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Meet some partners-in-care

In this video, you can watch different partners-in-care discuss the partnership-centred care model.
Well, I’m Bruce Watson. I’m 77. As far as medical problems go, until I was 70, I probably didn’t have any problems. But since then, I’ve had a multitude. Hi, my name’s Janice Watson, and I’m 74 years old. Yes, I’m married to Bruce Watson, and he’s 77 years old. Hi, I’m Kerry, and I’m a registered nurse. And I’ve cared for older people across a range of settings. Working within a partnership-centred approach is important, so we can create the best environment to promote health and wellness and to optimise people’s experience along their journey of care. When we understand and appreciate other people’s perspectives and priorities that may be different to our own, we work together towards shared goals.
This helps us to interact collaboratively in a professional and positive environment. My name’s Georgia; I’m a third-year student here at Deakin University. And I contribute to a partners-in-care approach by trying to understand as much as I can from my experiences during a placement and working with all different members of the healthcare professional team.
I think it’s very important. The doctor I did have for probably 10 or 12 years when we first moved here, we had a common interest because he used to ride a bike. He used to like going out for a ride. And I would ride a bike for 40-odd years. It’s very important we have a good relationship. Because as you get older, you see these people a lot more than you used to. And it’s very important that you can communicate with them and they understand your views on different things, attitudes and all the rest of it, as to treatments. And I think it’s very important.
A good relationship is where all people are able to communicate effectively in a respectful and positive manner. Active listening and communicating well are key skills of working together. Valuing the input of others enables us to gain a comprehensive understanding of a situation from various viewpoints. We learn of older people’s needs and preferences and incorporate those into a care plan, which is more likely to make it effective and relevant. Ultimately, collegiality is all about teamwork and working with everyone toward a specific goal.
And this can be in the nursing environment, working with other healthcare professionals to make decisions about a patient’s care, and then working with patients to determine what works best for them and what kind of approach we need to take to best address their needs.
Well, the main one was the man who did the aorta. In the last few months, actually, the plastic surgeon who fixed up the hole in my leg– and I go to a heart specialist once a year. My mainstay is Jan. I don’t know how I’d get on if she wasn’t around, but– Well, probably the GP, like I said, just for general upkeep. And the pharmacist, as I said, is very good to us. Bruce goes to a specialist. And he’s got a few now. When he goes to a specialist, I always go with him. Always. Because I think when you go to a specialist, you don’t get a second chance at questions like you do with your GP.
You can ring them up or have a communication with them. With a specialist, it’s not so easy. There are many people and partners-in-care that we work with and collaborate with every day. The older person and their family and their friends and connections in the community, the staff, including nursing care staff, general staff, carers, students, volunteers, and other members of the workforce and other health professionals. Not every person is involved in every team. Some will only be involved when the situation requires it. Being flexible and being able to quickly adapt to a changing situation in a positive environment is essential. Firstly, it would have to be our patients, because they’re the whole reason we’re there. Secondly, it would be nurses.
Thirdly, it would have to be other students, so being able to bounce off each other and debrief about our days is really beneficial for our practice.
Our age group probably lived in the most exciting and changeable times of mankind, as you might say.
But people our age, we’ve seen a lot and in some cases, done a lot, but there are things we want to remember, things we want to forget. But I’m quite happy with what I’ve done over the years and how life is now. Well, I can follow through on has to be done, whatever the doctor or the surgeon or the nurse– we’ve had nurses come dressing his wounds. And they tell me what I’ve got to do, so I can do it. Now, I’m doing it. We’re not having the nurse. The nurse or the nurse manager works to coordinate the care experience for the older person and for the healthcare team.
That involves ensuring the best-practice environment and supporting a professional approach to care and valuing the input of each of the partners-in-care. Providing health care and receiving health care can have its challenging moments for all of us, whether we’re a staff member, person at the centre of the care, or someone connected in some way. Working together in a partnership-centred approach enables care that understands the perspective of others. It’s collegial. It’s collaborative. And it connects to the goals of the team.
Well, I think the biggest contribution students can make is all about taking what we’ve learned during school and being able to apply it in our practice, and learning how to effectively communicate with patients and their families and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to make decisions with the patient.

When it comes to partnership-centred care, everyone has a role to play.

The partnership approach highlights the importance of good communication, collaboration, positive relationships and the unique perspective that each partner-in-care can contribute.

Your task

Watch the video to hear from some real life partners-in-care and discover what their different perspectives and experiences of the partnership-centred approach are.

What about their stories most resonates for you? Share your thoughts and observations in the comments section.

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Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model

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