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Nursing student off to a flying start

Deakin University nursing student Ella Bouman has been announced as the winner of the inaugural ‘Give them wings’ scholarship from the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria and Rural Health Workforce. Bouman, who hails from Panmure, a small dairy farming community near Warrnambool, said the high quality of care she received during an early health scarce in 2007 inspired her to pursue nursing. “I believe caring is the essence of nursing and to do my part in my lifetime to improve the lives of others is a truly humbling opportunity – and one I will not take for granted.” Bouman says she intends to live and work in the country as a nurse long-term. The $2500 ‘Give Them Wings’ scholarship is designed to attract young country students to pursue a career in health. ‘Give Them Wings’ is supported by the volunteer fundraising activities of the Victorian Bayside Auxiliary of the RFDS.

Discrimination measured

A new study hopes to shed light on how the experiences of young Australians with a disability are shaped by discrimination. The University of Sydney research will follow the life experiences of 100 participants aged between 19 and 26 over three years to better inform the policy and support available to young people as they move into adulthood. Chief investigator Dr Nikki Wedgwood said young people with a long-term health condition or impairment have an increased risk of negative social, physical and mental health outcomes. She said this was often due to their experience of discrimination and lower levels of social inclusion.”We know that adolescence is a vital developmental phase in able-bodied people, a real make or break time in terms of what role a person will play in society or on its margins, so it is likely to be the optimal time for interventions in the lives of people with impairments,” she said.

CareTrack study reveals gaps

Australians receive best practice healthcare in only 57 per cent of consultations, according the first-ever national snapshot of the quality of clinical care. In the management of obesity, antibiotic use and alcohol dependence, less than a third of healthcare providers were providing care in line with best practice. The results of the $2.5 million CareTrack study, the first of its kind in Australia and only the second in the world, were published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Lead researcher, Professor Bill Runciman from the University of South Australia, said it was clear that high-profile community awareness campaigns worked as a tool to inform both patients and health professionals about chronic conditions. For example, patients receiving care for coronary artery disease received very high levels of appropriate care. Runciman said the study would help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care. Overall disparities in the standards of care provided by different medical practices were identified, with some offering best practice care in 86 per cent of encounters and others only 32 per cent of the time. The study tracked the treatment received by more than 1000 patients over two years for 22 common conditions.

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