An in-reach nurse role for managing individuals with long-term conditions. Experience of a new role and impact of the role

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Abstract

An in-reach nurse role for managing individuals with long-term conditions. Experience of a new role and impact of the role

Aim.

To gain an understanding of the perspectives of postholders about a new nursing role designed to highlight areas where care for individuals with long-term conditions (LTC) could be improved.

Background.

The number of individuals who will suffer with LTC is predicted to rise significantly, and managing the care of individuals effectively is a current challenge facing health services across the world.

Design.

A small-scale qualitative exploration of the nurse’s perception of a new role and of their perceptions of its impact on the care of those living with LTC.

Method.

Data were obtained between March 2008 and November 2008 from the in-reach nurses (n = 4). Data sources were focus groups, semi-structured interviews and nurse’s reflective diaries. Analysis of data was via a thematic approach.

Results.

The nurses in this study agreed about the challenges and rewards of the newly created post. Information from reflective diaries showed the difficulties faced by patients moving between community and hospital services, as perceived by the nurses. Some of the nurses demonstrated deeper understanding of these difficulties and the use of a problem solving approach to enable patients to have a smooth journey across the interface of community and hospital care.

Conclusion.

Although there were mixed responses to the in-reach posts by the postholders and their colleagues, there is some strong qualitative evidence to support new ways of working.

Relevance to clinical practice.

Although a small initiative, through using in-reach posts, nurses are able to gain a wider perspective of the patient journey that may benefit effectiveness and quality of care available to individuals living with LTC.

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