Tag Archives: nursing

She ignored her emotions while labelling his corpse #8WordStory 

Look. I’m a terribly busy and important person.

I barely have time to write this blog post, let alone satisfy my lazily-never-pursued fantasy of writing a novel.

Luckily, the Queensland Writers Centre offered a solution: the eight word story.

Eight words is the perfect length for somebody with the attention span of a stoned goldfish (eg: me).

Yesterday, one of my eight word stories was published by the Queensland Writers Centre. Published on electronic billboards, that is. Billboards that grace the busy roads, roundabouts and motorways in and around Brisneyland.

Billboard at Bowen Bridge Road, Hertson

The story published was one of three stories I submitted on Twitter for the #8WordStory project.

THREE whole stories! That’s TWENTY FOUR words, you know! #TypistCramp

Intentionally, all three of the stories relate to my work experiences. When writing these stories I was ambitious to be ambiguous. When there are only eight words to write, the reader needs to be able to bring their imagination to the story.

Interestingly, the story that was the most ambiguous of the three is the one that made it to the billboards.

#8WordStory x3

She ignored her emotions while labelling his corpse. [source]

I wrote this remembering my experiences of being with patients during the last hours of their life and for the first hours of their death. Nursing’s unique role of caring for a person’s body both in life and death is rarely spoken about or acknowledged. It’s one of those peculiar privileges of nursing.

The story is ambiguous enough for people to project their own meaning (eg: Lea’s tongue-in-cheek Tweet). I’m cool with that.

Impersonating a calm person, the nurse continued working. [source]

I was thinking of a young medical ward RN who had just intervened when a patient tried to harm himself. We had a quick “corridor consult”. She asked a couple of unanswerable questions, shed a couple of tears, wiped her eyes, washed her hands, then assumed her usual energetic and positive demeanour.

One minute there’s a crisis. Next minute it’s business as usual.

Hold and contain three things: the crisis, the patient, your emotions (not necessarily in that order).

The midwife didn’t smile until he heard crying. [source]

About 1 in every 60 Australian midwives is a male. I thought it would be more interesting and ambiguous to cite that minority in this story.

Crying is usually considered in a negative light in mainstream society, but midwives know crying as a sign of life.

Billboard on Lutwyche Road, Lutwyche

My 15 minutes 8 words of fame.

Billboard on Beaudesert Road, Moorooka

The story provides the frame. The imagination does the work.

Billboard on Logan Road, Upper Mount Gravatt

Finishing-Up

Why don’t you give an #8WordStory a go too? Submit yours via Twitter or web page.

Big shout-out to the Queensland Writers Centre for this great initiative.

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

End

Paul McNamara, 3rd November 2017

Short URL: meta4RN.com/8WordStory

Phatic Chat: embiggening small talk.

Small talk is a big deal.

Small talk is the oil that keeps the machinery of interpersonal relationships running smoothly.

Small talk even has its own name. It’s called “phatic chat”.

Phatic chat has been described as “A type of speech in which ties of union are created by a mere exchange of words”  by Bronislaw Malinowski (no relation to Barry Manilow). This is why I think it’s important that us health professionals be intentional about phatic chat.

Every, “Hello. My name is…” and “How are you today?” serves to create a working relationship between people. Health professionals rely on working, therapeutic relationships.

Academics (god bless their cotton socks) have even gone to the effort of researching and naming 12 functions of phatic communication (source):

(1) breaking the silence
(2) starting a conversation
(3) making small talk
(4) making gossip
(5) keeping talking
(6) expressing solidarity
(7) creating harmony
(8) creating comfort
(9) expressing empathy
(10) expressing friendship
(11) expressing respect
(12) expressing politeness

When we think about phatic chat in the health care setting, it’s not just a social lubricant, we can also see it as a stand-alone form of therapy. Think of phatic chat as the nonspecific factors of psychotherapy

BTW: “nonspecific factors of psychotherapy” an actual thing, let me google that for you: here

Phatic chat/the nonspecific factors of psychotherapy show the person that there is someone who is interested in them and their concerns. It helps people feel understood, accepted and respected. In my current gig – providing mental health support in the general hospital – I often get told by patients how good it is to be nursed by someone who is good at phatic chat.

It’s easy to imagine, isn’t it? Who would you rather attend to your vital signs, IV antbiotics, wound dressings, and pain relief in hospital: a friendly person who chats and listens, or someone unfriendly and officious who just goes about the tasks at hand? There’s more than one way to prime an IV line.

It sounds simple, and (to my ear anyway) pretty patronising. However, it’s clear that many clinicians do not routinely engage in phatic chat.

You may already know the story of Kate Grainger. Briefly, for those who don’t, Kate was a doctor in the UK who tweeted her experience of living with a terminal illness. One of the many observations she made was that it was refreshing, but actually pretty unusual, for hospital staff to introduce themselves by name and role when they came to see you in your hospital bed. That observation lead to this tweet:

That simple idea has been one of Kate’s greatest legacies (she died in 2016).

If you’re not familiar with the #hellomynameis story, I urge you to visit the hellomynameis.org.uk website for more info.

#hellomynameis = a very successful campaign promoting phatic chat in healthcare

I live and work a long way from the UK. Although I don’t wear a #hellomynameis badge, I borrow heavily from the idea that phatic chat is important, and toss-in a few more Aussie-fied ways to go about using it in the hospital setting. As argued above, phatic chat is important for building relationships and can be therapeutic in and of itself. Sometimes to be culturally safe you need to try a little harder to facilitate trust and rapport. With that in mind. here’s 4 ideas that usually (not always) work for me:

One

“Are you Cyril? G’day my name is Paul McNamara, I’m a nurse with the psych team here at the hospital. Is it OK if we sit down and have a bit of yarn?”

Two

Shaking hands is a respectful thing to do. I always offer a handshake when introducing myself to patients (they’re often surprised!).

Don’t worry infection control peeps, I’ve got that covered: meta4RN.com/hygiene

Three (this is my second favourite: I stole it from Professor Ernest Hunter)

Make a cup of tea for the patient. Even if they say “no thanks”, let them know that you’re making one for yourself anyway, so are happy to make them one while you’re at it. Take instructions on how the person likes it . Apologise if you make it too hot/strong/weak or spill it. Sip yours when they’re talking: if for no other reason, it let’s them know you’re not about to interrupt.

This might be the best journal article ever written by a psychiatrist:
Hunter, E (2008) The Aboriginal tea ceremony: its relevance to psychiatric practice. Australasian Psychiatry, 16:2, doi: 10.1080/10398560701616221
Despite the paper’s title, the same demonstrations of humbleness, politeness and respect work for whitefellas too.

Four (this is my favourite: I made this one up myself)

I nearly always use when Google Maps when introducing myself to people who have come to the hospital from out of town. “Oh you’re from Aurukun? I’ve been to Wujal Wujal, Laura and Hope Vale, but I’ve never been there. Do you mind if we use this map on my phone to see where you live?” It’s nearly always a great way to break the ice, especially when meeting with someone from a different culture. It sets the right tone of showing that you’re interested and approachable.

I’m lucky to work in a place where I meet with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people all the time. By getting the Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander person to show me around their community on a map, I’m acknowledging/demonstrating that they know stuff that I don’t know, and I’m prepared to learn from them. Sometimes I’m a bit more skilled at using the Google map app on my phone, so I get to show the person how I can be helpful, in a kind and respectful way. It probably doesn’t hurt that we’re both looking at the map together and working on the same task (it demonstrates that we can work together, and you don’t want to rush into making a heap of eye contact with someone you’ve just met). While we’re using the app to find their house, the local school, favourite fishing or camping spot, and other landmarks we’re getting to know each other a bit. I’m not left in that clumsy position of being accidentally too pushy, too intrusive, too task-orientated.

Spending a few minutes establishing rapport is what phatic chat is all about. The phone/map app is just a prop, but it’s a great prop.

In Closing

That’s it.

A while back I had a gig educating uni students. One of the best tricks-of-the-trade when in a uni lecturer role is to introduce people to words they have not heard before. This makes you look cleverer than you really are, and lends an illusion of credibility.

So, with that in mind, my call-to arms for health professionals is this:

Let’s embiggen phatic chat!
It’s a perfectly cromulent thing to do. 🙂

Acknowledgement

The phrase/notion of “phatic chat” as a defence against the forces that seek to turn nurses into unempathetic box-ticking robots came to my attention via Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane’s keynote presentation at the ACMHN 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia, 22nd-24th October 2013.

Storify of the keynote here: storify.com/meta4RN/zero

Follow Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane on Twitter here: @eimearmuirc

End

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

Paul McNamara, 12th October 2017

Short URL https://meta4RN.com/phatic

 

 

Nurse can’t take Pulse. Seriously.

This week in Australia ABC TV screened Episode 1 of a new medical drama called “Pulse“. It is said to be inspired by a true story of a transplant patient who became a doctor. Sounds cool, right? Well, it isn’t. From my perspective it’s pretty crappy, even for TV fiction. I started my career as a nurse in 1988. I’m not fond of nurses being ignored or misrepresented. Pulse does both. In spades.

Following are four reasons why I can’t take Pulse seriously (complete with Episode 1 timings, for those who want to check via iView):

1.  The cast. 

See how in the cast photo there are nine doctors and two nurses?

source: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2017/06/gallery-pulse.html – I’ve added the labels

How does that compare to the actual health workforce in Australia?

In 2014 there were 610,148 registered health practitioners. Over half of these (352,838) were nurses or midwives – over 3 times the size of the next largest group [source: www.aihw.gov.au/workforce]. So, if we put gender-mix aside for a moment (about 90% of Australia’s nurses are female, about half of our new doctors are female) this would be a more accurate visual representation of what a real-life Australian health drama cast photo should look like:

source: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2017/06/gallery-pulse.html – I’ve duplicated the original and added the labels

2. The patient is critically unwell, but the nurses are nowhere to be seen.   

At about 7:00 into Episode 1 there is a large group of doctors (no nurses) at the bedside of a patient. One doctor asks (referring to the patient), “What’s her oxygen saturation?” Another doctor looks around bewildered and is the prompted by yet another doctor to use the oximeter. He does and (instantly!) announces that O2Sa is 88% (this is spookily low for most people).

The fact is that nurses are the ones who are usually at the bedside, and are the ones who monitor the progress/deterioration of a patient, including measuring vital signs regularly. This monitoring would have been very frequent in someone who has low oxygen sats. The nurses would have the info on hand, and most likely would have been discussing care options with the doctors. Maybe the Pulse scriptwriters haven’t heard about multidisciplinary health teams, and don’t know that Australia’s largest union is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) [source: anmf.org.au].

3. When you do finally see/hear the voice of a nurse it’s just two gossipy snippets. 

At about 8:40 the nameless character listed in the credits as “Scrub Theatre Nurse” (played by Lara Lightfoot), stands around doing nothing while the doctors perform surgery. Her role seems to be solely to deliver these two consecutive bits of dialogue:

“I heard from the head of department there’s an MVA that didn’t make it upstairs. There may be a potential donor.”

“The head of surgery is retiring, right? Guess they’ll be looking for a replacement.”

It’s important to note that Scrub Theatre Nurse is not depicted as actually doing anything (other than gossiping). For the non-nurses out there, please be reassured that your tax dollars are not being wasted on employing nurses to just stand around in operating theatres doing bugger-all. The roles and skills of peroperative nurses are many and varied: visit the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses website www.acorn.org.au and/or follow their link to “A day in the life of a preoperative nurse“.

Logo from @ACORN_org Twitter page

4. The only other two lines of nurse dialogue portray her as an unprofessional unethical antisocial bitch 

Carol Little RN (played by Penny Cook) has just two lines of dialogue, as below:

At about 13:00 Carol Little RN says to Dr Tabb Patel (in front of the patient and another doctor): “This time do not catheterise the cliterous, intern.” Lead character Dr Frankie Bell (correctly) advises the intern that female catheterisation is usually a nurse’s role and that the nurse was bullying him. Carol Little’s behaviour is not just a breach of common decency, but also of about 27 different aspects of the codes of conduct and ethics that set the standards for all health care workers, nurses included.

At about 17:30 lead character Dr Frankie Bell enquires on the whereabouts of a man who was meant to be receiving haemodialysis. In reply Carol Little RN gets her only other line of dialogue: “Do I look like a fucking concierge?” Is that verbal abuse or just lalochezia? The former, I think.

It’s interesting that Australians have voted nurses as the most ethical and honest profession for 23 consecutive years (1994-2017) [source: www.roymorgan.com], but the Pulse scriptwriters think otherwise.

Winding-Up

Look, Pulse is just TV fiction. The hilariously fanciful depiction of lead character Dr Frankie Bell leaving hospital to jump on her bicycle and visit the home of a dialysis patient who didn’t show-up for treatment, then stay at his bedside overnight after he receives a kidney transplant is evidence enough of creative imaginations at work. Pulse is not pretending to be a documentary. It is very clearly just another hospital TV drama. An old formula, acted well, shot beautifully, just scripted awfully.

I guess it’s not really all that important whether people watch Pulse or ignore it in the big scheme of things. My bias is such that I’d rather watch Australian TV than imported shows – it’s good for us Aussies to hear our own voices and see our own stories on the telly. However, this isn’t anything like an Australian story. Bananas in Pyjamas does a better job of portraying an Australian reality.

I will not bother watching any more episodes of Pulse because it insults nurses and nursing. Nevertheless, we should give credit where credit is due. In one simple seven-word sentence the Pulse scriptwriters managed to capture the sentiment of what it feels like to be a nurse who is angry about their skills being misunderstood, underestimated and devalued:

Dialogue scripted for the character Carol Little RN in Episode 1 of “Pulse”

End

Thanks for reading my first outing as a television critic. As always, your feedback is welcomed in the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 22nd July 2017

Short URL: meta4RN.com/pulse 

 

First Thyself

First Thyself – Surviving Emotionally Taxing Work Environments

On 28th April 2017 I’ll be presenting a session at the Ausmed “Breaking Point: Ice & Methamphetamine Conference” in Cairns. More info about the conference here: https://www.ausmed.com.au/course/ice-methamphetamine#overview

The nature of nursing will mean that we are likely to be are exposed to a range of challenges.

Feeling unsafe, witnessing violence, tragedy and dealing with trauma are some examples.

This emotionally taxing environment can result in tension with colleagues, family and friends.

This session will begin day two of the conference by creating an opportunity to discuss the following:

What are the professional implications of working in challenging areas of nursing and healthcare?

How can we maintain unconditional positive regard?

Why self-care matters and how to practice what we preach!

What’s all this then?

“First Thyself” is planned as an interactive session accompanied by visual cues to give the discussion a bit of structure. Consequently, the transcript/dialogue of the presentation can not be included here.  The visual presentation itself doesn’t use powerpoint slides. It uses the prettier (and free!) platform Prezi instead: prezi.com/skmu0lbnmkm5/first-thyself/#

This page serves as a one-stop directory to the online resources used to support the discussion.

I’m recycling and combining a lot of old ideas for the session (there’s that self-plagiarist vs groovy remix of favourite old songs thing again).

Here is the online presentation: Prezi

Here are the resources and references used in the presentation:

Emotional Aftershocks (the story of Fire Extinguisher Guy & Nursing Ring Theory) meta4RN.com/aftershocks

Football, Nursing and Clinical Supervision (re validating protected time for reflection and skill rehearsal) meta4RN.com/footy

Hand Hygiene and Mindful Moments (re insitu self-care strategies) meta4RN.com/hygiene

Lalochezia (getting sweary doesn’t necessarily mean getting abusive) meta4RN.com/lalochezia

Nurse & Midwife Support nmsupport.org.au  phone 1800 667 877
– we have specifically targeted 24/7 confidential support available

Nurses, Midwives, Medical Practitioners, Suicide and Stigma (re the alarming toll of those who undertake emotional labour) meta4RN.com/stigma

Nurturing the Nurturers (the Pit Head Baths and clinical supervision stories) meta4RN.com/nurturers

Spector, P., Zhiqing, Z. & Che, X. (2014) Nurse exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: A quantitative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Vol 50(1), pp 72-84. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748913000357

Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance (a reframing of reducing aggression) meta4RN.com/zero

It’s OK if you forget everything about today’s talk, just don’t forget that there is 24 hour support available via 1800 667 877 or https://nmsupport.org.au

End

Please have a play with the pretty Prezi prezi.com/skmu0lbnmkm5/first-thyself/#

Thanks for visiting. As always your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 30 March 2017

Short URL: meta4RN.com/thyself

 

 

The Hearing-Voices/Car-Driving Metaphor

A while ago I met a lady who had a fantastic way of describing and understanding her experience of auditory hallucinations/psychosis. It goes a bit like this:

My body’s a car. I’m the driver.

In the back seat are the voices. They’re like naughty kids, always chatting away amongst themselves. Often they’re taunting me. 

Usually I can just ignore them and get on with driving the car.

However, every now and then the voices get real loud.

It’s distracting. Driving becomes difficult and that’s when I’m most likely to drive badly or, if I’m unable to concentrate properly, I could even crash the car. 

It’s pretty scary, but I usually don’t have to come into hospital at that point. I just need more support to get control back, and maybe a change to my medication. 

The worst time for me is when the voices get so distracting that I can’t focus on driving at all. I turn to the voices in the back seat and try to get them to shut up. But they’re like naughty kids yelling and jumping around the car, and I can’t get them to stop. 

I take my seatbelt off and turn to face them, then somehow – I don’t even notice it happening – one of the voices will slip into the driver’s seat and take over control of driving the car.

Thats when it gets REALLY dangerous.

I’m not out of control – it’s worse than that – I have lost control entirely. I haven’t even got my hands on the steering wheel anymore, and I can’t reach the brakes. 

That’s when I need to come into hospital.

At the time I met this lady she was make a tentative recovery from one of these acute episodes of psychosis. On admission she had been experiencing command auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, racing thoughts and suicidal ideation.

When we met the intensity of these symptoms was settling. The lady’s articulate insight helped us both communicate effectively when she had a relapse in symptoms. To keep her safe we needed to stop her from leaving the hospital, and provide an increased level of supervision/support. To get a shared understanding of this I was able to return to the lady’s metaphor:

I’m worried that you’re at risk of losing control of the car again. What I’m planning to do is take the keys away for now, and hand them back to you when you’re safe to drive again. 

That’s a good way to think about using the Mental Health Act – it’s a mechanism to decrease risk/stop people from a foreseeable crash if they’ve lost the capacity to drive. 

However, the real story here is about the intelligence, insight and articulate communication of a young woman who experiences symptoms of psychosis.

An impressive person, and a fantastic metaphor. 

Hopefully other people will be able to make use of this lady’s metaphor as a way to understand psychosis/hearing voices. 

car
End

Thanks for visiting. As always your comments/feedback is welcome below.

Paul McNamara, 20th February 2017.

Short URL: https://meta4RN.com/car

Nurses on the 2017 Australia Day Honours List

Extracting information from gg.gov.au/australia-day-2017-honours-list, below are the Nurses named on the 2017 Australia Day Honours List.

Emeritus Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik AO
Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Darwin, Northern Territory
For distinguished service to tertiary education as an academic, author and administrator, particularly in the area of Indigenous studies and culture, and as a role model and mentor.

Service includes:
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, Western Sydney University, 2015 and Board of Trustees, since 2016.
Dean, College of Indigenous Education and Research, University of South Australia, 1998-2001.
Head of the School, Aboriginal Studies and Teacher Education, University of South Australia,1990
Senior Lecturer in Aboriginal Studies, South Australian College of Advanced Education,1989-1990.
Coordinator, Aboriginal Taskforce, South Australian Institute of Technology, 1980-1985.
Chair, Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council, Charles Darwin University, 2013-2015.
Dean, Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Northern Territory University and Ranger Chair in Aboriginal Studies and Director, Centre for Indigenous Natural and Cultural Resources.

Served in the nursing profession for 17 years before moving into higher education.

Member, Ethics Council, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, 2013-2015
Director, Power and Water Corporation Board, Northern Territory, 2014-2015
Director, Kormilda Christian College Board, Darwin, 2005-2015.

Commonwealth Government Committees include:
Review of Aboriginal Employment and Training.
National Aboriginal Employment Development.
National Committee Against Discrimination in Employment and Occupation.

Member of numerous councils including:
National Population Council.
Council of the Institute of Aboriginal Studies (now AIATSIS).
Co-Commissioner, Human Rights Commissions Enquiry into the Forced Removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.

Author:
Aboriginal Women by Degrees, ‘The journey of 13 Indigenous women on their road to achievement’, (University of Queensland Press, 2000).

Awards and recognition includes:
Life Time Achievement Award, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Observance Day, Darwin, 2015.
Emeritus Professorship, ‘for services to Indigenous Higher Education in Australia’, Charles Darwin University, 2008.
Centenary of Federation Medal, for contributions to Indigenous Higher Education in Australia, 2001.
Medal, ‘for contributions made to the Museum’, National Museum of Australia, 2001.
Chancellor’s Medal, ‘recognition as first Indigenous person to work in the Higher Education Sector’, Flinders University, South Australia,1994.
Aboriginal Overseas Study Award, Commonwealth Department of Education, 1985

More info about MaryAnn Bin-Sallik:
www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/07/04/naidoc-2016-female-elder-year-mary-ann-bin-sallik

.

Ms Gillian Mary Biscoe AM

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Sandy Bay, Tasmania
For significant service to the community through leadership and advisory roles with state, national and international public health organisations.

Service includes:
Consultant and Executive Director, The Bellettes Bay Company, since 1996.
Advisor and Consultant, World Health Organization (WHO), since 1989.
Executive Associate, JTA International, 2005-2013.
Secretary, Tasmanian Department of Community and Health Services, 1993-1996.
Secretary, ACT Health and Chief Executive of the Canberra Hospital, 1991-1993.
Deputy Director General, New Zealand Department of Health, 1988-1990.
Assistant Secretary,Commonwealth Department of Health, mid 1980s-1988 and
Executive Director, Royal Canberra Hospital, 1988.
Deputy Director of Nursing, Royal Hobart Hospital, 1970s.
Chair and/or Member of national and international committees including:
WHO Medical Workforce Development Committee.
The Australian Ministerial Advisory Committee on Health.
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
WHO (WPRO) Technical Advisory Group, Universal Health Coverage, since 2016.
Board Member, Tasmanian Leaders Inc, since 2005 and co-designer and co-facilitator,
Tasmanian Leaders Program, since 2005 and Honorary Alumni.

Awards and recognition includes:
Recipient, Sidney Sax Medal, Australian Hospitals and Health Association, 2010.

More info about Gillian Biscoe:
community.newsarticles.net.au/Health/2010-Sidney-Sax-Medal-Awarded.htm

.

Ms Elizabeth Anne Bowell OAM 
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
South Golden Beach, New South Wales
For service to nursing, and to international natural disaster health care assistance.

Service includes:
International Health Delegate, Australian Red Cross, since 2004, including 23 international missions:
Nepal Earthquake, Nepal, 2015.
Ebola outbreak, Liberia, 2014.
South Sudan, 2014.
Typhoon Haiyan Response, Philippines, 2013.
Vanuatu, numerous visits, 2012 and 2013.
Sierra Leone, 2012.
Nepal, 2011.
Solomon Islands, 2011.
Papua New Guinea, 2010.
Haiti Earthquake, Haiti, 2010.
Solomon Islands, 8 visits, 2008-2012 and Team Leader, Solomon Islands Flood Emergency, 2008.
Tana River Floods Emergency Response Team, Kenya, 2006.
Yogyakarta Earthquake, Indonesia, 2006.
Public Health Coordinator, Indian Ocean Tsunami Response, Indonesia, 2005-2006.

National Director of Education, Emergency Care Program, Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia – CRANAPlus, since 2005 and Remote Emergency Care (REC) Coordinator, 2003-2005 and Remote Emergency Care Facilitator, since 2000.

Co-Director, Extreme Health, current.

Awards and recognition includes:
Recipient, for courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster,
Florence Nightingale Medal, International Committee of the Red Cross, 2015.
Recipient, for outstanding contribution to remote health, Aurora Award, CRANAPlus, 2007.
Recipient, Meritorious Award, Australian Red Cross, 2006.

More info about Elizabeth Boswell:
www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-26/australia-day-honour-list-recipients-recognised/8213226

.

Ms Denele Valli Crozier AM
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
New South Wales
For significant service to the community, particularly to women’s health, and to social
welfare and legal assistance organisations.

Service includes:
Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Health New South Wales, since 2001.
Administrator, Redfern Legal Centre, 1994-2001.
Administrator, Women’s Health, Information, Resource, Crisis Centres Association, 1987-1994.
Nurse, Community Health Worker and Educator, Liverpool Women’s Health Centre, circa 1980s.
Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Rozelle Hospital, 1960s-1970s.
National Treasurer, Australian Women’s Health Network, since 2011 and National
Board Member, since 2003.
Vice-President, NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), 2015-2016 and Treasurer, 2011-2015 and Board Member and Member, since 2007 and Chair, NCOSS Health Policy Advice Group, since 2009.
Chairperson, Women’s Legal Services NSW, since 2012.
Member, NSW Premier’s Expert Advisory Council for Women, 2010.
Member, NSW Premier’s Council for Preventing Violence Against Women, 2008.
Inaugural President, Social and Community Services Division, Australian Service Union, 1988-1993 and Member, 1984-2016 and Member, NSW and ACT Branch, ‘for over 30 years’.
Member, Non-Government Organisation Advisory Committee, NSW Health, 2003-2016.
Member, Non-Government/Government Women’s Health Group, 2003-2016.
Member, Female Genital Mutilation Advisory Committee, 2003-2016.
Member, Women’s Health and Resources Foundation, 1982-2016.
Member, South West Women’s Child Sexual Assault Resource Centre, 1984-1985.
Member, Women Against Incest 1982-1983.

More info about Denele Crozier:
www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-23/regional-abortion/5039522?pfmredir=sm

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Ms Noela Isobel Davies OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Doomadgee, Queensland
For service to nursing, and to international humanitarian healthcare programs.

Service includes:
Humanitarian Aid Worker (Nurse), International Red Cross, 1999-2005.
Has served in Northern Kenya, South Sudan, Darfur, East Timor, Northern Liberia,  Somali/AFAR, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Member, Field Assessment Coordination Team, Tacloban, Philippines, 2012-2014.

Humanitarian Observer, Australian Red Cross. Northern Territory Department of Health:
Rheumatic Heart Disease Public Health Nurse Coordinator, Centre for Disease Control.

Queensland Department of Health:
Clinical Nurse Consultant, Remote Generalist Complex Care, (Nurse Navigator), Doomadgee Community Health, North Queensland, since 2016.

Director of Nursing, Birdsville Health Centre, 2015-2016.
Awards and recognition includes:
Recipient, Florence Nightingale Medal, International Red Cross, 2011

More info about Noela Davies:
www.northweststar.com.au/story/4421287/ex-isa-nurse-gets-oam/

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Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Andrew Duff
Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC)
Queensland
For outstanding devotion to duty to clinical training and preparedness of health services personnel as the Deputy Director of Clinical Services, 2nd General Health Battalion, from 2012 to 2015.

Lieutenant Colonel Duff has orchestrated high quality clinical training, benchmarked clinical readiness and improved the career progression for Army nursing. Through outstanding devotion to duty, professionalism and skilful management he has made a crucial contribution to improving clinical governance and significantly enhanced Army’s deployable health capability.

.

Ms Kerryn Eileen Ernst
Public Service medal (PSM)
Page, Australian Capital Territory
For outstanding public service to community health in the Australian Capital Territory.

Ms Ernst qualified as a registered nurse in 1998 and since that time has completed a graduate
certificate in Oncological Nursing, gained accreditation as a Breast Care Nurse with the Cancer
Council of Victoria, and completed a Master of Nurse Practitioner and a Master in Palliative Care.

Since 2009 she has been a metastatic McGrath Breast Care Nurse employed by ACT Health
providing support to more than 1,000 families who are faced with the devastating news that their breast cancer is metastatic.

In her role she provides education and support in relation to treatment options and translates
medical language and specialist information for patients. She assist people to navigate the
complex landscape of treatment, disease progression and prognosis and also recognises that care needs to be holistic and looks for ways to support people both physically and emotionally.

She is a staunch advocate for the importance of educating Australians about breast cancer and
has shown a commitment to the education of other nursing professionals by presenting at
conferences and workshops.

Ms Ernst consistently goes above and beyond to provide the best level of support and care
to her patients and their families and has had a positive impact on the lives of many in the Canberra region.

More info about Kerryn Ernst:
www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/inspiring-breast-cancer-nursing-stories-from-the-mcgrath-foundation-20150915-gjn6aw.html

.

Mrs Heather Emily Hewett MBE OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Horsham, Victoria
For service to the Indigenous community of the Northern Territory.

Service includes:

Translation, to Maung, Gospel of Mark, a project of the Northern Regional Council of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and the Uniting Church in Australia Northern SYNOD, 2009-2016.

Co-authored Maung Grammar with the noted linguist Arthur Capell, ‘Texts and Vocabulary’ (published in 1974).

Assistant, Bilingual education program, Nungalinya College, introduced to the school in 1972.

Started recording the Maung alphabet with the elders, included linguistic analysis, bible translation, translation and discussion of educational material including electoral information and land rights legislation, 1966-1974.

Nursing sister, appointed to the Methodist Overseas Mission at Warruwi, 1957-1979.

Awards and recognition includes:
Recipient, The Order of the British Empire – Member (Civil), 1978, for services to Aboriginal linguistics, health and religion.

More info about Heather Hewett:
www.mailtimes.com.au/story/4427205/connection-language-and-honours-for-heather/

.

Professor Catherine Therese Turner AM
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Brisbane, Queensland
For significant service to nursing through research into nurse practice and population health, and to professional organisations.

Service includes:

The University of Queensland:
Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, current.
Head, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 2008-2014.
Director of Research and Deputy Head of School, 2007.
Associate Professor, Coordinator of Research and Higher Degrees, 2004-2006.
Project Officer, Development of an undergraduate nursing degree, Faculty of Health Sciences, 2002-2003.
Senior Lecturer, Division of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, School of Population
Health, 2001-2003.
Visiting Fellow, Boston College, Maine, United States of America, 2000.

Australian Catholic University:
Assistant Head, School of Nursing, 1999.
Head, Department of Nursing Practice, 1995-1998.
Lecturer in Nursing, 1992-1994.

Clinical Teacher, Rural Placements, University of Canberra, 1991-1992
Nurse Educator, Royal Brisbane Hospital, 1988-1990.

Assistant Commissioner Nursing, Health Quality and Complaints Commission, 2011-2014.
Board of Directors, Mater Education Ltd, since 2016.
Board of Directors, Mater Health Services, 2008-2016.
Executive, Council of Deans Australia and New Zealand, Nursing and Midwifery, 2012-2014.

Awards and recognition includes:
Career Development Award, Population Health, National Health and Medical Research Council, 2007-2011.
Distinguished Alumni Award, Flinders University, 2008.
Fulbright Fellow, Channing Laboratory, Harvard University, 2006-2007.
Excellence in Teaching Award, The University of Queensland, 2005.
International Research Collaboration Travel Award, The University of Queensland, 2003.

More info about Catherine Turner:
nmsw.uq.edu.au/profile/584/catherine-turner

.

Mrs Julianne Mary Whyte OAM
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Lowesdale, New South Wales
For service to community health through palliative care programs.

Service includes:

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Amaranth Foundation, since 2009 (provides therapeutic
and psychosocial support for people coping with advanced chronic and terminal illness).

Palliative Care Project Officer; Riverina Division of General Practice, 2006-2011.

Palliative Care Clinical Support Leader and Project Officer; Intereach NSW Pty Ltd, 2006-2009.

Care Support Officer; Greater Southern Area Health Service, 2003-2006.

Registered Nurse and Chronic Care Coordinator; Murrumbidgee Health District, 1980-2006.

Research Fellow, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, since 2014  (Listen Acknowledge
Respond Project – a translational research project to up-skill the allied health workforce in End of Life Palliative Care).

Executive position, Oncology Social Work Australia, 2009-2011.

General Committee Member, Palliative Care New South Wales, 2008-2009.

General Member, Palliative Care Australia, ongoing.

More info about Julianne Whyte:
palliativecare.org.au/palliative-matters/10-minutes-with-julianne-whyte/

.

Closing Notes

Please let me know via the comments section below if I missed any nurses or midwives. I’m happy to correct any oversights (not fully caffeinated yet).

Not all of Nurses on the 2017 Australia Day Honours List remain in a nursing-specific role. Nevertheless, they are included here because one does not simply leave nursing.
It’s like the Mafia.
You know too much.
🙂

Although MaryAnn Bin-Sallik's award was received outside of a nursing context, her 17 years of nursing experience =  valid inclusion criteria IMHO.

That’s it. Thanks for visiting.

Paul McNamara, 26 January 2017

Short URL meta4RN.com/honours17

Blatant Self-Promotion

Ever written an article about yourself as an act of blatant self promotion?

I have. Here it is:

ijmhn-photo

Paul McNamara, photograph by Vera Fitzgerald

Cairns Nurse on Journal Editorial Board

Cairns CNC Paul McNamara has recently been appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN). IJMHN is now in its 26th volume, and has built a solid reputation over the last quarter century. The journal’s impact factor of 1.943 is a great achievement.

Paul was specifically invited to join the board to help develop and drive a social media strategy for IJMHN. “I’ve been very active in using social media in a professional sense for the last few years, and have presented at conferences and published about health professionals using social media.”, says Paul. “I guess that’s what caught the attention of the IJMHN Editor in Chief.”

“Twitter is my favourite platform for work-related social media. I think it will be the best fit for IJMHN. Twitter allows information to be shared with the whole world. If it’s good enough for the Pope, the US President and the Australian Prime Minister, maybe it’s good enough for mental health nurses too.”, joked Paul. “Twitter is where the influencers are. As US marketing guru Charlene Li said, ‘Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.’ It’s a professional trait of Mental Health Nurses to want to be part of the conversation.” When asked about other social media platforms, Paul said, “We’ll keep an eye on what develops: nothing is static on the internet. Facebook is too big to ignore, so we’ll certainly have a look at smartening-up IJMHN’s presence there too.”

Traditionally the success or failure of a journal article was measured by citations. The only way authors/researchers knew if their work was being read was when other authors referenced their paper. Now that IJMHN is purely an online publication (with an iPhone/iPad app), there is another metric that can be used – how often the article is shared on social media.

Social media can help drive visibility and brand awareness of the journal, and raise awareness of Mental Health Nursing’s work and contributions. For the first time in history, nurses have unmediated access to the public conversation via social media. “Social media provides a terrific opportunity for all health professionals to share and acquire information. It’s a fun way to do professional development.”, Paul said. “It’s also a good way to let people know who we are and what we do.” When asked for a recommendation about using social media, Paul said, “Just be aware that some of your patients, some of your colleagues, and some of your managers will Google your name. Make sure you’re in control of what they’ll find. Don’t be afraid. Be intentional. Make your digital footprint your CV.”

Paul’s professional digital footprint is built around the homophone “meta4RN”, which can be read as either “metaphor RN” or “meta for RN” – try Google or go to meta4RN.com to see what it’s all about.

And follow @meta4RN and @IJMHN on Twitter!

End

This blatant piece of self-promotion could possibly also be included in a newsletter/magazine, but it’s one of those publications that’s organisation/member-specific. That means only a certain group of people will see it, and it will remain unknown to those not part of the organisation. A bit secretive, eh?

Maybe a modern reworking of the biblical “don’t hide you light under a bushel” thing could be, “don’t just do stuff – blog about it!”

Or maybe not.

As always your comments/feedback is welcome below.

Paul McNamara, 9th January 2017.

Short URL: https://meta4RN.com/IJMHN