THIS is the Scope of Practice We Need: Safe, Equitable & World-Class!

In 2004, the Australian Health Ministers endorsed the National standard defining the scope of clinical practice which was developed by the Australian Council for Safety & Quality in Health Care – and as a nation which strives to be world-class and no longer a mere ‘Third World’ country, our South African breast health policy we are lobbying for must include the following requirements within the scope of practice in breast cancer treatment:

Scope of Practice - South Africa - Breast Health Policy - Breast Cancer

Cancer is COMPLEX — and this complexity must be fully incorporated as a medical and social reality within the scope of practice by each and every member of the multidisciplinary team.
• The range of clinicians with different professional expertise (medicine, nursing, psycho-social support, allied health etc.) involved in cancer care is also complex — and proactive, together-teamwork is critical to the success of their collective care.
• The serious complications and side-effects of some treatment, as well as their impact on their hearts and lives of the people receiving the treatment.
• The advances in technology and research that are changing best practice care at a rapid pace and must vigilantly be on the care team’s radar.
• For patients to have access to safe and high quality services, it is important that professionals ensure:

  1.  They have the necessary skills to carry out those aspects of cancer care they undertake and there is institutional capacity and resources to support such care (for example, equipment, staffing and skill mix.)
  2. They have clear links and open lines of communication with a range of specialties or multidisciplinary care team required for cancer care, for the purpose of clinical advice, referral and continuing education & awareness.
  3. They follow evidence-based practice or treatment recommendations of a multidisciplinary care team.
  4. They undertake regular review of their performance and contribute to regular audit of their cancer care.
  5. They are actively involved in continuing professional development.
  6. Their patients can make an informed choice about their care, including the options of referral to other professionals or other care centres.

And yet again we see a clear and urgent need for cancer care to be patient-centred! Do you feel the list above includes the aspects necessary for a holistic and effective scope of practice? Let us know in the Comments block below or on our Facebook community page!

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