Outreach Nursing

Introduction

This service was developed in 1995 and is continually evolving to meet the ever changing needs of our members. The service has been very successful in ensuring our older members (16 and over) are making the transition from the Children's Hospital service to the Public Hospital system and associated adult services.

The Outreach Nursing service consists of a registered nurse being available for private consultations with members, both in the office or in the comfort of their own home – and even just for advice over the phone. The nurse is highly qualified and performs a wide range of services based on the individual needs of the members including, but not limited to; providing medical information and advice on the conditions, advice on continence issues and products, accompanying members to medical appointments, preparing individualised care plans, and many others.

This service has gained interest from support organisations around the world. A paper detailing the history and aims of the Outreach Service was presented at the International Conference for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in 1999, and an abridged version of that presentation can be found at the following link: Outreach Nursing Service in SA

Outreach Services

The Outreach Service of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of SA Inc (SBHA) is comprised of a Registered General Nurse consulting 5 days a week (9am-5pm). As a member of SBHA, all associated services are available. The Nursing Outreach Service can support members in all aspects of their health care needs. Some current areas in which we can be of assistance include:

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  • General Consultation - We are available to discuss any issues of concern relating to the conditions
  • Care Plans - These plans are invaluable to members in order to assist medical practitioners to better understand the particular needs and characteristics of individual members
  • Transition to Adult Services - Attending appointments with members when meeting medical practitioners, to provide personal support with the benefit of medical history, and orientation to the new environment and protocols
  • Ongoing Medical Follow-up - Attending appointments with members to provide support and medical advocacy. Assisting in developing a system to ensure appropriate follow up is met. We can provide reminder calls and opportunities to discuss pending appointments to achieve the best outcomes from those contacts with medical practitioners - eg preparing a list of issues to discuss
  • Linking to Community Health Services - We promote the very important role a GP plays in the health management of our members and offer our support to the GP and will liaise over health issues.
  • Referral to Community Nursing Services and Counselling Services - Assisting in these areas on an as required basis following assessment of individual needs
  • Health Screening - We have a number of programmes that we coordinate to assist members in accessing health screening services and promoting good health – egPAP Smear Screening, podiatry assessment, weight loss programme andlymphoedema assessment. We are constantly exploring new and appropriate ideas for workshops and ongoing programmes
  • Accessing Medical Supplies - We are available to assist in the sourcing and purchase of medical supply needs which may be outside that provided through the CAAS scheme, or should the CAAS funds run out.

Our service is dependent on your desire to have us involved and maintaining contact, in order that we can be fully aware of your needs. Time constraints and demand for our service makes it difficult to follow up routinely with all clients, but we will naturally do our best to help where possible. Notification of appointment dates for members seeking assistance in reminders for these need to be made as early as possible.

Please Note: The Nursing Outreach Service does not provide an "At Call" emergency service. If your needs are urgent we recommend you contact your personal doctor or your nearest hospital without hesitation.