Issue 7 08/04/13 fortnightly
Regional & Remote Health special feature Robot seal to be trialled in aged care for dementia Nursing congress to take global stage in Melbourne Speech pathologist engages children in DVD chatter Occupational therapist rebuilds lives in Bangladesh New Zealandâ€™s peak nursing group announces new chief executive
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Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 3
Mental Health Nursing Opportunities Are you a Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse
www.ncah.com.au Issue 07 – 08 April 2013 We hope you enjoy perusing the range of opportunities included in Issue 07, 2013. If you are interested in pursuing any of these opportunities, please contact the advertiser directly via the contact details provided. If you have any queries about our publication or if you would like to receive our publication, please email us at email@example.com “FACT, NOT FICTION” The NCAH Magazine distribution is independently audited by the Circulations Audit Board.
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Page 4 | www.ncah.com.au
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Agency work helps optometrist see Australia by Karen Keast Agency work has given optometrist Marlene Xiao a chance to explore Australia.
people with their eye health while also helping her discover new parts of Australia.
Born in Singapore, Marlene moved to Australia in Year 10 and went on to achieve her four-year Bachelor of Optometry at the University of New South Wales.
She said Medacs Healthcare covered the cost of her accommodation and flights, and she found she had ample time to sightsee on weekends.
It was then she began work at a private practice in Sydney but three years later, she decided she needed a change of scenery. Marlene ventured into agency work and has not looked back. Her work with recruitment and healthcare services provider Medacs Healthcare has taken her across Tasmania and Queensland in the past 18 months. Speaking from her current month-long work placement in Perth, Marlene said locum work enabled her to pursue her passion for assisting Page 6 | www.ncah.com.au
â€œLast year I did quite a lot in Tasmania and at the end of last year I was in Townsville and this year I have been in Tasmania again,â€? she said. â€œI am enjoying it because itâ€™s more private practices and they are not numbers-based, they are more clinical-based.â€? Medacs Healthcare Group recruits nurses and allied health professionals in Australia across public and private sectors and has a global reach with offices also located in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and South Africa, and it also operates in India and the Middle East. For the full article visit NCAH.com.au
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Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 7
New Zealand’s peak nursing group announces new chief executive by Karen Keast Former mental health nurse Memo Musa is the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s new chief executive. Mr Musa will leave his position as a senior adviser in the Ministry of Health’s mental health improvement group to take up the role mid-May, replacing Geoff Annals who resigned after 11 years in the job. The appointment of the former chief executive officer of Whanganui District Health Board comes as the country’s peak nursing organisation, representing 46,000 nurses and health workers, embraces a series of changes after the introduction of a new NZNO constitution last year.
Wanted Registere For the first time the NZNO’s presidency position is also a full-time, paid position, while in another change president Marion Guy, who also served at the helm of the organisation between 2005 and 2009, will co-lead the organisation with Kerri Nuku, who was appointed the organisation’s kaiwhakahaere last year.
Hunter New England Local Health District ( H opportunity for Registered Midwives to join th John Hunter Hospital and The Maitland Hosp Born in Zimbabwe, Mr Musa completed his academic education in the United Kingdom, where he worked in a range of mental health nursing and management positions before moving to New Zealand to take up the position of general manager of mental health services at the then Good Health Wanganui in 1999.
John Hunter Hospital is the tertiary referral h England region. Close to 4400 women birth a year. The Maitland Hospital is a rural referral for 2000 womenHeabecame year. Maternity Services o chief executive of Whanganui DHB
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in 2001 and served in the role until July 2008 when he went to work at the Ministry.
Maintain Inaabroad range of midwifery s joint announcement, Ms Guy and Ms Nuku said Mr Musa had a strong nursing and clinical continuumantenatal, intrapartum, po background and a high level of credibility. care. For more articles visit NCAH.com.au Future Models of Maternity Care inclu
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Robot seal to be trialled in aged care for dementia by Karen Keast
An Australian study will investigate the benefits of a robotic baby harp seal in the treatment of dementia.
Professor Wendy Moyle said the success of the pilot project had generated a lot of interest in the use of Paro in Australia’s aged care facilities.
Queensland’s Griffith Health Institute hopes to trial the cost-effectiveness and benefits of using the Japanese robot to interact with around 400 patients at 30 nursing homes throughout Queensland next year.
Now Professor Moyle hopes to gain more research funding to carry out a large-scale evaluation of Paro on the emotional state of dementia patients and any associated reduction in pharmacological costs.
The Paro robot, which costs around $5000 and responds to touch, light, voice, temperature and is also equipped with posture sensors, aims to provide the benefits of animal therapy where animals are unable to be used.
“With an extended research team, we will be assessing emotional states in participants such as agitation, using measures including video observation and assessment of physiological responses,” she said.
Paro moves its tail and opens and closes its eyes when patted. It also shows emotions such as happiness, anger and surprise, and it can make the sounds of a baby seal.
“The statistical evidence that we collect will be used to examine the cost effectiveness of the Paro within care facilities versus the costs of pharmaceutical treatment for people with dementia.
For the past 10 years, it has been used in Japan and throughout Europe and it has also been certified by the Federal Drug Administration in the US as a medical device. Griffith Health Institute conducted a pilot study on the use of the robot last year and found it created a range of positive benefits for dementia patients, such as lowered anxiety and mood improvements. Page 10 | www.ncah.com.au
“If for example, we are able to show that we can reduce psychotropic medication to a patient by 10 per cent by using the Paro or alternatively show that they can stay at home for longer without admission to a care facility, then that would be a fantastic result with direct cost benefits.”
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CareerLounge is a unique space where students and fresh graduates can connect and find key Employers, industry advice and career guidance.
Through the principles of Learning, Earning and Networking, CareerLounge empowers youth and provides a relevant space for professional development.
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Monash University student, frustrated with the situation he found himself in as the result of ill informed choices. Collins came up with the idea to create an online place where students could access information to help them make informed decisions about subject choices, courses and employment. For the full article visit NCAH.com.au Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 11
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Flight Nurse The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is an iconic Australian organisation that has made a difference to hundreds of thousands of people across the nation. For the past 85 years it has been providing essential aeromedical and primary health care services in rural and remote locations. If youâ€™re a Nurse/Midwife ready for a rewarding new challenge, the RFDS has a position on our dynamic Flight Nurse Team based at Jandakot (Perth) WA. Youâ€™ll be working with an amazing and motivated team of professionals dedicated to providing primary care and emergency
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Nurse Unit Manager (ICU) Warrnambool, Victoria Warrnambool is a thriving seaside city with a catchment area of 110,000 people and South West Healthcare’s new hospital is considered one of the most modern and technologically advanced health services in regional Australia. Our 165 bed hospital has recently completed a $155 million redevelopment which included a state-of-the-art , 6 bed (with additional beds for future expansion), Intensive/ Critical Care Unit. The Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) is responsible for the effective and efﬁcient management of the human, physical and ﬁnancial resources within the Unit. The NUM actively leads the ICU/CCU team in a consultative and participative manner ensuring well planned and coordinated services to clients and their families and providing clinical leadership to foster patient focused and outcome directed nursing care. To be considered for this challenging role, candidates will need: • Current registration as a Division 1 Nurse with AHPRA registration • Hold a relevant tertiary management qualiﬁcation or working towards same • Minimum of 3 years’ experience as a NUM/ANUM in an intensive care unit. If you are looking to make a fresh start to your career or would like to register your interest in future job opportunities go to
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Occupational therapist rebuilds lives in Bangladesh by Karen Keast Occupational therapist Alison Hardman was walking the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea with a colleague when a discussion came up about a not-for-profit organisation that works to repair bodies and rebuild lives. Six years later, the Melbourne OT, who specialises in hand therapy, has visited Bangladesh four times, where she has volunteered her time to train local occupational therapists to assist patients in the aftermath of reconstructive surgery. This year, Interplast Australia and New Zealand is celebrating 30 years of sending volunteer surgical teams across the Asia Pacific region where it has introduced more than 500 surgical and allied health medical program activities across 25 countries in the region, including 21,000 life-changing operations all free-of-charge to underprivileged patients. “(This colleague) had recently returned from a trip where he had visited a rehabilitation facility and thought that there was enormous capacity for Interplast to become involved in the training of local occupational therapists,” Alison recalled. “The Interplast surgical team was providing training to the local surgeons, however there was no formalised link or referral structure between surgery and therapy; a step that we know is really important to achieve the best outcomes for the patients. “He was very impressed with the rehabilitation facility, and the work that they were currently doing and was keen to develop a partnership with the rehabilitation facility. “Over the next few days we formed a rough plan of how we may be able to assist the local therapists develop their capacity to treat patients post plastic surgery intervention and took these ideas back with us to Melbourne.” Since then, Alison has taught local therapists about new surgical techniques, postoperative therapy regimes and the fundamentals of hand therapy in a bid to help therapists with their ongoing work treating a variety of complex patients, ranging from adults and children with Page 14 | www.ncah.com.au
severe burn contractures to those with congenital malformations. As part of the Interplast Hand Therapy Working Group established in 2007, Alison has worked alongside the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in developing hand therapy services; helping hand surgery patients to not only be self-reliant but also valuable contributors to their communities. Alison, who has worked as an OT for 12 years after achieving her Bachelor Degree in Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) and now works as the senior clinician and stream leader of plastics at The Alfred Hospital, said volunteering with Interplast was a rewarding experience, helping patients including children with severe burns. But Alison said it was also incredibly satisfying watching local therapists grow professionally. “My favourite memory...is of a local therapist who was helping in the burns unit,” she said. “I saw him teaching the doctors how to perform range of movement exercises to a patient postcontracture release. “The doctors were really engaged; it was at that point that I realised that this program was really working, the therapists had gained confidence in their skills and were not only able to appropriately treat patients, they also had gained the confidence to teach and educate others on the importance of postoperative therapy.” Alison has recently completed her Masters in Public Health and hopes to use her skills to continue to assist the program and possibly to develop similar training programs in other countries. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to go back a few times to Bangladesh and see the positive impact that the program has had,” she said. “In the end I think it is one of those experiences in life where you take away more than what you give.” For more information visit www.interplast.org.au
Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 15
Director of Clinical Services Colac Area Health • Senior position in a rural health organisation • Key member of a dynamic executive management team • Attractive salary package and conditions
Our client, Colac Area Health, is an integrated health service which provides Acute Care, Aged Care, Community and Allied Health Services to a catchment population of approximately 30 000 people. Colac Otway is one of the most picturesque Victorian municipalities, featuring lush farming plains, rugged coastline (including 90 kilometres of Great Ocean Road) and the majestic Otway Ranges. As the Director of Clinical Services you will be an integral member of the hospital Executive Team and provide clear leadership to develop a culture that espouses the organizational values of respect, integrity, leadership, innovation, quality and partnership. Specifically, the position oversees operational responsibility for the clinical services provided in Acute care (including maternity), Residential Aged Care, Perioperative Services and Urgent Care Centre.The position is accountable for all professional nursing issues as well as the delivery of evidenced based clinical services. In addition, the role carries professional reporting responsibility for those nursing staff working in Community Services and Staff Development. To meet the requirements of the role you will hold post-graduate qualifications in Nursing and/or Health Service management and have significant leadership, clinical and management experience along with excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrable ability to formulate and implement clinical and business strategy. A background in midwifery would be highly regarded. An attractive remuneration package will be negotiated with the successful applicant. Full position details can be obtained from our website at:
Enquiries should be made in the first instance to Peter McGregor on 0407 139 257 or applications comprising: Letter of application; updated resume; and a brief statement addressing the KSC can be forwarded to: email@example.com Applications close Friday 12 April 2013 PO Box 83 Ocean Grove 3226 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hrsa.com.au Page 16 | www.ncah.com.au
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Brisbane Sexual Health clinic to close It is also understood Queensland Health has suggested clients at the centre simply go to their local GPs for HIV drugs. However with a limited number of GPs certified to prescribe HIV medications, the move was untenable, said Mohle. “The idea that this type of work can be left to general practices in the suburbs is ridiculous. To be quite frank, most GPs are not geared for providing this type of specialised service and never will be. It is just another attempt to cost shift to the Federal Government and blow the consequences for the people of Queensland.”
Protests are brewing following a decision to cut 32 jobs from a Brisbane sex health clinic, amid concerns the move will see a surge in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Queensland. Brisbane Sexual Health, which is part of community health centre Biala House, sees 13,000 patients, including 600 patients with HIV/AIDS, each year. QNU secretary Beth Mohle was highly critical of the decision. “These sexual health clinics, especially this specialised one at Biala, provide an essential service to the people of Queensland, especially in the surveillance of and fight against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.” “This clinic is a walk-in highly specialised service, which is provided free of charge and patients with urgent needs are prioritised. In fact, apart from the many thousands of lives saved and improved over the years, hundreds of millions of dollars have also been saved by this surveillance and rapid intervention service.” Page 18 | www.ncah.com.au
A former specialist sexual health nurse at the centre reportedly said it provided an important service comprising non-judgmental health professionals, free treatment and anonymity for patients. He warned cutting the service was shortsighted, adding that when a person is diagnosed with HIV, it costs the government approximately $20,000 to $25,000 dollars in drugs, laboratory testing and medical services per year for the rest of their lives. At the time of writing a rally to protest Queensland Health’s had been planned to take place outside the clinic on Wednesday March 27.
These sexual health clinics, especially this specialised one at Biala, provide an essential service to the people of Queensland, especially in the surveillance of and fight against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. – Beth Mohle, QNU Secretary
DEDICATED MIDWIVES ENHANCE THE COMMUNITY WITH YOUR EXPERTISE IN REGIONAL NSW This wonderful organisation, based in Wagga Wagga in picturesque Southern NSW, is only a two hour drive away from the state border with Victoria to the south and Australiaâ€™s capital city, Canberra, to the east. They are eagerly seeking a number of midwives to join their dedicated team.
Working in a modern, specialised maternity unit, they are seeking experienced Midwives to work within all areas of midwifery. The services that they provide within their unit encompass the labour ward, antenatal and post natal unit and special care nursery level 4. If successful, you will be applying your specialist skills and knowledge within the antenatal bookings, birthing suites, postnatal area and special care nursery. You must demonstrate excellent midwifery experience, possess relevant midwifery qualiďŹ cations and have/be eligible for full AHPRA registration. A full four year 457 sponsorship will be offered to successful overseas individuals who possess the relevant experience outlined above. Contact Diarmuid Latimer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 8226 9673.
Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 19
What makes a good nurse great? by Karen Keast It’s a question not many nurses ask themselves but understanding what makes a good nurse great can make all the difference to your nursing career. There are a range of well-known qualities and skills that make a good nurse but what does it take to excel in your nursing career and become a great nurse? Australian College of Nursing RTO education division program coordinator Jennifer Lohan says it’s a question well worth asking. “To ask this question, to think about what they are providing, it’s really beneficial,” she says.
cannot be ranked but are vital to taking a nurse’s career to the next level. “One part of it is you have got to have compassion and empathy and a strong sense of humour and you have to be dedicated,” she says. “To make a great nurse you have to have the right balance of all of those things and you need to blend theory and practice…so you can look at what you are doing and why you are doing it. “A lot of good nurses just follow policy and they are really good at what they do but to be great you need to be actively seeking more.”
“It’s good for your own self esteem. You can say - I have done this, this and this and maybe I could do that.”
Ms Lohan says nurses wanting to go the extra mile should participate in committees or projects.
Ms Lohan, who moved into nurse education after working as a Registered Nurse, says the list of factors that make a good nurse great
“Being part of the change process will help them go from being a good nurse to a great nurse,” she says.
Page 20 | www.ncah.com.au
She advises nurses to seek further education and pursue an interest in life-long learning while nurses should also continue to question what is current and correct practice.
Nurses wanting to excel should not only work hard but should work well as a team, and support their colleagues to “be the best they can be”, she says.
“In their every-day practice, it is whether they have used what they have learned to inform what they do,” she says.
Last but not least, both experts believe effective nurse-patient interaction lies at the heart of what makes a good nurse great – the ability to remain patient-focused with care and compassion.
“It’s also about actively seeking more information – seeking out current up-to-date resources for evidence-based practice.” Ms Lohan says being a great nurse is also about the ability to critically reflect on your own practice and to possess emotional intelligence, defined as the ability to identify and understand emotions, and to use emotions and manage them more intelligently. Metro South Health Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Lorraine Stevenson says a great nurse has a variety of experiences and consolidates those experiences with formal education and good mentors. Ms Stevenson, a member of Queensland Health’s Redland-Wynnum executive team with 35 years’ nursing experience, says good nurses become great by learning from others. “I have had the benefit of having a range of good mentors along this 35 year journey,” she says. “It’s having people that you work with that you admire, people that you work with who have great skills and you mostly learn from those people; that’s how the good become excellent.” Ms Stevenson says it’s also vital to learn things thoroughly and to then become a resource for others.
“It’s all about caring and compassion,” Ms Stevenson says. “We have consolidated it with tertiary education and we are all highly educated but remembering that it’s being kind, smiling and what touch is all about,” she says. “That makes the difference between somebody who is doing a task and somebody who is a really caring, compassionate professional.” Ms Lohan agrees, and says it’s important to always think - what if it was someone I cared about in that bed? “Would I want the nurse looking after that person to behave in that way and how would I want them to behave?” Despite time and task pressures, Ms Lohan says a great nurse always puts the patient first. “You have got to take a moment and also grab every moment you can,” she says. “You can do a lot in the short time you have… just by listening to them, preparing them by giving them therapeutic touch and assuring them, just in the process of trying to get your job done. “It’s still possible; it’s a matter of finding those opportunities.” Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 21
Speech pathologist engages children in DVD chatter by Karen Keast Kath Keiper always knew she wanted to work in a career where she could help people, especially children. “I wanted to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and always found that I could relate to and engage children easily,” she said. “My mother jokes that I was born talking and it was through my careers advisor and my family that I ventured into a career in speech pathology. “What I loved about the idea of speech pathology was that while it was a specialised career there were so many avenues and directions you could take within speech pathology.” Kath achieved her Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Speech Pathology) at Melbourne’s Latrobe University, and for the past 16 years she has worked as a paediatric speech pathologist in a clinical setting and also in early intervention at Melbourne’s Kalparrin Early Intervention Program and in private practice at Clarity Plus Speech Pathology. Apart from her day to day work in direct intervention, Kath is also reaching out to children she’s never even met. Kath launched her own DVD Can you sound like me? three years ago, which she hopes is just the first in her Chew Chew Chatter series. The DVD has been such a success it is now being distributed by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER). Kath created 15 songs for the DVD specifically targeting children with developmental delay and disability including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Global Development Delay, and receptive and expressive language delays and disorders.
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Knowing that I played a role in helping him say those words to his mum is something I will never forget. – Kath Keiper, Speech Pathologist
The slow-paced DVD uses simple but fun songs to engage children and teach a range of communication skills without overloading them. “I have received wonderful feedback from families and professionals who have provided me with some amazing stories as to how I have helped their children,” she said. “Nothing makes me happier than when I connect with a child and I truly believe that by using this medium I have been able to engage and help many more children and families than I ever would have been able to do simply through my direct intervention.” Kath said the DVD came after years of working on combining her love of music and speech pathology intervention with the technique of video modelling to teach communication. She worked with special education teacher Jude Gearon to develop songs and content to teach a range of skills to children which was then videoed and incorporated into their early intervention music program. “We found we had much success engaging a whole range of children during group time who previously had not been interested in sitting, attending and participating in music time,” she said.
“We found the children’s anxiety around group time reduced over time when we showed the video footage as they were able to predict more easily what was going to happen next and this reduction in anxiety and their increasing engagement during group time opened up the scope for learning. “We presented on the topic at the World Inaugural Autism Congress where we received much positive feedback.” Kath continued her passion for developing amateur videos and with ongoing success decided to venture into her own professional DVD that could reach a wider range of children. She said working as a paediatric speech pathologist was a huge privilege where she could help make a difference in a child and family’s life. Kath said she worked with one little boy whose
mum was told he was unlikely to ever verbally communicate. “I worked with this little boy for a number of years slowly helping him to develop single sounds then simple words and then simple sentences,” she said. “I will never forget the day his mother told me that he had said ‘I love you’. “Knowing that I played a role in helping him say those words to his mum is something I will never forget. “Every child I have worked with has taught me something new and if I could give any advice to any other speech pathologist in shaping their careers it would be to not only always follow your passion but always know there are many opportunities to think outside the square.” For more information www.chewchewchatter.com.au
Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 23
Agencies leverage worker attraction schemes by Karen Keast Agencies are increasingly fielding enquiries from overseas healthcare and medical practitioners and in some cases promoting Australia as a destination following moves to fill labour shortfalls. One agency is medical recruitment agency Ochre Recruitment, which has offices across Australia, and is actively promoting Australia and New Zealand as destinations to overseas workers following the streamlining of visa applications for overseas medical workers through medical recruitment schemes. It is understood nurse applications are being processed faster than usual to deal with current skills shortages. “This is news because there are excellent medical career opportunities in Australia,” a medical recruitment official said in a media statement about the schemes. “The increased need for medical workers in some areas of Australia is acute.” Agencies are now able to promote the schemes, which include: Medical Practitioner Visas; Employer Nomination Scheme; Labour Agreements; Skilled Regional Sponsored Migration; Skill Matching Visa; Business Visa;
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Skilled Independent Visa; the Working Holiday Visa Maker Scheme. For nursing positions, applicants are checked by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). The Medical Practitioner Visa is available to radiologists, doctors or specialists in a medical field and is good for four years to candidates sponsored by an Australian employer. Meanwhile the Employer Nomination Scheme and the Labour Agreement Scheme allow employers to hire nurses to work permanently if they meet minimum criteria and the Skilled Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme allows workers to be recruited who are willing to work in low population areas. A Skills Matching Visa Scheme is also available to medical workers with special skills and is offered by a state or territory government or business, while the Business Visa Scheme is available to medical workers sponsored by a business. The Skilled Independent Visa Scheme is available to unsponsored medical workers who score sufficient points on a test. There is also a Working Holiday Visa Maker Scheme that is available to medical workers aged 18 to 30 who want to take a working holiday in Australia.
midwives, midwives, midwives Hunter New England Local Health District is looking for experienced Registered Midwives to be considered for opportunities to work in diverse and challenge health environments.
Maternity Services across the health district offer opportunities to:ed Midwives
Maintain a broad range of midwifery skills across the pregnancy continuum- antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and community Health) is offering the midwifery care.
HNE he Maternity Services Team at Work with experienced and supportive staff pital. Maintain professional development
more information contact Doreen Holm on 0434603089 hospital forForthe Hunter New at John Hunter Hospital eachOr CVs and expressions of interest l hospital providing maternity carecan be forwarded to: ExpressionOfInterest@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au offers opportunities to:-
skills across the pregnancy ostnatal and community midwifery
uding midwifery group practices.
Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 25
Wanted Registered Midwives
Nursing congress to take global stage in Melbourne by Karen Keast More than 5000 nurse leaders from across the globe will converge on Melbourne next month to network, learn, debate, inspire and be inspired as part of the International Council of Nurses’ (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress. The Australian College of Nursing will host the congress, last held in Australia more than 50 years ago, which will showcase nursing innovation, new nursing roles and present cutting edge research from May 18-23. ACN executive manager business planning and development Helen Goodall said many nurses draw inspiration from attending the congress. “For many nurses in Australia the congress is a once in a life time opportunity to attend an international nursing event that attracts such a wide range of international speakers and delegates,” she said. “The atmosphere at the congress is generally charged with great excitement, professional pride, and a sense of international collegiality with as many as 5000 delegates expected.” The congress will feature the theme ‘equity and access to healthcare’, shining the spotlight on gender equity and the global epidemic of non– communicable diseases. “Inspiring plenary sessions will be dedicated to exploring the congress theme, offering the most recent expertise on wellness and prevention, the nursing workforce, ethics/human rights, clinical care and patient safety,” Ms Goodall said. “The congress will bring together evidence, experience and innovations highlighting the critical importance of equity and access to health care for communities and individuals, demonstrating how nurses are key to ensuring equal access and quality of health care for all.” Speakers at the five-day event will include HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein of Jordan, who founded the School of Nursing of Mu’tah Page 26 | www.ncah.com.au
The atmosphere at the congress is generally charged with great excitement, professional pride, and a sense of international collegiality with as many as 5000 delegates expected. – Helen Goodall ACN executive manager business planning and development University and has worked to establish an effective nursing workforce in the country, and UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa director Dr Sheila Tlou. Nurses will also have the opportunity to explore a range of sites showcasing Australia’s nursing services, range of models of care, nurse workforce design, and clinical settings. Ms Goodall said sites will include the Royal District Nursing Service’s contact centre, featuring telephone advice, counselling services and tele-health initiatives, and the new Dandenong Hospital Mental Health In-Patient facility. Former executive director of the Royal College of Nursing Australia and current ICN president Rosemary Bryant will preside over the congress. Australian nurses will also participate in the congress, with nurses submitting abstracts for presentation while 200 nurses will take on the role of abstract reviewers for the scientific program. The event will also feature an international student assembly, the announcement of the prestigious Florence Nightingale International Foundation Achievement Award and the Christiane Reimann Prize recipients. Registrations are now open http://www.icn2013.ch/en/registration
Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 27
Study calls for psychological screening of farmers with metabolic syndrome by Karen Keast Health professionals should screen for depression and anxiety as well as physical factors when it comes to detecting and treating metabolic syndrome, according to the results of a new study. In her two-year Deakin University doctoral study, health psychologist Nicole Jeffrey-Dawes found higher rates of metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raises the risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among farm men and women compared to the general population. Ms Jeffrey-Dawes has recommended GPs and primary care nurses use a simple self-report measure, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), when detecting and treating metabolic syndrome in a bid to improve health outcomes. The two-year study used data, collated through the Sustainable Farm Families program, involving 357 participants in the first year and 256 in the second year. Ms Jeffrey-Dawes, who is based in Kununurra in the East Kimberley region of northern Western Australia where she works as a youth mental health practitioner for Anglicare WA, found depression was linked to the development of metabolic syndrome, while both depression and anxiety were involved in the maintenance of metabolic syndrome. Ms Jeffrey-Dawes said farm men and women often have poorer health outcomes and experience unique economic, environmental and psychological stressors compared to the general population. “In primary health care, when people come in and they might be meeting three of the five factors for metabolic syndrome, rather than treating the physical symptoms they should also actually screen for depression and anxiety, and have treatment with a psychologist alongside it,” she said. “It makes sense. When people are depressed they are less likely to eat properly and exercise because they just don’t feel like it. Page 28 | www.ncah.com.au
“If that’s treated alongside the physical symptoms the chances are they will improve their physical outcomes.” Ms Jeffrey-Dawes said it was important to consider a holistic approach to health. “The holistic nature of physical health is a big one. We can’t look at treating the physical symptoms without looking at the psychological aspect of it and looking at the whole person.” Ms Jeffrey-Dawes presented the findings of her study at the inaugural Australian Psychological Society’s Health Psychology Conference 2013 held in Cairns from April 5-6. About 120 delegates attended the two-day APS conference with the theme ‘improving community and individual health’.
Queensland’s nursing casualty list escalates by Karen Keast The axe continues to fall in Queensland amid figures showing at least 700 public sector nursing and midwifery positions have been cut and more than 3400 positions culled at Queensland Health. The Queensland Nurses’ Union has released its latest ‘cuts list’ which shows the State Government has axed 705 full-time equivalent (FTE) nursing and midwifery positions and 3477 FTE jobs at the health department. But the union expects more jobs will be culled and estimates the tally could go as high as 1000 to 1500 FTE nursing and midwifery positions. QNU assistant secretary Des Elder said he had never experienced such a large scale attack on health services and the nursing profession. Mr Elder said the positions had been abolished right across the board, from senior nursing positions through to “massive cuts” to the intake of graduate nurses into the public system. “We have had some really quite traumatic things happen to some of the new grads in relation to being offered employment, moving to a city and then being told their contracts aren’t going to be fulfilled and there’s not going to be a job for them after all. That’s really disillusioning,” he said. “We are also seeing senior nursing positions being abolished. “To provide good governance and manage good quality care, we think that is going to be compromised because there isn’t the capacity in the system for those remaining senior nurses to fulfil their obligations.” The union’s extensive casualty list includes 71 FTE positions at Cape York, comprising five Directors of Nursing from remote facilities, five nursing positions at Emerald, 23 FTE nursing positions at Toowoomba Hospital and 40 FTE nursing positions at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.
The list also details more than 30 FTE nursing positions axed at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, the impending closure of the Moreton Bay Nursing Care Unit for aged care residents with 71 FTE nursing positions to be lost, more than 70 FTE nursing positions at Princess Alexandra Hospital and more than 60 FTE nursing positions at Townsville. Mr Elder said it was not yet clear if nurses who had lost their positions have found other work in the private sector but he feared many nurses nearing retirement age could “call it quits”. For the full article visit NCAH.com.au Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 7 | Page 29
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