Providing travel health care – the nurses' role: an international comparison

Bauer, Irmgard, Hall, Sheila, and Sato, Nahoko (2013) Providing travel health care – the nurses' role: an international comparison. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 11 (4). pp. 214-224.

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Background: In many countries, the responsibility for travel health lies with medical practitioners who delegate certain tasks to nursing staff. Elsewhere, nurses have taken a leading role and work independently in private or hospital based clinics, occupational health departments and general practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the roles and challenges faced by nurses providing travel health care in Australia, Japan and the UK, and to compare educational and professional needs.

Methods: Nurses involved in travel health care were invited to complete an online questionnaire with multiple choice, open-ended, and Likert Scale questions. SurveyMonkey's statistical facilities analysed quantitative data; thematic content analysis was applied to qualitative responses.

Results: Differences and similarities between the three countries were conveyed by 474 participants focusing on current positions, work arrangements, and educational and practical concerns. Clinical practice issues, including vaccination and medication regulations, were highlighted with the differences between countries explained by the respective history of travel health care development and the involvement within their nursing profession.

Conclusion: The call for more educational opportunities, including more support from employers, and a refinement of the role as travel health nurse appears to be international. Nurses require support networks within the field, and the development of a specialist "travel health nurse" would give a stronger voice to their concerns and needs for specific education and training in travel health care.

Item ID: 27247
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-0442
Keywords: travel health nursing, continuous education, professional development, practice nursing, general practice
Date Deposited: 28 May 2013 23:44
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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