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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A qualitative evaluation of New Zealand consumers perceptions of general practice nurses

Elizabeth J Halcomb1*, Kath Peters1 and Deborah Davies2

Author affiliations

1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia

2 Clinical Nurse Specialist (Lead) Primary Health Care, Health Care Development, MidCentral District Health Board, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Citation and License

BMC Family Practice 2013, 14:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-26

Published: 22 February 2013

Abstract

Background

An important consideration in health service delivery is ensuring that services meet consumer needs and that consumers are satisfied with service delivery. Patient satisfaction can impact on compliance with suggested treatments and therefore impact on health outcomes. Comparatively few studies have explored consumer satisfaction with nurses in general practice.

Methods

A sub-group of 18 consumers from a larger quantitative evaluation of consumer satisfaction with New Zealand general practice nurses participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Interview data was analysed using thematic analysis.

Results

Four major themes emerged from the data. These themes highlighted that, despite confusion experienced by some consumers regarding the practice nurse role, consumers were happy with the level of care provided by them. Consumers felt valued by Practice Nurses and considered them competent and highly knowledgeable. Findings also convey that consumers appreciate the accessibility and financial benefits of utilising the services of practice nurses.

Conclusions

Consumers are highly satisfied with practice nurse service delivery and value their relationships with these health professionals. Consumers revealed that greater clarity around the practice nurse role and their scope of practice may enhance their utilisation. Spreading the message of practice nurses being the right person to deliver care, within their scope of practice, at the right time may have the potential to provide more timely care within the primary care setting.

Keywords:
Primary health care; Patient satisfaction; Practice Nursing; Qualitative research