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Nurse Practitioner Boosts ED

Nurse practitioner Lydia Cobham stood outside Ambulance bay at Northeast Health Wangaratta
Lydia Cobham – Nurse Practitioner at NHW Emergency Department

Nurse Practitioner Lydia Cobham is relishing the chance to increase access to care in Northeast Health Wangaratta’s (NHW) Emergency Department.

Lydia recently began in her Nurse Practitioner role – a senior position in the Emergency Department with an advanced scope of practice.

As a Nurse Practitioner Lydia is able to refer patients to specialists, prescribe medications, and order diagnostic investigations – like blood tests and X-Rays.

To become a Nurse Practitioner, Lydia was required to undertake additional study, culminating in 5000 hours of advanced practice over a three year period, followed by the development of a portfolio, before she was endorsed by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Lydia said increasing access to care was the driving force behind her becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

“It means I’m able to provide an advanced nursing model of care to achieve positive outcomes for those accessing our health service,” she said.

“Having this role means we can increase access to healthcare for people and reduce the time they need to wait when attending our Emergency Department.”

Lydia began at NHW 10 years ago in her third year out of university, having moved to Wangaratta from New Zealand.

In that time she has completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Rural Critical Care, a Masters degree, and spent 18 months working in remote locations.

Her latest qualification serves as a pathway for other local nurses.

“It’s inspiring for other nurses as well – people are getting super excited about the possibilities.”

NHW is celebrating International Nurses Day on Thursday, 12 May. #IND2022