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Online education boosts immunisation skills for nurses
19/09/2008 - The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), in association with the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), has launched six new online learning activities aimed at practice nurses and other members of practice teams to boost their immunisation knowledge.
The activities are for free and are available through the RACGP's online education portal gplearning at www.gplearning.com.au .
"We know that immunisation is a simple, safe and effective step against preventable diseases in Australia and there is no doubt that prevention is better than the cure," said Dr Vasantha Preetham, RACGP President and Perth-based GP.
"However, like all fields of medicine, immunisation is a changing area and we have a responsibility to be familiar with the latest developments in vaccine preventable disease in order to individually tailor advice for each patient.
"Practice nurses play a key role in immunisation. These new education modules provide an interactive and practical approach to managing immunisation in general practice, and are consistent with the latest National Health and Medical research Council immunisation guidelines.
"As they are available online, practice nurses and practice teams can complete these learning activities anywhere at any time.
"While tailored to the needs of practice nurses, some of these modules will be of interest to general practitioners, and Category 2 QA&CPD points apply for these modules," said Dr Preetham.
"Practice nurses are a key provider of immunisation services in general practice and access to quality education like this is critical. We have been very proud to have been part of developing this fantastic online learning program available and appreciate the ongoing government support for maintenance of the program," said Anne Matyear, President of the APNA.
The new learning activities are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the Practice Nurse Continuing Professional Development Project administered by the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA).
The six activities focus on:
" Management of four vaccination processes: pre-vaccination, administration, documentation and post care
" Processes within the practice and associated issues: ordering vaccinations, transport and storage, practice incentive payments, Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) immunisation rates, recall and reminders and vaccination clinics
" Basics of immunisation: immune system, vaccine action, public health benefits, and some of the arguments and myths in immunisation
" Building your awareness and knowledge of prevention: using the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule, understanding more about travel health, and improving awareness of preventable diseases
" Recognising medico-legal issues: vaccine administration regulations, Medicare item requirements, nurse responsibility, and staying up-to-date
" Understanding the issues relating to special groups: develop a vaccination policy and program for your medical practice
All activities refer to The Australian Immunisation Handbook 9th Edition 2008, which provides guidance on vaccination practice, as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The handbook is available online at www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook-home
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is responsible for maintaining standards for quality clinical practice, education and training, and research in Australian general practice. The RACGP has the largest general practitioner membership of any medical organisation in Australia and represents the majority of Australia's general practitioners. Visit www.racgp.org.au
The Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) is the peak professional association for practice nurses. It provides representation, support and networking for practice nurses at national, state and local levels. Visit www.apna.asn.au