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Faculty report

RCNA launches new Movement Disorders and Parkinson’s Nurses Faculty.

On 9 August 2010, RCNA’s fifth faculty was launched at a ceremony in Canberra. The Movement Disorders and Parkinson’s Nurses Faculty (MDPNF) is a cohort of nurses and health care professionals who work with people with progressive neurological disorders affecting movement, cognition and social standing.

The faculty is led by the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), a group of nine specialist movement disorder and Parkinson’s nurses active in the field. The FAC Chair, Karen O’Maley MRCNA, hopes that the launch of the faculty will allow for a strategic response to embrace nurses supporting Australians with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, and to provide “ ... a professional base to inform others of treatments and help for this chronic disease group. The disorders are seen frequently but [are] often under managed and under supported.”

FAC members have commented that a lack of community knowledge and acceptance of movement disorders contributes to the burden on individuals, who often suffer silently, with limited education on how to manage their condition. In many instances, individuals are relegated to the nursing home environment due to the lack of appropriate community health care options.

Karen finds her specialty rewarding, particularly when the help and education that movement disorder nurses provide has a positive impact on patients and families.

“People live fulfilled lives with debilitating conditions. Nurses have stepped up as a profession to assist these people – with a strong knowledge base and commitment,” Karen said.

For more information on the Movement Disorders and Parkinson’s Nurses Faculty, visit the newly released faculty page, at www.rcna.org.au/faculties/faculties.

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