Bruny Island – Great Nurses & Community Health Centre

Bruny Island – Great Nurses & Community Health Centre

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to Nurse on an Island? Have you ever visited Bruny Island in Tasmania?  Sue Walker and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Bruny Island and meeting with Tracy Hemmings (Site / Nurse Unit Manager)  and Laura Callaghan the Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Bruny Island Community Health Centre. Nurses are busy people, and meeting Tracy and Laura  reminded me of how versatile and how effective Nurses are at juggling multiple tasks and priorities – often across different geographical locations and sites.

Tracy and Laura conduct their roles across multiple service sites including Huon, Cygnet and of course the Bruny Island Community Health Centre. The population that the services cover across these sites is approximately  74,000. The island has a permanent population of approximately 650 people,  but during  the peak period from September to April,  the island  population swells to around 3500.

The  Bruny Island Community Health Centre provides a wide range of services including, but not exclusive to the following:

  •  Emergency response Unit 24/7
  • GP service – 2 days each week
  • Palliative Care
  • Wound Care Clinic
  • The service also provides access to  allied health services including physiotherapy, podiatry, a dietician, diabetes management,  and access to  specialised mental health services a dental van and also  Breast Screening services
  • There is  a strong commitment to public health and  a great walking program  is in place as part of the Islands health promotion program

The centre deals with 2- 3 emergencies each week and transports to the mainland  3- 4 patients  each month via helicopter or by water transport. The service at Bruny Island has 5 part time Nursing Staff.

The service has recently been through accreditation and was recognised by the surveyors  for its  ongoing  commitment to community engagement and change management initiatives. It was great to visit a service where you could see demonstrable and sustained commitment to quality !

IMG_6145Tracy and Laura are very passionate  about community support and engagement and are successfully rolling out  an initiative  The  Right Place . The Right Place “is about connecting people to the right service”.  Its about addressing locally identified needs which I’m confident are needs which could be  found in most parts of Australia. The rollout of this initiative commenced in  the Huon Valley local government area. Its about ensuring that people are referred to the right service, in the right place at the right time. There is a strong focus on improving service providers and the community members knowledge of services that are available. It also includes the use of offering health passports, and  local business participants offering to contact the relevant  service on behalf of the person who is seeking information or assistance.

These Busy Nurses are also facilitating the implementation of the Future Directions project through Huonville which has a strong focus on effective teenager health related education via focused fun and engaging  activities.

Visiting Bruny has re confirmed that  Nurses in Australia do  have fabulous opportunities’ to travel and  work in  healthcare across  a wide range of  geographical locations and diverse community groups and most importantly to make  sustained positive differences in the lives of  clients and patients ! A huge thanks to Tracy and Laura for giving us a glimpse of what a Nurses working life is like on Bruny Island!

Ps The island is lovely with loads of ‘Wow” moments due to the fabulous views, the wildlife and the  Oysters which  abound!

If you would like to see more visit  Bruny Island Community Health Centre

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