Improving Access To X-ray Services In Western NSW

Five nurses from Western NSW will now be able to deliver a range of x-ray services in regional and remote communities where immediate access to a radiographer may not be possible.

Minister for Regional Health, Ryan Park said, this is providing better care closer to home for those living in rural and regional areas.

“The nurses working in Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Warren and Coolah have gained their licence through the training course, after completing the NSW Limited Licence Radiography Course,” Mr Park said.

“The course gives rural and remote practitioners essential radiography skills to undertake a limited range of x-rays, improving access to care for people in our rural and regional communities.

“This is another example of the terrific opportunities available to rural nurses to add to their high-level skills and improve health access and outcomes for their local communities.”

Western NSW Local Health District Clinical Services Division Director James Harvey said, the five new licence holders join 15 nurses across the District who currently hold this licence.

“The five new participants have returned to their communities where they will help increase the availability of x-ray services offered in those towns,” Mr Harvey said.

The course enables rural and remote general practitioners, registered nurses, and physiotherapists to obtain a limited radiography licence from the NSW Environment Protection Authority. Diagnostic radiographers from across the LHD, provide ongoing supported to new license holders.

Cowra based Chief Radiographer Victoria Young, is one of those supporting radiographers, who conducts twice-yearly educational road trips to remote areas to ensure licence holders are continually developing their new skills.

“This program is providing great benefits to our communities by improving access to important x-ray services,” Ms Young said.

Member for Barwon Roy Butler welcomed the expansion of services and access to the local communities.  

“This training is great because it gives the talented clinicians who live and work in the communities of Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Warren and Coolah an opportunity to expand their skills, this means less requirement for people who are unwell to travel,” Mr Butler said.

“Having these services available locally helps to make our communities better places to live.”

In collaboration with WNSWLHD, Health Education and Training is looking to regularly run the course to ensure remote communities have key clinical staff trained to support the delivery of acute x-ray services in their communities.

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