An Australian First – Abestsos Related Disease Nurses’ Education Program

Lung Foundation Australia and Comcare Australia will partner to provide an Australian first in the development of a Nursing Education Program to care for patients/carers that have an asbestos-related disease (ARD) and in particular, mesothelioma patients.

Lung Foundation Nurse Educator, Judy Rafferty, will lead this project and has spent years caring for Mesothelioma patients and their families.

“I’m very passionate and enthusiastic about making a difference for patients and my nurse colleagues and I believe that if we “value” and “care” for our workforce, our patients and carers will benefit from the outcomes” Judy said.

Alarmingly, Australia has the highest incidence of Mesothelioma per capita in the world. In fact,  National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC ) reports have estimated that more than 25,000 Australians will die from mesothelioma over the next 40 years.

Given the assumed lack of general knowledge about ARD and mesothelioma within our society and more specifically amongst many of health colleagues, there is a need to explore avenues of assistance in changing the current climate.

Judy Rafferty is currently writing online modules for the national asbestos-related disease nurses’ program. This pilot program will also have a 4 day face to face component, to ensure that the core group of mentors have a good working relationship and network. Judy is committed to delivering a robust and professionally sound program containing best practice initiatives. A project advisory committee has been established and will support Judy’s work over the next few months to have the final product completed.

Once completed, the Nursing Education Program will seek accreditation status from the Australian College of Nursing.

From 15th April 2013, expressions of Interest for the Nurses’ pilot Education Program will be distributed to the current nursing workforce (including via ANZLCNF membership) to gain a representative from each state in Australia including rural/remote and Indigenous representation

For more information, please contact Judy Rafferty on judyr@lungfoundation.com.au or 0429073929.