Tag Archives: nursing

Nurses on the 2020 Australia Day Honours List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Service includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End

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

Paul McNamara, 26 January 2020

Short URL: meta4RN.com/Honours2020

Addit

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End

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

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

Paul McNamara, 1 January 2020

Short URL: meta4RN.com/Nurses2020

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

Digital Professionalism📱vs The Dinosaurs 🦕

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

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

Nuseramed replied: 

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

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

The response went viral.

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

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

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

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

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

  1.  

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

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

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

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

Google maps is great for this sort of thing.

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

  1.  

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

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

  1.  

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

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

  1.  

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

  1.  

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

Score

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

Digital Professionalism📱= 12
The Dinosaurs 🦕 = 0

Snippily Sarcastic Suggestion

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

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

End

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

Thanks for visiting. 

Paul McNamara, 2 November 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/mHealth

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

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

References 

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

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

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

A tale of two hashtags

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping Score

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

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

Ahem.

2020 Rematch

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

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

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

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

 

End

Thanks for visiting. 

Paul McNamara, 25 October 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/hash

 

Ye Olde Yahoo CL Nurse eMail Network

Once upon a time (February 2002) there were a bunch of mental health consultation liaison nurses in Australia, New Zealand, and other places far, far away. They were separated geographically, but became connected via the magic of email.

Keep in mind it was 2002 – Google, Facebook, Twitter etc hadn’t made their mark back then, so starting a Yahoo email list was about as clever as we could get at the time.

In 2012-2013 our Ye Olde CL Nurse Yahoo eMail network [link] stopped being used, and we transitioned to the email platform hosted via the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses instead [link].  Anyway, today I stumbled across an old powerpoint presentation and poster re Ye Olde CL Nurse Yanoo eMail Network, and thought it would be nice to plonk them both online for nostalgic/historical purposes.

Here’s the powerpoint:

 

And here’s the text from the poster and a pic + PDF of the poster itself:

Consultation Liaison Nurses
Isolated Geographically. Connected Electronically.

The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Nurse Network aims to link peers for an exchange of information and ideas. Given the nature of this mental health sub-speciality, Nurses working in this field are usually pretty independent practitioners and often don’t have regular contact with peers who share CL Nurse experiences and interests

The email network originally spluttered to life in February 2002 and has gained momentum over subsequent years. The email network’s formation and development coincided with the formation and development of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) Consultation Liaison Special Interest Group (CLSIG). The email network is also promoted by the NSW/ACT Mental Health Consultation Liaison Nurses Association. The email network is maintained by the CLSIG, but the ACMHN and the CLSIG do not take responsibility for nor endorse opinions expressed through this network.

The email network is not moderated (ie: user’s comments are uncensored), but nuisance posts (abusive, racist, sexist, advertising etc) will not be tolerated. We take pride that the tone of the email network has been always casual, generous & supportive, and that it has attracted over 320 subscribers from at least nine countries.

No matter where you live & work, if you’re a Mental Health/Psychiatric Consultation Liaison Nurse you are very welcome to join our email network…

Here’s the PDF: 1008

One Last Thing

Just a reminder, this info is being released online in September 2019 purely for nostalgic and/or historical purposes. If you’re interested in an email network for consultation liaison nurses there is one, it’s just not the Ye Olde Yahoo one described here anymore. Instead, join the email network that is being hosted by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Consultation Liaison (CL) Special Interest Group (SIG): www.acmhn.org/home-clsig

End

Thanks for reading.

Paul McNamara, 27 September 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/email

Scale Fail

Please do yourself a favour, and watch Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds on ABC iView. Over five beautifully-filmed episodes, the program follows a social experiment that brings together elderly people in a retirement village with a group of lively 4-year-olds. It’s one of the most enchanting, life-affirming TV programs I’ve seen.

The kids and the grown-ups were equally adorable – each dyad (one older person and one 4 year old) seemed to bring-out the best in each other. It was delightful to watch. Fiona the kindergarten teacher/facilitator was incredible. She has amazing interpersonal skills. [BTW: does anyone know Fiona’s surname? – she deserves to be credited properly]

I only have one problem with the program: the way the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) was used/portrayed. It was a very good idea that there was some pre- and post-intervention testing, and it’s terrifically handy to be able to quantify the degree that people self-rate their mood. However, all the scales I’ve ever seen, including the GDS-15,  come with the disclaimer that they’re screening tools, not diagnostic tools. However, that’s not the way the GDS-15 was portrayed on this TV program.

Screenshot from approx. 47 minutes into Episode 5 showing the false dichotomy that 5 or below on GDS-15 = “not depressed” and 6 or above = “depressed”. Pfft! As if.

In the TV program the geriatricians referred to scores above 5 on the GDS as “depressed”. That’s not quite the way it works. The GDS-15 does not diagnose.

Four reasons why the GDS-15 is not a diagnostic tool:

  1. The GDS-15 asks for a “snapshot” of how the person has been feeling for the past week. As per the diagnostic frameworks used worldwide (DSM-5 and ICD-10) symptoms must be present for at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed.
  2. The GDS-15 is a dumb screening tool. It won’t (and can’t) take social circumstances into account. Many of the symptoms of depression are also symptoms of grief/bereavement/significant recent stress. GDS-15 questions include:
    • “Have you dropped many of your activities and interests over the last week ?”
    • “Over the last week have you been in good spirits most of the time?”
    • “In the last week have you been feeling happy most of the time?”
    • “In the last week, have you preferred to stay at home, rather than going out and doing things?”
    • “In the last week have you been thinking that it is wonderful to be alive?”
      If your spouse died 10 days ago, not only would these questions be terribly insensitive, but your answers probably wouldn’t be very positive. That doesn’t mean you’re depressed. That means you loved your spouse. The GDS-15 screens for symptoms, not context.
  3. There’s more than one way to interpret the GDS-15 score. Which is the correct way? It depends who you ask:
    • As per the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, “Although differing sensitivities and specificities have been obtained across studies, for clinical purposes a score >5 points is suggestive of depression and should warrant a follow up interview. Scores >10 are almost always depression.” [source]
    • As per an online version of the GDS-15 endorsed by the GDS-15 lead authors [source], the meaning of the scores are thus:
      0 – 4 = normal, depending on age, education, complaints
      5 – 8 = mild
      9 – 11 = moderate
      12 – 15 = severe
    •  As per the screenshot above, the geriatricians in Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds set a cut-off line between “not depressed” and “depressed” at 5.5,
  4. The model of a dichotomy of “depressed” or “not depressed” does not reflect reality. You don’t suddenly get labelled “depressed” because you scored 6 on the GDS-15, and you aren’t suddenly deemed “not-depressed” because you scored 5 the next time you’re screened. In reality, clinically significant changes in mood tend to happen over weeks or months. Minor day-to-day fluctuations are just part of the human experience – not something to be pathologised.
    When it comes to mood, you don’t cross a line between “depressed” and “not depressed”. There is a line, but it’s a continuum. It’s a continuum that we all slide up and down. It’s just that people who experience depression travel further along the continuum than they would like.

Closing Remarks

Please don’t let my critique of the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale deter you from watching Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds. It’s a terrific program based on a wonderful idea, which is articulated further on the Ageless Play website [here].

Something I do in my paid job and as part of my [unpaid] social media portfolio, is to challenge the myths and misunderstandings that happen around mental health matters. As I’ve argued previously [here], all I’m doing in this blog post is articulating my argument why we should resist the temptation to interpret screening tools as diagnostic tools.

End

That’s it. As always, feedback is welcome via the comments section below.

Paul McNamara, 26 September 2019

Short URL: meta4RN.com/scale

Protecting Nurses and Patients

Q: What do wearing gloves, using lifting machines, legislating ratios and clinical supervision have in common?

A: They’re all measures that protect nurses and their patients. 

Gloves

Back in ye olde days when I started nursing (the 1980s) the concept of “universal precautions” was introduced (source). In short, suddenly all body fluids were to be treated as potentially infectious. It didn’t matter if you arrived in hospital as a needle-sharing, sexually promiscuous, pus-and-rash stricken bleeding wreck, or a saintly and demure sex, drug and rock-and-roll avoidant 80 year old nun, we treated your body fluids the same. Amongst the changes this heralded was that gloves were to be worn whenever there was a risk of coming into contact with body fluids. It was a new way of working for older nurses and doctors. For newbies it was just standard practice: so much so, that in the mid 1990s the term “universal precautions” was replaced by “standard precautions” in Australia (source). 

My first (short lived, temporary) job as a RN was in a nursing home. I had to argue for gloves to be made readily available for the AINs, ENs and RNs. The initial response was along the lines of: [1] using disposable gloves for every encounter with body fluids will be expensive, [2] nurses can wash their hands if they come into contact with urine or faeces, and [3] do you REALLY think that any of these elderly people have been sharing needles or having unprotected anal sex to contract HIV? They came around, but at first the management just did not understand that universal/standard precautions were not just a nuisance cost, but actually an investment in protecting staff and residents/patients.

Lifting

When I was a student nurse I was often made to feel very warm and fuzzy inside. Not because of my sparkling wit and ruggedly handsome looks (🙄), not because of my enthusiastic and self-motivated approach to work, not because of my knowledge or skill, but because I was able to lift people easier than some of my more petite colleagues. Big boofy blokey nurses were handy to have around when patients need to hoisted up a bed, onto a barouche, or transferred between bed and chair. 

In the hospital I trained in there were a few lifting machines. The way I remember* it, there were about 3 of them for a 900 bed hospital. So, I was a bit incredulous when I first heard of a “No Lift Policy” in the mid-1990s. “As if!”, I thought, “It will be too slow and too expensive to be practical. It’ll never happen.” Anyway, I was wrong. The No Lift Policy was implemented, and has since been renamed and reframed as Safe Patient Handling. The change has been endorsed by employers and the nurses’ union alike. Nurses of my age/era often have back pain, but younger/newer nurses are now better protected. The purchase of safe patient handling equipment and expense of training is not just a nuisance cost, but actually an investment in protecting staff and patients.

Nurses who were students in the 1980s (ie: pre-No Lift Policy)

Ratios

When I was a student nurse it would be usual to be allocated 6-8 patients on either a morning or afternoon shift, and up to 16ish on night shift. On a ward of over 30 patients in a surgical or medical ward in a large acute hospital, it was pretty standard for one RN and 2 student nurses to run the whole thing overnight. #scarynostalgia 

In Australia the states of Victoria and Queensland have legislated nurse:patient ratios. Since July 2016 Queensland nurse:patient ratios have been credited with avoiding 145 deaths, 255 readmissions, and 29 200 hospital bed-days. Amazingly, ratios have been evaluated to save up to $81 million (source). Implementing ratios to stop nurses from burning-out over workloads and to improve quality of care is not just a nuisance cost, but actually an investment in protecting staff and patients.

Clinical Supervision 

In April 2019 a joint position statement was issued by the Australian College of Nursing, the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and the Australian College of Midwives that Clinical Supervision is recommended for all nurses and midwives irrespective of their specific role, area of practice and years of experience (source). 

As articulated in the joint statement, there is consistent evidence that effective clinical supervision impacts positively on professional development, and retention of a healthy and sustainable workforce. There is also evidence that clinical supervision of health-care staff impacts positively on outcomes for service-users.

I expect to be still working full time in 5 years time, but not in 10. I hope that by the time I pull-up stumps clinical supervision becomes embedded in nursing practice. Clinical supervision is not just a nuisance cost, but actually an investment in protecting staff and patients. 

End Notes

*not a reliable source: I have the memory of a stoned goldfish

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

Thanks to Stella Green for giving permission to share our nearly-funny SMS.

Paul McNamara, 31 August 2019

Short URL meta4RN.com/protect