A nurse-led urology clinic is now operating at The Friendlies Medical Suites to provide an improved service for patients.
Sandra Ilett and Carla Kerr (pictured) from Community Nurse Service are available weekly on Wednesdays to see patients with bowel and bladder issues.
The Friendlies Director of Clinical Services and Patient Safety, Sandy Blake, said it’s a “wraparound service” under the supervision of doctors.
“It’s run by highly qualified, specialised nurses who can also provide education, support and help,” Sandy said.
“They’ll see people who might need to have a catheter removed, for example, or they might have a permanent catheter and they need education on how to manage it, or if they have an incontinence problem of any sort.
“Being seen in an outpatient setting saves people being admitted to the ward and reduces stress and anxiety for the patient. The new service provides expert care and ongoing support for consumers.”
Sandra Illett has worked as a continence nurse for 25 years in a variety of settings, and has worked independently in the community for five years.
“We look after people who have problems with their bowel and bladder across the whole lifespan, from small children right through to the elderly,” she said.
“One in four Australians have a problem with their bowel and bladder.
“Some of the things we deal with may include helping people who are catheterised.”
Sandra said her connection with The Friendlies was a win-win for both organisations and patients.
“I previously only provided a domicillary service where I visted consumers at home,” she said.
“Occasionally I come across people who don’t want a home visit or it’s totally inappropriate to do a home visit, so I started searching for a clinical space that I could use.
“At the same time, The Friendlies were looking to try and get a trial, where people who have a catheter after an operation, who need to come back to the hospital to have the catheter removed and make sure they’re okay … they were trying to get those people out of the wards into an outpatient setting.
“The two opportunities came together and we’re now offering the trial in an outpatient clinic.
“It’s mostly referral-based clients from the urologists, and I can also arrange to meet people at The Friendlies if a home visit is not a suitable option.”
Sandra said the clinic also provides education and support to help patients manage issues that arise.
For more information about the urology clinic, contact Community Nurse Service on 07 4126 2685.