Study level

  • Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/School

Faculty of Health

School of Nursing

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre

Supervisors

Dr Jane Currie
Position
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Associate Professor Amanda Fox
Position
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Olivia Hollingdrake
Position
Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Mrs Suzanne Williams
Position
Lecturer in Advanced Practice Nursing
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health

Overview

In adapting to provide socially distanced healthcare, the Australian Government encouraged the use of telehealth consultations in circumstances where face to face consultations could be avoided. Several tranches of new and temporary telehealth Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers were implemented, initially expiring on 30th September 2020, and then extended until further notice. For nurse practitioners, four telehealth items and four telephone items were established that mirrored the original four, face to face time-based, MBS items available to privately practicing nurse practitioners since 2010. These telephone and telehealth item numbers provided a much-needed alternative method of delivering care, particularly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People living in rural and remote locations for which border restrictions prevented the provision of fly in fly out services. These services were also essential for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection to vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Definition

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have the authority to prescribe medications, refer patients for investigations and interpret the results, refer patients to other health professionals, diagnose patients and provide treatment to patients, independently of a medical practitioner. Nurse practitioners are educated to Masters level and in order to be endorsed via the Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia, they must obtain a certain level of clinical experience and expertise.

The aim of this study is to evaluate provision of nurse practitioner telehealth services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objectives

  1. Understand the presenting concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who received healthcare provided by nurse practitioners through telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. identify the assessments and treatments provided by nurse practitioners to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. explore the challenges experienced by nurse practitioners in providing telehealth to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research activities

In this project, the student will work with three experienced researchers from the school of nursing. The student will:

  • work with the supervisors to undertake data collection in the form of semi-structured interviews
  • thematic analysis of the interview data
  • interpretation of the interview data
  • drafting the findings into a journal articles.

Outcomes

The aim of this study is to evaluate provision of nurse practitioner telehealth services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outcomes will include:

  • An understanding of the presenting concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who received healthcare provided by nurse practitioners through telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • identification of the assessments and treatments provided by nurse practitioners to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • identification of the challenges experienced by nurse practitioners in providing telehealth to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skills and experience

  • able to use Microsoft Word to transcribe interview data - essential
  • able to use NViVo to analyse qualitative data – desirable, but not essential
  • effective verbal and written communication skills - essential.

Keywords

Contact

Contact the primary supervisor, Associate Professor Jane Currie for more information.