Nurses are generally known for their dedication to the profession but Horsham’s Jarrod Hunter would be considered ‘next level’.
Several years of hard work with devotion to study and development has culminated into Jarrod’s appointment as Wimmera Health Care Group Emergency Department’s first nurse practitioner. His post is a bonus for the ED team who are continually coping with ever-increasing patient numbers.
Jarrod’s extensive nursing and paramedic career began with his graduate year of nursing in Melbourne in 2002. When his paramedic partner was appointed to Horsham seven years ago, Jarrod chose to follow and continue his career at WHCG.
Emergency Department nurse unit manager Odette Richards said Jarrod worked exceptionally hard to obtain his qualification and develop the NP role in ED.
“Nurse practitioners have been in Australia for almost 15 years and they are the most senior clinical nurses in our health system,” Mrs Richards said.
“To become a nurse practitioner requires university study and the completion of a Master’s degree,” she said.
“The care provided by nurse practitioners is safe, effective and of high quality and the introduction of this role will enable us to better meet the needs of our community.”
Mrs Richards said in his seven years at WHCG, Jarrod had forged an impressive career path, showing a genuine penchant for study and personal development.
“In the past three years he has completed over 5500 hours of supervised advanced clinical practice and that combined with his Masters studies led to his nurse practitioner endorsement,” she said.
A nurse practitioner is able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patients under their care. They can order pathology tests, prescribe medicines, refer to and receive referrals from medical and allied health professionals and manage patients in a holistic manner both independently and also collaboratively with medical colleagues.
Jarrod said he felt well prepared to begin the next chapter of his career.
“I am enjoying the challenges of delivering care to patients who present to the Emergency Department,” Jarrod said.
“That includes providing an extra clinical service alongside those that currently exist under the traditional medical model there,” he said.
“Hopefully my appointment will contribute to a decrease in waiting times and an overall better experience for all our patients.”
Jarrod said he was grateful to the support and encouragement of his colleagues, mentors and leaders at WHCG.
“They have been pivotal in my success,” he said.
“In this the International Year of Nursing, I am also excited for the years ahead where I can foster a culture of nursing excellence and hopefully encourage other nurses to embark on the NP path.”
Mrs Richards said the appointment of a nurse practitioner to ED was another example of the organisation’s focus on continual improvement.
“Understanding what our community needs allows WHCG to always look at new and innovative ways to improve.”