Practice nurses and sexual health care -- enhancing team care within general practice.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian family physician, 2013, 42 (10), pp. 729 - 733
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BACKGROUND: Collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) can enhance health care delivery. However, despite evidenced shortfalls in general practice-based sexual health care, the PN role in sexual health appears underdeveloped. Evaluation of New South Wales Sexually Transmissible Infections Programs Unit GP Project provided an opportunity to canvass views of GPs and PNs regarding PNs and sexual health care. METHODS: A purposively sampled group of 10 PNs and nine GPs were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically. RESULTS: The extent and nature of PN-GP teamwork in sexual health care was variable, influenced largely by GP recognition and support of the PN role in sexual health care. Other important factors were personal PN interest and supportive practice systems. DISCUSSION: The role played by PNs and a team approach to sexual health care in Australian general practice is underdeveloped. Increased recognition and support of PN roles in sexual health is needed, including supportive practice systems that facilitate team care.
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