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Nurse Navigators help lead the way to a better life

14 September 2021

In 2019 Shane Hardy was in a very bad way. He weighed just 47kg, was living in an unsuitable environment, was having as many as 4 or 5 seizures every day, and had trouble communicating.

He was brought by ambulance to Rockhampton Hospital Emergency Department multiple times every week. His accommodation was not physically safe, he was unable to shower and needed help with daily care.

Now, with support from CQ Health’s Rockhampton Nurse Navigators, his overnight support from JB Support Services and the team of support staff from Home Support Association (HSA), Shane lives in a flat in Parkhurst with his cat Honey, and he’s been able to fulfil his aim of creating his own garden. He lives very independently and is busy attending different programs most days.

Shane was very vulnerable and disconnected in the community. It’s been a long journey, from getting support to make and attend his first neurologist’s appointment in Brisbane, to sorting out his essential medications and other basic living functions.

Nurse Navigator at the time Kelly Adams recalled Shane being referred to her by a support worker. He was struggling to register with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which she was able to help with. As Shane was unable to make any of his own decisions, Kelly also involved Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for health, accommodation and service provision, and Public Trustee to protect him financially.

Jared Kummerfeld is now Shane’s Nurse Navigator, working closely with his primary support worker Brad Gardiner (from JB Services) and he is so proud of the progress made he wanted to share the success story to highlight the importance of the Nurse Navigator role.

“As a nurse I really enjoy seeing that holistic picture, and to see how far Shane has come is very rewarding,” he said.

“Nurse Navigators create partnerships with other essential services in the community, including the wonderful team at HSA, general practitioners, pharmacists, specialists and other medical providers.” This highlights how Nurse Navigators provide the right care at the right time in the right place.

“While our health system is very effective, it’s also very large and can be quite difficult and daunting to navigate through. It’s wonderful to be able to help people like Shane to get the services they need, and with his primary support worker Brad we’ve been able to improve Shane’s health and his living arrangements.”

Leanne Chippendale, Programs Manager with Home Support Association, said since joining group programs at HSA, Shane had gone from a quiet and reserved persona, to the engaged and humorous man he is known for with those closest to him.

“Early on it was evident Shane needed support to balance and participate in finite tasks,” Leanne said. “As he became stronger, more confident and developed a rapport with other group members, his balance and hand-eye coordination improved, and he is now frequently helping others in groups – especially woodwork – to use tools and complete projects. We’ve discovered he’s a natural problem solver and classic comedian!”

Shane recently celebrated 30 days without a seizure and has had just one ambulance ride in the past 12 months, which is a milestone worth celebrating.

He’s now enjoying life and is grateful for the support he’s received and continues to get daily.

Patient Shane Hardy (centre), is pictured with some of his support crew (from left) Nurse Navigators Kelly Adams and Jared Kummerfeld, Primary Support (JB Support Services) Brad Gardiner, HSA Support Worker Marcus Gooda, Support Coordinator Maddie Foster-Mobbs from First Base (HSA), HSA Client Engagement Officer Grace Goodman and HSA Programs Manager Leanne Chippendale.

Patient Shane Hardy (centre), is pictured with some of his support crew

Last updated: 15 September 2021

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