Practice Nurses Can Do More
Online-Befragungen von VERAH-Absolventen und Praxisinhaberngerman translation / full article
Online Surveys of VERAH-Graduates and Practice Owners
Background: In the last years the continuously increasing workload of family practitioners (FPs) has led to discussions about possibilities to delegate tasks to practice nurses (PAs). One of the preconditions considered is an enlargement of medical knowledge by training courses. The aim of our investigation was the characterisation of these training courses under the aspect of reducing the workload of FPs.
Methods: For the presented investigation we chose the ex-post-facto-design. During the empirical social research a questionnaire was developed, pre-tested, and used as an online survey. The training course centre invited nationwide family practitioners who had sent their employed PAs to training courses between 2009 and 2013 to take part in the study. Also the graduates of these training courses were invited to the anonymous participation of addresses-specific online survey.
Results: The responding participants – FP and PA – have a mainly positive attitude towards delegation. The graduates perceive the VERAH training courses as a significant support for their practice owners and a possible reduction of workload for the FPs as an increase of effectiveness. Currently an insufficient restructuring of the family practice seems to hinder an optimal use of the acquired qualification. While the statements of participants suggest a successful implementation of prevention-, practice-, and wound-management, the home-visit- and case-management seem to have a potential for more delegation. The response rate was 31.3 % (551 practice owner), respectively 44.7 % (916 graduates).
Conclusions: The training courses of PAs appear to have a great potential for the reduction of FPs’ workload. However the results indicate that a further restructuring of the family practice should be considered.