New clinic to help patients recover from surgery

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Nurse with patient on hospital bed

Nurse with patient on hospital bed

A new clinic that has been successfully trialled at Cairns Hospital is helping reduce wait times for patients who have undergone plastic and reconstructive surgery.

For the past three months, the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service has been operating a Nurse-Led Wound Clinic in its Specialist Outpatients Department.

The clinic was developed to create capacity and access to surgical specialists, resulting in a reduction in patient wait times for care.

It is being showcased this week during National Wound Awareness Week, August 23-29.

CHHHS Acting Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Mark Goodman, said the new clinic was available for post-operative wound reviews, in particular patients who had received skin grafts and reconstructions.

‘Since this new clinic started in early May, more than 300 patients have been able to have their wounds treated by a dedicated team of nurses who are working closely with our plastic surgeons to provide expert care,’ he said.

‘The clinic is available for post-operation patient wound reviews, in particular patients who have received skin grafts and reconstructions.

‘Most of the patients we are seeing in this clinic are those who have had skin cancers removed, but we are seeing the clinic make a huge difference in such a relatively short amount of time.

‘It has been helping us reduce the overall waiting times for patients needing treatment and creating greater capacity and access to surgical specialists.’

Registered nurse Isabella Martin, who is leading the clinic, said the new approach was making a difference to treatment of patients who have undergone plastic surgery procedures.

‘We are all very excited to bring this new service to the hospital,’ she said.

‘We have had some great feedback from patients - who are very pleased about the reduced wait times in the clinic.

‘We are also finding that the patients are appreciating the patient centred care, support, and education we provide in our clinic and are generally more satisfied with their hospital experience.

‘The clinic has provided opportunities for nursing staff to extend their knowledge with advanced nursing skills, which has been great for nurse empowerment within the department.

‘There are also great opportunities to continue to facilitate excellence in nursing, by offering training to extend knowledge and skills in the specialty of plastics.’

Cairns resident Beryl Coulson had a skin cancer extracted from one of her legs earlier this year and has been a patient in the new clinic.

‘I go into the clinic two mornings a week, and it’s very easy for me,’ she said.

‘The nurses are very friendly, and very helpful, and I do whatever they need me to do.’