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Nurse Delegated Emergency Care

Nurse Delegated Emergency Care (NDEC) is designed to provide timely, quality care for patients presenting to EDs in rural and remote areas with less urgent conditions. Under this model the care of these patients is delegated by the facility’s Medical Officer/s to specially trained and credentialed registered nurses. In a defined range of patient care episodes, NDEC-accredited nurses are authorised to undertake assessment, investigation, intervention and discharge, following detailed protocols and guidelines. Key features of NDEC include:

  • Patients are assessed against strict inclusion criteria.

  • If inclusion criteria are not met then a doctor must be contacted.

  • If the patient's care can be provided through NDEC, the RN may provide nursing interventions to manage symptom relief. The patient may then be discharged with specific follow up instructions.

  • Follow up is offered to the patient by returning to the ED or attending a local GP clinic. The patient also receives a follow up phone call within 24 hours to check on their status.

  • NDEC may operate in a facility 24/7, or as an after hours model or when no GP is available.

  • The nurse can opt out of the model if concerned about a patient's condition.

NDEC can only be only implemented with express support and cooperation from the facility's Medical Officer/s, HSM/NUM and LHD. Operating the NDEC model is within the scope of practice of a Registered Nurse. To be credentialed to practice NDEC, RNs must fulfil the requirements of the NDEC Education and Accreditation Framework, including satisfactory completion of the education and competency assessment. Qualification or endorsement as an Advanced Practice Nurse or Nurse Practitioner is not required.

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