I am a mother of 3 adult children and a pug. I went to university and got my nursing degree when my youngest child was 3 years old and went on to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Nursing (psychology stream) at the same time completed a Diploma of Aromatherapy and Certificate of Massage.
I integrate all of my learning to enhance the well-being of my patients through holistic care, always looking outside the box.
The reason I did nursing was to make a difference, which I have been able to do with my work and in particular the work I do with refugees – I have a great affection for the Karen community, who expect nothing but give so much in return.
My journey started working at a community centre in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where I was asked to initiate a nurse-led care plan clinic, the patients were mainly Karen, who come from a state in Burma.
I was fortunate enough to have as my assistant and interpreter someone who spoke both Karen and Burmese. The GP’s were of great support to me and very experienced in hepatitis B. I also did a 2 day hepatitis B seminar organised by Jacqui Richmond in 2015.
Through the hepatitis B care plan, contact tracing began. My educational tools were the Hep B story and video, a hepatitis B spread sheet was my data base where I recorded all bloods, liver ultrasounds and contact tracing.
All my patients were always booked back in with me and given a pathology slip for bloods, and if a liver ultrasound was due a radiology slip. That was how close surveillance was always maintained. I had a great team with myself at the centre of a centralised system.
I also presented at the APNA conference in 2016 and was asked to write an article about my work that was published. Not long after through the University of Melbourne, a clinic audit was done with some funding from a Primary Health Network. One of our GP’s facilitated with the audit and my hepatitis B spread sheets were used for data collection .
The clinic audit was also presented in poster form at a viral hepatitis conference in 2017, and I did a QA Evaluation and a power point presentation to the PHN in 2017.
I continue seeing patients with hepatitis B and HIV at Footscray and Laverton through my health care plans. I continue to have surveillance for hepatitis B patients, to educate them to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and reduce the risk of liver cancer.
Vicki’s message to others…
Hepatitis B patients can be managed through care plans in a GP setting and probably elsewhere, after working successfully managing hepatitis B patients through care plans in a streamlined system, I know it works and it’s a matter of applying this to other GP’s practices – that I would love to help with. Don’t give up – continue to look at ways to manage hepatitis B patients and contact tracing and working holistically.