December 12 marked 20 years since the first nurse practitioners (NPs) were endorsed in Australia.
There are now over 2,000 around the country, including more than 30 in Western Sydney Local Health District — but what exactly is an NP?
Joining us on the latest episode of Western Sydney Health Check to answer this question is transplant nurse practitioner Kathy Kable and sexual health nurse practitioner Donna Tilley.
Kathy was the first NP at Westmead Hospital and has been the main carer for many people who have benefited from life-saving or life-extending organ transplants. Her expertise allows her to prescribe medication; a vital component of care for ongoing wellbeing post-transplant.
Donna is the only sexual health NP in the state and works closely with people from many backgrounds, addressing not only their physical health but also the mental, emotional and social concerns that go along with it.
The pair share some of the highlights and challenges in their roles, including how it feels to work with the same patients for years or even decades.
Listen to the end for some musical education as Donna shares her hidden talent for a niche instrument called the banjolele.
To learn more about what it takes to become an NP, check out the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners.