Princess Alexandra Hospital’s newest Nurse Navigator, Kelli Flowers, jokes that she ‘grew up in aged care' and, in reality, it’s not far from the truth.
The Dementia Nurse Navigator’s mother was the Director of an Aged Care Facility so it’s safe to say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Throughout my whole nursing career, I have always worked during the week in an acute hospital environment and in aged care facilities on the weekend.
“It’s an area of care I am very passionate about and I can’t wait to keep progressing with this cohort as part of the specialist Delirium and Dementia Nursing service here at PA Hospital,” she said.
Kelli relocated from Sydney to take on the role, having previously been the Aged Care Clinical Nurse Consultant for Liverpool Hospital.
“I was in that role for 10 years and was very actively involved in a range of geriatric-focussed activities at the local and state level.
As the Dementia Nurse Navigator, Kelli assists patients in their coordination of care through their health journey, partnering with GPs and services providers to improve outcomes.
“Through this role, I am able to assist in ensuring these patients receive the right care or treatment in the right place and measures are in place for them when they arrive into hospital and when they are discharged.
“It’s about working with patients and families to develop their healthcare goals which promote independence and assist them to manage their own healthcare needs,” she said.
“Clients with dementia may return to hospital due to behavioural and psychological symptoms such as agitation, delusions or hallucinations.
“By seeing a patient quickly, we can provide person centred information to inform their care needs, support their carer to meet their needs, as well as ensuring community links.”
Some of the functions of the Nurse Navigator role include attending patients at their bedside in hospital, in their own home or in collaboration with their specialist or GP appointment, securing appropriate hospital rooms potentially in specialised spaces like the Acute Cognitive Unit where required, improving health literacy in patients with an cognitive impairment and their family/carer, and assisting with same-day appointments for those with a mobility impairment.