australian Specialist Breast Nurse Competency Standards. Important differences were found according to the geographical location of breast care nurses.'

Reference

Ahern T, Gardner A, Courtney M (2105) titled: 'A survey of the breast care nurse role in the provision of information and supportive care to Australian women diagnosed with breast cancerNursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.18

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