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    450,000 reasons to say thanks

    We are proud to sponsor Nursing in the Community Week (September 20-26) in recognition of Medibank’s dedicated telehealth and homecare nurses.

    We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of the 450,000 nurses across the country for everything they do. Thank you to everyone in this vital profession for making a difference.

    At Medibank, we are proud to have a team of 1500 health professionals providing care and support across Australia. This includes hundreds of nurses providing telehealth triage and health support services, and hospital-in-the-home services through HSS.

    Nurses such as Andrew Bull and Shireen Mallouhi are an invaluable part of the Medibank team, enabling us to deliver telehealth and in-home care to thousands of Australians each day.

    Andrew Bull, Clinical Lead, HSS

    I was interested in community nursing right from the beginning of my career, starting as a residential aged care worker and then working in a busy regional hospital after getting my nursing degree.

    I always had a desire to work out in the community, getting to spend more 1:1 time with patients and really personalising their care.

    I joined HSS in 2019, and I’m now a Clinical Lead with a team of registered nurses, enrolled nurses, domestic and personal care workers, and we really see the difference patient-centred care can have.

    A few months ago, I was treating a patient at home who was a single mother to three young children and also caring for her elderly mother. She needed treatment for cellulitis, and would have had to go to hospital for 5 or 6 days to get treatment. It was impossible for her to be away from her family for that time, and she was so appreciative to be able to receive her care at home instead.

    She was able to be there for her family but also get the treatment she needed. I was able to build a relationship with her and her family to ensure everything was happening as it should.

    30 years ago, I think the idea of being in hospital for a week was totally normal, but nowadays some people are reluctant to be away from their family or pets and their familiar home environment unless they absolutely have to be. The hospital-in-the-home services we provide through HSS mean more people have the option to be treated for certain conditions at home.

    At HSS, we are able to personalise our care, and make sure everything is centred on the patient’s needs; it’s a far more holistic nursing role. I’m able to spend more time answering a patient’s questions, and they have the ability to engage in their normal daily activities if they want to.

    I think we will continue to see a growth in hospital-in-the-home programs as our population ages, and our skills, technology and capability to manage patients in the community improves. We are always looking for new ways to innovate and provide more patient-focused care.

    Shireen Mallouhi, Clinical Governance Lead, Telehealth

    Digital and virtual health offers so much potential in terms of the future of healthcare.

    The nurse triage and health support nurses who work in telehealth at Medibank play a vital role in providing that reassurance callers are seeking. People who call our services are looking for that peace of mind that can be provided by a registered nurse, with a kind and calm manner even over the phone or via webchat.

    The value of having registered nurses in our triage services is that we can use our ability to assess a patient using only our sense of hearing (or even just reading via webchat!) to try to get the full clinical picture. This ability to read between the lines is vital in our telehealth services.

    I have been a registered nurse in intensive care and critical care units at major hospitals, and since I joined Medibank in 2010 I have had the privilege of providing support, direction and education to callers from across Australia.

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to support the national COVID response – assisting Federal and State governments through phone support, welfare checks, in-home COVID testing, contact tracing and mental health services. One of the positive things to come out of the pandemic has been the uptake and development of telehealth – both by patients and medical professionals. Rural and regional patients are also benefiting from greater healthcare accessibility, and I hope this continues.

    I am proud to use my nursing skills and qualifications to help people across our community. My role in telehealth allows me to help people right across Australia, including in regional and remote communities, or people who may be hesitant to go and see a health professional in person.

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