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MCH nurses keep in touch

23 Jun, 2020

Maternal and Child Health nurses continue to stay in touch with families in Wodonga despite the challenges of COVID-19.

There has been more than 1000 phone consultations to families via telephone in the past three months, not including newborn home visits.

Team Leader Maternal and Child Health Nicole Byrne said staying in touch with families was more important than ever.

"It's an impressive figure and shows how MCH nurses have continued to engage with families," she said.

"Early on we focused on babies less than eight weeks of age as a priority for the service but we were not doing routine face to face for all usual visits. All young babies were seen in their early weeks."

Bryne said the nurses were moving back to more face-to-face visits in line DHHS recommendations, however, the option of telephone contact remains available.

"With restrictions easing, we have the opportunity to go back to seeing all zero to eight-week babies and other families with older children as required," she said.

"The service is also in the process of taking steps to ensure telehealth consultations are an available option as an ongoing feature of our service into the future.

"At this stage we continue to use a combination of phone and face-to-face, and are trying to be flexible around service delivery based on a family's needs."

Enhanced MCH nurse Jane Caldwell has been using a mixture of technologies to keep in contact with her families and other professionals.

Caldwell works with vulnerable families and she has found innovative ways to connect with other professionals.

She has used it to help link families with professionals from external agencies so all team members can be connected in the same conversation.

"I have a lot of families who have appointments with places such as the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne," she said.

"We have been able to link up families with multiple health professionals on the same call. It also means that some families wouldn't skip appointments as they don't have to leave home to attend.

"For my regular families, I've been using a mixture of Facetime, phone calls, texting and photos to stay in touch. The families have really embraced it and are happy to engage with us."