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Issue 24 18 Issue 09/09/13 02/12/13 fortnightly fortnightly

Education Feature Nurse Leaders Feature Paramedics devastated at helicopter rescue death Aussies saving lives in the typhoon-decimated Philippines ACT nurses reach pay deal support for patients at risk Nurses provide out-of-hours Australian physiotherapists want–prescribing rightsinvestigation Social media and patient privacy a nurse leader’s Tasmanian graduate nursing positions disappointing: ANMF Prescribing pathway receives green light


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www.ncah.com.au www.ncah.com.au Issue 24 17 – 2 26December August 2013 Issue 2013 Issue 17 – 26 August 2013

We hope you enjoy perusing the range of opportunities We hope you enjoy perusing included in Issue 17, 2013. the range of opportunities 24, 2013. included in Issue 17, If you are interested in pursuing any of these opportunities, Ifplease you are interested in pursuing any ofvia these contact the advertiser directly the opportunities, contact details please contact the advertiser directly via the details provided. If you have any queries about ourcontact publication or provided. If you any queries about ourplease publication if you would likehave to receive our publication, emailor us ifatyou would like to receive our publication, please email us careers@ncah.com.au at careers@ncah.com.au

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The NCAH Magazine is the most widely distributed national The NCAH is the most widely distributed national nursing andMagazine allied health publication in Australia nursing and allied health publication in Australia For all advertising and production enquiries please contact For all advertising and8700, production us on +61 (0) 3 9271 email enquiries please contact us on +61 (0) 3 9271 8700, email careers@ncah.com.au or visit www.ncah.com.au careers@ncah.com.au or visit www.ncah.com.au If you would like to change your mailing address, Iforyou likeon toour change your mailing address, be would included distribution, please email or be included on our distribution, please email careers@ncah.com.au careers@ncah.com.au Published by Seabreeze Communications Pty Ltd Trading as NCAH. Published by 328 Seabreeze ABN 29 071 053. Communications Pty Ltd Trading as NCAH. ABN 29 071 328 053. © 2013 Seabreeze Communications Pty Ltd. © 2013 Seabreeze Communications Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or All rights reserved. part of this publication may bepermission copied or of reproduced by anyNo means without the prior written reproduced byCompliance any means without prior written permission the publisher. with thethe Trade Practices Act 1974 ofof the publisher. Compliance thepublication Trade Practices Act 1974 of of advertisements containedwith in this is the responsibility advertisements contained in this publication is the responsibility of those who submit the advertisement for publication. those who submit the advertisement for publication.

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Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service The Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service is the regional provider of mental health services in Gippsland. LRHMHS operates an integrated mental health program across ten sites and provides inpatient and community mental heath care for child and youth, adult and aged care service streams. LRHMHS also operates a Community Residential Care Unit and a Prevention and Recovery Care Unit. The Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service is located in Gippsland – home to sandy beaches, snowfields, mountains and national parks. Gippsland provides a fantastic rural lifestyle with easy access to Melbourne. Mental Health services are moving into an exciting period of reform. This reform will focus on early intervention, prevention, social inclusion and recovery. LRHMHS is implementing an exciting new specialist model of care in 2014 and we are seeking dynamic staff to join our team.

We have positions in the following areas: ➤ Manager Aged Persons Community Mental Health Team ➤ Registered Nurses Acute Inpatient Units – Adult and Aged ➤ Enrolled Nurses (Medication Endorsed) Acute Inpatient Units – Adult and Aged ➤ Community Clinicians – Adult and Aged Teams ➤ Clinical Nurse Educator/Practice Development Nurse – Mental Health Professional Development Unit Full time, part time, casual, temporary and permanent positions are available. LRHMHS offers a supportive environment with clinical educators, preceptors, clinical supervision, a nurse practitioner candidate program and professional development opportunities.

Please visit www.lrh.com.au and go to our employment section. For enquiries please contact Cayte Hoppner, Director of Mental Health on 03 51738549 or choppner@lrh.com.au Page 10 | www.ncah.com.au


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Prescribing pathway receives green light by Karen Keast A new report recommends extending the scope of practice of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to diagnose and prescribe medication. Health Workforce Australia’s draft Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway (HPPP) has given the green light to prescribing rights for nonmedical health practitioners, including nurses, midwives, pharmacists and physiotherapists. Health Ministers at the Standing Council on Health have also agreed to endorse the HPPP, which could result in a major reform of the nation’s health workforce. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation federal secretary Lee Thomas applauded the move. “This initiative will assist in creating a sustainable model of care across the community by improving patents’ access to be diagnosed and be provided with medications, giving them more choice in terms of accessing primary healthcare, without the lengthy waiting times often experienced in a doctor’s surgery or medical centres,” she said. Ms Thomas said more than 500 nurse practitioners and eligible midwives already have the authority to write prescriptions that qualify for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). She also urged all healthcare professionals to work together to provide patients with improved models of care now and in the future. “Predictably, critics have come out against the plan, claiming it will fragment patient care, but they must realise that doctors are no longer at the centre of patient care, given that nurses and midwives are highly qualified, regulated health professionals who determine their own scope of practice, each and every day,” she said. For the full article visit NCAH.com.au Page 12 | www.ncah.com.au


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Social media and patient privacy – a nurse leader’s investigation Nurses and midwives are overwhelming embracing social media to share information but when does posting and tweeting breach patient privacy? One of Australia’s emerging nurse leaders put nurses’ use of social media under the microscope – and she was alarmed at what she found, writes Karen Keast.

: TH S UT EAL H

Her findings, and her suggestions for how nurses can improve their social media posts in line with patient privacy, became one of the highlight presentations, titled ‘Social Media and Patient Privacy – Where’s the Line?’, at the International Council of Nurses Congress’ Student Assembly.

Expand your career opportunities

Ms Bickhoff, who also presented on the topic at the CranaPlus 2013 national conference, says many nurses have since told her they never realised what they were posting might be considered a breach of privacy.

There’s an image of a patient’s blood splattered across a bathroom, another disturbing picture of a dead patient while yet another photo shows the gruesome aftermath of a gun shot UTS Master of Nursing of than the posts to the face. “What concernedand me Master even more

Health Services have was thatManagement no-one seemed toflexible be questioning These images, some of them captured whether they were appropriate or should be and in adaptive pathways to help you achieve Australia, have all been shared on social media. removed,” she says. your career goals.

18011 / IMAGe BY ANNA ZHU

What’s more, they all appear to haveFind beenout more “Thereabout did notour seem to be any malicious intent immersive shared by healthcare professionals including behind the posts peoplelearning honestly did not master classes, supported online nurses. seem to realise what they were doing might and globally connected academics at be breaching patient privacy or what harm the “To be honest, I was quite shocked athealth.uts.edu.au/leadership how posts might cause.” many examples I found of nurses breaching Phone: 1300 ASK UTS New figures from www.socialmedianews.com. patient privacy,” Laurie Bickhoff says. au show social media continues to grow in Email: health @uts.edu.au Australia with 12,800,000 active Facebook “Public Facebook pages dedicated to nursing users in Australia in October, 11.8 million on often have some very graphic images and YouTube, 5.1 million on WordPress.com, 4.1 posts which are very demeaning or derogatory million on Tumblr, 3.5 million on LinkedIn, 3.1 to patients. million on Blogspot and 2.5 million on Twitter. “Twitter, and the anonymous aspect of tweeting, UTS CRICOS PROvIdeR COde 00099F A survey out of the United States in 2012 shed sees some of the worst breaches and these are some light on how nurses are using social easily accessible to any member of the public.” media. A registered nurse at New South Wales’ John In the Nursing Times study, 27 per cent of Hunter Hospital in the HNELHD New Graduate nurses revealed they use social media to share Transition to Practice program, Ms Bickhoff is stories about working life. completing the second year of the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader program. Forty one per cent of nurses in the survey reported their colleagues used social media When she found some inappropriate posts on inappropriately, 32 per cent of those posts Facebook and Twitter, Ms Bickhoff decided to contained information about patients and 12 investigate nurses’ use of social media. per cent featured photos of patients. Page 14 | www.ncah.com.au


324-040 CMYK PDF 323-047 1/2PG FULL COLOUR 324-029 1/2PG FULL COL Ms Bickhoff says one of the most common mistakes nurses make is believing their decision not to name a patient means they are not breaching patient privacy. “The posting or misuse of any information gathered whilst caring for a patient is a breach of their privacy, regardless of whether any identifying information is used,” sheBOARD says. KATHERINE WEST HEALTH

community controlled health organisation

providing a clinical, preventative public Inappropriate use of social media &can have long healthimplications. service to clients in the large outback lasting

region west of Katherine in the Northern It Territory. directly reflects on the entire nursing

profession, long regarded as one of the most trusted and ethical professions, negatively affecting the nurse-patient relationship.

mental health - nurse Mspractitioner Bickhoff says it can also jeopardise a nurse’s career, from- legal consequences with criminal $107,106 $111,391 charges grievous casesforofabreach KWHBfor are advertising Mentalof privacy, civil claims for derogatory Health Nurse Practitionerortodefaming provide posts, toexpert also affecting a clients nurse’s requiring current and future support to mental employment. health care, their families and our remote based staff “Many employers nowposition look uppromotes social media providing care. This interactions pre-employment screening,” excellence as in clinical standards and she says. quality of care, and works closely with the broader PHC team to integrate and “If reported to your current workplace, you can coordinate care for best outcomes for be suspended or fired. AHPRA can issue verbal the client. or written warnings or even suspend or revoke your registration.” Our Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will be a registered nurse, educated and authorised However, Ms Bickhoff says socialto function media – autonomously and collaboratively an advanced when used correctly – canin also boost your and extended clinical role in the domain of mental career, health. whether it’s enabling you to connect

with potential employers through sites such as All applications should address the selection criteria, LinkedIn or connecting with other healthcare which can be found in the position description on our professionals. website at www.kwhb.com.au.

For more you media can contact HR “You can information, use social to our highlight your Manager Trudi Hartley on (08) 8963 achievements or promote your6434. research,” she says. Aboriginal people are encouraged to apply. All prospective staff need to satisfy a criminal history check and obtain an OCHRE (working with children) card. Applications close Monday 9

“Social media December 2013. can open the door to amazing opportunities which you may never have heard of otherwise.”

She uses Facebook as per personal page, restricting her ‘friends’ to her family and real-life friends while she uses Twitter to engage with others in the nursing profession.

Nurse Unit Manager “They (Twitter) contain links to interesting Operating Suite articles or research or some of my random observations on life as a nurse,” she says.

Applications are sought from motivated

Nurses formy the ward Nurse Unit Manager “I Registered do not discuss patients, work position of or thehospital Operating which is colleagues onSuite either page.” comprised of 4 theatres, Post-Acute Care Unit

Ms Bickhoff says we often just how (PACU), Central Sterilising Supplyforget Department public social media is and she advises nurses (CSSD) and Day Procedure Unit. to consider everything they post online as Latrobeavailable. Regional Hospital is the major referral publicly

Hospital for the Gippsland Region. Surgical

“Ifservices you would beOrthopaedics, worried if your patient, your include General, colleagues, boss or Urology, AHPRAENT, saw it, then Obstetrics &your Gynaecology, chances are it shouldn’t be on social media,” Vascular and Endoscopy. she says.

The successful applicant shall be:

“Even with the highest privacy settings, - a Registered screenshots of Nurse posts(AHPRA) can be taken and shared strongsites, leaderso you never really know who on- aother will see your posts. - skilled in time management including

meeting deadlines “(On Facebook) I have the highest level privacy settings attached, which I review monthly as - committed to patient-centred care and they can improvement change without you realising as FB quality updates.” - self-motivated with excellent communication skillsshould familiarise themselves with social Nurses

media local Most hospitals, - able policy to workatas apart of alevel. team in planning, organisations health services have implementingand and local evaluating change their own rules on social media use.

Applications Close 9 December 2013

At a national level, AHPRA plans to release its social media guidelines, which will act as a The successful applicant all will14 beNational required Boards, to generic policy spanning for and satisfactorily obtain a National inapply 2014.

Police Check.

Ms Bickhoff says education is the key to improving nurses’ social media use alongside self-regulation. To apply for this vacancy please visit “We they

our website – www.lrh.com.au Career need to empower our colleagues so Section or contact Employee Services have the courage to question friends, on 03 5173 8635. continues overleaf

Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 15

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“We live in a world which is only getting smaller Katherine West Health Board (KWHB) is a can and it will surprise you how easily someone fully accredited Aboriginal bestrong, identified.”

Ms Bickhoff uses both Facebook and Twitter but keeps the two social media sites very separate.


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Nurse leadership: a male perspective Recently accepted into the 2014 Australian College of Nursing Emerging Nurse Leaders program, Evan Casella has a raft of plans that have the potential to drive the positive transformation of the healthcare sector. Having travelled extensively, Evan says he emerged from his voyages with “a strong desire to make positive changes for humanity” and decided on a career in nursing as “a profession dedicated to delivering holistic care, not just to individuals but also to whole populations.” And as a male in a predominantly female profession, he is also possessed of a keen interest in changing stereotypes of male nurses to encourage more men to qualify as nurses. “I see contributing to diversity in nurse leadership as really important; the best and most effective decisions are usually based on diverse points of view. Despite many advances in workforce equality, a lingering stigma still remains around perceptions of male nurses and a key focus of my participation in the program will be redressing that balance. This is by no means about competing with women, whose contribution to nursing is beyond question; it’s more about bringing what I consider a valuable male perspective to the role.” Another of Evan’s interest lies in re-thinking the area of healthcare delivery. “While the biomedical model of healthcare has been the dominant one for many years, a more

I think there’s a perception out there that health is about the absence of disease, but it’s about so much more than that. – Evan Casella

Page 16 | www.ncah.com.au

holistic approach certainly has a lot to offer the healthcare sector. This can be both in terms of encouraging a more interdisciplinary ethos through greater interface and communication, but it’s also about looking at the wider aspects of health in terms of prevention, and in terms of social and emotional wellbeing and community development. I think there’s a perception out there that health is about the absence of disease, but it’s about so much more than that.” The use of technology, social media in particular, is another key area of interest, and one that plays well into potential advances in primary healthcare, says Evan. “Social media in the healthcare sector has attracted some negative publicity in recent times, but I believe that’s due to a lack of education in how to use it effectively. I can really see a future in which social media plays a key role in educating nurses, as well as keeping those working in rural and remote areas connected.”


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NURSE UNIT MANAGER (Medical Unit) Hamilton, Victoria The Medical Unit offers a diverse range of services including Medical, Subacute Rehab, Day Oncology and Critical Care & Emergency Services. The Nurse Unit Manager position is well supported by a number of specialist nurses who assist in the coordination of clinical practice in the specialty areas. • 5 ED Cubicles • 4 ICU beds • 23 Acute Beds (Includes 8 Funded sub-acute rehab/GEM beds • 3 Chemotherapy Cubicles This role offers the successful applicant the opportunity to work in a progressive and stimulating environment at Western District Health Service. This position requires strong leadership skills and a focus on clinical outcomes. The successful candidate for this role will need to have advanced clinical skills, demonstrate effective and professional nursing practices in planning, implementing and monitoring effective nursing practice. To be successful in this role, you will need to demonstrate and possess: 1. Current registration with the Nursing Board of Australia. 2. Previous management experience in a similar environment. 3. The ability to co-ordinate and promote the organisations quality improvement program.

For full details of this and other nursing and allied health vacancies visit our web site at:

www.ahnr.com.au

Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 17


Social media and patient privacy – a nurse leader’s investigation Nurses and midwives are overwhelming embracing social media to share information but when does posting and tweeting breach patient privacy? One of Australia’s emerging nurse leaders put nurses’ use of social media under the microscope – and she was alarmed at what she found, writes Karen Keast. There’s an image of a patient’s blood splattered across a bathroom, another disturbing picture of a dead patient while yet another photo shows the gruesome aftermath of a gun shot to the face. These images, some of them captured in Australia, have all been shared on social media. What’s more, they all appear to have been shared by healthcare professionals including nurses. “To be honest, I was quite shocked at how many examples I found of nurses breaching patient privacy,” Laurie Bickhoff says. “Public Facebook pages dedicated to nursing often have some very graphic images and posts which are very demeaning or derogatory to patients. “Twitter, and the anonymous aspect of tweeting, sees some of the worst breaches and these are easily accessible to any member of the public.” A registered nurse at New South Wales’ John Hunter Hospital in the HNELHD New Graduate Transition to Practice program, Ms Bickhoff is completing the second year of the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader program. When she found some inappropriate posts on Facebook and Twitter, Ms Bickhoff decided to investigate nurses’ use of social media. Page 18 | www.ncah.com.au

Her findings, and her suggestions for how nurses can improve their social media posts in line with patient privacy, became one of the highlight presentations, titled ‘Social Media and Patient Privacy – Where’s the Line?’, at the International Council of Nurses Congress’ Student Assembly. Ms Bickhoff, who also presented on the topic at the CranaPlus 2013 national conference, says many nurses have since told her they never realised what they were posting might be considered a breach of privacy. “What concerned me even more than the posts was that no-one seemed to be questioning whether they were appropriate or should be removed,” she says. “There did not seem to be any malicious intent behind the posts - people honestly did not seem to realise what they were doing might be breaching patient privacy or what harm the posts might cause.” New figures from www.socialmedianews.com. au show social media continues to grow in Australia with 12,800,000 active Facebook users in Australia in October, 11.8 million on YouTube, 5.1 million on WordPress.com, 4.1 million on Tumblr, 3.5 million on LinkedIn, 3.1 million on Blogspot and 2.5 million on Twitter. A survey out of the United States in 2012 shed some light on how nurses are using social media. In the Nursing Times study, 27 per cent of nurses revealed they use social media to share stories about working life. Forty one per cent of nurses in the survey reported their colleagues used social media inappropriately, 32 per cent of those posts contained information about patients and 12 per cent featured photos of patients.


Ms Bickhoff says one of the most common mistakes nurses make is believing their decision not to name a patient means they are not breaching patient privacy. “The posting or misuse of any information gathered whilst caring for a patient is a breach of their privacy, regardless of whether any identifying information is used,” she says.

Inappropriate use of social media can have long lasting implications. It directly reflects on the entire nursing profession, long regarded as one of the most trusted and ethical professions, negatively affecting the nurse-patient relationship. Ms Bickhoff says it can also jeopardise a nurse’s career, from legal consequences with criminal charges for grievous cases of breach of privacy, civil claims for derogatory or defaming posts, to also affecting a nurse’s current and future employment. “Many employers now look up social media interactions as pre-employment screening,” she says. “If reported to your current workplace, you can be suspended or fired. AHPRA can issue verbal or written warnings or even suspend or revoke your registration.” However, Ms Bickhoff says social media – when used correctly – can also boost your career, whether it’s enabling you to connect with potential employers through sites such as LinkedIn or connecting with other healthcare professionals. “You can use social media to highlight your achievements or promote your research,” she says. “Social media can open the door to amazing opportunities which you may never have heard of otherwise.”

She uses Facebook as per personal page, restricting her ‘friends’ to her family and real-life friends while she uses Twitter to engage with others in the nursing profession. “They (Twitter) contain links to interesting articles or research or some of my random observations on life as a nurse,” she says. “I do not discuss my ward patients, work colleagues or hospital on either page.” Ms Bickhoff says we often forget just how public social media is and she advises nurses to consider everything they post online as publicly available. “If you would be worried if your patient, your colleagues, your boss or AHPRA saw it, then chances are it shouldn’t be on social media,” she says. “Even with the highest privacy settings, screenshots of posts can be taken and shared on other sites, so you never really know who will see your posts. “(On Facebook) I have the highest level privacy settings attached, which I review monthly as they can change without you realising as FB updates.” Nurses should familiarise themselves with social media policy at a local level. Most hospitals, organisations and local health services have their own rules on social media use. At a national level, AHPRA plans to release its social media guidelines, which will act as a generic policy spanning all 14 National Boards, in 2014. Ms Bickhoff says education is the key to improving nurses’ social media use alongside self-regulation. “We need to empower our colleagues so they have the courage to question friends, continues overleaf Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 19

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“We live in a world which is only getting smaller and it will surprise you how easily someone can be identified.”

Ms Bickhoff uses both Facebook and Twitter but keeps the two social media sites very separate.


324-008 1/2PG FULL CO 1/2PG FULL COLO 321-008 324-028 1/2PG FULL 1318-009 COLOUR CMYK PDF colleagues, perhaps even their boss if their post is inappropriate.” Ms Bickhoff says she hopes her presentations will generate discussion and improve the content of material nurses post online. “I have had numerous people tell me they have changed their social media habits after learning of the consequences of these posts and that inspires me,” she says. “The most common feedback I get, however, is that this is an important issue and nurses are very keen for guidance and discussions on social media. “Nurses are realising just what a great tool social media is and don’t want the actions of a few to cast dispersions on the many nurses who use social media correctly and the many that share wonderful and educational material online.” Laurie’s tips for nurses using social media: • Everything you post online should be considered public

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• Try to view your posts through the public’s eyes, not those of a nurse. After all, they will be the ones judging it. While many nurses will share the same sense of humour or understand that you may just be letting off some steam, many posts can be misconstrued as uncaring or demeaning by the public • Before you hit ‘post’, consider how you would feel if the post was about you or your loved one • Keep work offline. Tea rooms are a great place to debrief but social media isn’t • Know the social media policies that apply to you in your workplace. Consider what information your profile shares about you. Remember your actions reflect on all nurses. Page 20 | www.ncah.com.au

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LOUR CMYK 1320-018 1/2PG 324-015 322-014PDF 1/2PGFULL FULLCOLOUR COLOURCMYK CMYK(repeat) PDF UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR REGISTERED NURSES Are you a self-motivated registered nurse searching for work/life balance? Are you an ICU, ED, recovery, HITH, or even remote nurse searching for a way to earn income, and fit in around your existing lifestyle? Lifescreen provides Health Services to the Insurance Industry, and Clinical Services for several pharmaceutical companies. We are looking for nurses to join our expanding operations to provide community-based services for our clients. Lifescreen can offer you: • Extra $$$ • Work/life balance • Continuity of patient care • Job satisfaction • Certified CPR/anaphylaxis training provided at no cost to you

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www.acn.edu.au | freecall 1800 061 660 Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 21


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Nurses provide out-of-hours support for patients at risk by Karen Keast A team of six clinical resource nurses will form a service dedicated to supporting seriously ill patients on weekends and evenings at New Zealand’s Waikato Hospital. The Patient At Risk service has been formed to assist with unstable or deteriorating patients and support nurses and doctors with acute or complex care cases out-of-hours. The six nurses have provided the support for many years but now their role has been formalised and extended to include a caseload of patients transferred from critical care to the general hospital wards. “It is important for patients and their families to know that we have good systems in place to monitor patients and keep them safe, especially at out-of-hours times when the hospital can appear to be quiet,” Waikato DHB chief operating officer Jan Adams said in a statement. “All our staff are trained to identify deteriorating or concerning conditions in patients, but the Patient At Risk team will give them experienced and skilled support on hand.” Waikato DHB hospitals have also introduced an internationally-recognised scoring system, the Adult Deterioration and Detection System, to help staff identify when a patient’s condition is deteriorating. The early warning score will be used with the Patient At Risk team skills to provide early detection and medical intervention. The DHB’s announcement of a raft of new initiatives to improve patient safety coincides with the release of its serious adverse events for the year 2012-13. The report revealed 39 events in a period when the DHB had 103,337 inpatients in its five hospitals. Page 22 | www.ncah.com.au

The events include two where patients received the wrong procedure or it was performed at the wrong site and three cases where a product was retain during a surgical procedure. A teenage boy also died after a serious infection, after he presented to ED with a knee injury, while five patients died when their deterioration was not identified in a timely manner. The Health Quality and Safety Commission also released the 2012–13 report of serious adverse events reported by DHBs and, for the first time, other health providers, including private surgical hospitals, rest homes, hospices, disability services, ambulance services, primary health organisations, the national screening unit, and primary care providers, which reported 52 events. In 2011-12, DHBs reported 360 events, representing a 21 per cent rise in the number of DHB-reported events. Adverse events for 2012-13 include 253 instances of serious harm from falls, 179 clinical management events, including delays in treatment, concerns about the accuracy of diagnoses, inadequate patient monitoring in hospital, and near misses, and 24 medication events.


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Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 23

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Aussies saving lives in the typhoon-decimated Philippines by Karen Keast Welcome to Camp Kookaburra at Tacloban in the Philippines. This is the Australian Medical Assistance Team’s (AusMAT) home away from home in the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Every morning, a doctor begins the day with a kookaburra call, bringing a touch of the Australian bush to the site where 37 health professionals and logisticians from every Australian state and territory, and from New Zealand, are working to save lives.

In its first five days in Tacloban, the team performed 72 surgeries, treated 587 outpatients and 108 inpatients at the field hospital.

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The first deployment, coordinated by Darwin’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC), was sent shortly after the November 8 typhoon, establishing a base at Tacloban airport and beginning surgical operations at the field hospital.

“I’m advised that Philippines President Benigno Aquino visited the Australian field hospital…and was visibly moved by the level of care being provided by the Australian medical team.” The second AusMAT team comprises a team leader, 12 doctors, including two surgeons, two Christmas Clips anaesthetists, seven emergency physicians and an environmental health doctor, as well as 15 nurses, including four operating theatre nurses, two $ paramedics, one pharmacist and six logisticians.

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Late last month, Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton announced a second Australian medical team would also be deployed.

The helping to keep the healthcare professionals connected to their family, friends and colleagues back home, shows images of the team at work in the disaster area. It shows pictures of AusMAT team members entertaining their littlest patients, the extent of the debris in the wake of the typhoon, US Seahawks delivering patients to the helipad at the hospital, and it provides a look inside the field hospital, which features a fully-equipped OR with sterilisation and X-ray units. The first AusMAT team, who have participated in specific overseas medical deployment training, comprises eight doctors, including two surgeons and two anaesthetists, and 15 nurses. It also includes four paramedics, one pharmacist, one radiographer, an environmental health officer and six logisticians from the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service. Page 24 | www.ncah.com.au

specific overseas medical deployment training. The first AusMAT team took medical equipment and supplies with the capacity to treat up to 4000 patients over a two-week period in the temporary 60-bed hospital. Syringe Pens

Former Prime Minister John Howard established the NCCTRC in response to the Bali bombings to deal with crises, such as Typhoon Haiyan, which is now responsible for a death toll surpassing 5200.

I’m advised that Philippines President Benigno Aquino visited the Australian field hospital…and was visibly moved by the level of care being provided by the Australian medical team.

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Physiotherapists label bed rest a pain in the back by Karen Keast Physiotherapists are warning New Zealanders against retreating to their beds to treat back pain. Physiotherapy New Zealand research reveals that while 90 per cent of survey respondents blame slouching, at 35 per cent, and lifting heavy objects, at 32 per cent, for triggering back pain, one in five use bed rest as a treatment method. Physiotherapy New Zealand president Gill Stotter said the survey’s results are alarming. “My message to anyone experiencing mild back pain is to stay active,” she said. “Bed rest as a treatment is a myth, and one that we need to stamp out. The evidence clearly shows that being inactive or taking to your bed will not help. “If you’re afraid of certain exercises then a physio can advise on the level of activity and particular exercises that are right for you.” Treatment for back pain is one of the most common services the nation’s 4,100 physiotherapists provide. “Physiotherapists are vital in the treatment process of back pain because they have an understanding of body mechanics, the ability to identify warning signs and they can focus on early treatment and prevention of future injuries,” Ms Stotter said. Ms Stotter said New Zealand physiotherapists have led the world in the treatment of low back pain with the development of manual therapy techniques. “The methods of physiotherapists such as Robin McKenzie and Brian Mulligan are taught and used worldwide.” Back pain is one of the most common reasons for time off work but is often preventable, Ms Stotter said. Page 26 | www.ncah.com.au

“Improving our posture and taking care when lifting heavy objects are simple steps that we can take to help protect our backs in the future,” she said. “This is particularly important to office workers who may be sitting hunched over at their desks for hours without breaks or stretching.” Ms Stotter said it’s time to start challenging some of the myths that still surround back pain with the survey revealing 62 per cent of people believe back pain is due to something being out of place. “In reality, most back pain is caused by strains to the ligaments, tendons and muscles that support the back,” she said. “Manipulating the back often provides pain relief and assists with restoring joint movement but it does not ‘pop’ something back into place. “If you are one of the millions experiencing back pain then remember that keeping active is really important. “If your back pain is due to poor body mechanics or weak posture then it can be easily treated, and more importantly prevented.” Physiotherapy New Zealand has produced a free ebook called ‘Taking Care of Your Back’ on the treatment and prevention of back pain, available at www.physiotherapy.org.nz.

My message to anyone experiencing mild back pain is to stay active – Gill Stotter Physiotherapy New Zealand president


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ncah.com.au

Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 27


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More nursing and allied health university places by Karen Keast An extra 1515 postgraduate nursing and allied health places will be created in the next four years to support Australia’s ageing population. Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced the extra places, alongside 1953 new places for language diplomas and 1000 places in tertiary preparation, which will come with a $62 million price tag. “The government has paid particular attention in allocating places to support universities that are serving regions with a high need for trained professionals in skills shortage occupations,” Mr Pyne said in a statement. Under the announcement, Deakin University will receive 160 Master of Optometry places over four years and Flinders University will gain 160 places for its Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Nursing.

Griffith University will receive 158 places for its Master of Nursing and 41 for its Master for Audiology while Central Queensland University will gain 150 for its Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography, 60 for its Master of Mental Health Nursing and 60 for its Master of Podiatry. Queensland University of Technology will gain 148 places for its Master of Optometry, 42 for its Master of Psychology and 20 for its Graduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound. University of Western Sydney will receive 60 places in its Master of Podiatric Medicine, Macquarie University will gain 40 places for its Master of Clinical Audiology, Curtin University of Technology will gain 52 places for its Master of Medical Sonography and 80 for its Master of Psychology.

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Greater allied health integration needed in aged care Integration of the allied health professions into aged care has been identified as a key issue for the sector, despite increased evidence showing the benefits of multidisciplinary teams in aged care. Media coverage in Australian Ageing Agenda has indicated that according to the latest aged care workforce data, the number of allied health workers dropped from 9875 in 2007 to 7649 in 2012. Meanwhile Lin Oke, president of Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), reportedly indicated that the number of allied health workers in aged care had not kept pace with their expansion in other parts of the health system, such as primary care and disability. It is understood that a significant majority (65 per cent) of allied health workers in aged care are certificate III and IV qualified allied health assistants. By contrast in other sectors allied Page 28 | www.ncah.com.au

health professionals hold roles that extend beyond the delivery of health services to clinical leadership, quality assurance and management. Meanwhile knowledge of what allied health professionals can offer the sector is poorly understood and access to allied health services remains limited with funding barriers, low status and limited advocacy all playing a role. The report indicated the number of the allied health professions also further complicated the advocacy story. In addition, few of the allied health professions actually had ‘gerontology’, ‘social gerontology’, ‘aged care’ or ‘ageing’ as a specialty within their field in order to promote the relevance of their members’ skills to the aged care sector and governments. For the full article visit NCAH.com.au


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Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24 | Page 29


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Bathurst nurses strike over cutbacks by Karen Keast Nurses at New South Wales’ Bathurst Hospital have taken 24-hour strike action in opposition to planned cutbacks at the facility.

“We don’t expect that any permanent nurses will be offered redundancies but casuals and temporary staff will have less work or no work.”

Five beds in the medical ward will close from December 9 and the ward will be staffed to just 15 beds, with plans for the remaining beds to be available as part of the hospital’s surge capacity.

Mr Holmes said the bed closures are part of a wider attack to rein in more than $19 million in the Western NSW Local Health District’s budget.

The move has angered nurses who, at the time of publication, were planning to take the strike action from 7am on November 29, while nurses will also host a community forum to raise public support for their fight. New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) general secretary Brett Holmes said the dispute has “boiled over”. “Nurses have agreed to undertake a 24-hour strike from 7am on Friday to 7am on Saturday with the provision of skeleton staffing at night duty levels for that period and to maintain a presence outside the hospital for that period of time,” he said in the lead up to the strike. “It’s a rare event that nurses take this sort of action. I am sure they will make their decision about whether future action is necessary.” Mr Holmes said the nurses are passionate about fighting the planned closure. “I am told that 70 nurses turned up to a meeting today at Bathurst - now that’s an extraordinary number of nurses and midwives to turn up in a smallish hospital at Bathurst,” he said. “It should send a very clear message to management and government that those nurses are wanting to maintain services for the public of Bathurst.” Mr Holmes said the bed closures will affect 5.3 full-time equivalent nursing positions. “They will be transferring any excess nurses out of that ward to other vacant areas around the hospital,” he said. Page 30 | www.ncah.com.au

“That roughly equates to something like 300 full-time equivalent staff across western New South Wales,” he said. “We are of course very concerned for service provision and employment in western New South Wales.” Western NSW Local Health District recently announced plans for a new outpatient clinic at the hospital and a new structured daily rounds program. With bed closures earmarked for the medical ward, it will revoke previously planned cuts to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. The LHD also has plans for an independent review to be held into the hospital and its services.

Nurses have agreed to undertake a 24-hour strike from 7am on Friday to 7am on Saturday with the provision of skeleton staffing at night duty levels for that period and to maintain a presence outside the hospital for that period of time

– Brett Holmes NSWNMA general secretary


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Nursing Careers Allied Health - Issue 24


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