SEARCH WITHIN CONTENT
Citation Information : Australasian Journal of Neuroscience. Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 3-4, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/ajon-2021-001a
License : (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Published Online: 01-May-2021
It is great to see the research and rapid growth of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Nurse Specialist (PDMDNS) positions across Australia. The 2020 Annual Demographic Survey provides an important baseline, providing key details regarding the workforce in Australia. The results present a unique opportunity to track the growth and changes within the speciality and also address needs areas such as the underservicing of rural and remote areas.
As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the way we live, work, and interact organisations are scrambling to manage the fallout and to prepare for not only what is next but also a new norm of social distancing, remote and virtual communicating and working. Life has been a journey of existential challenges and it is impossible to overestimate the gravity of the pandemic. We might all wish that we had a crystal ball to have predicted the impact and devastation of Covid-19. What we have is strength in the structure of our organisations with vision and mission statements.
As Neuroscience Nurses we need to be leaders and we need to be reactive to the challenges that confront us. We also need vision and a strategic path towards it. We need to look beyond the dark horizon of Covid-19 and be guided, together with guiding those in our care. An essential part of this is understanding our workforce. It is only through measuring, monitoring and formally reviewing our workforce that we can adjust to meet the needs of individuals in our care.
Vision is especially urgent during a pandemic. Variations to our practice that we might have had even two years ago unfolded in a matter of weeks and months following the events of January 2019. Videoconferencing, phone consultations and building the skillsets of regional and rural practitioners is vitally important to meeting needs in this changing environment and the growth of these areas has been exponentially steep. Covid-19 has widened all our skillsets, we have all become more flexible in the way we network and meet the needs of clients. However, we need to be open to the fact that this is perhaps the new norm of health care delivery. Alternatively, when this pandemic does end, our healthcare models may be different again from what they were when the pandemic began. We need to begin planning now and have a longer-term vision that envisions beyond the pandemic.
Achieving geographical equity and meeting the needs of individuals residing in rural and remote areas is challenging and never more so than now. The Movement Disorder Chapter aims to reduce geographical isolation and promote professional identity. These key aspect in the Chapter’s Mission Statement marry perfectly with the aims and outcomes of the survey. It is often said that an organisation without a Mission Statement is like a ship without a compass and during a pandemic we need every compass bearing we can get. We must work though this pandemic, but we also need to be able to work towards a future and we should not be afraid of setting long-term goals and aspirations. It is all too easy to feel constrained by the pandemic and the restrictions that have resulted from it, but it has also provided us with opportunities. So many stories have been inspiring and imbued with purpose. We can only hope that the future is a little more stable than the current ship we are on and that our vision and Mission Statements continue to provide those compass bearings.
We will emerge from this stronger and more resilient than we were before, and I look forward to seeing this in the 2021 survey.