Community nurses' child protection role: views of public health nurses in Ireland

Louth Primary Care Centre, County Louth, Ireland.
Community practitioner: the journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association 11/2011; 84(11):33-6.
Source: PubMed


Public health nurses in Ireland are generalist practitioners with a wide range of roles that address the needs of clients in the community across their lifespan. Child protection is one of many of the roles of Irish public health nurses. However, with increasing caseloads, birth rates and aging populations, their child protection role is becoming more difficult to define and practise safely. This paper presents a key finding of a qualitative study that explored the views of a group of public health nurses (n = 10) regarding their role with pre-school children. A significant theme following analysis of the interviews were the nurses' expressed concerns on their role in child protection. There is a need to define the role practised by public health nurses in child protection and to achieve a standard for this nationally.

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