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Maybe you haven’t thought in this direction. But what if someone stops you one day and asks this question to you? Though it is highly unlikely, still, what are you going to do? As a nursing student, you should be aware of which is the peak professional nursing organisation and why is it important for you to know about it.

Kids, we are going to talk about Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, also called as APNA.

Professional bodies for nursing education

There are a number of organisations who are charged with professional development of the nurses in Australia. The role of these organisations is not only limited to the education but to instil the nursing roles and competency as a part of the lives of the students. For that, a number of professional bodies have been appointed.

They are –

  1. Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
  2. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
  3. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  4. Australian College of Nursing
  5. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
  6. Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide
  7. Australian Government Department of Health
  8. Australian Wound Management Association

These bodies are the highest authority in Australia who are responsible for the nursing education to the students. You might be studying a nursing course at the Monash University but the program has been approved by either of these 8 nursing education professional bodies.

And out of these, which one is the peak professional nursing organisation? Well, the one which has been given the peak position in this list. Yes, the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association which is also called APNA for short.

What does Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association do?

They are the peak professional body for all the nurses who are employed or want to be employed in the primary health care sector. And it is not I who is saying this just out of the blue. No, sir. This is what is written in the annual report published in 2017 by Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.

Now, if you do not know what primary health care is, it would be wise that I discuss that first. One step at a time, right?

Primary health care as defined by APNA

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association has defined what is primary health care. And they should be seeing that they are the highest authority for the primary health care in Australia. Anyway, so what do they say about primary health care?

According to these guys, the “primary health care is the first level of contact that individuals, families and communities have with the healthcare system”. What does this signify?

The organisation defines that the primary healthcare should satisfy several short term goals and objectives which are –

  1. Developing personal care with health promotion
  2. Preventing any illness
  3. To develop a community with respect to health conditions
  4. Interconnecting standards of value, access, strengthening and community self-assurance
  5. Is aware of what are the social, political, cultural and economic determinants of health

What are the characteristics of the primary health care provided by nurses?

The nurses work in the scope of practice. Thus, every single thing that they do should have a logical and valid reason behind the scenes. Therefore, the primary health care provided by the nurses in Australia should be –

  1. Socially appropriate
  2. Scientifically sound
  3. Universally acceptable

Why, you must be wondering?

If the nursing care is not socially appropriate, you are violating a nursing ethic by not providing health care to each and every individual irrespective of their gender, race, religion, ethnicity and colour of skin.

If the nursing practice is not scientifically sound, you might take some decisions in the clinical situation whose severe consequences are not known. Doing that can bring harm to the patient and maybe can lead to their death. You don’t want a patient dying on your watch, do you?

The last, universally acceptable, is also important. What if you get an opportunity to work with WHO and are deployed to a remote area in some country in South Africa? Your health care practice should be accepted everywhere and should meet the basic requirements of everywhere. Yes, that includes giving first-aid.

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