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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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Australia's demand for nurses grows

SYDNEY, July 19 (UPI) -- An aging population and an increasing number of people living at home with chronic illnesses are increasing demands for nurses in Australia.

With that nation's healthcare system becoming more reliant on community nursing to care for people with chronic and complex health problems, researchers at the University of Western Sydney reviewed how patients perceive community nurses and the work they do.

UWS School of Nursing Senior Lecturer Dr Jane Cioffi says the study focused on care provided clients of community health nursing services in Greater Western Sydney during a 12-month period.

"Community nurses make a major contribution to Australia's health services, but because the work they do is 'behind closed doors', it's usually only people who receive the service who understand the real value of it," Cioffi said. "Our research has shown that the standard of care people are receiving is good ... but there's a need to look ahead to see how we can plan for the increasing demand for services in the future (since) clients are being discharged from hospitals earlier these days."

The researchers found community nurses provided 147,126 visits during the 12-month period to Greater Western Sydney clients.


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