Kerrie Gourlay

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Clinical Nurse Specialist, Community Extended Care 

St George Hospital

“There are several roles I work within Community Extended Care.  The Aged Service Emergency Team assesses patients over 70 years in the Emergency Department (ED); we assess patients over 70 years who are coming into the hospital for surgery to look at what we can implement for better health outcomes (Integrated Patient Optimisation Project); we assess patients over 65 in the Short Stay unit in ED - doing a comprehensive aged care assessment and follow up in the community (Quick Response Program).  I love my job; I work with a really dynamic crew. We rotate roles, so it’s always different.  Some days it will be the physio, occupational therapist, registered medical officer and the registered nurse all working together, at a patient's home - we’re like the A-team.  We can help to improve a client’s mobility, review their medications, and liaise with their GPs and families. 

We had a patient that didn’t respond to their door after three days. We didn’t know if they were alive or dead. So we called the police, but they couldn’t break down the door, so they called the fire brigade.  We’ve got nurses, ambulance, police and the fire brigade all there. Just as we’re about to break down the door, the patient has opened it and said - ‘What do you want?’  We’ve spent days worried about them. They weren’t really happy, even though they initially consented to be seen at home, but that’s OK.  At the end of the day it’s a good story because the patient was OK.”