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Fertility nurses' skills impressive.

Alison Gemmell's article "Helping couples achieve a pregnancy", published in July, p25, highlights an important, but relatively small part of the work of the three nurses who work for the Otago District Health Board's fertility service. The article somewhat disappointingly fails to identify and address the key elements of their role. As a referrer to, and consumer of the service, the scope of the fertility nurses' clinical skills and knowledge overall is impressive, as they become increasingly specialised in the ever-expanding fertility field. Their knowledge base as it applies to current fertility treatments, including treatment regimens, pharmacology and best practice, coupled with their accessibility 24-hours-a-day and support for women and couples, results in high quality clinical and holistic care for those undergoing fertility treatments in the Otago/Southland regions.

Over more recent years, the nurses have taken on increasingly complex procedural roles (such as intra-uterine insemination). These roles continue to be provided by medical staff in many other fertility centres. As a patient, this can mean that, following initial fertility specialist assessment, nurses can provide the treatment required for a successful pregnancy to occur. This up-skilling of nurses in these procedural roles has allowed more flexibility for women and couples undertaking fertility treatment, as they are no Longer reliant on the availability of medical staff.

Those seeking fertility treatment in the Otago and Southland regions are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable, up-to-date, and supportive nursing team, committed fully to working with them in achieving pregnancy.

Ann Homer, GP, Dunedin

Co-editors note: Alison Gemmell was invited to contribute o short piece about her work. It was never intended to be an indepth article about the service.
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Author:Horner, Ann
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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