Public health nurses' (PHNs) experiences of their role as part of a primary care team (PCT) in Ireland
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Giltenane, M,Kelly, M,Dowling, M (2015) 'Public health nurses' (PHNs) experiences of their role as part of a primary care team (PCT) in Ireland'. Australian Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 32 :6-15.
ObjectiveThis study aimed to understand public health nurses' (PHNs) views and experiences of their role as part of a primary care team (PCT) and developments within primary care.DesignThe study adopted a qualitative design guided by interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).ParticipantsTen PHNs who were working as part of a PCT for at least two years and who also had PHN experience prior to PCT development were interviewed.FindingsThree super-ordinate themes representing the study participants' lived experience and meanings of PCT involvement were interpreted. 'We are a team' represents mostly positive experiences of being part of a team such as improved communication and teamwork. However, GP non-attendance at PCT meetings was also highlighted by all the PHNs. 'Pushed to the limit' revealed the PHNs' frustrations attributed to lack of resources. In addition, this theme represented PHNs' views of always having to 'take up the slack' within the team. Finally, 'PHN's role' revealed that the health promotion aspect of the PHNs' job was perceived to have been 'pushed aside', and mixed feelings around PHNs' future role were relayed.ConclusionThe findings contribute to the knowledge of PHNs' roles as part of PCT developments and highlight the need for more dialogue among PCTs on all roles within the team. It is clear that more resources for PHNs in Ireland are needed if they are to fulfil a vision of primary care. In addition, the study findings point to a need to investigate whether policy and practice changes introduced with the introduction of PCTs has improved patient outcomes.
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