Child and Family Health CNS makes history at KempseyJan 24, 2024
Luci Foster has achieved a ‘first’ for Kempsey District Hospital, and her community.
The Registered Nurse has achieved Clinical Nurse Specialist status in Child and Family Health and is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that accompany the specialised role.
“I remember my first instance of hearing about a Child and Family Health Nurse (CFHN) while working at Port Macquarie Base Hospital’s Paediatric Unit,” Luci said.
“Whilst preparing a child for discharge the NUM called out …. ‘And make sure you contact the Child and Family Health Nurse, and request follow up.’
“I pulled an unprofessional face I’m sure, but quite intrigued by this stream of Nursing I had never heard of.”
Luci said she stumbled across Child and Family Health Nursing books on the ward one night shift and began to ask questions, discovering Child and Family Health Nurses have been around since 1914.
A few years later, Luci said she felt compelled to follow her heart.
“I felt my calling so much, that I changed from a master’s degree in Paediatric and Neonatal Nursing to specialise in Child and Family Health Nursing, and let’s just say the rest was a divine pathway,” she said.
“I am ever so grateful for my role in families’ lives at the Kempsey Primary and Community Care Centre.
“From linking with families when a baby is born, initially offering home visits, to when these children turn five years old is a magical journey.
“We know just how important the first 2000 days are, and I am immensely proud to be a part of this wonderful team of Nurses.
“There is something so special about having had the opportunity to share tiny moments of their development – health checks, vaccinations, child behaviour support, family support, referral pathways and all the family partnerships in between, and then concluding the journey with that last entry in these babies’ blue books is a very special moment.”
Luci said the autonomy of a Child and Family Health Nurse role can be incredibly challenging at times.
“A C&FHN often has no diagnostic tools (which is a huge change coming from an acute nursing setting). The clinician often carries a lot of the concern with families until a resolution or pathway is achieved.
“Obtaining this CNS title means a lot.
“I always strive to pass on whatever knowledge I have gathered. There are not many weeks where I am not exposed to something new and always learning along the way.
“A Nurse once told me: ‘the day you know everything in Nursing, is the day you need to leave,’ and on that note I hope that I continue to learn in this excellent profession.”