Katungul: people by the sea

AMS of the month – Katungul AMS


A few weeks ago, as part of Deadly Sounds’ Living Healthy segment, we spoke to Chronic Disease and Health Data Coordinator at Katungul AMS, Jade Hansen, about the services they offer and how to prepare your body coming into winter, especially those with chronic conditions.

Deadly Sounds: We’re speaking to Jade Hansen from Katungul AMS. Thanks for joining us.

Jade Hansen: Thanks for having me.

DS: Now Katungul…what does Katungul stand for?

JH: People by the sea.

DS: As I mentioned, it [Katungul] services communities from Eden in the South of New South Wales to Batemans Bay.

DS: And whose country is that?

JH: Yuin Nation.

DS: When the winter weather comes in, do you see a lot of different conditions that you have to treat?

JH: We get the normal colds and flus, but it’s also a bad time for asthma, so our asthma rates start to increase and also the infection in diabetes.

DS: So with cold weather and the increase of diabetes infection, tell us a little about that and how it can be treated because I know our communities have a lot of chronic situations with diabetes, but I guess if they’re getting cuts and things like that?

JH: That’s correct. So if a diabetic person gets a cut or an abrasion on their skin, they’re more prone to infection due to the circulation of blood. Diabetics should get their feet checked at least once a year to make sure that the circulation and the pulse etc. is good, and to make sure there’s no cuts that they don’t realise they’ve got; it’s good for them to get their check-ups done.

DS: At Katungul AMS one of the big things you do is work in partnership with other local health services and health allied industries. Particularly with emotional wellbeing and mental health issues, have things got more positive working in that team-based partnership?

JH: The partnerships that we are in are excellent. We’ve managed to get a very strong partnership down this way especially because we’re covering such a large area. We’ve also got our internal services such as our Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team, our mental health registered nurse, and our psychologist – so they also work closely with other organisations and allied health services.

DS: Well, any tips you can give us on winter care at all? Should we be getting a flu shot, for example?

JH: Yes. Everyone should be getting their flu shot done. It does help prevent the flu. A lot of people think that if they get the flu shot they’re going to get the flu but that’s not the case at all.

DS: So if I was to come into Katungul and get a flu shot, which I guess doesn’t cost me anything?

JH: No, no, all services here are bulk billed through the GP.

DS: When I go home, am I going to feel anything that night?

JH: Your arm might get a little bit sore and that’s just from the needle going in; it might get a little tender the day after but other than that, you should be fine.

DS: So really, you know, get strong, you can do it, it’s only a needle.

JH: Yeah, toughen up.

DS: “Toughen up”. I was going to say that but I thought it might be a bit tough. Jade, thank you so much for talking to us and everyone down there, from Eden to Batemans Bay, go visit your local AMS, it’s important to get regular health checks.

For more information on Katungul AMS, visit their website.


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