Tag Archives: innovation

Free Open Access Mental Health Education for General Nurses and Midwives #FOANed

If you’re a nurse or midwife, and own an internet-enabled device you have unprecedented access to information.

Information + motivation = education.

Borrowing from the very successful #FOAMed initiative, recently there has been a flurry of activity regarding Free Open Access Nursing Education (aka #FOANed).  That is:

Free
Open
Access
Nurse
education

The #FOANed hashtag makes it’s easy to share info and resources via social media. If you’re cruising Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Instagram, have a look for the #FOANed hashtag.

Still not sure what the #FOANed hashtag is all about? Perhaps it’s just easier to see for yourself via this Storify (click here).

Mental Health #FOANed

Anyway, in the spirit of #FOANed, here are four suggestions for free open access nursing education re mental health for general nurses and midwives (click on each picture for more info):

1. Physical and Mental Health Care via Australian College of Mental Health Nurses:

2. Mental Health Liaison in General Hospitals via New South Wales Health:

inkysmudge.com.au/eSimulation/mhl.html

inkysmudge.com.au/eSimulation/mhl.html

3. Perinatal Mental Health Training for Midwives via Monash University:

perinatal.med.monash.edu.au

perinatal.med.monash.edu.au

4. MIND Essentials via Queensland Health:

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of the mental health #FOANed available online, but hopefully it’s enough to get you started if you’re looking for some CPD/info.

Please feel free to add your suggestions for other free open access nursing education re mental health in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 20th October 2014

Short URL: meta4RN.com/FOANed

Stay connected, stay strong… before and after baby

Copy of Stay connected, stay strong… before and after baby DVD on YouTube (33 minutes):

From the back cover of the DVD:

StayConnectedPregnancy, birth and parenting can be a very positive time, but sometimes it may not be how you expected it to be. Adjusting to life as a mother can be hard and make women feel down and distressed. In Australia, one in every six women experience depression during this time.

This DVD has been created to support Indigenous women, men and families understand the importance of good social and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy and beyond.

Going to get help might feel like the hardest part, but it is the best thing you can do for yourself, your baby and your family. Getting help early gives the best chance of a strong and healthy future.

YouTube URL: http://youtu.be/CLsjgw8pvOA

.

Why is the Video Online?

The video is online so that it can easily reach the target audiences: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders families, and those who support them. It is a great little video: not only does it have a very clear message that there’s no shame in asking for a bit of support, but it also looks and sounds great. My favourite thing is how the narration by Jasmin Cockatoo-Collins ties the whole thing together: even though a couple of dozen people appear on camera, Jasmin’s voice weaves the whole thing together so it kind of seems like one story. Well done to Jasmin and film-maker Jan Cattoni (Jan’s a nurse who became a film-maker).

Knowing that the video is so good that it should be shared is one thing, getting it shared is another.

Stay connected, stay strong… is available for free in Queensland and for $20 elsewhere, all you need is this PDF order form from the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/qcpimh/docs/resource-order-form.pdf

youtube---the-2nd-largest-search-engine-infographicFar North Queensland residents can borrow the DVD from Cairns Libraries: link.

Queensland Health staff can access the DVD through the Queensland Health Libraries Catalogue: link

However, as accessible as all that sounds, the truth of the matter is that YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing portal and the world’s second largest search engine. A video is not really accessible until it is online.

Now we can share the video using this link: http://youtu.be/CLsjgw8pvOA

Eek!

This is by far the riskiest thing I’ve done with my professional social media portfolio. I am not the copyright holder of this excellent short film: the Queensland Government is. Although I won’t make any money out of hosting the video, I might be subject to legal action. If there is a credible threat of legal action I will take the video down immediately. Another risk is that I might be inadvertently causing offence or distress to some person or organisation. This may mean that I will not be considered for future work in perinatal and infant mental health (perhaps funding for services will return to pre-July 2013 levels one day).

So, why take these risks?.

My agenda is simple: to demonstrate that social media can be leveraged as another channel for health promoting information. It’s something I started when working in perinatal and infant mental health in October 2011, as evidenced by this from my now-mothballed Twitter handle @PiMHnurse (now I use a less job-specific name: @meta4RN).

PIMHnurse

 

My big hope is that hosting Stay connected, stay strong… before and after baby won’t get me in too much trouble, but will serve as a spur for a more legitimate stakeholder to host the video on their YouTube or Vimeo site.

When that happens I will complete this post-script to the blog post:

Important Update DD/MM/YYYY:

Stay connected, stay strong… before and after baby is now hosted by [organisation name] at this web address: [web address]. The link and embedded video you see above are now from that site, and I have deleted the copy I posted on 7th June 2014 here: https://www.youtube.com/meta4RN

My intention in knowingly posting a video that I am not the copyright-holder of was to act as an agent of change. If I have caused harm or distress to any person or organisation I am genuinely sorry. That was not my intention.

End

That’s it. I’m feeling scared now.

Paul McNamara, 8th June 2014

Luddites I Have Known

In the never-ending quest to enthuse midwives and nurses about professional use of social media I’ve talked to people about it, given inservice education sessions, demonstrated is use as an adjunct to education, facilitated workshops, submitted conference posters, contributed to journal articles and have been invited to speak at conferences. To spread the word I’ve taken the risk of being called geek wanker narcissist, and even had cards printed:

BusinessCard4

When I talk to people about health care social media, I always mention how it lets information be shared quickly and easily,  and network with people from a range of professions/walks-of-life from all around the world. However, the thing I value the most and try to emphasise the most, is the participative, interactive nature of social media. Social media is where the debates are held; those of us who want to influence and participate in decisions gather and test our ideas on social media. Twitter is especially good for this: it lets anyone join in and contribute to- and be enlightened by- the contest of ideas.

To see how Twitter works to share information and the contest of ideas, see these two recent examples (click on the pics to see the complete conversations unfurl):

In health and education roles I encounter many people who give dumb blanket statements like, “I will never use Twitter – I don’t care what Justin Bieber had for breakfast”. Much to my embarrassment, this is the sort of thing I hear nurses (especially those in positions of influence and power) say all the time. These people are so stubborn that they won’t even look, listen or learn about professional use of social media.

A few months ago two Australian nurse lecturers forthrightly and very confidently told me that Twitter and facts are (somehow) mutually exclusive, and they do not and never will use it. I tried being zen about the whole thing (water flows around resistance, rocks in the stream shift or erode), and celebrated some of the nurse academics who are more enlightned about health care social media (see storify.com/meta4RN/lecturers).

However, the same thing keeps happening: people in positions of power and influence in the health care and higher education systems are still using silly, uninformed, blanket statements to decry the use of social media and warn people off from using it.

No more Mr Nice Guy – I’m calling these people what they are: Luddites.

People being resistive to new technologies and innovations is not new, and in my lifetime I have seen that change is inevitable – the luddites and laggards will catch-up eventually.

In the 1970s I knew people who refused to play video-games like Space Invaders – “No it’s too confusing, I’m sticking with the pinball machine” said my friend when we went into the pinball parlour.

In the 1980s I knew people who refused to use ATMs (automatic teller machines) – “No, you can’t trust a little card and machine. I’ll wait until the bank opens on Monday.” said my relative.

In the 1990s I knew people who refused to use computers. Every now and then I still hear people say, “I don’t believe in computers” as if computers are akin to the tooth fairy or religion.

In the 2000s I knew people who refused to use a mobile phone, “Why would I ever need one?”, people would say. Now, in Australia, there are more mobile phones than people (for more info: meta4RN.com/mobile).

In the 2010s I know people who refuse to use social media. As evidenced by the “I don’t need to know what Justin Bieber had for breakfast” type of statements, the reason they don’t use it is twofold: [1] they do not understand it, and [2] they decline the opportunities to learn.

I guess I should be patient with my resistive colleagues – history shows that they’ll come around eventually. However, for those nurses and midwives in positions of power and influence, I’m hoping people will print and fax you a copy of this picture below. If  you can’t summon the willingness to learn about professional health care social media, please summon the dignity and sense to stop critiquing something you do not understand.

luddites

PDF version (suitable to print and fax to a social media denier of your choosing): Luddites

As always, your comments/feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 3rd May 2014

 

 

 

Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance

photoA while ago I wrote about my most frightening workplace experience in a post called “Emotional Aftershocks“, which included a section titled “Zero Tolerance is Unrealistic and Unfair”.

Today, via a Tweet by Nicky Lambert I am reminded of how ridiculous the “Zero Tolerance” approach in hospitals is and (more importantly) have been introduced to an evidence-based alternative strategy that has recently been launched in the UK. To cut-out the middle-man and go straight to source of this pretty-cool strategy, click on the link: www.abetteraande.com

To subject yourself to my ideas and waffle, please read on…

What’s Wrong with Zero Tolerance?

A dumb, shouty poster.

A dumb, shouty poster.

It is inevitable that health services, hospitals especially, will have a large percentage of patients who have cognitive and perceptual deficits due to the very medical condition that has them bought them to the health facility in the first place. About 9% of the over-65s (a significant component of health service users) have dementia. Often these people will not have the cognitive capacity to discriminate between friend and foe, and will, at times, lash out to defend themselves against a perceived threat. All the shouty “Zero Tolerance” signs in the world will not make a difference to this. Why would we want to create a false expectation for staff?

As an aside, during the week I made use of Australia’s Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) regarding strategies to use with a nursing home resident who had been aggressive. I found the service to be very user-friendly and helpful – if you provide care to people with dementia you should keep DBMAS in mind: dbmas.org.au

Huh? Of course people will get angry: it is an unavoidable, natural human emotion.

Huh? Of course people will get angry: it is an unavoidable, natural human emotion.

The “zero tolerance” concept is unfair because it is not reciprocated. We (that’s “we” as in “we the health system”) require patients and their loved-ones to be incredibly tolerant of us. Think waiting lists, physical discomfort, unplanned delays, unclear communication, unmet expectations, cancelled procedures, lack of privacy, lack of dignity, lack of control, lack of compassion, lack of progress… the list could go on. Can you find me a health facility where no patient has ever experienced these things?

Our health system relies on people being tolerant. This “zero tolerance” malarkey doesn’t allow for the reality that people in hospital are often having the most traumatic, frightening and disempowering day(s) of their life. It would be lovely for staff if everyone experiencing acute emotional distress expressed their emotions in a clear, calm and composed manner, but is it realistic?

A Smarter, More Sophisticated Approach

We need a smarter, more sophisticated way to manage difficult emotions in the health care setting. “Zero Tolerance” is jarringly out of step with the nurturing, caring, compassionate, altruistic qualities that most health professionals identified with when choosing their career. We need a new set of posters that are attuned to the needs of patients and the aspirations of health services and clinicians.

Of course, it’s not just posters on the wall that determine the quality and tone of the conversation. All health care workers should have an opportunity to reflect on their practice in a safe, structured way. As I’ve written about before (in “Nurturing the Nurturers“) clinical supervision (aka guided reflective practice) allows this to happen. There is an abundance of evidence that clinical supervision improves management of difficult encounters in health care settings – we should insist on it.

Nevertheless, posters and signage can play an important part in setting clear expectations. Just as they’re doing in UK accident and emergency departments, let’s take a proactive approach to preventing and managing distress. Part of that strategy should be moving way from the authoritative, uncompromising and negative campaigns of the past, to one that demonstrates and models respect.

putyourhandup

This poster is my suggestion of the how we should set the parameters. Let’s not try to shut-down people from expressing distress. Instead, let’s invite patients and relatives to articulate their concerns before the emotions become so intense that they are difficult to contain.

Here’s the script to my poster:

Put your hand up and talk to us.

We don’t want you to feel distressed.

If you are feeling upset, frustrated or unsure about what’s happening please don’t bottle-it-up: talk to us.

One of the nurses, doctors or other hospital staff will listen to your concerns and try their best to help.

pdficonPDF version of the poster here: putyourhandup

.

Acknowledgement

Some of the ideas here are taken from and/or informed by a keynote presentation by Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane at the ACMHN 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia, 22nd-24th October 2013. Some of the Tweets from that presentation have been collated here: storify.com/meta4RN/zero

What would your poster say?

Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 7th December 2013

Mental Health Nurses in the Pacific (to be specific) #alajcu2013

A Cool Event

There was 441 years of experience in health care at the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Workshop, just one part of the month-long event supporting mental health leaders from six Pacific Island nations.

There was 441 years of experience in health care at the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Workshop, just one part of the month-long event supporting mental health leaders from six Pacific Island nations.

A really cool event happened in Cairns from July 1st to 26th. James Cook University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition hosted eighteen Mental Health Nurses from Western Pacific nations; specifically, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, KiribatiCook Islands and the Solomon Islands. Funded via an AusAID Australian Leadership Award, leaders in mental health nursing from these countries had the opportunity to attend lectures, participate in workshops, make site visits to public and private mental health facilities, and other activities aimed at providing educational opportunities they may not be able to acquire at home.

This “train the trainer” approach to supporting mental health nurse education amongst our neighbours in the Pacific is a really smart idea: major kudos to Professor Kim Usher and the whole team at James Cook University’s World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre and School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition. For more info about the program please visit these sites:

Also, it is interesting to read this interview with Jeffrey Alphonse, a mental health nurse from Papua New Guinea who attended the course. Jeffrey conveys a sense of life living and working in in a PNG mental health inpatient facility.

I am sure that the JCU crew have evaluations of the event that will probably pop-up in reports/journals/online soon enough. That’s the sort of thing researchers are really good at.

OK. What’s This Blog Post About Then?

For this blog post I just want to touch on two cool outcomes from my perspective: the perspective of one who was not an organiser or “insider” to the event, but not a complete outsider to the event either.

It was an honour to be invited to meet with the Mental Health Nurses from the Pacific for two occasions. The first visit was an opportunity to introduce my role and compare/contrast the way mental health nurses are deployed in Australia and in the Pacific. Something I learnt is that it is easier to have nurse-led programs in Pacific nations because, to put it bluntly, there are often no other mental health professionals available.

There was 441 years of health care  experience at the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Workshop on 12/07/13.

There was 441 years of health care experience at the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Workshop on 12/07/13.

The second visit was to facilitate a Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (PiMH) Workshop on 12th July. The workshop was different from the usual ones I run because of the vast amount of diverse cultural and clinical experience in the room. Obviously, the vast majority of the participants were mental health nurse leaders from the six Pacific Island nations listed above, but a couple of social workers from the FNQ Medicare Local and a JCU Student Nurse also participated, and some of the JCU Faculty were also able to pop-in for a while.

I have mentioned the structure of the workshop in a previous blog post (see here). Although this workshop had plenty of differences in participant experiences (great learning for me!), the content/agenda we covered was pretty-much the same as previous PiMH workshops, just presented in a slightly different manner.

The workshop contributed to the first of the two cool outcomes.

Cool Outcome Number One: Perinatal and Infant Mental Health in the Pacific Islands

Cool outcome number one is that the workshop content really resonated with some people attending; so much so that they’re intending to take some of the learnings from the workshop back home with them. I found out about this via Anna Cole-Groth, a JCU student nurse who supported the Pacific Island mental health nurse leaders, and contributed to extending the reach of event by utilising social media (as per these examples below):

Solomon

A few of the participants, including Rose from the Solomon Islands, were interested in the way we have been trying to build mental health screening and support pathways into the day-to-day practice of antenatal and postpartum practice. The notion of a prevention/early intervention, proactive “precovery” approach to perinatal mental health care was welcomed as a way to work in partnership with families, communities and other health professionals.

PNG

The workshop was the first introduction to infant mental health for most of the participants, and had particular resonance with some in attendance. The workshop allowed us to discuss and consider some of the key concepts around infant mental health practice, and to give consideration to how it could be incorporated into healthcare in the Pacific Islands. Many participants, including those from Papua New Guinea, spoke of how it could enhance the way mental health and baby care is catered for in community-orientated village life.

It is fantastic to know that some of the perinatal and infant mental information and models of care we have been using here in Australia might have a positive, knock-on effect with our two closest neighbours: Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. For me personally and professionally, after feeling quite dejected about the loss of a role funded by the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI), it is an unexpected and very welcome joy to think there may be an echo of the program I facilitated amongst our northern neighbours, via a grassroots, nurse-led, undertaking to trial some of these ideas.

We (those of us who have had access to education and resources in this area) should do everything we can to support these mental health nurse leaders. I hope that the Pacific Islanders will find the email network hosted by the ACMHN (Australian College of Mental Health Nurses) a useful bridge to information, resources and supportive, encouraging peers. Subscription to the Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Nurse eNetwork is free and simple; more info and instructions here and here.

Cool Outcome Number Two: Social Media and Wantoks

“Wantok” is pidgin for “one talk” (say it quick: it’s phonetic), ie: a shared language. In places like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands the use of the word wantok is in context of a nuanced social system that I (a whitefella from Adelaide living in Cairns), may ever fully understand. So, for my benefit, let’s simplify the use of “wontok” to simply “those who share a common language”, as in “those who understand and like each other”.

Mental health nurses, no matter what nation they live and work in, share the common experience of up-close and personal interactions with people experiencing mental illness. Most of us also share the goal/hope that we will find effective ways to promote good mental health, so as to lighten the load for individuals, their families and the community they live and work in. This gives us a shared language: we’re wantoks.

Evan Casella, another JCU student nurse who supported the program participants and used social media to share some of the program content, sent out this great photo with the tweet:

#alajcu2013 participant opinions of SoMe use in nursing. Great to get a South Pacific perspective. Mostly thumbs up!

like

It’s such a good photo – I love the way Evan used the Facebook “like” symbol, and that the participants were straight down the line with whether they thought social media (aka SoMe) would be useful in their context. This, in turn, led to the next cool outcome: three of the program participants joined Twitter before the course ended.

So, although the four-week Pacific Island Mental Health Nurse Leaders program is over, it is easy to stay connected with some of program participants using social media.

If you are a mental health nurse who can share information, resources, ideas and camaraderie, please follow these mental health nurses from PNG: they are your Wantoks.

For those interested in professional use of social media, have a look at the transcript and analytics of the #alajcu2013 hashtag courtesy of www.symplur.com

Analytics via Symplur health hashtag project

Analytics via Symplur health hashtag project

Closing Remarks

Mental health health nurses speak one language; we are wantoks. How do we know? By the connections. As shown above we connected content (perinatal and infant mental health is one example) and we connected clinicians (in person for four weeks, and looking ahead via Twitter).

Congratulations to James Cook University and AusAID for the work that they have done.  Now it is time for mental health nurses and others interested in perinatal mental health to continue the work by sharing information, resources and camaraderie with mental health nurses from Pacific Island nations: they are our wantoks.

Cool Connections (via Twitter)

PNG Wantoks:

JCU Wantoks

Paul McNamara, 31st July 2013

Deploying complex information via a QR Code

The Health Roundtable

The Health Roundtable hosted the Innovation Workshop and Awards in Sydney on 11th and 12th October 2012. David Dean, General Manager of The Health Roundtable, endorsed the views of Futurist Tim Longhurst who said, in his lively and entertaining opening Keynote, “It’s not enough to say it anymore. It’s not enough to publish it anymore. Post it. Get it online. Sharing is the rent you pay for using the internet.” It is with those words echoing in my ears that I have posted a YouTube version of my poster presentation (it’s my first time at this – I’m not all that happy with the visual quality of the video, but want to get it online sooner rather than later).

There were 16 concurrent sessions grouped into 4 streams at the conference. In each session participants were asked to vote for the poster presentation which provided the most useful ideas for implementation at their service. At the end of the conference a summary of all session winners was presentated, and participants were again asked to vote on the idea their health service would be most likely to utilise – this yielded four awards: one for each of the four conference streams.

2012 Innovation Award

That’s me on the left, grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Presenting the Health Roundtable 2012 innovation Awards is Dr Nigel Lyons, Chief Executive of The Agency for Clinical Innovation.

My presentation, “Deploying complex information via a QR Code” won the 2012 Innovation Award in the “Improving Quality of Patient Care” stream of the Health Roundtable’s Innovation Workshops and Awards. Naturally, I am thrilled with the award – it carries prestige and is worth $6000 to the health service that employs me. It is also quite humbling because this certainly wasn’t the “best” idea in terms of sophistication, complexity or outcome – many of the other ideas presented have made more significant acheivements in regards to the quality of patient care, in my view. However, the feedback was that the no-cost/low-cost nature of using QR Codes, the simplicity of implementation, and the ability to apply them to a number of different uses in a number of different settings, made this an idea that could easily be adopted and adapted by many health services. This reflects the stated objective of the Innovation Workshop and Awards: “Shamelessly steal at least one good idea to take back to your health service and use”.

Alternative ideas for using QR Codes in health care seetings include:

  • put a QR Code on a piece of equipment; scanning the code takes the user directly to procedure for using that equipment (procedures will be online)
  • put a QR Code on appoinment letters; scanning the code gives directions to where the appointment will be (using geolocation/the smartphone’s map function)
  • put a QR Code on the closed clinic/office door; scanning the code puts the alternative phone number and/or address straight on to the user’s phone
  • put a QR Code on brochures/posters; this keeps visual clutter on the print version to a minimum, but allows the user to get further information/contact details PRN

Let’s not overstate the utility of QR Codes – they won’t be an effective tool for every demographic group, and certainly won’t replace the written word/existing methods of communication. However, with a little bit of imagination, you might be able to find an application for QR Codes that will enhance your workflow/workplace. Have a look at the YouTube video above if you’re still unsure what this is all about.

Acknowledgements

Joe Petrucci and Kevin Freele of the Cairns & Hinterland Mental Health Service for introducing me to The Health Roundtable earlier this year.

Marion Dixon and Pieter Walker, who are both with The Health Roundtable team, gave very strong encouragement to bring the idea to Sydney. I certainly would not have had the confidence to present the idea to my peers without their encouragement, so hope that Pieter and Marion feel very much a part of the success of the presentation and the 2012 Innovation Award.

Try It For Yourself Now

[1] Grab your smartphone.
[2] Go to the appstore and search “QR Reader”.
[3] Select a free version and download it.
[4] Open the app.
[5] Using the app, line-up this QR code in the middle of scanning screen.
[6] Be amazed.
[7] Ponder and discuss: “How could my workplace use this technology?”

There is a PDF version of the presentation available here: QRprintVersion

Below are JPEG images of the individual slides (click to enlarge).

QR1

 

QR2

 

QR3

QR4

 

QR5

 

QR6

 

QR7

QR8

QR9

 

 

Thanks for visiting – please feel free to leave comments/feedback below – especially if you know how to make future videos less blurry!. :-)

Paul McNamara, 13th October 2012