A Spatial Analysis of the Expanding Roles of Nurses in General Practice

BMC Nursing 2012, 11:13, Published 07 August 2012

Christopher Pearce, Sally Hall, Christine Phillips, Kathryn Dwan, Rachael Yates, and Bonnie Sibbald

“Background: Changes to the workforce and organisation of general practice are occurring rapidly in response to the Australian health care reform agenda, and the changing nature of the medical profession. In particular, the last five years has seen the rapid introduction and expansion of a nursing workforce in Australian general practices. This potentially creates pressures on current infrastructure in general practice.

“Method: This study used a mixed methods, ‘rapid appraisal’ approach involving observation, photographs, and interviews.

“Results: Nurses utilise space differently to GPs, and this is part of the diversity they bring to the general practice environment. At the same time their roles are partly shaped by the ways space is constructed in general practices.

“Conclusion: The fluidity of nursing roles in general practice suggests that nurses require a versatile space in which to maximize their role and contribution to the general practice team.”