Category Archives: Blog

Nurses on the 2020 Australia Day Honours List

Extracting information from www.gg.gov.au/australian-honours-and-awardsaustralian-honours-lists/australia-day-2020-honours-list, below are the Nurses named on the 2019 Australia Day Honours List.

Margaret Alice Aldous OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Benalla, Victoria
For service to nursing.

Cooinda Village
– Chief Executive/Director of Nursing, since 2008.

Benalla Rotary Club
– Vocational/Membership Committee, 2014-2016.
– Student Councillor, 2012-2014.

Benalla Hospital
– Quality Manager, 2001-2008.
– Nurse Unit Manager Home, Nursing Services, 1997-2001.
– Team Leader, Critical Incident Debriefing.
– Nurse Unit Manager, Accident and Emergency and Hospital Supervisor, 1996-1997.
– Palliative Care Supervisor, 1989-1994, seconded to Hume Region North East Victoria, 1995.
– Provided first palliative care education service to Benalla Hospital and medical staff.
– Grief Counsellor.
– Mentor to Junior Staff.
– Hospital Supervisor, 1982-1989.
– Nurse Unit Manager Midwifery, 1979-1981.
– Staff Nurse 1977-1979.
– Registered Midwife, 1977-2016.
– Registered Nurse’ 1975- current

Alfred Hospital Melbourne
– Staff Nurse, 1976.
– Trainee Nurse, 1972-1975.
– Trainee Midwife, 1975-1976.

Royal Women’s Hospital
– Trainee Midwife, 1975-1976

********************************************

Coralie Elizabeth Brannelly OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Moulden, Northern Territory
For service to the community of Darwin.

Lions Australia
– Secretary, Palmerston Lions Club, 2014-2017, 2019.
– Co-Founder, Palmerston Lions Club, 2014.
– Former Member, Darwin Nightcliff Lions Club.

Professional
– Primary Health Care Respiratory Nurse, Northern Territory Department of Health, since 2009.

********************************************

Deborah Kenna OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Orange, New South Wales
For service to community health.

Western NSW Local Health District
– Registered Nurse, Health Service Manager
– Aboriginal Health, Chronic Care, Integrated Care 2001 – 2017
– District Manager, Chronic Care
– Aboriginal Primary Health Care Practitioner, 2001-2006.

Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS)
– Founding Community Board Member, planning and development, 2005.
– Chair, 2006.
– Director, Board Member, 2002-2007.
– Member, Clinical Governance Patient Safety/ Quality Governance Group, current.

Other Voluntary
– Member, National Heart Foundation Aboriginal Health Advisory Committee (NAHAC), 2011-2018.
– Deputy Chair, NAHAC, 2017-2018.
– Member, Cardiovascular Health Advisory Committee.
– Member, NSW Better Cardiac Care Aboriginal Ministers Advisory Group, 2016-2017.
– Member, National Cervical and Breast Screen Advisory Group, 2013-2016.
– Member, Ministry of Health Chronic Care Advisory Group, 2012-2017.
– Member, Aboriginal Advisory Group, National Cancer Institute and Research, since 2015 – current

Professional Memberships
– Australian College of Nursing.
– Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINAM).
– Council of Remote Area Nurses Australia, (CRANA).

Awards and recognition include:
– Female Person of the Year, Orange NAIDOC Community Awards, 2007 and 2014.
– Employee of the Year, Orange Community Awards, 2009.

********************************************

Lilian Selina Leonard OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Pearcedale, Victoria
For service to community health.

Voluntary
– Founder/Treasurer/Committee Member, Young Ostomates United Support Group, since 1989.
– OutReach Stoma/Continence/Breast Care Service, East Gippsland, 1998-2004.
– East Gippsland Cancer Support Group, 1999-2004.
– North Western Breast Cancer Support Group, 1997-2004.
– Founder, Preston and Northcote Community Hospital Ostomy Support Group, 1987.

Nursing
– Registered Nurse Div. 1: Graduated from the Melbourne School of Nursing, 1959.
– Stomal Therapy Certificate, Mayfield Centre, 1979.
– Graduate Diploma in Human Relationships Education, Melbourne University, 1988.
– Registered Nurse, Stomal Therapy, Cabrini Hospital, Preston, Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH), The Northern Hospital (Northern Health) and Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, 1979-2004.
– President/Committee Member, Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses Victoria, early 1980s.

Awards and recognition includes:
– Recipient, Advance Australia Foundation Award, 1993.
– Inaugural Portrait Gallery Inductee at MacRobertston Girls High School, 2008.

********************************************

Matthew Alan Luther OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Gordon, Australian Capital Territory
For service to nursing.

Nursing
– Co-Director, Emergency Department, Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce, Canberra, current.
– Nurse Practitioner, since 2004.
– Midwife, since 2002.
– Registered Nurse, since 1999.
– Credentialed Emergency Nurse.

Other Medical and Community service includes
– Vice-Chair, ACT Branch, Australian Resuscitation Council, current.
– Guest Lecturer, Australian Catholic University, current.
– Mass Gathering/Event Nurse Practitioner, ACT Branch, St John’s Ambulance Australia, since 2012.
– Member, Australian Medical Assistance Team (AusMAT), since 2010.
– Volunteer Fire Fighter, ACT Rural Fire Service, since 1992.
– Course Director, Advanced Life Support, Australian Resuscitation Council, current.

Royal Australian Air Force Reserve
– Specialist Nurse, Military Critical Care Aeromedical Team, since 2006.
– Patient Movement Cell, Deployment, Iraq, 2018.
– Aeromedical Evacuation Nurse, Philippines Assist, Humanitarian Aid, 2012 and Deployment Middle East, 2012.
– Emergency Nurse, Pacific Partnership, Humanitarian Aid, 2008.

Memberships
– Fellow, Australian College of Nursing.
– Fellow, College of Emergency Nursing Australasia.
– Fellow, Australian College of Nurse Practitioners.

Awards and recognition include:
– Excellence in Management Practice, ACT Health, 2016.
– ACT Nursing Team of the Year, ACT Health, 2016.
– Australia Day Medallion, for service to Calvary Health Care, 2008.

********************************************

Annette Elizabeth Moehead OAM PSM
Public Service Medal (PSM)
Wollongbar, New South Wales
For outstanding public service to mental health care of aged persons in New South Wales.

Ms Moehead has provided exceptional service to NSW Health since 1973. Specialising in the nursing of dementia and psychogeriatrics for over 30 years she is regarded by nurses and health professionals, locally and nationally, as a leader, mentor and expert in dementia and delirium care.

An outstanding and innovative influence in the psychogeriatrics sector, she has placed great emphasis on the recognition, assessment and management of cognitive disorders at a state and national level. She established the first dementia day care service outside the metropolitan area; setting up and delivering one of the early dementia pilot programs in order to establish a coordinated approach to delivering community mental health services to older persons.

She has also been a major influencer in the development of the NSW Dementia Action Plan and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of delirium care as a National Standard.

Currently as Nurse Practitioner Psychogeriatrics, Northern New South Wales Local Health District, Ms Moehead’s dedication and commitment to influencing the knowledge and skill of the healthcare workforce in delivering quality clinical care has earnt her the respect and acknowledgement from her patients, peers and the community of New South Wales.

********************************************

Pauline Margaret Nugent AM
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
East Melbourne, Victoria
For significant service to education, and to nursing.

Service includes:

Australian Catholic University
– Provost, since 2012.
– Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 2011-2012.
– Dean of Health Sciences, 2007-2011.

Deakin University
– Inaugural Chair of Nursing Development, 2003-2006.
– Head, School of Nursing, 1997-2006.

Southern Health
– Chair, 2005-2009.
– Board Member, 2001-2009.

Australian Department of Health
– Member, National Nursing and Nursing Education Taskforce, 2004-2007.
– Member, Australian Health Workforce Advisory Committee, 2000-2007.

Australian Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery
– President, 1999-2003.
– Executive Member, 1999-2005.
– Member, Victorian and Tasmanian Deans of Nursing, 1997-2007.
– Chair, Victorian Deans of Nursing, 1997-1999.

Other
– Member of the Health Professions Education Standing Group, Victorian Department of Health, since 2013.
– Board Member, Eastern Health, 2009-2018.
– Member, Nurse Practitioner Implementation Committee, Victorian Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2000-2001.
– Chair, Education Sub-Committee, Nurse Recruitment and Retention Committee, Victorian Department of Health, 2000.

Awards and recognition includes:
– Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, 2009.

********************************************

Sabine Cornelia Phillips AM
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Port Melbourne, Victoria
For significant service to aged welfare, and to the legal profession.

Benetas Aged Care (Victoria)
– Director and Chair, Clinical Governance Committee, 2010-2012.
– Board Member, 2009-2012.

Uniting Agewell
– Board Member, since 2015.
– Member, Clinical Governance Committee, current.
– Member, Audit and Risk Committee.

Northern Health
– Board Member, 2007-2016.
– Member, Audit and Risk Committee, 2013-2016.
– Chair, Clinical Governance Committee, 2009-2013.

Other
– Board Member, Dementia Australia, 2016-2017.
– Board Member, Australian Children Education and Quality Agency, 2014-2017.
– Board Member, Wintringham Aged Care and Wintringham Housing.
– Fellow, Australian College of Nursing, current.

Professional
– Partner, Health and Aged Care Law, Gadens Lawyers, since 2016.
– Lawyer and Partner, Russell Kennedy Lawyers, 2004-2015.
– Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors, current.

********************************************

Sheila Ellen Simpson OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Scone, New South Wales
For service to nursing.

Nursing
– Clinical Nurse Consultant and Tuberculosis Coordinator, South Western Sydney Local Health District, 1987-2018.
– Clinical Nurse Consultant, South Western Sydney Local Health District, 1987-2018.
– Nurse, Liverpool Chest Clinic, Liverpool Hospital, 1984-2018.
– Charge Nurse, Randwick Chest Hospital (now known as Prince of Wales Hospital), 1972-1984

Other
– Member, Projects Advisory Group for the Australian Respiratory Council, for many years.
– Member, NSW TB Advisory Committee.
– Co-Author, ‘Recurrence of tuberculosis at a Sydney chest clinic between 1994 and 2006: reactivation or reinfection?’

********************************************

End

Please let me know via the comments section below if I missed any nurses on the 2020 Australia Day Honours List. Naturally, I’m happy to correct any oversights.

Paul McNamara, 26 January 2020

Short URL: meta4RN.com/Honours2020

Addit

 

20 Tweetable Fun Facts for 2020: Year of the Nurse #Nurses2020

1
World Health Organisation designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.who.int/hrh/news/2019/2020year-of-nurses/en/


2
Florence Nightingale was named after the city in which she was born (Florence, Italy). #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/z92hsbk

3
Amongst Florence Nightingale’s achievements was the introduction of female nurses into military hospitals. Yes: FEMALE nurses! 🙂 #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://florence-nightingale.co.uk/the-crimean-war/

4
Australia’s Nurses and Midwives are
🔴 88.8% Female
🔴 11.2% Male
🔴 <0.1% Intersex or Indeterminate
#Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD19%2f29215&dbid=AP&chksum=pxYq4Vv8xOa1OH59ah8pUw%3d%3d (Table 10.1)

5
The International Council of Nurses (@ICNurses) was born in 1899 on the busy intersection of woman’s rights, social progressivism and healthcare reform. #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: http://icntimeline.org/page/0003.html

6
Before 2020 Year of the Nurse kicked-off there were already 3000 Tweets using the #Nurses2020 hashtag (sent from 1,800+ Twitter accounts) #Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/Nurses2020/analytics/?hashtag=Nurses2020&fdate=12%2F1%2F2019&shour=6&smin=0&tdate=12%2F30%2F2019&thour=6&tmin=0

7
56% of Australia’s registered health workforce are Nurses and/or Midwives. #Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Publications/Annual-reports/Annual-Report-2019/Overview.aspx

8
In Australia there are:
🔴 371,902 Nurses without a Midwifery qualification
🔴 26,047 Nurses and Midwives (dual registration, that is)
🔴 5,583 Midwives without a Nursing qualification
#Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD19%2f29215&dbid=AP&chksum=pxYq4Vv8xOa1OH59ah8pUw%3d%3d (Table 2.1)

9
35.7% of Australia’s Nurses and Midwives are aged over 50 (not that there’s anything wrong with that) #Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD19%2f29215&dbid=AP&chksum=pxYq4Vv8xOa1OH59ah8pUw%3d%3d (Table 7.1)

10
Most of Australia’s 397,949 Nurses have a general qualification, but some do not. They have a sole qualification, ie:
🔴 2,243 in mental health nursing
🔴 579 in paediatric nursing
🔴 115 in disability nursing
#Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD19%2f29215&dbid=AP&chksum=pxYq4Vv8xOa1OH59ah8pUw%3d%3d (Tables 2.1 and 6.1)

11
1 in 30 people working in Australia is a Nurse and/or Midwife (ie: 3.33% of the Australian workforce are Nurses/Midwives) #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Publications/Annual-reports/Annual-Report-2019/Overview.aspx

12
Top three places where Nurses and Midwives employed in Australia received their initial nursing and midwifery qualification:
1️⃣ Australia (79.6%)
2️⃣ England (4.7%)
3️⃣ India (2.8%)
#Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015/contents/who-are-nurses-and-midwives

13
In per capita terms, remote Australia has a larger supply of Nurses and Midwives than Australia’s capital cities. #Nurses2020 #FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015/contents/how-many-nurses-and-midwives-are-there (Figure 3)

14
Principal area of main job for Australian Nurses (top five):
1️⃣ Aged Care
2️⃣ Medical
3️⃣ Surgical
4️⃣ Peri-Operative
5️⃣ Mental Health
#Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015/contents/work-characteristics-of-nurses-and-midwives (Figure 1)

15
Australia’s health professional registration agency (@AHPRA) does not recognise any Nursing Specialities, but recognises 23 Specialities in Medicine (and over 60 sub-specialities) 🙄#Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Sources: http://meta4RN.com/credhttp://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au + https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/registration/types/specialist-registration/medical-specialties-and-specialty-fields.aspx

16
There are over 22,000 nurses working in mental health settings in Australia, over 3,200 of them are @ACMHN members, 1235 of them are @ACMHN Credentialed. #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Sources: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia/report-contents/mental-health-workforce/mental-health-nursing-workforce + http://www.acmhn.org/images/stories/News/AnnualReports/ACMHN_Annual_Report_2017_-_2018.pdf  + http://www.acmhn.org/images/stories/Resources/2019_Media_Kit.pdf 

17
Australians rated Nurses as the most ethical and honest profession each year for 21 years in a row (1994-2015). #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6188-roy-morgan-image-of-professions-2015-201504280343

18
There are over 60 separate Nursing Organisations in Australia #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Sources: http://meta4RN.com/colleges + http://www.conno.org.au/members + http://www.nurseinfo.com.au/links.html

19
Australian Nurses and Midwives have free access to ‪@NMSupportAU: a 24/7 national support service providing confidential advice and referral. #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: https://www.nmsupport.org.au

20
Representing more than 275,000 members, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (‪@anmf_federal ) is Australia’s largest national union. #Nurses2020 ‬#FunFacts #SupportNursesAndMidwives https://meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

Source: http://anmf.org.au/pages/about-the-anmf

End

Keen-eyed meta4RN readers will recognise some of this content from this 2015 post: https://meta4RN.com/FunFacts – this post isn’t self-plagiarism, it’s just a funky new remix of a favourite old song. 🙂

As always, your feedback is welcome in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 1 January 2020

Short URL: meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Email to a person who experiences persistent pain

You may have read about nurses as prescribers of digital therapeutics in editorials, letters, journal articles or blogs. This is one of two blog posts demonstrating email as an adjunct to face-to-face support, and as an example of how a nurse can use/prescribe digital therapy. Naturally, it comes with the usual disclaimers about these being examples that may be of use to adapt for you/your practice, not an instruction/template for practice. One of the goals of this blog is to share ideas – that’s what this blog post is about.

Below is a sample email to a person who experiences persistent pain:

From: Paul McNamara
Sent: Friday, 27 December 2019, 11:50 AM
To: paula@emailaddressesarenotcasesensitive.com.au

Subject: Suggestions

Hi Paula

It was good to meet with you today. Here are some of the ideas/suggestions we were talking about:

1. North Queensland Persistent Pain Management Service (NQPPMS)
Sus-out the info on the website: www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/referrals/statewide-specialist-services/persistent-pain, and if you think it’s something that might be helpful have a chat to your GP about making a referral. There’s usually a bit of a wait to be seen face-to-face: all the more reason to get the ball rolling sooner rather later, I reckon.

2. Free online pain course
This course by MindSpot is considered credible, and would be good “homework” to try for yourself while waiting to hear back from NQPPMS people. I’ve heard good things about it from other nurses and doctors, but haven’t heard back from any patients about it yet. If you do go ahead and give it a go, I’d be keen to hear what you think of it.
Course via mindspot.org.au/pain-course

3. Counselling/psychological support
Like we were talking about today: the brain lives in the body, so of course the body and the brain influence each other. Pain affects-, and is affected by-, both the brain and the body.

For face-to-face support, the easiest way to access that is via a GP Mental Health Plan/Referral – check with the reception staff @ your GP’s rooms if you decide to ahead with this (a lot of GPs prefer a double appointment when doing a Mental Health Plan/Referral).

If getting to see someone face-to-face is going to be a bit tricky,  there is free, confidential 24/7 telephone and online counselling support available via NQConnect: phone 1300 059 625 and/or visit nqconnect.com.au

4. The just-in-case bit
I have no concerns about you being profoundly depressed or suicidal at the moment Paula, but we know that living with pain can be a risk factor for suicidal thoughts. Just in case you get to that dark place again, It would be a good idea if you store the 24 hour number for community mental health’s Acute Care Team in your phone. The number = 1300 64 2255 (1300 MH CALL).

That’s it for me. I hope some of these suggestions are useful Paula – you have a positivity and sense-of-humour that gives me a lot of hope that things will get better. Naturally, I’m happy for you to contact me directly if you’d like clarification or elaboration.

Kind regards,
Paul

.

End Notes

If you’ve seen me in my clinical practice and have received an email similar to the one above, please accept my explanation that this blog post is just to share an idea about integrating digital therapeutics into everyday clinical practice. I’m a bit anxious that seeing the info online rather than as a one-to-one email may call into question the authenticity of the original email. At my end it doesn’t. I do recycle some sentences/paragraphs when I’m emailing a person after meeting them face-to-face, but the email is always tweaked to reflect the uniqueness of each therapeutic engagement. I’d be horrified if the blog post causes offence or dilutes the authenticity of our meeting, and sincerely apologise if it does.

Please also see this blog post’s companion piece, “Email to a suicide survivor“.

As always, your feedback is welcomed in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 27 December 2019

Short URL meta4RN.com/digital01

References/Further Reading

Ferguson, C., Hickman, L., Wright, R., Davidson, P. & Jackson, D. (2018) Preparing nurses to be prescribers of digital therapeutics, Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5): 345-349.
doi: 10.1080/10376178.2018.1486943

Søgaard Neilsen, A. & Wilson, R.L. (2019) Combining e‐mental health intervention development with human computer interaction (HCI) design to enhance technology‐facilitated recovery for people with depression and/or anxiety conditions: An integrative literature review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(1): 22-39.
doi: 10.1111/inm.12527

Wilson, R.L. (2018) The right way for nurses to prescribe, administer and critique digital therapies, Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5): 543-545.
doi: 10.1080/10376178.2018.1507679

Email to a suicide survivor

You may have read about nurses as prescribers of digital therapeutics in editorials, letters, journal articles or blogs. This is one of two blog posts demonstrating email as an adjunct to face-to-face support, and as an example of how a nurse can use/prescribe digital therapy. Naturally, it comes with the usual disclaimers about these being examples that may be of use to adapt for you/your practice, not an instruction/template for practice. One of the goals of this blog is to share ideas – that’s what this blog post is about.

Below is a sample email to a person who has survived suicide:

From: Paul McNamara
Sent: Friday, 27 December 2019, 11:50 AM
To: paula@emailaddressesarenotcasesensitive.com.au

Subject: Suggestions

Hi Paula

Thanks for speaking with Molly and I this morning. This email is in follow-up to some of the suggestions we discussed:

1. Safety Plan
In recent years we’ve been thinking more about safety-planning for people who experience suicidal thoughts. Beyondblue have a free App called “BeyondNow” which guides us through the sort of things to include on a safety plan.
Here’s the link: www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning

Having the safety plan on the phone can be pretty handy, and you can share the plan via email with your GP, trusted friend(s), psychologist etc. If you do decide to use it, and would like the hospital and/or community mental health to have a copy of your safety plan, I’m happy for you to email it to me, and I’ll put it on our system.

2. Mindfulness Strategy
Download the SmilingMind App on your phone from here: www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app
As with the BeyondNow App, it’s free, evidence-based and endorsed by beyondblue.
I suggest giving it a try. Mindfulness activities like slow breathing and some of the other stress-management tips on the app can sometimes be more effective than medication when it comes to preventing/managing anxiety.

3. Employee Assistance Program vs GP Referral
Like we talked about today, it would be handy to get plugged-in with a specialist mental health professional (eg: Credentialed Mental Health Nurse, Psychologist, Mental Health Social Worker) in private practice for support. The easiest way to access this for employed people is usually via their Employee Assistance Program – your employer does not get told what you’re discussing in sessions. If you’d rather not go via the Employee Assistance Program, you can book a double appointment with your GP to request a Mental Health Plan/Referral.

4. Short term follow-up via ACT
Community mental health’s Acute Care Team (ACT) will make phone contact with you later today/tomorrow, and will arrange to see you face-to-face within the next week. We think it’s important to offer an avenue to emotional support until we’re sure you’re “back on your feet” and/or engaged with a specialist mental health professional.
You can contact ACT on 1300 64 2255 (1300 MH CALL).

5. Finding your way back
Just in case you lose the booklet I gave you this morning, here’s a an online version:
“Finding your way back” (information for people who have attempted suicide)
www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/support-and-recovery-strategies/support-after-a-suicide-attempt/finding-your-way-back
You’ll find some good info in that booklet.
Also, the booklet I left for your partner (“Guiding their way back{) is available via the same web page.

It was good to meet you this morning Paula. It’s such a relief that you’re emerging from that dark space you were in a few days ago. I hope this email is helpful to your recovery. Naturally, I’m happy for you to contact me directly if you’d like clarification or elaboration.

Kind regards,
Paul

.

End Notes

If you’ve seen me in my clinical practice and have received an email similar to the one above, please accept my explanation that this blog post is just to share an idea about integrating digital therapeutics into everyday clinical practice. I’m a bit anxious that seeing the info online rather than as a one-to-one email may call into question the authenticity of the original email. At my end it doesn’t. I do recycle some sentences/paragraphs when I’m emailing a person after meeting them face-to-face, but the email is always tweaked to reflect the uniqueness of each therapeutic engagement. I’d be horrified if the blog post causes offence or dilutes the authenticity of our meeting, and sincerely apologise if it does.

Please also see this blog post’s companion piece, “Email to a person who experiences persistent pain“.

As always, your feedback is welcomed in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 27 December 2019

Short URL meta4RN.com/digital01

References/Further Reading

Ferguson, C., Hickman, L., Wright, R., Davidson, P. & Jackson, D. (2018) Preparing nurses to be prescribers of digital therapeutics, Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5): 345-349.
doi: 10.1080/10376178.2018.1486943

Søgaard Neilsen, A. & Wilson, R.L. (2019) Combining e‐mental health intervention development with human computer interaction (HCI) design to enhance technology‐facilitated recovery for people with depression and/or anxiety conditions: An integrative literature review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(1): 22-39.
doi: 10.1111/inm.12527

Wilson, R.L. (2018) The right way for nurses to prescribe, administer and critique digital therapies, Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5): 543-545.
doi: 10.1080/10376178.2018.1507679

Complimentary Criticism

This week I attended the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Practice Program –  a one day workshop facilitated by Stan Savo. Stan is a Cultural Capability & Workforce Advisor and he does his job terrifically well. He’s an engaging, upbeat and authentic bloke, who delivered many pearls of wisdom on the day. This blog post is about just one of them.

Passive vs Active Communication

Stan spoke about it not being uncommon for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially those who are from a rural/remote area and find themselves in a big hospital, to be disinclined to openly disagree with staff, or to nod or passively agree just to get an uncomfortable conversation over and done with.

Although it sounds counter-intuitive at first, Stan said it’s not necessarily a bad sign if an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander person expresses frustration or anger with you. He said something like, “If they are growling at you maybe it’s because they think you can do better, and they want you to know. Maybe it’s a good thing.”

Rupture and Repair

It was timely information for me. An Aboriginal man I’ve been working with was really angry with me the day before the workshop. He was a bit sweary (it wasn’t abuse, it was lalochezia) and clearly frustrated, but he was making sense. He said I should have seen him more promptly than I did after he had let a nurse on the ward know he was having an increase in psychiatric symptoms. I apologised, and we shook hands at the end of the session, but he was still cranky with me. I was worried that I had buggered-up our therapeutic relationship. Rapport and trust take time and effort to establish, but can be lost quickly and easily.

I saw him again yesterday, and we chatted for nearly an hour. Our conversation was half about clinical stuff, and half about non-clinical stuff (“non-clinical conversation” also known as “yarning” in Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander terms, or “phatic chat” in whitefella way). In keeping with the rupture-and-repair nature of relationships, our therapeutic relationship had a rupture on Tuesday and was repaired on Friday. Just as Stan Savo said, being growled at isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

White Middle-Class Reframe

How does a white middle class nurse like me feel OK about being growled at? It feels bad, and sometimes a little scary, when someone gets angry with you. Here comes a white middle-class reframe (it’s probably the whitest thing you will read today):

I like restaurants. A lot.

If I go to a new restaurant and the food/service is a bit underwhelming, I pay the bill, leave, never go back again, and if anyone asks about the restaurant I’ll probably tell them not to bother.

However, if it’s one of my favourite Cairns restaurants, it’s a different matter.

For example, I’ve probably been to Mondo about a million times in the last 20-something years. On a couple of those million occasions my favourite dish (Sizzling Mexican Fajitas!) has been not up to scratch. On both occasions I let the wait staff and kitchen staff know that today’s fajitas were not at the usual standard. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it’s important. I care about Mondo’s Sizzling Mexican Fajitas being good. Even if it’s a rare occasion, if they’re not good I want to make sure that staff know that there’s been a slip-up. It’s a bit awkward, but in reality – even though I’m not on their payroll – I’m helping helping the Mondo quality assurance program.

I don’t complain about dud meals in restaurants I don’t care about. I just don’t go there anymore.

I do complain about dud meals in restaurants I care about. I want to go back, so offering an honest critique is an investment in their quality.

Complimentary Criticism

Here’s the thing:

Criticism can be complimentary, in both senses of the word: it’s free and it’s an expression of approval. Approval, as in, “I know you can do better, and I’m encouraging you to do so.”

If someone is growling at us, let’s resist the reflex to get defensive or hurt, and listen for helpful suggestions. This is especially important in the tricky business of crossing cultural barriers, where often we don’t even know what we don’t know.

One Last Thing

Stan Savo’s workshop was full of pearls of wisdom. This blog post has honed-in on just one of them. However, I know it wasn’t Stan’s closing message. This was:

End

Thanks for reading this far. As always, your feedback is welcome in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 23 November 2019

Short URL meta4RN.com/cc

Recommended Reading

Geia, L., Hayes, B. & Usher, K. (2013) Yarning/Aboriginal storytelling: Towards an understanding of an Indigenous perspective and its implications for research practice, Contemporary Nurse, 46:1, 13-17, DOI: 10.5172/conu.2013.46.1.13

Queensland Health (2014) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient care guideline https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/157333/patient_care_guidelines.pdf 

Queensland Health (2015) Sad News, Sorry Business: Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying (version 2) https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/151736/sorry_business.pdf

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Digital Professionalism📱vs The Dinosaurs 🦕

In a famous reddit exchange from about 7 years ago, this question was asked:

If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today? 

Nuseramed replied: 

I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. 

I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.

The response went viral.

The iPhone revolutionised how we use mobile phones. Although there were internet-connected phones years before the iPhone came along, it wasn’t until the iPhone was released (2007 in the US + Europe, 2008 in Australasia) that it started to become normal to access the internet while on the run, not just at a desk. Furthermore, the explosion of apps that followed the iPhone release made it clear that making phone calls and sending text messages were the least fun things you could do with a mobile phone. 

Which brings me to the point of this post. Smartphones don’t have to be used for looking at cat videos and getting into arguments with strangers. Smartphones can be a terrific asset to nursing work, but there’s sometimes a weird reluctance from nursing’s leaders to encourage or even permit their use. This reluctance was noted in a recent Journal of Advanced Nursing editorial:

I could wave my hands around and talk about why nurses should embrace, not avoid, using smartphones. It might be a bit abstract though.

We could ask more people to google “mHealth” so they can see their there’s a whole field of study about using smartphones in health care.

Instead, let’s just list a dozen real-life examples of how clinicians use smartphones at work:

  1.  

Google translate does not replace using an interpreter, but for occasional words or phrases it’s terrific, especially if you use the Voice or Conversation functions. 

Overcoming communication barriers often relies on creative solutions. If you can break the ice/engage the person using content you can access on your phone you absolutely would, wouldn’t you? 

In Australia the medication bible is MIMS. Having MIMS on your phone = being able to check on medication info quickly and easily wherever you are. There’s a free 7 day trial, then they’ll charge you $ome monie$ (I’m assuming/hoping it’s tax deductible for nurses, doctors and pharmacists). 

Mindfulness/stress-management can be much easier if there’s a framework and tools to guide you. The free and credible SmilingMind app does just that. 

Google maps is great for this sort of thing.

Calculating BMIs is a tad tricky with pen and paper. The Mediquations app does it for you. 

  1.  

Screening tools like the Edinburgh PND Scale don’t have to be paper-based. This one is on the Mediquations app. It calculates the score automagically, and the whole thing can be emailed to cut and paste into the electronic medical record, so the woman can track her changes/progress, and/or shared with others on the clinical team. 

In the last couple of years there has been a push towards making sure that people who experience suicidal thoughts have a safety plan. Some organisations have created forms for this sort of thing. That might be OK for the organisation, but how handy is it for the person? For most individuals it would be MUCH more handy having a shareable safety plan on your mobile phone. If you haven’t done so already, sus-out BeyondNow.

  1.  

I used to struggle with CPD documentation. With an app you can do it in real time, and readily access it PRN. I used to use the C4N app, but it was a bit clunky. The free Ausmed one is better. There are probably other CPD evidence-based record apps. Wouldn’t it be nice if ANMF and/or AHPRA provided their fee-payers with a free, easy-to-use, and fit-for-purpose CPD app? 

A previous blog post called “Phatic Chat: embiggening small talk introduced this example of how Google maps can help bridge cultural and language barriers by demonstrating interest, openness and respect. 

  1.  

I must have been away the day they told us about Klienfelter’s syndrome in nursing school. This app makes me sound much smarter than I really am. 

  1.  

Accessing info online (eg https://www.nmsupport.org.au) is a legitimate way for nurses to improve the safety of their practice and to support each other. Why on earth would nursing’s leaders want to restrict ready information access? 

Score

That’s the end of the list of a dozen real-life examples of how clinicians use their smartphone at work. Here’s the score: 

Digital Professionalism📱= 12
The Dinosaurs 🦕 = 0

Snippily Sarcastic Suggestion

Does your nurse manager, nurse educator, university lecturer or clinical facilitator need to know about this stuff? 

Here 👉 [click link to open] 👈 is a PDF version of this blog post that you can print and mail or fax to them. After all, we wouldn’t want to risk using a modern digital technology like email, would we? 🙄 

End

Do you have other examples of Digital Professionalism? Please feel free to add them in the comments section below. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Paul McNamara, 2 November 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/mHealth

APA citation:  McNamara, P. (2019, November 2). Digital Professionalism📱vs The Dinosaurs 🦕 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://meta4RN.com/mHealth

The 12 tweets used above are collated here: wakelet.com/@metaRN

References 

O’Connor, S. , Chu, C. H., Thilo, F. , Lee, J. J., Mather, C. and Topaz, M. (2019), Professionalism in a digital and mobile world: A way forward for nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing. doi:10.1111/jan.14224

Rolls, K., Massey, D. & Elliott, R. (2019). Social media for researchers – beyond cat videos, over sharing, and narcissism. Australian Critical Care, Volume 32, Issue 5, 351 – 352 doi:10.1016/j.aucc.2019.07.004

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A tale of two hashtags

Once upon a time (October 2019) two nursing conferences occurred almost back-to-back.

The 45th ACMHN International Mental Health Nursing Conference was held in Sydney from 8-10 October 2019. The conference hashtag was #ACMHN2019.

Over the week of the conference over 250 people used the hashtag on Twitter, there were 2,264 Tweets.

The 17th CENA International Conference for Emergency Nurses was held in Adelaide from 16-18 October 2019. The conference hashtag was #ICEN2019.

Over the week of the conference nearly 230 people used the hashtag on Twitter, there were 1751 Tweets.

Keeping Score

To be honest, I’m a little surprised. It is often pointed out that Australian Mental Health Nurses are an ageing bunch. I kind-of assumed that us old fogies would be out-Tweeted by our younger and more glamorous Emergency Nurse colleagues. Not that it matters, of course… we’re qualified, experienced and motivated specialist health professionals.

Of course we are much too mature to get caught-up in trivial competition.

Ahem.

2020 Rematch

Next year the 46th ACMHN International Mental Health Nursing Conference will be held on the Gold Coast from 14-16 October 2020 (source/more info: www.acmhn2020.com).

And, the 18th CENA International Conference for Emergency Nurses will also be held on the Gold Coast from 14-16 October 2020 (source/more info: www.icen.com.au). 

So, in 2020 two specialist groups of nurses will conferencing in the same place at the same time. Game on! 🙂 

Will the #ACMHN2020 or #ICEN2020 hashtag be the most used next October? Please feel free to leave your predictions, hopes or bets in the comments section below.

 

End

Thanks for visiting. 

Paul McNamara, 25 October 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/hash