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Holistic model of care empowers people with kidney disease

29 July 2020

Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Renal Nurse Navigator service is giving the estimated 1 in 10 Australians suffering from kidney disease the tools required to lead healthier, happier lives.

Princess Alexandra Hospital-based Renal Nurse Navigator Grant Ramke said his role was all about advocating for and empowering kidney patients to manage their disease more effectively.  

“Kidney disease refers to all conditions of the kidney, lasting at least three months, that affect the filtration and removal of waste from the blood by the kidneys or leakage of protein or albumin in the urine.

“I support patients by communicating their health needs to their GP, community organisations, nurses on the ward, allied health, and consultants so they can benefit from a collaborative care plan, and identify additional services that could be of benefit to them to build up their capacity to manage their own health.” 

Mr Ramke said a large part of the Nurse Navigator service offering was becoming aware of and stepping in to modify the unfavourable economic and social conditions contributing to a patient’s poor health.

“Over the last six months I have been assisting patients to overcome situations that have prevented them from managing their kidney disease,” he said.

“I might be trying to work with a patient’s GP about getting them access to a persistent pain management service, and at the same time be helping the patient with a social housing application. I support people to address any barriers they face, like homelessness, that affect the way they manage their kidney disease.

“My service is quite different to a number of the other nurse navigator models that are out there in that my intake is quite small – I only have 15-20 on my books at any one time because of the specialised nature of the work I do, and the regions I work within,” he said.

Mr Ramke said he was currently making a difference to patients residing in Lowood, Caboolture, Redland Islands, Jimboomba, and Yarrabilba. 

“Nurse Navigators are looking after the most complex patients who are at the pointy end of their health care journey and who are experiencing significant struggles that limit their capacity to attend to their kidney disease,” Mr Ramke said.

“It is a great feeling knowing I’m able to streamline their health care journey and enable communications between all their healthcare providers so they can achieve the best possible health outcomes.”

For more information or to access the Renal Nurse Navigator service visit: www.metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/referrals/nurse-navigators/nurse-navigator-faqs

Last updated 29 July 2020
Last reviewed 29 July 2020

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