Community Health Nursing - Essay Example

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In Australia at present there are a range of residential aged care facilities which-if appropriately funded, resourced and staffed-will provide the best possible care for those older members of our community whose health status dictates that they need care…
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Community Health Nursing
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Download file to see previous pages The enlightenment, fostered and driven forward by nurses and supported by consumers, can continue, but only if care of the aged is allocated its fair share of resources and strategies, such as relevant clinically based research, are encouraged to ensure the most appropriate use of those resources. (Duggan, 2004) This will only result from informed policies, which are clearly, in a fiscal and strategic sense, the responsibility of government; that is, the responsibility of those within government and its bureaucracy who inform, develop and implement policy. The use of the specter of dependency in the aged and aging section of the population could lead to fear of ageing and contempt of this so-called unproductive group among younger people. These are certain major objectives of the Australian Community nursing Association which emerged initially as a result of nursing interest but expanded rapidly to attract medical and allied health professionals. The mid-nineteenth century has been described by some historians as a period of enlightenment that was born of the political, social and scientific revolution that occurred during that century (Mellish 1984). It was a fertile period of development for nursing, medicine and hospitals as establishments of care and learning. The emphasis from home to hospital care became apparent as an economically viable method of maximizing health care service and by the mid twentieth century was deeply entrenched as a societal norm for the sick and wounded.
The relationship between older people and nurses was no social accident but a carefully thought out solution to a community need. The relationship between the nursing profession and older people as it was in the late nineteenth century remains today under threat from political and economic pressures exerted at many levels of the community. (Hitchcock, 2003) For example, a minister of the crown is believed to have expressed surprise that nurses working in aged care are paid as much as their counterparts working in critical care areas, such as emergency departments. The minister is further believed to have inferred that most older residents in aged care facilities are not sick, just old, and do not need skilled nursing care.
Before addressing this question, and remembering the observations made earlier about the health of many older people, it must be stated that although many older people never need to move into residential aged care settings, there is a minority who do. And it is this minority, with their significant needs, who must not be abandoned or discriminated against by ill informed opinion driving or affecting policy, particularly regarding the qualifications and skills of their formal carers. (Baum, 2002) Are residents of aged care facilities merely 'old' or are they in fact sick This paper maintains that older people move into care because they are sick, not because they are living beyond a certain age. Their age is to an extent coincidental, although ageing changes and increasing longevity do contribute to frailty and disability. Qualified nurses do, as part of their role, care for the sick. The major issues facing older people in need of care in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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