Luke Strachan works as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) at Blacktown Hospital in the Emergency Department (ED), and he also works at a private practice. He decided to become a NP to offer better care to his patients, and it provides him with the opportunity to care for patients with diverse conditions, from minor illness and trauma to critical illness.
Tell us about your nursing journey.
I became a Registered Nurse in 2002, and since then I have gone through a couple of different stages in my nursing journey. I was a clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse educator, clinical nurse consultant, and eventually they brought me here, a NP. Throughout my NP studies and career, I had a very good mentor who gave me immense support. I became a NP because I liked the idea of taking patient care to the next level. I saw a need for the NP role, particularly in the ED, which had a high turnover of junior medical staff. I thought the NP role, supported by an extensive nursing background and local knowledge of the ED and the business, could help provide a consistent workforce that benefits the patients and the ED.
Tell us your current role as a NP.
In my hospital role, I don’t really have many limitations to treat patients with acute injury and illnesses, regardless of severity, and I have the opportunity to treat them from the initial appointment up until their discharge.
In my other role in private practice, I treat injuries that I see in the community. The community that I serve comprises of mixed demographics, significantly the lower social economic. I treat patients from infants to the elderly, with acute injuries.
What do you think is the most rewarding aspect as a NP?
It’s really rewarding when I see patients who came in with significant injury, walk out of the hospital in a much better condition with confidence.
What do you think is unique about your role?
The unique part of my job is that I am able to provide a service to my patients with my traditional nursing values, accompanied by my scientific and medical knowledge and skill.
What are you hoping to achieve in your current role as a NP?
Aside from continuing to provide an extra level of care, I would like to increase the number of NPs in Australia, and to make sure the NPs have the ability to provide quality care for the next generations. I would like to increase the awareness of the NP role, so we can be more included as a part of a collaborative team.
Do you have any advice for those who want to become a NP?
Learn from everyone in any given opportunities, whether they are your nursing colleagues, medical colleagues, or others. Grasp any given chances to advance your career.
How much will health consumers benefit from NPs?
As we practice with our nursing values, patients could be more comfortable to talk to us and share their problems and worries. This would provide us more in-depth background and information about their conditions. We also usually have more time to spend with the patients, and this helps us provide service with a holistic approach.