International Nurses Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our nurses and recognise the invaluable contribution they make to the health of our community.
Ozcare has over 470 nurses, including Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Nurses, Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses working across our services. From delivering specialist nursing services to people in their homes, to working in our homeless hostels and outreach services, to providing expert care to seniors living in our residential aged care facilities, our highly skilled and qualified nurses help our clients manage a range of health conditions and improve their quality of life.
Our Nurse Immunisers are busy at this time of year, delivering influenza vaccinations to workplaces, schools and individuals most at risk in the community, in preparation for the upcoming flu season. In honour of International Nurses Day, we would like to share how our expert nurses are providing influenza vaccinations for Rockhampton's most vulnerable residents as reported by the The Morning Bulletin.
Pop-up flu clinic for Rockhampton's vulnerable
by Jack Evans - The Morning Bulletin
9 May 2019
FLU season can be a troubling time for many, especially vulnerable members of the community who may not have access to immunisation.
Addressing that problem, Ozcare and Queensland Health set up a makeshift clinic, which could easily have been mistaken for a family barbecue, on the banks of the Fitzroy River yesterday.
The sterile smell of a hospital clinic was replaced by the aroma of freshly cooked bacon and eggs as about 16 people gathered.
Kathy Gooda, from the Aboriginal and Islander Community Resource Agency, said the setting was important as it encouraged vaccination for people who might otherwise not get the injection.
"It's really important because a lot of our clients probably won't access services,” she said.
"It is good to have these services come to the client, and at least we know they're getting the help they need.”
Ms Gooda said the pop-up clinic was received "surprisingly well” in the indigenous community, but she had some words for community members who were on the fence about getting vaccinated.
"Just do it, because you never know how bad the flu will affect you,” she said.
"It's free, we provide breakfast, there's music playing, so it's a nice, welcoming environment.”
Ozcare's Adonna Ruff was the nurse on the scene in charge of administering the injections.
She said she was glad to be in a sunny, open location, rather than doing them in a clinical setting.
"We provide flu injections and other injections they need and it has been an annual thing for quite some time now,” she said.
"This is the first year we have held the clinic in public and the community are responding well to it.”
Ms Ruff agreed the pop-up clinic was a good way for the indigenous community to be vaccinated.
She described a small, homeless indigenous population living on the riverbank who she hoped would take advantage of the services.
"Influenza is a risk to all indigenous people because they are very susceptible to other chronic diseases, including respiratory illnesses like pneumonia,” she said.
"Living on the riverbank increases their risk of illness.
"They are a high-risk population and this is an opportunity to be able to protect them.”
Central Queensland Public Health Unit director Dr Gulam Khandaker noted a disturbing trend that showed confirmed cases this year had almost doubled last year's average for the same time frame.
There have been 189 lab-confirmed flu cases this year compared with 98 cases in the same time period last year.
"This is higher than the normal expected range for this time of year,” Dr Khandaker said.
Ozcare also used the pop-up clinic to encourage general hygiene practice including regular handwashing and covering the mouth when coughing.
For the past 18 years Ozcare has provided immunisation services to to Queensland workplaces and schools. Find out more about our in-house clinics.