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ACU nursing head highlights role of pharmacy clinics

The head of nursing at the Australian Catholic University's Brisbane campus has said a new form of mother and baby health care is emerging in Queensland as more pharmacies step in to provide nurse-run clinics after the closure of many suburban government child health centres.

Dr Karen Flowers has conducted Australia's first study on nursing practice in pharmacy-based child health clinics, which surveyed five pharmacy-based child health clinics in south east Queensland.

She found pharmacies were typically employing registered nurses with midwifery qualifications to run the free clinics on a first come, first served basis for about four hours, once a week.

Dr Flowers said accessibility and no-cost were key reasons why new mothers were prepared to queue to see a nurse at a pharmacy clinic. "This is a free service and with the rollback of bulk billing, it suits the budget of many young families," she said.

Meanwhile midwifery and mental health expert Professor Barbara Hayes (pictured) spoke on the topic of Emotional Health of Childbearing Women: Do We Take it for Granted? at the 2004 Victor J. Couch Lecture at the Australian Catholic University's North Sydney campus on Wednesday.

Professor Hayes argued that while there have been major advances in the physical safety of pregnancy and childbirth over the past century, the stresses of the actual transition to parenthood have been somewhat overlooked, leaving at risk the mother's emotional well-being and, in turn, her infant's cognitive development.

Shopping centre pharmacies fill child health void (Australian Catholic University 22/10/04)
ACU National public lecture focuses on baby blues (Australian Catholic University 22/10/04)

ACU National

25 Oct 2004