Thank you for being my local member to the Queensland parliament. I am not in the habit of writing to politicians, but feel compelled to do so on the matter of voluntary assisted dying.
It is important to acknowledge the Premier’s advice that the matter be debated respectfully, it is a matter above politics, and that all members of the Queensland parliament will have a conscience vote.
If you have already made a firm decision on how you will vote regarding Queenslanders having a choice to access voluntary assisted dying I do not expect to change your mind.
If you have not made a firm decision I am hoping to leverage my experience and credibility as a Registered Nurse to influence you to vote in favour of the voluntary assisted dying laws.
I do not talk about death every day at work, but I can’t remember the last time a week at work passed without it being part of my conversation with patients and colleagues. Death is a part of life. Not the best part, but an inevitable part. Despite the social conventions to the contrary, it’s good to talk about death.
Most of the patients I speak with have multiple comorbidities. The conversations I have with these people nearly always focus on quality of life, not quantity. The things they dread most tend to be loss of dignity, pain, and loss of control.
When these people say they would rather be dead than suffer unnecessarily I tell them that I understand and, if Queensland laws allowed, would be happy to support them in their choices.
This stance is in keeping with the position statement of Australia’s largest trade union: the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation.
I understand that there is some opposition to Queensland introducing voluntary assisted dying laws similar to those passed in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Colombia and some states in the USA. I would like to address some of these concerns below.
I’m guessing, like me, it was a religion you were born in to. That’s the way religions work. There is not a high percentage of Lutherans in India. There is not a high percentage of Hindus in Germany. In the last couple of hundred years there have been lots of white Catholics who have arrived or been born in Australia. That’s an outcome of colonialism, not faith or truth.
It’s an accident that you and I were born into Australian Catholic families. It’s a choice on whether, as adults, you and I continue to subscribe to Catholic doctrines.
As the Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, said in February 2019, “I think we have to accept that our [the Catholic Church’s] moral authority and general credibility has been massively damaged.” I concur with the Archbishop.
Just as the Catholic church backed the wrong horse when they covered-up priests raping children, they’re backing the wrong horse when they say that competent adults who are within weeks or months of inevitable death can not decide to leave life in a way and a manner of their own choosing. The Catholic Church has form: in my lifetome they backed the wrong horse when it came to access to birth control, access to termination of pregnancy, and access to same sex marriage. You’d think a church with a congregation that has a reputation for gambling would be better at backing the right horse, wouldn’t you?
The AMA Context
The Autralian Medical Association is often the loudest doctor voice in Australia. Like the Victorian branch before it, the Queensland branch opposes voluntary assisted dying, but if the law is passed they want to be in charge of it. No, really, read the third paragraph here for yourself – it’s hilarious:
“The AMA’s position is that doctors should not be involved in interventions that are intended to end a person’s life but, if the government decides to legalise Voluntary Assisted Dying, the medical profession must be involved in developing legislation, regulations and guidelines which protect doctors, vulnerable patients and the health system as a whole.”
The Queensland AMA surveyed more than 1250 members. An overwhelming majority supported voluntary assisted dying, but the AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry said the survey was not a referendum on VAD.
I see from a recent speech of yours that you have a mate who is a surgeon. It would be worthwhile checking-in with your mate to see what they would think about operating on a patient who is terminally ill. My guess is that they’ll think it’s only a good idea if it improves quality of life.
Nearly every doctor I work with would support a competent adult to make their own informed treatment decisions, whether they agreed with the decision or not. That is the ptofessional, pragmatic and compassionate thing to do. That existing framework can accomodate patients who wish to discuss or access voluntary assisted dying.
The Nurse Context
Nurses are often excluded from public conversations about health matters, despite being the majority of the health workforce (344,941 of 625,228 using 2019 data, ie: nurses and midwives compromise over 55% of the clinical workforce).
This exclusion from the public conversation is even more surprising when we consider who the public trust. Australians have rated Nurses highest for ethics and honesty for 24 consecutive surveys (1994 to 2021). Higher than doctors. Higher than ministers of religion. Higher than members of parliament.
So, what do nurses think about voluntary assisted dying?
“We support legislative reform so that competent adults who have an incurable physical illness that creates unbearable suffering shall have the right to choose to die at a time and in a manner acceptable to them and shall not be compelled to suffer beyond their wishes.” Australian Nursing Midwifery Federation (ANMF) (November 2019) Voluntary assisted dying position statement, page 2, no. 14 [PDF].
Naturally, as is the case with termination of pregnancy, the proposed framework entitles nurses and other clinicians who oppose voluntary assisted dying to decline participation. See 14.96 in Queensland Law Reform Commission (May 2021) A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying [PDF].
Nevertheless, this provision has not stopped some nurses speaking out stridently, eg: “Voluntary Assisted Dying is simply a euphemism for assisted suicide, or what Adolf Hitler called mercy killing.” Margaret Gilbert, Treasurer, Nurses’ Professional Association of Queensland (NPAQ), The Courier-Mail, March 23, 2021. Open access version here. This comment should be read in conjunction with Godwin’s Law. As with the Catholic church, it should be noted in NPAQ has form: in 2019 they advocated for paramilitary forces to be installed in hospitals instead of security guards, and in 2018 were aligned with the opinions of Cory Bernadi and Peta Credlin when they misinterpreted cultural safety with an obligation for white nurses to apologise to each of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The NPAQ does not represent the majority of nurses in Queensland, the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union (QNMU) does.
In February 2021 the QNMU (the Queensland branch of the ANMF) asked members if they support in principal the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland. Approximately 87% of respondents said ‘yes’. QNMU (10 June 2021) News.
Nurses have the unique role of caring for the person in life and in the first few hours of death. Nurses are at the bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other professionals flit in and out, but nurses are the ones on the floor. We see life and death up-close and personal.
As Joseph Heller said in his classic 1961 novel Catch-22: “People knew a lot more about dying inside the hospital, and made a much neater, more orderly job of it. They couldn’t dominate Death inside the hospital, but they certainly made her behave. They had taught her manners. They couldn’t keep death out, but while she was in she had to act like a lady.”
Heller was only half right. When we can, nurses make death act like a lady, but there are times when death is beyond the control of nurses and the rest of the clinical team. Sometimes death acts like the cruelest sadist you can imagine. Many nurses, like me, would have heard patients with a terminal illness say words to the effect of, “Please help me die. You wouldn’t let a dog suffer like this.”
There is no empathy in denying the patient relief in those circumstances.
It is only an outdated law that prevents us helping these patients.
It is only our parliamentarians who can change the legislation to be more humane. That’s where you come in Mr Healy.
Sorry for publishing my letter online. Doing so is a bit shouty. However, the opponents of voluntary assisted dying (eg: the Catholic Church, the AMA, and NPAQ) have argued their case online. In 2021 online = the village square. This is too important an issue to ceed the village square to those who seek to control the life choices of others.
I do not seek to impose my beliefs on others, I only wish that people with a terminal illness have a choice. Whether people access voluntary assisted dying or not is none of my business. I would like to support them no matter their decision.
You can probably tell by the tacky website that I am not representing any organisation, and these opinions are my own. For elaboration on this division between employee and professional, please see number 13 on my 2012 introduction to this website: meta4RN.com/about.
Do you want to send your local Queensland MP an email on this topic? This link via Dying with Dignity Queensland will help you find the right person/email address, and – if required – give some tips
You are welcome to leave feedback via the comments section below.
Extracting information from www.gg.gov.au, below is a list/summary of the 20 Nurses named on the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Ian Charles Baldwin AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Diamond Creek, Victoria For significant service to critical care nursing, and to medical research.
Austin Health – Advanced Practitioner, Research and Resource, Intensive Care Unit, current (including during the COVID-19 pandemic). – Post Graduate Co-ordinator and Clinical Educator, Intensive Care Unit, 30 yrs. Nursing – Other – Fellow, Australian College of Critical Care Nurses, (FACCCN). – Supervisor multiple higher degree students, Masters and PhD. – Mentor and facilitator in Critical Care advanced practice and training. Researcher – Faculty member for IRRIV (Vicenza, Italy) and Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative (ADQI). – Faculty Member for CRRTonline.org (San Diego, USA). Academia – Honorary Adjunct Professor of Nursing, Deakin University, since 2014. – Honorary Adjunct Professor of Nursing, RMIT University, since 2004. – Associate Editor, Blood Purification Journal. – Reviewer for multiple scientific journals. Author – Author of over 116 peer reviewed publications and over 25 Text-book chapters. Awards and recognition include: – ‘Vicenza Award’, Europe: Lifetime achievement award for a clinician who has made significant contributions to the field of Critical Care Nephrology, World Wide, (International Renal Research Institute, Vicenza, Italy) 2018. – Best abstract presentations : Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society and Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Annual Scientific Meetings, 1999 and 2005. – Australian Nursing Awards, 2004 and People in Health Care Summit, 2014 (Vic Health) runner up/finalist. – Post Graduate Research Prizes, RMIT and La Trobe University. – 30 yrs service award, Austin Health, 2019. – 20 yrs post graduate co-ordinator service award, Austin Health, 2012.
Gregory (Greg) Richard Brown CSC Conspicious Service Cross (CSC) For outstanding achievement as the Officer-In-Charge of the Health Certification Team of the 3rd Health Support Battalion.
Lieutenant Colonel Brown has displayed outstanding devotion to duty by expanding the health certification capability of this unit to enable the certification of the 1st Close Health Battalion and all three of the Australian Defence Forces deployable hospitals in 2019. His conspicuous achievements over years of devoted service have directly enhanced the Army’s deployable health capability and are testament to his outstanding professionalism, clinical acumen and leadership.
Elizabeth (Liz) Anne Crock AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Brunswick, Victoria For significant service to nursing, particularly to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) – Vice-President, 2016-2017. – Board Member, 2014-2020. – Editor-in-Chief, Nursing and Midwifery chapter of HIV Management Guidelines. – Chair, Nursing Sub-Committee, 2017. – Member, HIV and International sub-committees. – Member, National and Regional Taskforces on COVID-19, HIV, BBVs and STIs. – Member, since 1994. Australian and New Zealand Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANZANAC) – President, current. – Board Member, since 1995. – Member, since 1995. – Journal editor Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Victorian Branch – Former Council Member. – Member, 30 years. Bolton Clark (formerly Royal District Nursing Service) – HIV Nurse Practitioner, since 2020. – HIV Clinical Nurse Consultant 2001-2020. – Team Coordinator, HIV Program/Homeless Persons Program, 2016-2018. Professional – Honorary Fellowship, Rural Clinical School, Faculty Medicine, Dentistry and Health Services, The University of Melbourne, 2016-2019, and for 2021-2023. – Honorary Editor, Nursing and Midwifery chapter for HIV Management in Australasia: a guide for clinical care, since 2016. – Member, Australian College of Nursing (formerly Royal College of Nursing Australia), since 2011. – Member, Australian College of Nurse Practitioners, since 2017. – Member, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (USA). Editorial Board member, since 2020. – Member, Public Health Association of Australia, 2013-2016. Awards and recognition include: – Honorary Life member, Thorne Harbour Health, 2020. – Clinical Excellence Award from People Living with HIV/AIDS (Victoria), 2008. – President’s Award, Victorian AIDS Council, 2009. – International Nursing Human Rights and Ethics Award, 2013.
Margaret Lynne Docking OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Bullioh, Victoria For service to the international community through health programs.
Wise Choices For Life – Founding Director, 2011-2020. – Board Member, 2011-2020. – Executive Director, Operations, 2011-2020. African Enterprise Uganda – Intern, Nile Vocational Institute, 2009-2010. Health – Other = Nurse/Midwife, Wodonga Hospital, 1995-2009. – Tutor, Aboriginal Health, Batchelor Institute, 1992-1995. – Midwife/Nurse, Gove Hospital Northern Territory, 1989-1995. – Aurukun Remote Area Nursing, 1977-1978.
Katrina Gliddon OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Newport, Victoria For service to the international community of Cambodia.
Mother’s Heart Cambodia – Founder and President, since 2010. – Board Member, current. Humanitarian and Health Service – Part-time Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Maribyrnong Council, since 2019. – Part-time Field Worker, Australian Christian Churches International Relief, 2008-2010.
Alison Kincaid OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Albury, New South Wales For service to nursing.
Southern NSW Local Health District, NSW Health – Former Collaborator on Sexual Health programs. Murrumbidgee Local Health District, NSW Health – Returned to work as a Casual Nurse due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since 2020. – Clinical Nurse Consultant – Sexual Health, early 1990s-2019. – HIV Support Coordinator, 2000s-2019. – Clinical Nurse Consultant, Sexual Health HIV and Related Programs Unit, 2007-2019. – Clinical Nurse, 1972-2019. – Member, Working Group, Border Pride Fair Day, 2016.
Sabina Margaret Knight AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Mount Isa, Queensland For significant service to rural and remote health, nursing and education.
James Cook University – Director and Professor, Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University (Mt Isa), since 2011. – Expansion of the University Department of Rural Health – (MICRRH) across outback Queensland and Western Cape. – Academic Board Member, 2015-2018. – Advisory Committee Member, Australian Institute for Tropical Medicine, since 2013. Rural Health, Education, and Development – Chair, Australian Rural Health Education Network, 2014-2018, and Member, since 2011. – Director and former Chair, Australian Rural Health Education Foundation, 2007-2013. – Member, Townsville and North West Queensland, Regional Development Australia, since 2013. – Former Coordinator, Remote Health and Remote Health Management Programs, Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs. – Member, Northern Territory Remote Workforce Agency, 1998-2000. – Founding Member, Deputy Chair, Chair and Member, National Rural Health Alliance, 1992-2001. – Board Member, North West Medicare Local. – Board Member, Western Queensland PHN. Advisory Roles – Steering Committee Member, National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, since 2019. – Advisor to Federal Minister for Rural Health Round Table, since 2013. – Member, State Advisory Council (Queensland) – MSOF and ROF, since 2013. – Hospital and Health Fund Advisory Panel Member, 2011-2013. – Commissioner, National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, 2008-2009. – Northern Territory Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, 2004-2010. – Deputy Prime Minister’s Australian Regional Women’s Advisory Committee, 2003-2009. Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANAplus) – Inaugural Vice President, 1984. – President, 1985-1987. – Director, 1992-2004. – Foundation Member and State Representative, 1983, and 1984-1986. – Representative on National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) – Member, Technical Reference Group, Chronic Disease Resource, 2009-2011. – Remote Issues Advisory Committee, 1998-2002. – Workforce Advisory Committee, 1999-2003. Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) – Member, Technical Reference Group of Key Performance Indicators for Indigenous Services, 2010-2016. – Member, Health Financing Models for Rural and Remote Health, 1999-2000. – Member, Selection Committee, National Rural Health Research Institute, 1995. – Member, RHMT Evaluation Advisory Committee. Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association (CARPA) – Foundation Member, since 1985. – Chairman, Standard Treatment Manual Editorial Committee, 1998-2010, and Member, 1990-2010. – Chair, Editorial Committee, Clinical Procedures Manual, 2002-2010. – Chair, Remote Primary Health Care Manuals Editorial Committee, 2010-2016. Nursing Roles – Advisory Committee Member, Royal College of Nursing Australia, 2007-2010. – Advisor, Nurses Board, Northern Territory Professional Practice Tribunal, 2005-2010. – Selection Committee Member, Northern Territory Nurses Award, 2005-2006. – National Committee Advanced Nursing Practice (NAHERO), 2000-2002. Education – Advisory Committee Member, Graduate School of Health Studies, Charles Darwin University, 2006-2010. – Member, Remote and Rural Nurse Scholarship Committee, Australian Government, 1998-2011. Awards and recognition include: – Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Citation for Outstanding contribution to Student Learning, Office of Learning and Teaching, 2007. – CRANA Aurora Award for Leadership and Outstanding Contribution to Remote Health, 2004 and 2020. – Centenary Medal, for leadership in improving education, training and support for rural and remote nursing, 2001. – Louis Ariotti Award for Excellence and Leadership in Rural Health, 2001.
Letitia (Tish) Lancaster AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Leichhardt, New South Wales For significant service to oncology nursing, and to professional societies.
Westmead Hospital – Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gynaecological Oncology, 1995-2021. – Member, Clinical Board, 2014-2017. – Member, Safe Use in Medicines Committee, 1999-2020. Nursing – Nursing Unit Manager, Medical Oncology Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital, 1993-1995. – Oncology Curriculum Accreditation Committee, NSW College of Nursing, 1992, and 1995. – Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oncology Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, 1983-1993. – Fellow, Australian College of Nursing, 2000. Cancer Nurses Society of Australia – Chair, 2005. – Member, National Executive Committee, 2004-2006, and 2008-2013. – Co-Editor, Australian Journal of Cancer Nursing, 2009-2019. – Honorary Life Fellow, 2013. International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) – Board Member, 2008-2013. – Member, Member Development Committee, since 2008. – Chair, Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee, 2011-2014. – Member, Nominations and Awards Committee, 2010-2018. – Chair, Working Party to develop Position Statement on Screening for Cervical Cancer, 1999-2000. NSW Cancer Council – Member, Cancer Trials Selection Committee, 2003-2008. – Cancer Council Australia Representative, Members’ Assembly, 2006-2008. Other Appointments – Gynaecological Cancer Advisory Group, Cancer Australia, 2007-2016. – Member, Working Party to develop Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Australian Cancer Network, 1999-2003. – Clinical Services Advisory Committee, NSW Cancer Institute, 2006. Publications – Editorial Board Member, Cancer Forum Journal, Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, 2001-2018. – Co-Editor, Gynaecological Cancer Care: A Guide to Practice, Ausmed Publications, 2007. – Chapter Author, Psychosocial Care of Cancer Patients: A Health Professional’s Guide to What to Say and Do, K Hodgkinson & J Gilchrist (Eds), Ausmed Publications, 2008. – Chapter Co-Author, Women’s Health: A Primary Health Care Approach. A. Smith & C. Rogers-Clark (Eds.), MacLennan & Petty, 1998. – Several publications in peer-reviewed journals. Awards and recognition include: – Distinguished Merit Award, International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, 2018. – Nurse of the Year, Westmead Hospital, 2012.
Mary McGowan OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Brighton East, Victoria For service to nursing, and to the community through charitable initiatives.
Children’s Cancer Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne – Community Liaison Manager, since 2001. – Volunteer Facilitator, Children’s Cancer Centre Parent Advisory Group, current. – Volunteer, Cancer in Kids Auxiliary (CIKA). – Former Nurse Unit Manger. – Paediatric Oncology Nurse, since 1978. Childhood Cancer International (CCI) – Oceania Board Member, Board of Trustees, since 2002. – Volunteer. Children’s Cancer Foundation – Director, since 2001. – Committee Member, My Room, since 2004. – Foundation Board Member. Challenge (supporting kids with cancer) – Volunteer Camp Nursing Sister, current. Ronald McDonald House Charities – Board Member, 25 years. – Member, Friends of Ronald McDonald House Group, since 1986. Other – Former President, Victorian oncology nurses’ special interest group. – Member, Network of Childhood Cancer Support Groups. – Representative, Foundation Committee, Parents Cancer Connect Program, The Cancer Council. – Volunteer, LARCH Leukaemia Auxiliary. – Volunteer, Redkite (formerly The Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children). – Volunteer, CanTeen. Awards and recognition include: – Victorian Women’s Honour Roll of Women Inductee, 2019. – Pride of Australia Medal, 2006. – Hall of Fame Inductee, Ronald McDonald House Charities, 2004. = The White Flame Award, Save the Children, 1998. – Chairman’s Medal, The Royal Children’s Hospital, 1993.
Alison Jayne McMillan PSM Public Service Medal (PSM) Essendon, Victoria For outstanding public service to driving the Government’s national health response priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to infection prevention measures.
Ms Alison McMillan has played an impactful, hands-on role during the Government’s response to COVID-19. Drawing on years of experience in disaster preparedness and response, she has rapidly responded to a number of critical activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her expertise in infection control, nursing and clinical operations have been crucial to containing the spread of COVID-19. She is a fully trained AUSMAT (Australian Medical Assistance Team) member, demonstrating outstanding disaster management expertise and leadership of Australian contingents to humanitarian assistance deployments, including to Banda Ache in 2005, and as an adviser to the Fijian Ministry of Health following Cyclone Winston in 2016. She volunteered to deploy to Japan to assist with the repatriation of Australians from the COVID-19 stricken Diamond Princess Cruise liner, and continued to provide medical support and care right through the quarantine period at Howard Springs. She was again called upon when help was needed to manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in aged care facilities in Victoria. She reviewed infection prevention measures and implemented tougher controls in aged care facilities. She drew together Commonwealth and Victorian Government agencies using her extensive professional networks and created a coordinated approach that focused on ensuring safety, dignity and continuity of care was maintained for thousands of aged care residents. Ms McMillan has continually provided sustained high quality advice on infection prevention and emergency health management in a high-tempo, complex environment.
Frederick (Fred) Bernhard Miegel OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Alice Springs, Northern Territory For service to nursing.
Palliative Care Australia – Member, current. – Treasurer, Northern Territory Branch, current. Territory Palliative Care, NT Health – Advocate, Ampere Amantye-Akeme Hospice, Alice Springs Hospital, opened in 2018. – Clinical Nurse Manager, Central Branch, Alice Springs Hospital, 1995-2000. Awards and recognition includes: – Acute Services Section, Nurse of the Year Awards, Northern Territory, 2004.
Gavin Ashley Milkins CSC Conspicious Service Cross (CSC) For outstanding achievement as the Medical Head of Department and Senior Health Officer, HMAS Adelaide
Commander Milkins’ outstanding achievement as Medical Head of Department and Senior Health Officer in HMAS Adelaide underpinned the success of Exercise Talisman Sabre, Operation RENDER SAFE, Enhanced Regional Engagement, Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST, and Operation COVID-19 ASSIST. His actions directly contributed to Australia’s maritime resilience during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving Adelaide’s ability to perform duties as the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Response Vessel.
Bernadette Ann Mottram OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Marrickville, New South Wales For service to nursing, and to veterans.
St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney – Nurse Unit Manager, Orthopaedic Unit, 1985-2013. -Quality Improvement Clerk, 2013. – Former Member, Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Medical Records Committee, Senior Nurses Forum, and Clinical Management Team. St Vincent’s Public Hospital, Sydney – Charge Sister, Orthopaedic/ Neurological Ward, 1974-1975. – Charge Sister, Accident Ward, 1968-1973. Nursing – Other – Charge Sister Orthopaedic Ward Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, 1977-1981. – Sister, Royal South Sydney Hospital, Sydney, 1975-1977. – Charge Sister Medical/Surgical Ward St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, 1967-1968. – Member, New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, 1986-2012 and Associate Member, since 2012. – Staff Nurse, Course Student, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom, 1973-1974. Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps – Member, Reserves, 1977-1995. – Deployed as part of International Red Cross to Thai/Cambodia border, 1981. Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps Association – National President, 2013-2015. – Member, since 1981. NSW Branch, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps Association – Vice-President, since 2018. – Events Coordinator, since 2002. World Veterans Federation – Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps Association Representative, 2011-2019. – Australian Delegate, Standing Committee for Asia and the Pacific. – Coordinator, Working Group on Women, 2015. National Boer War Memorial Association – Committee Member, 2006-2008. NSW State Committee, National Boer War Memorial Association – Committee Member, 2008-2019. – Treasurer, 2010-2014. – Memorabilia Officer, 2014-2019. – Functions Co-organiser, 2012-2017. ANZAC Dawn Trust, Sydney – Board Member, since 2019.
Julie Ann Paul OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Doreen, Victoria For service to community health.
Banksia Palliative Care Service – Executive Officer, 2007-2017. – Manager, Education, Training and Quality, 2003-2007. – Manager, Business Development and Quality, 2000-2003. – Community Palliative Nurse Consultant, 1994-2000. Australian International Palliative Education and Consultancy Services – Co-Founder and Director, since 2017. – Educator and Mentor for Japanese health professionals and university nursing students, since 2017. Other – National Assessor and Peer Reviewer, Palliative Care, National Standard Assessment Program, 2010-2013. – One of four inaugural Victorian Community Palliative Care Nurse Practitioners, 2005. – Palliative Care Executive Program, 2009. – Involved with developing the growth of palliative care in Japan, since 2006. Community – Established and Chaired, Friends of Banksia volunteer fundraising group, 2002-2006. – Established and Chaired, Consumer Reference Group, 2008-2017.
Marea Christine Reading OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Rodd Point, New South Wales For service to nursing.
St Vincent’s Hospital – Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cardiothoracic Nursing, 1986-2006. – Cardiothoracic Post Basic Nursing Course Co-ordinator, 1974-2006. – Educator, Professor Don Harrison AM Patient Safety Simulation Centre, since 2006. Nursing – Other – Facilitator, Cardiovascular Post Graduate Nursing Course, Harapan Kita, National Cardiac Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia, 1990-2010. – Author, Chest X-ray Quiz in each issue, Australian Critical Care, Australian College of Critical Care Nurses, 1993-2020, and the Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Journal (UK), 1994-2021. – Fellow, Australian College of Nursing, until resigning in 2019. – Registered Nurse, Nursing and Midwifery Board (AHPRA), since 1962.
Jan Rice AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Mount Waverley, Victoria For significant service to nursing, to wound care, and to education.
Wounds Australia – Inaugural Board Member (Wounds Australia), 2016-2018. – Chair, National Conference, 2018. – Co-Chair, National Conference, 2017. – Vice-Chair, National Conference, 2016. – Board Liaison Representative and Advisor, Education Portfolio, 2016. Chairperson, Education and Professional Development Committee, 2006-2014. – Inaugural Fellow, 2006. – Member, since 1994. Victorian Branch, Wounds Australia – President, 2011-2013. – Vice-President, 2009-2011. – Committee Member, 2006-2009. – Life Member, 2006. Wound Specialist – Manager, Wound Clinic, Ashwood Medical Group, Ashburton, since 2006. – Specialist Nurse/Wound Consultant, Jan Rice WoundCare Services, since 2013. – Partner, Wounds R Us, (Wound conferences and Webinars globally), since 2016. – Specialist Nurse, GP wound clinics, aged care centres across suburban and regional Victoria, acute private surgical hospitals, as well as private homes, last 35 years. – Plastic Surgery Nurse, Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit, Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, 1979-1993. – Registered Nurse, since 1973. Interplast Australia and New Zealand, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons – Volunteer Nurse Educator, 24 programs, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Samoa, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea, since 1994. – Member, Interplast Nurses Working Group, current. – Former Member, Surgical Committee. Specialist Education – Manager, World of Wounds, Latrobe University, 2008-2013. – Lecturer, Wound Foundation of Australia, Monash University, 1993-2007. – In-clinic Training with nurses on placement, Ashwood Medical Group, 2010s. – Wound Education to Surgeons, Royal Australian College of Surgeons. Colonel, Australian Army Reserve, (teaching personnel in wound management), 1981-2015. Ausmed Education Pty Ltd – Member, Venous Leg Ulcer Guideline Implementation Sub-Committee, current. – Member, Pressure Injury Guidelines Development Sub-Committee, current. Committee and advisory roles – Chairperson, Education Sub-Committee, Australian Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, 2006-2014. – Member, Venous leg Ulcer Guideline Development Committee, 2006-2014. – Member, World Alliance for Wound and Lymphedema Care. – Member, Would Care Committee, Wounds UK. – Member, Wound Care Committee, Wound Care Professionals. = Member, Wound Care Committee, Lymphoedema Education Solutions. Publications include: – Co-author, Australian and New Zealand Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Venous Leg Ulcer, Cambridge Press, 2011. – Co-author, book chapters and training manuals in Plastic Surgery Nursing and Guidelines for Nurses for Wound Care in General Practice Settings. – Expert Contributor, Standards for Wound Prevention and Management, Wounds Australia, 2016. Journal of Wound Practice and Research Editorial Board Member, 2000-2004. Reviewer, current. Awards and recognition include: – Award named in her honour, Jan Rice Service Award, established by the Victorian Branch, Wounds Australia, 2014. – Prince of Wales Award, 1996.
Vicki Joan Roach AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Longueville, New South Wales For significant service to neuroscience nursing, and to professional federations.
World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses – Vice-President, since 2005. – Scientific Chair, Quadrennial Congress, Croatia 2017, Japan 2013, Canada 2009, and Sydney 2001. – Board Member, since 1998. Australasian Neuroscience Nurses Association – Advisor, since 1987. – Editor, Australasian Journal of Neuroscience, 2010-2017. – Life Member, since 2017. Royal North Shore Hospital – Clinical Nurse Consultant in Neuroscience, since 2002. – Nursing Unit Manager of Neurosurgery, 1995-2002. – Involved in the development of a Schools Head Injury Program, 2003. Other – Member, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, since 1984. – Senior Nurse Clinician, New York University Medical Center, three years. – Guest Lecturer, ‘Women in Leadership’ and ‘Nurses and Clinicians – Professional Associations and Volunteering’, Australian Healthcare Week NSW, 2018. – Past Guest Speaker, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses. – Past Guest Speaker, Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses. – Past Conference Guest Speaker, British Association of Neuroscience Nurses. – Creator and Author, Cerebral Tap board game, 1988 (teaches facts about the brain and spinal cord).
Wendy Smyth OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Townsville, Queensland For service to nursing.
Professional – Nurse Manager – Research, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, since 2002. – Assisted with the establishment Tropical Health Research Unit for Nursing and Midwifery, 2002. – Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, James Cook University, since 2001. Townsville Hospital Ethics Committee – Deputy Chair, since 2019. – Member, since 2014. Reef HQ Aquarium – Volunteer, since 2002. Reef HQ Volunteer Association Committee – President, 2 years. – Former Vice-President. – Committee Member, since 2003-2008. Other – Member, Alligator Creek Branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association, current. Awards and recognition includes: – Australian Nursing Fellowship, Kellogg Foundation,1984-1985.
Linette Veitch AM Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division Westleigh, New South Wales For significant service to nurse education, and to international health programs.
Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney – Former Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health, retired in 2008. – Former Director of Doctoral Programs. – Former Director of Postgraduate Studies. – Former Director of Midwifery Studies. – Former Director of Research Studies. – Various roles, 1997-2008. World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development, Western Pacific Region, University of Technology Sydney -Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing and Midwifery and Director, International Programs, since 2009, with roles including: – Developed nursing courses, Vanuatu, 2018-2020 and Consultant with the Vanuatu Ministry of Education, since 2018. – Reviewer, DFAT Australian Awards Fellowships, 12 Pacific countries, 2009-2017. – Co-author, ‘Vital Role of Nurses and Midwives Report in the Western Pacific Region’. – Training Midwives, Al Ain Hospital, United Arab Emirates. – National audit of community health schools, Papua New Guinea (in conjunction with DFAT). – Author, revision of Midwifery Curriculum, Papua New Guinea. – Developed the national Bachelor of Nursing Curriculum for Papua New Guinea, 2014-2016. – Co-ordinator of programs for nurses and community health workers, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea (in conjunction with Australian Doctors International), 2013-2014. – Lead, Reconstruction of Nursing Education, Banda Aceh, Indonesia (following 2004 Tsunami), 2005-2007. Health – Other – Member, making Supreme Days for Girls Kits for developing countries, ‘Days for Girls’ charity, current. – Helped build a healthcare clinic at Batuna, Solomon Islands. – Maternal and Child Care Nurse, for district surrounding Hatzfeldhaven Hospital, northwest coast of Papua New Guinea, 1960s. – Registered Nurse, since 1965. – Registered Midwife, since 1965. Awards and recognition include: – Vice-Chancellor’s Social Justice and Human Rights Award, University of Technology Sydney.
Margaret Beryl Vincent OAM Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division Avondale, New South Wales For service to community health
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) – Peer Support Officer, 2020. – State Staff Officer, Advanced Clinical Management Team Operations, 2006-2020. – Founding Member, Field Medical Team (now Advanced Casualty Management Team). – Divisional Officer in Charge, 2005-2006. – Regional Nursing Officer, Officer Grade IV, 1992-2005. – Divisional Superintendent, Wentworthville Cadet Division, 1988-1991. – Divisional Nursing Officer, Officer Grade V, Wentworthville Cadet Division, 1985-1988. – Divisional Nursing Officer, Probationary Officer Grade VI, Wentworthville Cadet Division, 1985. – Honorary Life Member, 1990. Blacktown Hospital – Former Team Leader, Birthing Unit, 20 years. – Former Member, Work, Health and Safety Committee. Nursing – Other – Nurse, (Occupational Health, Haemodialysis, New South Wales Prison system and Midwifery), since 1968. Awards and recognition include: – St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) and NSW Premier’s Bushfire Citation, 2020. – Silver Commendation Award, St John Ambulance Australia (NSW), 2014. – Commander of the Order, The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, 2011; Officer of the Order, 2001; Member of the Order, 1995; Priory Vote of Thanks, 1992.
Missing Anyone? Please let me know via the comments section below if I missed any Nurses on the 2021 Queen’s Birtday Honours List. Naturally, I’m happy to correct any oversights.
Queen’s Birthday? Pfft! What the hell are we doing celebrating our best and brightest by linking them to an unelected Brit? We should get behind the Australian Republic Movement, get the Union Jack off our flag, and the Queens’s head (soon to be Charles’ head) off our coins. See: republic.org.au
Paul McNamara, 14 June 2021
Short URL: meta4RN.com/Queen21
Addit 15 June 2021
Via LinkedIn Anthony Russell and Nathan Freeman let me know about two ommissions of Military Nurses (Gavin Milkins and Greg Brown) from the original list. Neither of their citations mention nursing, but they’re both on the AHPRA Register, so they’ve been added now.
Addit 17 June 2021
Via facebook Michele Davidson let me know that I had missed including Margaret Vincent on the original list – added now. Thanks Michele. Sorry Margaret.
A couple of weeks ago I was an invited speaker at the ANMF Vic Branch & NMHPWellness Conference. The session was titled “Mental Health in the General Hospital”. Regular visitors to the meta4RN.com blog would have seen the accompanying web page to the presentation (here it is: meta4RN.com/ANMFvic).
This week the recording of the conference became available. I’ve snipped my session into a YouTube video and saved it here so it’s easy to find and share with those who have expressed an interest in seeing it (thanks Mum 🙂).
For reasons I don’t understand the video version of the presentation is blighted by a couple of static black boxes; these are not visible at all when viewing the actual Prezi. Mysterious. 🤷♂️
My noggin is a bit blurred/asynchronous when on screen – that would be due to the NBN being slowed to a crawl by copper wire, I guess. Fibre to the node, eh? 🙄
Those couple of things aside, it’s interesting (for me) to see the video version back. Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing, but it also shows me the sort of things I should try to improve for future presentations. Less face-touching, for instance. 😕
That’s it. No need to ramble any further – this blog post is all about the video (feat. Eduardo D’Bull and Bessie D’Cow). 📺 🐮 🐄
As always, feedback in the comments section below is welcome.
In 2015 at a session at the Creating Futures conference, a First Nations woman stood up and said something like, “We know you whitefellas must love my mob, because you’re always interfering in our lives. Thanks, but we could take care of ourselves if you would just let us.”
I reckon I have a small, whitefella-style, taste of how she feels.
Every year nurses pay a registration fee to AHPRA. I’m cool with that – I have friends. I know that tradies, aircraft engineers, deck officers, doctors, builders, architects and teachers all pay registration fees too. It’s part of being a professional.
Every year I take the option to schedule my AHPRA fee payment so it goes through a couple of days before it’s due. That’s the way I pay all my bills. How cool is BPAY? #organised
Every year I get repeat reminders from the nursing hierarchy and AHPRA that there is a fee due in a few weeks time. I’ve had three such emails in the last 24 hours.
I don’t know why they spend so much time to remind me to pay a bill weeks before it becomes due, but anyway… I know that they must love me, because they keep on interfering in my scheduled fee payment each year. I don’t know how they think I manage in other parts of my bill-paying life: they must stay awake all night worrying about my mortgage, electricity, car registration, and insurance bills.
Which brings me to this thought:
Why don’t nurses trust Australia’s most trusted profession (nurses)?
Nurses were rated the most trusted profession for 23 consecutive years (1994 to 2017) in Australia, according to a Roy Morgan poll [source]. In 2019 the ABC surveyed 54,000 Australians and also found that nurses, together with doctors, were the most trusted professions [source].
Despite that, the management level above me and my registration body do not seem to trust me to pay my annual fee. In the last 24 hours I’ve received three emails telling me to pay a bill that’s not due until the end of the month. Weird, right?
Is it just a quirk of doting, caring people who love us so greatly that they worry about us too much?
Yeah – maybe that’s it.
Darbyshire, P. & Thompson, D.R. (2021), Can nursing educators learn to trust the world’s most trusted profession?. Nursing Inquiry, 28:e12412. https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12412
That’s it for this quick rant.
As always, feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below.
Oh, and don’t forget to pay you AHPRA registration when it’s due, and not a day before. 🙂
Anyway, this page is a place to link to the Prezi and the presentation content for the session. Because the presentation draws heavily on previous work I’ve done, the reference list is ridiculously self-referential.
CLPS Nurses (WTF?)
A random sample of journal articles by/about Nurses working in an Australia Consultation Liaison Psychiatric Service (not pretending/trying to be an exhaustive list).
Harvey, S.T., Fisher, L.J. and Green, V.M. (2012), Evaluating the clinical efficacy of a primary care‐focused, nurse‐led, consultation liaison model for perinatal mental health. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 21: 75-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2011.00766.x
McMaster, R., Jammali‐Blasi, A., Andersson‐Noorgard, K., Cooper, K. and McInnes, E. (2013), Research involvement, support needs, and factors affecting research participation: A survey of Mental Health Consultation Liaison Nurses. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22: 154-161. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00857.x
McNamara, P., Bryant, J., Forster, J., Sharrock, J. and Happell, B. (2008), Exploratory study of mental health consultation‐liaison nursing in Australia: Part 2 preparation, support and role satisfaction. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 17: 189-196. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2008.00531.x
Sharrock, J., Grigg, M., Happell, B., Keeble‐Devlin, B. and Jennings, S. (2006), The mental health nurse: A valuable addition to the consultation‐liaison team. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 15: 35-43. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2006.00393.x
Wand, T., Collett, G., Cutten, A., Buchanan‐Hagen, S., Stack, A. and White, K. (2020), Patient and clinician experiences with an emergency department‐based mental health liaison nurse service in a metropolitan setting. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 29: 1202-1217. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12760
Thanks to QR Code Monkey for providing a free, easy-to-use, QR code generator that allows for a logo to be inserted.
Something that pandemic has provided is ubiquitous uptake of QR codes, which makes this 2012 idea of deploying complex health information via a QR code more practical/relevant than ever. More info on this via the video below and/or ye olde blog post: meta4RN.com/QRcode
Thanks for visiting. As alway, feedback is welcome via the comments section below.
2020 was ‘Year of the Nurse’, but it wasn’t until 2021 – when we had access to COVID-19 vaccinations – that we celebrated.
If you had told me in March 2020 that I would be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of March 2021, I would have told you you were crazy. And yet, here we are. I had my second injection this morning. Yay!
Science and Scientists who, in less than a year, have developed eleven vaccines. Not all of them have completed clinical trial or the WHO approval process yet (more info here), but still… Amazing.
Australia’s federal government for shutting the borders on 20 March 2020, and securing the purchase and manufacture of safe, effective, free COVID-19 vaccinations.
Queensland’s state government for being humble, smart and brave enough to seek and follow the health advice. As I’ve blogged previously (here, here and here). those of us living and working in the health sector in Queensland have a lot to be grateful for. Queensland has a lower incidence of COVID-19 than any other state or territory (source), and despite having a larger population than New Zealand has had fewer COVID19 cases and deaths (source and source). This all holds true today (30 March 2021) despite a current Brisbane lockdown and state-wide mandate to wear masks indoors because of recent community transmission.
My employer for including my small but dynamic team in the 1A rollout. My clinical role takes me to pretty-much every ward in the hospital, so I’ve be carrying the anxiety of being a potential super-spreader for the 12 months. A weight has been lifted. Thank you @CairnsHHS.
Finally, thanks to Frankie and Laura for giving both of my injections so painlessly and professionally. Thanks for the lollypops too :-).
I am very, very grateful to be be amongst the thousands of Australian nurses having a vaccination celebration.
Wait. There’s More.
Check-out more stories about Australian Nurses also having a vaccination celebration via this online curation: wakelet.com/@metaRN (recommended – it’s uplifting to scroll through all the news stories featuring heaps of nurses getting and giving COVID-19 jabs).
Thanks for visiting. As always, your feedback is welcome via the comments section below.
There is a lot of information about clinical supervision as it applies to nurses and midwives,. Wouldn’t it be handy if someone curated the key stuff you need as clinical supervision “starter kit” in one place? That’s the thought I woke up with this morning, so here goes:
1. Australian College of Nursing, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and Australian College of Midwives (April 2019) Joint Position Statement: Clinical Supervision for Nurses and Midwives [PDF] JointPostionStatement
2. Queensland Health (October 2009) Clinical Supervision Guidelines for Mental Health Services [PDF] QHGuide2009
3. Queensland Centre for Mental Health Learning [QCMHL] (February 2021) Clinical Supervision Training [Website] if that link does not work, below are PDFs re each of the three courses:
a. Best Practice Models of Supervision (1 day introduction to clinical supervision) [PDF] Beginner
b. Supervisor (2 day workshop re core supervisor competencies) [PDF] Intermediate
c. Supervising Supervisors (2 day workshop to develop advanced skills) [PDF] Advanced
5. Queensland Centre for Mental Health Learning [QCMHL] (September 2020) Clinical Supervision Resources [Website] if that link does not work, use this: [ArchivedWebsite]
6. Australian Clinical Supervision Association (January 2020) Clinical Supervision Resources [Website] if that link does not work, use this: [ArchivedWebsite]
End of the Start
To my way of thinking, the info above is a comprehensive “starter kit” for nurses and midwives who are new(ish) to clinical supervision.
Below I’ll add links to other info that may be of interest. This list certainly will not be exhaustive, but hopefully will be interest to people like me (a nurse in Queensland).
Selected Further Reading
Cutcliffe, J.R., Sloan, G. and Bashaw, M. (2018), A systematic review of clinical supervision evaluation studies in nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(5): 1344-1363. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12443
Dawber, C. (2013), Reflective Practice Groups for Nurses: A consultation liaison psychiatry nursing initiative: Part 1 – the model. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22(2): 135-144. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00839.x
Dawber, C. (2013), Reflective Practice Groups for Nurses: A consultation liaison psychiatry nursing initiative: Part 2 – the evaluation. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22(3): 241-248. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00841.x
White, E., & Winstanley, J. (2010). A randomised controlled trial of clinical supervision: selected findings from a novel Australian attempt to establish the evidence base for causal relationships with quality of care and patient outcomes, as an informed contribution to mental health nursing practice development. Journal of Research in Nursing, 15(2), 151–167. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987109357816
It’s likely I’ll add to the “Selected Further Reading” section over time. If you think there’s an important journal article/other resource that belongs here please let me know via the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Thanks for visiting.
Paul McNamara, 21 February 2021
Short URL meta4RN.com/sup
(Yes – it’s intentional that the short URL uses “sup” as the shortened version of the far-too-long to say or text “what’s up?”. Spot the middle-aged man pathetically trying to be cool.)
When I was a student nurse back in the 1980s at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, one of the Registered Nurses shared a trick with managing nausea. It was pretty simple:
Rip open an alcohol swab (“proper” nurses always had some in their pocket, along with scissors, a multi-coloured pen, and about eleventy-seven other things).
Advise the patient to hold the alcohol swab close to their face, and breath in the fumes through their nose.
Assuming (hoping) that there’s a PRN order for it, scoot off to gather a Metoclopramide* (Maxalon) vial and injecting equipment, but don’t crack the vial.
On your return to the bedside, ask whether they are still feeling nauseous and, if so, would they like an IM injection to take the nausea away.
Result = about half the time, maybe a bit more, the nausea had resolved just by sniffing the alcohol swab.
Ye Olde Tradition vs Evidence-Based Practice
I did a quick whip-around a couple of the wards at the hospital where I work today. A couple of nurses had heard of this trick, but most hadn’t. So, is it just nursing folklore/a tradition, or is it evidence-based?
Nurses have noted “that it just works” for a while (Spencer 2004).
A 2002 study found that inhaling alcohol was just as effective as standard treatment in post-op patients (Merritt, Okyere & Jasinski).
In a study of women undergoing outpatient gynecologic laparoscopic procedures (n = 100), postoperative nausea resolved quicker using 70% inhaled isopropyl alcohol (ie: the content of a typical swab) compared with intravenous ondansetron (Winston, Rinehart, Riley, Vacchiano & Pellegrini, 2003).
Anderson and Gross (2004) conducted a small (n = 33) trial, and found that alcohol, peppermint and saline (as a placebo) were equally efficacious. They speculated that the controlled breathing may be more important than the scent.
A 2018 review of two random controlled trials (n = 226) concluded that inhaling alcohol was effective for mild to moderate nausea in non-pregnant emergency department patients (Lindblad, Ting & Harris).
Finally, a recent randomized, placebo-controlled trial study (n =115) found that inhaling alcohol was significantly more effective than placebo, and those inhaling alcohol were much less likely to require other antiemetic medication (Candemir, Akoglu, Sanri, Onur & Denizbasi, 2021).
The way I remember it, metoclopramide was the only antiemetic medication available back in the 1980s. I’m pretty sure that ondensetron wasn’t invented then (I don’t recall hearing about it), or maybe it just wasn’t an affordable option at the time.
I’d imagine that I’ve missed a number of published studies. It’s just my blog dude – not bloody Cochrane Review.
All I wanted to do was see if there had been much research about Ye Olde Antiemetic Sniffing of Alcohol Swabs.
As shown above, there’s been a bit, but certainly nothing like the numbers of patients you’d have if you were trying to get a medication to market. Yet, as none of the studies listed above found unwanted ill-effects, and nearly all of them found that inhaling an alcohol swab was a useful antiemetic, maybe I should do as my senior colleague did back in the 1980s, and spread the word.
Spread The Word
To manage nausea:
Rip open an alcohol swab.
Advise the patient to hold the alcohol swab close to their face, and breath in the fumes through their nose.
Give them a few minutes, then return to see if it’s been effective.
If it hasn’t, progress to treatment as usual.
Keep score. There’s probably a research paper in this for you/your ward.
That’s it for this blog post.
Do you have any other “secret” nursing tips and tricks that should be shared? If so leave a message via the comments section below… maybe you’d like to write a guest post on the blog (it has a couple of thousand visitors most months).
Winston, A., Rinehart, R., Riley, G., Vacchiano, C. & Pellegrini, J.(2003) Comparison of inhaled isopropyl alcohol and intravenous ondansetron for treatment of postoperative nausea. AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) Journal, 71(2), pp. 127-32. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12776641
Patricia Elizabeth Canning OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Mullaloo, Western Australia For service to the community, to nursing, and to aged care.
Rotary Australia, District 9455
• Director of Service Projects, since 2017.
• District Governor, 2016-2017.
• Assistant Governor, 2014-2016.
• President, Rotary Club of Ballajura Malaga, 2010-2011.
• President, Rotary Club of Cunderdin, 1999-2000.
• Member, since 1991.
Rotary Australia, World Community Service
• Member, District (9455) Committee, current.
• Past Coordinator, Maternal and Child Health, Pacific Region.
• Leader, Group Study Exchange Team to Arizona, 2002.
• Telephone Counsellor, Crisis Support Services, Lifeline WA, 2014-2016.
• Past Volunteer First Aid Trainer/Officer, St John Ambulance Western Australia.
Opal Specialist Aged Care
• Quality Advisor, since 2015.
• Regional Quality Advisor, Western Australia, since 2015.
Australian College of Nursing, Western Australia
• Member, WA Chapter, 2010-2013.
• Member, Advisory Council, 2008-2010.
• Fellow, since 2004.
Australasian College of Health Service Management
• Past President, Western Australia Branch.
• Fellow, since 1984.
• Consultant, Canning Consultancy, since 2005.
• Facility Manager, Bethanie Aged Care, 2005-2006.
• Director of Nursing Health/Service Manager, Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital, 2002-
• Nursing Manager, Bulgin Farm, 1992-2002.
• Director of Nursing, Cunderdin District Health Service, 1991-2000.
• Registered Nurse, since 1972, and Registered Midwife, since 1983.
Awards and recognition include:
• Australian Centenary Medal, 2001.
Peter Denzil Craighead OAM
Honorary Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Yarram, Victoria For service to rural health administration.
• Chief Executive, Latrobe Regional Hospital, since 2008.
• Principal, Alberton Consulting, since 2000; undertaking a number of reviews including
Quality Review of West Wimmera Health Service; Rural Health Service reviews for Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments and Review of Health Needs of Indian Ocean Territories.
Central Gippsland Health Service
• Chief Executive Officer, 2006-2008.
• Administrator, 2004-2006.
• Executive Director, Yarram and District Health Service, 1989-2006. (Director of Nursing and Chief Executive Officer)
• Interim Manager, Latrobe Community Health Service, 1995-1997.
• Director of Nursing, King Island District Hospital, 1985-1989.
• Board Member, LaTrobe Health Assembly, since 2016.
• Chair, Gippsland Integrated Cancer Services, current.
• Board Member, Victorian Healthcare Association, 2011-2017.
Kate Gwendolyne Hackett PSM
Public Service Medal (PSM)
Ryde, New South Wales For outstanding public service to health care delivery in Western Sydney.
Ms Kate Hackett has worked in health services in New South Wales since 2001, when she commenced her nursing career at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
In 2006 she relocated to Westmead Hospital where she has been a vital contributor to professional, highly skilled, motivated and adaptable nursing and midwifery standards at the hospital for the past 14 years. As the Director, Nursing and Midwifery she advocates for her patients and a high quality of care, while leading her team in a collaborative manner.
In 2015 she was part of the team that initiated the State of Bio-preparedness and High Consequence Infectious Diseases projects to support succession planning in the event of new and emerging infectious diseases. She then adapted these plans in January 2020 to prepare the hospital to respond to COVID-19. During the pandemic she has been exceptional in developing and rapidly implementing strategies for her nursing staff to ensure a well-managed response to COVID-19, while maintaining a high level of care and compassion for hospital patients.
In addition to developing the Westmead COVID Hospital Strategy, she has also been a valued member of the Western Sydney Local Health District COVID-19 Clinical Expert Advisory Group. She has also played a vital role in the redevelopment of the Westmead Hospital Precinct, advocating for nursing and the development of the precinct.
Ms Hackett is highly respected by her peers and patients for her exemplary standard of professionalism and health care delivery to the community of New South Wales.
Patricia Ruth Letts OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Alfred Cove, Western Australia For service to nursing.
• Chief Nursing Officer, 2008 (Temporary Relieving for 6 months).
• Area Executive Director of Nursing, South Metropolitan Health Service, 2001-2010.
• Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery, and Patient Support Services, Fremantle
Hospital and Health Service, 2001-2016.
• Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing, current.
• Former Member, Nursing Advisory Board.
Other University Appointments
• Former Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Board, Notre Dame University, 15 years.
Australian College of Nursing (formerly the Royal College of Nursing Australia)
• Committee Member, Western Australian Chapter, 2005.
• Member, 1997-2020.
• Associate Fellow, Australian College of Health Services Executives.
• Member, Australian College of Nursing.
• Nurse Leader Member, Western Australian at Large Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma
Theta Tau International.
Fremantle Hospital Museum
• Volunteer Curator, current. • Founder.
Awards and recognition includes:
• Lifetime Achievement Award, Western Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards, 2013.
• Finalist, Community and Government Award Category, Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Western Australia, 2003.
Katherine Cameron MacArthur OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Tasmania For service to community health, and to nursing.
• Deputy Project Manager/Logistic Manager, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 2005 (3 months).
• Health Manager, Amman Jordan (for work in Iraq), 2004 (2 months).
• International Health Advisor/Manager, Iraq, 2003 (6 months).
• Program Officer – Health, Macedonia, 1999 (6 months).
• Health Coordinator, Katale Zaire and Butare, Rwanda, 1994 (6 months).
• Healthcare Specialist, Ngara, Tanzania, 1994 (6 months).
• Health Nurse Coordinator, Bardhere, Somalia, Care Australia/USA, 1992-1993.
• Health Care Specialist, Lafon, Southern Sudan, Care Australia/USA, 1993 (6
months). Remote Area Nursing
• Registered Nurse, McConnell Dowell 5B Project, Dampier to Bunbury, 2009-2010.
• Occupational Health Nurse, Nacap – Wolloons Project: Gas Pipeline, Chinchilla to
• Occupational Health Nurse, Ballera Pipeline, SA/QLD, 2008 (6 months).
• Occupational Health Nurse/Paramedic, SAIPEN Project Looping 5A, Dampier to
Bunbury WA, 2007-2008.
• Occupational Health Nurse/Paramedic, Nacap/KT Pipeline WA, 2006 (7 months).
• Relieving Director of Nursing, Weipa Hospital QLD, 1997-1998.
• Remote Area Occupational Health Nurse, McConnell Constructions Gas Pipeline, Mt
Isa to Ballera, 1997 (6 months).
• Occupational Health Nurse, Fletcher-Spie Venture Gas Pipeline to Wallumbilla, SW
• Community Health Nurse, Ngaanyatarra Health Centre, Jamison, Western Australia,
1991 (2 months). Nursing – Other
• Casual Relief Registered Nurse in Charge, Baptcare Karingal Aged Care, Devonport, Tasmania, 2006-2007, 2004-2005, 2003-2004, 1999-2003.
• Ambulance Officer/Registered Nurse, Private Ambulance, Tasmania, 2015-2019.
• Acting Director of Nursing, NWRH Mersey Division, Mersey Hospital, Latrobe
Tasmania, July 1995.
• Nurse in various roles, Mersey Community Hospital, Latrobe Tasmania, 1985-1995.
• Director of Nursing, Queenstown Hospital, Tasmania, 1995 (3 months).
• Nursing, various hospitals in Victoria and New Zealand, 1967-1985.
• Australian Nursing Federation.
• T asmanian Institute of Nursing Administrators.
• Australian Federation of Tasmanian University Women.
Awards and recognition include:
• Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal, Iraq Clasp (2006), Indian Ocean Clasp (2005), South Sudan Clasp (2001), Great Lakes Clasp (2000), Balkans Clasp (2000), Somalia Clasp (2000).
Tracey Lynn Moroney OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Monterey, New South Wales For service to medical education, particularly to nursing.
University of Wollongong
• Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, since 2018.
• Dean, School of Nursing, since 2017.
University of Notre Dame, Australia
• Dean, School of Nursing, 2010-2016.
• Chair, Unit and Course Accreditation Committee, 2013-2016.
Australian College of Nursing
• Emerging Nurse Leader Mentor, since 2018.
• Member, since 2017.
• Member, (then) Royal College of Nursing Australia, 2001-2016.
Australian and New Zealand Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery
• Chair, current.
• Executive Member, since 2014
Awards and recognition includes:
• Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing Award recognition for Regional Committee Work, 2015.
Elsie May Penny OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Western Australia For service to Indigenous community health.
• Nurse Manager, (Suicide prevention), South West Aboriginal Medical Services, Bunbury, since 1998.
• Co-ordinator, Benang Suicide Prevention Program, Goomburrup Aboriginal Corporation, 2013-2016.
• Indigenous Community Health Worker, since 1993.
• Board Member, Cultural Healing Centre, Marribank Mission, (former Indigenous Children’s Home near Katanning WA), Southern Aboriginal Corporation, current.
• Director, Marribank Aboriginal Corporation, current.
• Former child resident, Marribank Mission.
Edwina Sharrock OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Tamworth, New South Wales For service to community health in the Hunter area.
Birth Beat – Birth Beat provides child-birth education courses via face to face or online platforms.
• Chief Executive Officer, current.
• Founder, 2012.
Hunter New England Local Health District
• Member, Disaster Management Committee, since 2014.
• Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Maternity, 2019.
• Former Nurse and Midwife.
• Former Aged Care Clinical Nurse Consultant.
Hunter New England and Central Coast Public Health Network
• Board Member, current.
• Consultant, Rural Communities Project, 2019.
• Member, Clinical Advisory Council, since 2016.
UNE SMART Region Incubator, University of New England
• Member, Advisory Board, since 2019.
• Member, since 2017.
• Founding Member, New England North West Leadership Program, current. Community
• Ambassador, Gidget Foundation Australia, since 2018. Awards and recognition includes:
• Telstra NSW Small Business Woman of the Year, 2019.
Patricia Rose Shepherd OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Kirribilli, New South Wales For service to nursing, to veterans, and to gerontology.
Regal Home Health (formerly Regal Aid Service a private home health and social care service)
• Founder, 1966.
• Established Regal Knitters Social Isolation Program supporting ‘Wrap with Love’,
• Co-established Regal Wisdom Exchange, 2003.
Australian Association of Gerontology
• Secretary/Treasurer, New South Wales Division, 1986-1999.
• Named a Distinguished Member, 2016.
• Founding President, Primary Nursing Practitioners Society, 1988-1997.
• Fellow, Australian College of Nursing, since 2010; Member, since 1997.
Amanda Stephan OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Nhill, Victoria For service to nursing, particularly to child and maternal health.
West Wimmera Health Service
• Nurse, Maternal and Child Health, Pregnancy Care Clinic, and Well Women’s Clinic.
Wimmera and Southern Mallee Maternal and Child Health Nurses
• Former President and Secretary.
• Member, since 1990.
Department of Health Victoria
• Maternal and Child Health Nurse, current. z
• Volunteer for a range of community clubs.
• A-Grade Coach, Nhill Tigers Netball Club, 2018-2019.