Meet Kisha and Tamera, two of the nurses at the Queensland Health Contact Centre who are dedicated to helping community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kisha Spearitt: a proud Nguri and Noonuccal woman, Nguri mob coming from Meteor Creek area which is not far from Carnarvon Gorge in Central Qld and my Noonuccal mob, from Northern Stradbroke Island area; and
- Tamara Newell: a proud Kamilaroi woman, from the North West NSW region, Kamilaroi is the only Aboriginal mob that crosses over from NSW and into QLD and we are the second largest mob in NSW.
Kisha and Tamara are part of the team the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Division has funded from August 2020 as a part of Queensland Health increasing options to support First Nations communities.
The nurses answer a range of queries including assessing symptoms, referral to appropriate services, understanding health directions, questions about the different phases of the pandemic and risks, educate and promote the benefits of the vaccines and assist local community health workers complete the mandatory Commonwealth courses regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) Nursing Service at the Health Contact Centre is now focused on delivering:
- an outbound call service to mob who have chronic health conditions providing education about the vaccines and assisting people to book appointments – this is proving to have very good results as recently presented at the Face to Face Public Health Physicians / First Nations Leads meeting in Townsville
- Implementing an SMS program targeting different geographical areas and ages with messages to encourage vaccine uptake
Remember Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) anytime to gain confidential assessment and advice from Registered Nurses about health matters 24 hours a day 7 days a week.13-Health-First-Nations-Nurses