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Older Victorians set to benefit from million dollar training boost

Victoria’s nursing and aged care sectors are welcoming a recent $1.1 million State Government training boost which will benefit older public hospital patients and more than 5,000 residents living in Victoria’s public nursing homes and residential aged care wards.

Nurses are set to receive more training in supporting older people in the increasingly complex health and aged care environment (Source: Shutterstock)
Nurses are set to receive more training in supporting older people in the increasingly complex health and aged care environment (Source: Shutterstock)

The specialist training boost for registered and enrolled nurses as funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services will be rolled out across 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 University, in partnership with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

ACEBAC Director Associate Professor Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh thanked the Government for their support and says 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.

She explains that 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.

“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 says.

“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.”

The ANMF (Victorian branch) has welcomed the Government’s training funding announcement, which they say will benefit nurses and their patients and residents across the state in residential aged care services, multi-purpose services, aged persons mental health residential care units, geriatric evaluation units and interim care programs, including sub-acute units, transitional care and maintenance care.

ANMF (Victorian branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick says the training will be of significant benefit, noting that 75 percent of the training program will be delivered to nurses working in regional Victoria.

“The training program will provide significant support to nurses working with older patients and nursing home residents and will improve their treatment and clinical care,” Ms Fitzpatrick explains.

“We’re thrilled the Andrews Government is investing in its Victorian nursing workforce to meet the increasing acuity in nursing home residents and older people who commonly have multiple health issues.”

Nurses will soon be able to access information about the training through the ANMF Education Centre and website, their workplaces and Department of Health and Human Services networks.

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