Training boost for nurses

Quality of life and health outcomes for older people are set to improve with funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to deliver crucial training developed by La Trobe University for more than 800 public sector nurses.

Minister for Ageing Martin Foley announced today that the DHHS will fund 40, three-day ‘Comprehensive Health Assessment of the Older Person’ workshops developed and run by the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (ACEBAC) at La Trobe, in partnership with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

ACEBAC Director Associate Professor Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh thanked Government for its support and said that while nurses may have broad training in comprehensive health assessment, many are not trained in how to apply this specifically to older people in the increasingly complex health and aged care environment.

“It’s crucial that nurses are skilled in understanding the specific needs of older people when it comes to assessing their health so that they can identify and manage their healthcare needs and confidently identify potential risks and changes in their health and wellbeing,” Associate Professor Fetherstonhaugh said.

“Our evidence-based, comprehensive health assessment workshops have already proved successful in training more than 2,000 nurses and so it’s fantastic that we now have funding to train a further 800 nurses in partnership with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.”

Comprehensive health assessment is a systematic approach to the gathering of information about a person’s health history and status. It involves identifying care needs, actual and potential risks to health, and analysing and synthesising the information collected in order to make decisions about the most appropriate person-centred interventions and care as well as strategies to meet those needs.

About the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care at La Trobe

The Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (ACEBAC) at La Trobe University is a research centre funded by the Victorian DHHS.

In 2011, ACEBAC was contracted by the DHHS to develop, deliver and evaluate a pilot training program in the comprehensive health assessment of the older person. Since then, La Trobe has been granted a license from the DHHS to deliver this specialised education and training, with more than 2,000 health and aged care clinicians throughout Victoria and interstate participating in courses run by the University.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – - 9479 2315 / 0437279903

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