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What would we do without nurses

There are more than 320,000 nurses and midwives in Australia, and almost 90 percent are women.

Nurses consistently rate as Australia’s most trusted profession in Roy Morgan surveys.

While more than 12,000 nurses work in general practices, there is a raft of career opportunities for nurses beyond the traditional ward or hospital.

In our region, almost 340 nurses work in general practices across the region.

“Anyone who’s ever been treated in a hospital or at their local general practice has experienced the care and kindness of nurses,” says Dr Keith McDonald, chief executive officer of the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network.

“Their patience, understanding and guidance help make difficult or frightening experiences easier for patients and their families,’’ he said.

Thank you: local nurses have been praised ahead of International Nurses Day.

Speaking ahead of International Nurses Day, this Sunday, May 12, Dr McDonald thanked our region’s nurses, and in particular practice nurses, for their compassion, professionalism and commitment to improving the health of our community.

Residents across South Western Sydney are encouraged to join communities around the world in celebrating the contribution of nurses, which commemorates the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

“The value of these unique health care professionals goes beyond the comfort they provide,’’ Dr McDonald said.

“Their skill, knowledge and hard work assists doctors in ensuring our community receives the high standard of medical care patients need, whether it be for a minor ailment or complex condition.”

Dr McDonald said on International Nurses Day it was important to give special mention to practice nurses whose important contribution often went unrecognised.

“Practice nurses are the backbone of our strong, accessible primary health care system which supports patients in managing their health from home, in our communities, and prevents unnecessary and expensive hospitalisations,” he said.

“Practice nursing is a small but ever-growing workforce within primary care. It used to be that people only ever associated nurses with hospitals but now so many more people interact with a nurse on a daily basis when they visit their GP.

“We can’t overstate the importance of practice nurses in maintaining our community’s good health – let’s use this opportunity to thank and congratulate our nurses, and to them know how much their care is appreciated.”

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