Tag Archives: nurses

Self Compassion and Post Traumatic Growth amongst Nurses in the Pandemic (Hooray for Grey Hairs!)

You may have seen that COVID-19 related content from the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing has been collated on one page, and is free to read. If not, sus it out here: IJMHN COVID-19

There’s an interesting recent addition to that list of articles by a group of nurses working at Southern Cross University and in the Northern New South Wales Local Health District. The paper reports on the stress risk and protective factors amongst 767 Australian nurses working in acute-care settings during the COVID19 pandemic.

The findings that jumped-out at me from the paper were that more experienced* nurses reported more self-compassion. Greater self-compassion resulted in:
– a reduction in pandemic-related stress
– less symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
– greater post-traumatic growth.

That’s great, right?

The findings from the Australian survey are similar to a large-scale China survey in that post-traumatic stress for nurses during COVID-19 is offset by post-traumatic growth. Understandably, the numbers in the Australian study are less pronounced than they were in the Chinese study, reflecting the difference in the two country’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chen, R., Sun, C., Chen, J.‐J., Jen, H.‐J., Kang, X.L., Kao, C.‐C. & Chou, K.‐R. (2020), A Large‐Scale Survey on Trauma, Burnout, and Posttraumatic Growth among Nurses during the COVID‐19 Pandemic. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

So What?

If, like me, you’re an experienced * nurse, celebrate and share your self-compassion super-power and with other nurses. This, together with the possibility that the pandemic may cause professional/personal growth to offset the stress, is very encouraging.

If you’re new-ish to nursing, be very deliberate about building-in self-compassion to your work.

People who are attracted to nursing are usually empathetic towards the needs of others. That’s great, of course, but the downside for empaths is that sometimes we put the needs of others before our needs.

That’s the pathway to burnout, my friend.

It is sensible to be intentional about self-compassion, ie: the art of being kind to yourself, and finding a workable, realistic balance between your life experiences, thoughts and feelings. Self-compassion will not dilute your empathy. It will allow you to continue in your empathetic work better for longer.

How do you go about self-compassion?
Maybe finding yourself the right mentor(s).
Maybe just everyday stress management stuff.
Maybe getting some clinical supervision.
Maybe phoning Nurse & Midwife Support.
Maybe you should stop reading dumb nursing blogs, and go outside and do something fun instead. 🙂
Maybe a bit of each of the above.

NB*

*“experienced” is probably code word for “those with grey hairs”

References

Aggar, C., Samios, C., Penman, O., Whiteing, N., Massey, D., Rafferty, R., Bowen, K. & Stephens, A. (2021), The impact of COVID-19 pandemic-related stress experienced by Australian nurses. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing,
https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12938

Chen, R., Sun, C., Chen, J.‐J., Jen, H.‐J., Kang, X.L., Kao, C.‐C. & Chou, K.‐R. (2020), A Large‐Scale Survey on Trauma, Burnout, and Posttraumatic Growth among Nurses during the COVID‐19 Pandemic. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
doi.org/10.1111/inm.12796

Declaration of Interests

In the interests of transparency, there are three declarations to be made re this blog post:
1. I am the Social Media Editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
2. I have a bias towards promoting nurse mental wellbeing, including my own.
3. What little hair I have left is very very grey.

End

That’s it. If you haven’t gone out to do something fun already, maybe stay where you are and sus-out the the Aggar et al article here, and have a browse through the other IJMHN COVID-19 papers here.

Thanks for reading. As always, your feedback is welcome via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 16 October 2021

Short URL meta4RN.com/grey

Beginning of the End

Yesterday I confirmed what I’ve been mulling-over for a while: I’ll retire the meta4RN blog in September 2022.

#ihatemytwittertypos

That will make a nice even ten years of nurse-blogging. I’m only a few years away from retirement, and need to start the transition. It’s time for me to use my non-work time doing more non-work stuff.

When I started the meta4RN thing I thought I’ll aim to be the most visible Australian mental health nurse on social media. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve probably achieved that. Even if I haven’t, it’s a remarkably unambitious target.

I’m amazed how many nurses – mental health nurses, in particular – self-censor themselves into silence on social media. I started the meta4RN blog in response to the prevailing “stop it or you’ll go blind” approach to social media by senior health and university people at the time. It’s incredible that nurses are the most trusted profession in Australia [source & source], are employed to go behind the curtains and help people who are having one of the worst days of their lives, but are not considered by some within our ranks not to be mature enough to go online. FFS.

I’m getting bored and tired pushing against the bricks. I’ll use the platform for the next 12 months, and then put meta4RN.com to bed. I haven’t really decided to do with the rest of the meta4RN social media portfolio yet, but I’ll work that out over the next year.

For the uninitiated, and so (hopefully) it with be swept-up by the Wayback Machine and Trove/National Library of Australia bots, below is a list of the other arms of the meta4RN social media portfolio.

Twitter @meta4RN

Facebook facebook.com/meta4RN

YouTube youtube.com/meta4RN

Instagram instagram.com/meta4RN

TikTok tiktok.com/@meta4RN

Prezi prezi.com

Wakelet wakelet.com/@metaRN

SlideShare slideshare.net/paulmcnamara

Reddit reddit.com/user/meta4RN

Tumblr meta4RN.tumblr.com

ResearchGate www.researchgate.net

Orcid orcid.org

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/paulmc

LinkTree linktr.ee/meta4RN

It’s an unnecessarily over-the-top list. I’ve probably overdone the effort to demonstrate that there is an avenue for nurses to promote their profession and voice, should they – like me – get exasperated at being routinely forgotten or sidelined in the public conversation.

End of ‘Beginning of the End’

That’s it.

Just putting it out there so when I pull up stumps next year it comes as no surprise.

If you know of someone who might be interested in the not-so-lofty title of ‘most visible Australian mental health nurse on social media’ let them know that now is a good chance to pounce. 🙂

Paul McNamara, 25 September 2021

Short URL meta4RN.com/end

Q: RUOK? A: Not really. I’m a nurse.

09/09/21 = RUOK Day. More about that here: www.ruok.org.au

Ask a nurse how they are and they’ll probably give a positive answer: “good thanks”, “ticketyboo” and “living the dream” are favourite reflex answers in the hospital where I work.

Scratch beneath the surface though, and the overwhelming answer to the question “Are you OK?” amongst health professionals – especially nurses – in September 2021 would be: “No. Not really.”

Nurses know we’ve been lucky to have secure employment at a time when many others have not. However – as a profession – we are tired and anxious. This is evidenced by articles in the mainstream press, posts on social media, and research published in academic, peer-reviewed, journals.

Source: https://pbfcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PBF-Youll_Be_OK.png

There is some stuff we can do by ourselves.

There is some stuff to manage stress that we can do by ourselves. Simple things like mindfully washing our hands, for instance. I first read about this idea via Ian Miller (aka @impactednurse and @thenursepath) in 2013. When Ian withdrew from the online space, I reprised the idea in a 2016 blog post:

Then refreshed the idea in March 2020 when the pandemic hit Australia:

And made a short video version to accompany the blog post:

The mindful handwashing idea for nurses, as I saw for myself for the first time yesterday, has now been published in a text book:

Being published in a text book makes an idea legit, right? 🙂

Anyway – if you haven’t already – try building-in something like mindful handwashing into everyday practice. Something that you can do for yourself, by yourself, while you’re at work.

On behalf of your boss, I can assure you that she/he/they does not want you to burnout – nurses have never been more valued than they are in September 2021. She/he/they needs you. If taking a couple of extra seconds to wash your hands helps you take care of yourself, your boss will be happy that you’re using that time productively.

There is some stuff that we need to do with others.

Nursing is a team sport. So is self-care.

Those familiar with meta4RN would know already that I’m likely to bang-on about clinical supervision. So as not to disappoint, here you go:

And the other thing that I want to remind readers about is Nurse & Midwife Support – a 24/7 national support service for Australian nurses and midwives providing access to confidential advice and referral.

I was chatting with one of the NMSupport staff members recently, and her only suggestion was to encourage colleagues to NOT leave it until they’re feeling overwhelmed before phoning. It seems as if many of us have the bad habit of not asking for support until we’re in crisis. Now that I think about it, phoning a week or two BEFORE the crisis is probably a better idea. 🙂

Phone NMSupport on 1800 667 877, and/or visit their website (www.nmsupport.org.au), Facebook (www.facebook.com/NMSupportAU), Insta or Twitter:

One last thing (an overt plug for a friend’s book chapter).

In case you missed the subtle plug above, please let me be more explicit about promoting the chapter by a Consultation Liaison Nurse peer and friend, Julie Sharrock. The chapter title and book title say it all:

Sharrock, J. (2021). Professional self-care. In Foster, K., Marks, P., O’Brien, A. & Raeburn, T. (Eds.). Mental health in nursing: Theory and practice for clinical settings (5th ed.). (pp. 86-105). Elsevier Australia. www.elsevierhealth.com.au/mental-health-in-nursing-9780729

I really like that this chapter in a text book by nurses for nurses acknowledges that we need to care for ourselves to care for others. Although it flies in the face of that ridiculous hero narrative, it is legitimate for nurses to seek a long-lasting, satisfying and meaningful career. Julie’s chapter speaks to that, and provides explicit information on strategies for nurses to use.

I recommend that you have a read of the evidence-based ideas for sustaining yourself and your career that the chapter contains. Perhaps your local hospital/university already has a copy of the book.

End.

That’s it. I just wanted to make a point that not all of us are OK. Unlike the caravaner below, not all of us can “Just deal with it Trish.” Well, not ALL the time, anyway.

@meta4rn

“Just deal with it Trish.” #JustDealWithItTrish Trish and Rex: stranded Victorians interviewed in an Albury caravan park, 09/09/21 #RUOKday #RUOK

♬ original sound – Paul McNamara

As always, you are very welcome to leave feedback in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 9 September 2021

Short URL: meta4RN.com/RUOK

Voluntary DOES Mean Voluntary; Scaremongering Means Scaremongering

Just a quick blog post to reassure those alarmed by the dodgy “voluntary should mean voluntary” scaremongering campaign. Please see the corrected version below.

Of course neither patients or health professionals will be pressured into voluntary assisted dying under the proposed Queensland voluntary assisted dying legislation. The word “voluntary” in “voluntary assisted dying” makes it pretty clear, but don’t just take my word for it.

Let’s look at some key sections from “A Legal Framework for Voluntary Assisted Dying”, published by the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) in May 2021 [PDF]. This is the document Queensland politicians will be reviewing next week, prior to casting a conscious vote.

“Voluntary assisted dying is an active and voluntary practice… It is a voluntary practice in that it is undertaken at the person’s request. More than one request is required. The decision to access the process must be made freely and without coercion.” (QLRC, May 2021, section 1.48, page 7)

“In summary, we recommend that the right to refuse to participate in voluntary assisted dying on the grounds of conscientious objection should apply to registered health practitioners (such as doctors and nurses) and to speech pathologists.” (QLRC, May 2021, section 14.96, page 437)

The proposed Queensland voluntary assisted dying law is similar to the existing legal framework for termination of pregnancy, in that neither patients or clinicians are forced into dong something they object to. The proposed Queensland voluntary assisted dying law has additional safeguards.

For example, a patient safeguard includes: “The process of request and assessment involves three separate requests that are clear and documented. The process has a waiting period of at least 9 days between the first and final request.” (QLRC, May 2021, section 8.477, page 248)

An example of a safeguard for health practitioners includes provision for “conscientious objection” (QLRC, May 2021, section 8.103, page 200) and, “The practitioner must have completed the approved training before they accept a transfer of the role of administering practitioner.” (QLRC, May 2021, section 13.187, page 412) To my way of thinking, this is a generous safeguard in that it allows health professionals who are unsure or ambivalent to simply not-get-around-to completing the training. This also safeguards the patient from enduring a clinician who is unsure of their own beliefs, or passively resistant to the patient’s wishes.

There is strong support for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation in Queensland:
~77% of the public support VAD
~87% of nurses support VAD

Source: Queensland Nurses & Midwives Union (QNMU), June 2021, Submission into the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 [PDF]

It is interesting to reflect on why nurses have a higher rate of support for voluntary assisted dying than the general public… What do nurses see and know that others don’t see and know?

It is also important to reassure the 13% of Queensland nurses and midwives who did not support voluntary assisted dying in the QNMU February 2021 survey [PDF], that they will not be pressured or compelled to participate. Just as is the case with pregnancy termination, only a very small percentage of the nursing workforce are in roles where they will be directly exposed voluntary assisted dying. Not only is there no pressure to become involved if you do not want to, you can not be involved unless you choose to complete specific voluntary assisted dying training.

Voluntary does mean voluntary. Scaremongering means scaremongering.

End

Obviously, I’m part of the 87% of Queensland nurses who support voluntary assisted dying legislation. I’ve written about it previously in July [here], and wasn’t intending to write about it again. However, the scaremongering campaign can not go unaddressed. I’m realistic. I know the Catholic church has a much bigger audience and budget than me. All I have to counter their scaremongering is integrity and social media (it’s my loudest voice).

Thanks for visiting my blog. As always, your feedback is welcome via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 7 September 2021

Short URL: meta4RN.com/Voluntary

Addit on 08/09/21

This makes the same argument as me, but in a more articulate manner:

Vax Facts for Nurses by Nurses

Let’s start with a quote from this ANMF zoom page:

The fast moving pace of COVID-19 science both from disease progression and treatments has been hard to keep up with. As nurses and midwives, we are well-positioned to advocate for science and safety. In this webinar, Dr Jessica Stokes-Parish (RN, PhD) and IPN Romy Blacklaw will present the safety processes, research, surveillance of adverse events (including data on safety so far) and difference between COVID-19 vaccines.

The “Vaccine Science in the Context of COVID-19” webinar was on Thursday 26 August.

ICYMI (like I did), a recording of the webinar is available for free to Australian Nursing Midwifery Federation members, including the QNMU and NSWNMA branches, until 10 September 2021.

Have a sneak peek of the content here:

Want to see more? If so, login to the ANMF continuing professional education portal 👉 catalogue.anmf.cliniciansmatrix.com 👈  by 10 September and search on the word “vaccine”. Despite missing the live event, you’ll still get a certificate in recognition of continuing profession education on completion (see example below).

What’s with the blog post? 

I have three reasons for promoting the webinar.

  1. I think the content of the webinar is worthwhile sharing. I really enjoyed learning about the COVID-19 vaccines in more depth than the info I had picked-up from work, online and in the mainstream media.
  2. Free, quality and easily accessible CPD/CPE for nurses and midwives deserves a shout-out, right? 🙂
  3. I reckon there’s a future for nurses delivering short, sharp and evidence-based information via video online. Not convinced? Have a look at the less-than-two-minute-long video clip above and see if you find it interesting/useful. I do.

Acknowledgement

Sincere thanks to the webinar presenters Jess Stokes-Parish and Romy Blacklaw, and the webinar host Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, for permission to use the video excerpt above, and for providing engaging and interesting CPE.

I was distracted for 15 seconds when a Harley loudly blurted past my house, and another 30 seconds by the dog chewing my thongs, so when claiming CPD hours for AHPRA will detract 0.0125 hours from the total. #fulldisclosure

End

That’s it.

You have less than 10 days to:

  1. hit this 👉 catalogue.anmf.cliniciansmatrix.com 👈 website
  2. login using your ANMF/QNMU/NSWNM membership info
  3. search the word “vaccine”
  4. and complete the free “Vaccine Science in the Context of COVID-19” CPD

Quick sticks! Don’t dilly-dally! Get a wriggle-on! 🙂

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

Paul McNamara, 1 September 2021

Short URL: meta4RN.com/VaxFacts 

Addit (to encourage Kiwis and Aussies)

CLovid Communication

This blog post aims to clarify how the clinicians on one Consultation Liaison (CL) Psychiatric Service communicate with general hospital inpatients who are being nursed in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why? 

There has been some confusion re nomenclature of how we provide mental health assessment/support to hospitalised people in isolation . Hopefully by describing the pros and cons of the methods we’ve tried to date we’ll clear-up any misunderstandings. 

CLovid Communication options: 1. Videoconference. 2. In-Room (featuring Jelena Botha in PPE). 3. Face-To-Face through a window. 4. Phone.

1. Videoconference Review
ie: using an online videoconferencing platform that works on both the clinician’s computer and the patient’s own device

Pros:

  • No risk of infection transmission
  • When it works there is reasonably good eye contact and exchange of facial expressions and other non-verbal communications, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport 
  • Since mid-late 2020, nearly all clinicians and many (most?) consumers are familiar with videoconferencing 

Cons:

  • In my clinical practice videoconferencing for these reviews has been mostly unsuccessful. Cross-platform incompatibility and limitations to what the devices/bandwidth that hospital inpatients in isolation have access to have been problematic.
  • At our end, clinical workplaces do not provide access to the same platforms our patients typically use (eg: FaceTime, Video Chat on Facebook or WhatsApp).
  • The technology was getting in the way of the therapeutic relationship, not enhancing it.
  • For these reasons, we pretty-much gave up on trying to videoconference hospital inpatients in isolation back in April/May 2020. 

2. In-Room Review 
ie: in full PPE – face mask, goggles/face shield, gown and gloves

Pros:

  • Physical proximity is standard practice: Clinical staff and the people we care for are familiar with this 
  • Reasonably good eye contact and partial exchange of non-verbal communication, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport

Cons:

  • PPE obscures facial expressions, thereby inhibiting rapport/assessment
  • An extra clinician(s) using PPE resources
  • With no disrespect to my CLPS clinical colleagues, we’re generally not as well-drilled with donning and doffing as the specialist nursing and medical teams, creating potential risk of infection transmission

3. Face-To-Face Review 
ie: through the window/glass door panel, using phones for easy/clear auditory communication

Pros:

  • Good eye contact and exchange of facial expressions and other non-verbal communication, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport
  • No risk of infection transmission
  • Low-tech, easy to organise
  • Well received by nearly every hospitalised person in isolation that my team has seen from March 2020 to August 2021

Cons:

  • Reminds me of prison-visit scenes in American movies

4. Phone Review 
ie: speak to the person on their personal mobile or bedside phone, no visual contact

Pros:

  • No risk of infection transmission
  • Low-tech, easy to organise 
  • It’s the go-to method of communication for community mental health intake clinicians/services (ie: thought to be a good-enough tool for most triage and sub-acute presentations; may be familiar to the clinician or consumer)
  • Some people find emotional expression easier without the intimacy/intrusion of eye contact

Cons:

  • Assessment and rapport may be limited
  • Not thought to be adequate for acute or high-risk presentations

And The Winner Is…

Number 3: Face-To-Face Reviews, ie: where the clinician and person in isolation chat through the window/glass door panel, using phones for easy/clear auditory communication. 

It’s cheap, easy and effective. We use it nearly every time when there’s someone in a negative-pressure/isolation room. We’ve saved dozens, maybe hundreds, sets of PPE, and we’ve reduced the likelihood of becoming potential super-spreaders. 

Why Does It Matter?

Like just-about every other specialist mental health nurse on the planet, my clinical practice is influenced by Hildegard Peplau. Back in the 1950s dear old Aunty Hildegard had the audacity to tell nurses that, done right, the nurse-patient relationship = therapy [source]. About 60 years later neuroscience caught up with nursing theory and showed us that Peplau was right: strong relationships and strong attachments help brains heal by building new neural pathways [source]. 

A specialist mental health nurse is, amongst other things, a psychotherapist and a relationship focussed therapist [source]. A face-to-face review, even if has to be through glass, helps establish rapport and build a therapeutic relationship. 

CLovid Acknowledgements

Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Service is a bit of a mouthful, so it’s usually abbreviated to “CL”. CL = mental health in the general hospital

Back in March 2020 John Forster, a CL Nurse in Melbourne, accidentally coined the portmanteau “CLovid” by combining “CL” and “covid” as a typo. 

That’s why I’m calling this blog post “CLovid Communication”. 

Please forgive people like me who take delight in silly things like an accidental neologism. There’s been a fair bit of CLovid in the last eighteen months, and there’s more to come. Staying vigilant to the small joys and moments of lightheartedness is a survival skill. 

Thanks also to Jelena Botha, CL CNC (who arrived on my team just in time for the global pandemic 😳), for allowing me to use her PPE pic.

Further Reading

Cozolino, L. (2006/2014) The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain. New York, W. W. Norton & Company. [Google Books]

Hurley, J. and Lakeman, R. (2021), Making the case for clinical mental health nurses to break their silence on the healing they create: A critical discussion. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 30(2): 574-582. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12836

Peplau, H. (1952/1991) Interpersonal relations in nursing. New York: Putnam. [Google Books

Santangelo, P., Procter, N. and Fassett, D. (2018), Seeking and defining the ‘special’ in specialist mental health nursing: A theoretical construct. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(1): 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12317

End

What have I missed from this description of CLovid communication? Please add your on-the-job experiences and lessons in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 14 August 2021 

Short URL meta4RN.com/CLovid

A Nurse’s Digital Identity

I am a nurse who uses social media a lot. It is my loudest voice.

If you want to see what a nurse’s digital identity looks like, grab your phone and sus-out this QR code.

My role and ambitions are mid-range. As a student nurse I thought it would be cool to be a Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Consultant – I’ve achieved that. I have never aspired to one of those senior management/academic gigs. The downside to that lack of ambition is the limited opportunities to set agendas that drive broad change. In fact, even getting ideas heard or considered is difficult at times.

[insert sound of trumpets going “TooDa-TooDa” here] Social media to the rescue!

And, (this is the main point of this blog post), it is OK for nurses to use social media. Actually, it’s not just OK, USING SOCIAL MEDIA IS RECOMMENDED FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES.

Don’t believe me?

Read on.

In the ‘National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework‘ there is a section specifically about being online, as below:

1.3 Digital Identity
Nurses and midwives use digital tools to develop and maintain their online identity and reputation.

This section has four parts – feel free to tweet your favourites 🙂

Digital Identity 1.3.1: Maintains a professional development record demonstrating innovation, reflecting upon skills and experience to help monitor professional identity.

You could use a free app or website for that, for example:

Or just keep it all online via the ANMF Continuing Professional Education portal

Digital Identity 1.3.2: Understands the benefits and risks of different ways of presenting oneself online, both professionally and personally while adhering to the NMBA social media policy.

The policy uses slightly more formal language (read it for yourself here), but can be accurately summarised as “Even if you’re prone to being a dickhead at times IRL, when you’re representing yourself as a nurse online don’t be a dickhead.” If you do be a dickhead online occasionally (to err is human, blah blah blah), be sure to proactively delete and/or apologise.

It is MUCH more simple to keep your private and professional social media identities separate. Create a social media portfolio using the same name on your work name badge/AHPRA registration just for work-related stuff. That’s what I’ve done here linktr.ee/meta4RN Look, I know I’ve overdone it (#tryhard), but that was intentional too. I created the meta4RN social media portfolio at a time when the “prevailing wisdom” (“prevailing ignorance”, more like it 🙄) amongst hospital and university influencers was that social media is bad. Some of these people are still impersonating Grandpa Simpson and shaking their fist at the cloud. And the internet. And social media.

Digital Identity 1.3.3: Understands that online posts can stay in the public domain and contribute to an individual’s digital footprint.

If you want an example of how online posts stay in the public domain, visit/search for The Wayback Machine or Trove (part of the National Library of Australia).

Digital Identity 1.3.4: Recognises that their professional digital footprint, where it exists, should showcase their skills, education, and professional experience.

This is where things like LinkedIn or an online Curriculum Vitae (overdue for an update) come in handy.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel. If you’re a nurse please celebrate your achievements – if we don’t, who will?

My (univited) advice to nurses and midwives is this: Don’t be afraid of social media. Be intentional.

Reference

Australian Digital Health Agency, 2020. National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework. Australian Government: Sydney, NSW.
nursing-midwifery.digitalhealth.gov.au


End

Thanks for visiting the meta4RN.com website/blog. Be sure to use the QR Code above or this link to see other arms of my m̶a̶g̶n̶i̶f̶i̶c̶e̶n̶t̶ m̶e̶t̶a̶4̶R̶N̶ ̶s̶o̶c̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶m̶e̶d̶i̶a̶ ̶e̶m̶p̶i̶r̶e̶ try-hard professional social media portfolio (aka professional digital identity).

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

Paul McNamara, 5 August 2021

Short URL meta4RN.com/ID

Voluntary Assisted Dying (a nurse’s open letter to their state member of parliament)

Dear Michael Healy MP

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.

My Context

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.

The Catholic Context

I see from your parliament profile that you identify as Catholic. I used to too.

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.

Please do not rely on the AMA as the voice of doctors, please also be infomed by Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice.

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.

Data Source: Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2021. Finding No. 8691. Country: Australia. Available via http://www.roymorgan.com

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.

End Notes

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.

Paul McNamara, 2 July 2021

Short URL meta4RN.com/VAD

Addit 3 July 2021

A postscript:
Michael Healy gave a very thoughtful and encouraging response to this open letter on his Facebook page. It’s worth reading: www.facebook.com/healycairns
Thank you Michael.

Nurses on the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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End Notes

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.

Mental Health in the General Hospital (video version)

A couple of weeks ago I was an invited speaker at the ANMF Vic Branch & NMHP Wellness 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. 😕 

Still image from the video. L-R: Eduardo D’Bull, Stone Woman by Ruth Malloch, Paul McNamara and Bessie D’Cow.

End

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.

Paul McNamara, 29 May 2021 

Short URL meta4RN.com/vid