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Scope of Practice in Australia

Australia   (193 Views 4 Comments)
by Bones17 Bones17 (Member) Member

414 Profile Views; 16 Posts

What scope of practice does a nurse in Australia have? 

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83 Posts; 924 Profile Views

That's a fairly broad question... Your scope of practice is defined by your skills & knowledge combined with your hospital policy and procedure. There isn't a list of skills that you can and cannot do. 

For example - at my hospital, Registered nurses can nurse initiate up to 2 doses of paracetamol, Coloxyl & senna, anti-acids, saline nebs, lice treatment and non-prescription topical creams. However Registered nurses working in ED are not allowed to nurse initiate - so for that department, it isn't within the nurse's scope of practice.

Whereas a nurse working in a rural/remote area, especially if they are running a remote health clinic can (with appropriate training & education etc) prescribe a far larger array of medications, such as more complex pain relief, anti-biotics etc - but if that nurse where to move to a city hospital it would no longer be within their scope to prescribe these medications. 

IV cannulation is not within the scope of practice of a graduate nurse however most hospitals will have a training & education process for a nurse to become IV cannulation competent if that is a skill required in the area that they work in. However, this doesn't automatically mean that if that nurse moves to another hospital they will be classified IV cannulation competant there.

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I was basically wondering if you could do some of the following:

*Prescribe or have knowledge of medications.

*Perform first aid/treat physical injuries.

*Read, interpret or maybe just understand scans/results such as ultrasounds, x-rays, ECG etc. Can you perform them? (I’m thinking maybe ECG you can).

*Check vital signs

 

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83 Posts; 924 Profile Views

1. You are expected to have a working knowledge of the medications that you are giving . As above there are a couple of medications that you can nurse initiate/prescribe (depending on hospitlanpolicy ) but in general you don’t prescribe unless you are working in an advance role such as a nurse practitioner.

2. Yes you are expected to be able to perform first aid, wound dressings etc.

3. You are expected to have an understanding of basic imaging, ECGs etc (and you definetly perform ECGs) - so you know when to escalate however formal interpration and giving results to patients is the role of the medical team as they will be forming the treatment & management plan

4. Yes you will be taking vitals signs and you are expected to understand what they mean and the appropriate management and escalation go abnormal results 

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