Another treatment role for 'super nurse'

Last updated 05:00 28/07/2014

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"Super nurse" Lou Roebuck has added another string to her bow.

She is now qualified to treat reproductive and sexual health, she said.

"It's very exciting."

Roebuck is a nurse practitioner, which is more like "a super nurse than a mini doctor", she said.

There are now four nurse practitioners in Taranaki, but Roebuck is the only one with this "scope".

She was the 30th nurse practitioner to qualify in New Zealand and now there are more than 130, she said.

"The majority are in private health care. A lot of nurses are working alongside doctors in general practice."

She can prescribe medication, order X-rays, laboratory tests and ultrasounds and can refer people to specialist services at Taranaki Base Hospital.

"GPs are often straight diagnoses, whereas nursing brings a more holistic approach and looks at social determinants of health, making sure housing is OK and those sort of things."

To get the extra scope to treat reproductive and sexual health, Roebuck had to resubmit her portfolio to the nursing council, with case studies of people she had been working with, get reports from doctors and complete nursing competencies.

Roebuck works half time with Family Planning and half time in a general practice in Waitara.

"I'm preparing my portfolio to go back to the Nursing Council next year and do the full scope of primary health care. That way I would be seeing anyone from babies to old people."

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- Taranaki Daily News


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