The APNA Best Practice Nurse Awards were announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne over the weekend.
Sandy Anderson from Baarlinjan Medical Clinic in Ballarat was awarded the ASHM / NSW STIPU / GPV Best Practice Nurse Award for Sexual Health for her work building Koori regional women’s cervical screening to improve the quality of sexual health among women in the region.
Sandy was one of five nurses recognised for their outstanding contribution to best practice and enhancing patient health in the primary care setting as part of the 2012 APNA National Conference – Time to Shine.
Sandy’s strategy included developing a permission form, opportunistic discussion during appointments, new patient screening, incorporation in to the 45-49 year old health assessment, concerted follow-up, community newsletters and education through Koori women’s health days.
Her team was greatly assisted by the responsiveness of the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry, known as the Pap registry.
“With this combination of strategies, and with the support of some of the female elders, the awareness of need for Pap tests grew and more women were screened”, Sandy said. “This newly developed system has only been fully implemented for six months with a whole of team approach and is only possible due to the commitment of the whole Baarlinjan team.”
In her address to conference delegates Sandy said, “Make sure you can demonstrate what you can do”.
And that’s exactly what she did, showing significant statistical improvements to rates of screening in the last 12 months; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) women with a Pap test recorded up by 17.3%, no Pap test recorded rate down by 18.9%.
In March this year, of the ATSI women in the Baarlinjan practice population, 63% had a Pap test recorded and 73.3% had been screened in the last two years.
Acting APNA CEO Matt Hall said of the Awards, “We continue to find inspiration from our nurses working in primary health care who are exceeding professionally each and every day”.
All of the winners showed humility, professional excellence and humour.
Each winner receives $5000 towards their professional development thanks to generous sponsorship. Previous winners have travelled internationally and within Australia to attend conferences and courses, to experience primary health care in different settings, and expand their knowledge and further their education.
Sponsors include CSL Biotherapies, Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL), TENA, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Australian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), General Practice Victoria (GPV) and NSW Sexually Transmissible Infections Programs Unit (NSW STIPU).
APNA congratulate all of the 2012 Best Practice Nurse Award winners and highly commended, and thank all nominees for contributing to the spirited competition of the awards.
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For more information please contact:
Stephanie Hille – Communications Officer APNA
(03) 9669 4700
APNA is the peak professional body for nurses working in primary health care including general practice. With more than 3500 members, APNA provide primary health care nurses with a voice, access to quality continuing professional development, educational resources, support and networking opportunities. APNA continually strives to increase awareness of the role of the primary health care nurse, and to be a dynamic and vibrant organisation for its members.