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'Thinking outside the box': new service to provide improved cardiac care

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Locals who have suffered a stroke will have better access to potentially life-saving cardiac care, thanks to a new program at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital.

The nurse-led implantable loop recorder (ILR) service is expected to provide patients with “a brighter and healthier future”.

Nurse practitioner Tara Willcocks is the first Ramsay Health Care nurse in Australia to be trained to complete ILR procedures, which are traditionally performed by cardiologists.

Ms Willcocks was trained by cardiologist Dr Stuart Butterly, who said the program was designed to reduce patient wait times and enhance the patient experience, while increasing the capacity of local cardiac services.

“This nurse-led program will allow patients to be treated without delay and hopefully improve outcomes for those at-risk patients,” he said.

“The ILR procedure involves a small diagnostic device being implanted in the chest of stroke patients to detect cardiac arrythmias and help determine further treatment options.

A new program is set to bolster care at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital.

“Using a tablet, Ms Willcocks can conveniently activate the ILR and program the device parameters according to the patients’ needs.”

Ms Willcocks was delighted to be taught how to carry out the procedure.

“Learning from Dr Butterly has been an incredible experience,” she said.

“It feels wonderful to be one of just a few nurses in the country trained to complete this procedure,” she said.

“This new service is a testament to the passion and innovative thinking from the leadership team at SCUPH.

“Everyone in the cardiology service here is committed to advancing healthcare and thinking outside the box to offer more Australians greater health outcomes and a brighter and healthier future.”

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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