A very important part of the team that brings you quality medical services at Eaton Medical Centre & Skin Clinic is our Practice Nurses and Midwives. Our team of nurses have a variety of experience in different areas of medicine, ranging from midwifery to aged care. The Practice Nurses provide a number of services to augment and assist our doctors in the continuity of care of our patients. Our nursing services include:
- Care planning, including scheduling and initial assessment of:
- Over 75 annual health assessments
- GP Extended Primary Care Plans for chronic conditions
- Diabetes cycle of care
- Asthma cycle of care
- 40-49yo health assessment
- Appointments for education on chronic conditions:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (often known as COPD or emphysema)
- Diabetes education
- Antenatal visits
- Vaccination management and administration
- Wound care advice and management
- Infection control
- Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
- 24 hour blood pressure monitoring
- Audiometry and tympanometry
- Initial assessment for driving, occupational and special purpose medicals
- INR checks
Chronic Condition Education
Some of our practice nurses have undertaken additional training in chronic condition management and take appointments for
Some of our practice nurses are qualified midwives and assist our obstetric doctors with antenatal and post-natal care. They also provide phone advice to our pregnant patients when required.
Vaccination management and administration
Our practice nurses coordinate the implementation of the Australian Immunisation Schedule within the practice. This involves a number of activities including:
- Close liaison with the Department of Health
- Implementing the frequent changes to the schedule
- Maintenance of the Australian Child Immunisation Register for our patients
- Organising and conducting Influenza Vaccination clinics annually
- Completion of vaccination documentation for patients
- Providing advice on catch up vaccine requirements for missed vaccines or for patients moving from another country
- Assisting the GP with administration of vaccines to patients
Wound care advice and management
All of our nurses are skilled in the management of wounds. They are trained in the latest dressing types and wound management techniques and provide advice to patients and assist the doctors with wound management. This includes injuries, ulcers, infections, burns and surgical wounds. Our nurses will also often liaise with the tertiary hospitals and manage wounds in conjunction with specialists in Perth through the exchange of digital photographs. Our nurses also remove sutures and surgical clips (staples) from procedures both at the practice and done at other health facilities.
Infection Prevention is a very important part of general practice and at AMC and EMC we have a qualified Infection Control Nurse to oversee the comprehensive infection prevention program. Staff undergo hand hygiene education , pre-employment vaccination and patients are triaged to check if isolation is required on arrival. Equipment is cleaned and sterilised to ensure standards maintained and an emphasis on cleaning all environmental surfaces is undertaken to ensure all our patients’ and visitors’ safety.
Patient education on infectious diseases is available and provided by nurses and GPs. Notifiable diseases reported to the health department as required by Health Regulations.
An ECG is an electrical trace of the heart beat that provides the doctor with a significant amount of information about the functioning of the heart. Our nurses are able to perform ECGs in the surgery in about 10 minutes. This assists the doctors in both the management of people with known heart conditions and also in diagnosis of conditions where dysfunction of the heart is suspected.
Spirometry is a test of lung function that involves the patient exhaling into a device that measures lung volumes and rate of flow. This an important test for diagnosis of asthma, COPD and other lung disorders. It is also key to monitoring people that have known disorders of the respiratory system and guides some treatment decisions. Our nurses are trained to administer this test and do so for regular reviews of chronic lung disorders, for some pre-employment medicals and at the request of a GP for diagnostic purposes.
24-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring
Often when people go to the doctor and have their blood pressure measured it will show a high reading. This could be because you have been busy and running around before coming to the doctor, because you are anxious about seeing the doctor, because you are sick which is why you are seeing the doctor or because you do have high blood pressure. The point is that there are many appropriate reasons for your blood pressure being temporarily elevated which is why a doctor will rarely treat you for high blood pressure based on one or two readings in the surgery.
If your doctor suspects that you do have high blood pressure that requires treatment, they may refer you for 24-hour blood pressure monitoring to confirm this. This involves seeing our nurses in the morning to be fitted with a monitor that will take your blood pressure at regular intervals during the subsequent 24 hours. You then attend the following morning when the monitor is downloaded to the computer and a report is generated for your doctor to interpret. This service is offered from Mondays to Thursdays each week.
Audiometry and Tympanometry
Audiometry and tympanometry are both tests of hearing that are offered from our Australind surgery. They can be used as either screening tests for people undergoing employment medical assessments or for diagnosis of hearing conditions. Audiometry tests hearing acuity for variations in both the intensity and pitch of sounds. This gives information about how well the nerves in your inner ear pick up and transfer sound to the brain. Tympanometry tests something called the ‘compliance’ of the eardrum and the tiny bones in the middle ear. Simply put it measures how well sound waves are transmitted from the eardrum, through the bones to the cochlea where the sound waves are converted into nerve signals to the brain. Putting the information from both tests together, the doctor is able to find out if any loss of hearing is due to the mechanical function of the ear or damage to the nerves.
Initial Assessment for Driving, Occupational and Special Purpose Medicals
All of our medicals start with a consultation with our practice nurses. The activities undertaken prior to the examination will depend on the type of medical but may be for things like blood pressure measurement, hearing tests, spirometry, drug and alcohol screening, urine analysis and visual acuity. A brief pre-appointment with the nurse is also required for private drivers license medicals so please inform our reception staff if you are booking for any sort of driving medical so time can be made available prior to your appointment with the doctor.
Anyone taking the blood thinning medication warfarin will be aware of INR checks. It is a measure used to assess the ability of the blood to clot. Patients on warfarin will have an INR target and require period INR tests to ensure they are in the appropriate range. We have the facilities to provide instant INR results which is a service done by our Practice Nurses.