VIPCare upskills nurses at Spring Hill Corrections Facility

Nurses at Spring Hill Corrections Facility are enjoying professional development, being delivered by VIPCare’s nurse practitioner Lynette Bains, to strengthen and enhance their clinical skills.

The programme includes skill and theory-based workshops on topics such as triage and assessment skills, practical and procedural skills, wound care, suturing and pharmacology.

Department of Corrections’ regional operations director of health, Grant Aitken, says ongoing professional development helps their nurses develop their scope of practice and confidence, and make informed clinical decisions based on best practice guidelines. It also leads to better health outcomes for the people in their care and may reduce the need for hospital visits.

“Investing in the education and development of our nurses enables them to provide a higher level of care and deliver improved health outcomes for our patients. There will always be a need for hospital visits but it’s intended that the skills and knowledge gained from this programme will help our nurses better determine what conditions require a hospital visit and what can be treated on site” said Mr Aitken.

Lynette has visited the health centres at Spring Hill and Waikeria Prisons to observe staff and gain an understanding of the unique challenges faced by nurses in a prison environment.

“This isn’t a generic, off-the-shelf training package”, says Mr Aitken, “VIPCare have worked with us to co-design a programme targeted and tailored to our specific requirements.”

Spring Hill nurses will complete an initial pilot of two sessions a month for six months. At the conclusion of which, attending nurses will be recongised for the education hours and workshops completed, and will have skills competencies signed off.

Spring Hill Assistant Health Centre Manager Norman Mendoza says their nursing team are enjoying the interactive workshops and welcome the opportunity to increase their skills and knowledge. “Our staff want to be upskilled, make changes, and advance their own practice” says Norman, “Feedback from the team has been really positive. They particularly like the way Lynette delivers information that has strong theoretical frameworks in a very practical way.”

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