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The magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

volume 69 no.5 June 2012

FIGHTING FOR MY FUTURE Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033

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NSW Nurses’ Association For all membership enquiries and assistance, including Lamp subscriptions and change of address, contact our Sydney office. Sydney Office 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017 (all correspondence) T 8595 1234 (metro) 1300 367 962 (non-metro) F 9662 1414 E W

Volume 69 No.5 June 2012

Hunter Office 8-14 Telford Street, Newcastle East NSW 2300


NSWNA Communications Manager Janaki Chellam-Rajendra T 8595 1258

12 | Injured nurses pushed toward poverty Proposed changes to the NSW workers’ compensation scheme will only add to the physical, financial and social costs borne by injured nurses.

Emily Orchard RN

5 6 8 11 17 38 40 42 46 47 50 52 54


Editorial Your letters News in brief What’s on Ask Judith Social media Nurse uncut Nursing research online Crossword Books Movie of the month Obituary Diary dates TIME TO ACT

22 | A picnic with better pay on the menu

18 | RNs returning to troubled nursing home The NSW Nurses’ Association has forced an aged care facility to ensure that registered nurses are rostered on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week



55,720 Audit Period: April 1 2011 – March 31 2012

Advertising Patricia Purcell T 8595 2139 or 0416 259 845 or F 9662 1414 E

The Lamp ISSN: 0047-3936

26 | Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan

32 | In the footsteps of those who fell

This publication has been independently audited by the Circulations Audit Board.

Editorial Committee • Brett Holmes, NSWNA General Secretary • Judith Kiejda, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary • Coral Levett, NSWNA President • Roz Norman, Tamworth Base Hospital • Elsie May Henson, Barraba Multi Purpose Service • Peg Hibbert, Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital • Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care • Richard Noort, Justice Health

Records and Information Centre – Library To find old articles in The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNA nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, RIC Coordinator T 8595 2175 E

A new exhibition at the Australian War Memorial, explores the personal stories of Australian military nurses.


Produced by Hester Communications T 9568 3148 Press Releases Send your press releases to: F 9662 1414 E




Former NSWNA president Jennifer Collins visited the grave of the only nurse buried at the end of the Kokoda Track.

General disclaimer The Lamp is the official magazine of the NSWNA. Views expressed in articles are contributors’ own and not necessarily those of the NSWNA. Statements of fact are believed to be true, but no legal responsibility is accepted for them. All material appearing in The Lamp is covered by copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. The NSWNA takes no responsibility for the advertising appearing herein and it does not necessarily endorse any products advertised. Privacy Privacy statement: The NSWNA collects personal information from members in order to perform our role of representing their industrial and professional interests. We place great emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the privacy and security of your personal information. Personal information is protected under law and can only be released to someone else where the law requires or where you give permission. If you have concerns about your personal information please contact the NSWNA office. If you are still not satisfied that your privacy is being maintained you can contact the Privacy Commission. Subscriptions for 2012 Free to all Association members. Professional members can subscribe to the magazine at a reduced rate of $50. Individuals $78, Institutions $130, Overseas $140. THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 3


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Convert n nver t from from Payroll P Deductions to Direct Debit or join the NSWNA Direct Debit to pay your fees for a chance to W WNA using D win a luxur luxurious stay for two at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel at The Rocks, Sydney. This fabulous Direct Debit prize includes two-nights in a deluxe grand harbour view room for two at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. Prize includes breakfast daily, a $50 food and beverage voucher, parking, a $300 gift voucher to spend for a treatment at CHI, The Spa, PLUS two tickets to any Sydney show of your choice to the value of $150 per ticket. Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, has recently refurbished 477 of its beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites so you will be experiencing a brand new level of luxury when you stay. The spacious new rooms feature purpose-built window seating, custom designed furniture and carpet and technological enhancements include universal plugs, an iHome dock and Bluetooth media hubs nc and sensor air conditioning and master lighting. Ideal for a relaxing weekend away. Visit www. dit and information. sh for for bookings bo

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ot only only the the easiest easiest and and most most convenient convenient way way to to pay pay your your membership, memb bership, but but Direct debit is not issk yyour our m embership switching over from membership rom payroll payroll deduction deduction could coul u d win win you you a luxury lu uxxury holiday! holidayy! Don’t Don’t rrisk on the the job. job. lapsing from changing protected on anging workplaces. workkplaces. With With direct d direct debit debit you you are are always always protected ded fr om our pplication for ms or Dir e Membership Application forms Direct from ect Debit forms forms can be downloaded download 95 1234 website Alternatively 8595 Alte ernatively call the NSWNA on 859 (metro area) or 1300 367 962 (non-m (non-metro area) more information. metro ar ea) for mor e infor mation.


We have strict financial safeguards in place The very public ructions at the Health Services Union (HSU) have understandably caused a lot of disquiet among members in the broader union movement, including nurses. I SHARE THIS DISQUIET, AS DO OTHER union leaders, at what we are hearing about practices at the HSU. There have been very serious allegations about the misuse of union credit cards and funds. I would like to explain the checks and balances that exist at the NSWNA to provide institutional safeguards against such behavior in your union. Credit cards are available to a number of staff members. This is unavoidable in an organisation such as ours, where travel is a core characteristic of a union official’s role. They are essential to the efficient running of the union. But the use of Association credit cards is strictly monitored and restricted and these checks and balances are embedded in Association policy. Cash withdrawals are not available. The use of the union credit card for personal expenses is forbidden. Each week our finance department downloads all transactions from all credit cards and examines them for fraud or inappropriate use. The monthly statement of each card is vetted by the staff member’s manager and is subject to vigorous oversight by the finance department. OUR FINANCES ARE SUBJECT TO MANY LAYERS OF ACCOUNTABILITY Similarly the NSWNA’s accounts are subject to strong oversight. The Association’s accounts, including a monthly balance sheet, are presented to the NSWNA Council each month. Council is not just provided with an overview but also an analysis of performance – category by category – against budget for that month and for the year to date. The balance sheet contains a full list of all payments made for that month with the name of the payee, the amount and a description of the transaction. The council is made up of the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary who answer to 21 councillors – all of them working nurses – who provide external oversight and accountability to the running of the union.

The accounts are subject to a vigorous external annual audit. The auditors go through all the council minutes in detail. All big-ticket expenditures, like advertising campaigns, must be pre-approved by council. The auditors verify that these expenditures are then consistent with council approval. The auditors not only look at the detail of expenditures they also stress test the financial methodologies that we use. They comprehensively question our finance department and relevant managers to test that our methodology, management and risk assessment are sound. NSWNA ACCOUNTS ARE ACCESSIBLE TO MEMBERS The fully audited accounts, including explanatory notes, are available on the members’ area of the NSWNA website. A summary of the accounts is also published in this issue of The Lamp (see page 35). The full accounts are also available to any member, on request. This level of transparency exceeds all the legal obligations that exist under the NSW Industrial Relations Act. The auditors also present the full accounts for the year to our Annual Conference. Any delegate at the conference is free to ask the auditors questions about the report. The NSWNA is a relatively large organisation, with more than 130 staff members, and a large number of daily financial transactions, which is normal for an organisation of our size. We have been diligent, over the years, in ensuring there are professional financial structures to manage and account for the Association’s financial resources. There is no complacency about how our members’ fees are managed.

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 5



Protect Ratios The next wave of attacks against nurses’ rights is on the horizon and we must act now. The interim report into public sector management proposes some concerning changes to the decisions about how staffing levels are decided. This report recommends that specific staffing requirements be removed from industrial awards and should be a “managerial prerogative”. This proposal is a direct threat to nurse-to-patient ratios and safe patient care – before ratios have even been fully rolled out. Nurses and midwives across NSW campaigned long and hard to secure ratios into the award. We must ensure that staffing requirements, such as ratios, remain a feature of the award as this means that nurses are involved in these decisions through the NSWNA and that ratios are enforceable. Edward Makepeace RN, RNSH

Good reasons for smoke-free prisons The letter by prisons health nurse Anthony Craig (April 2012) echoes the complaints of others to Cancer Council NSW about second-hand smoke exposure in the NSW prison system. Given the health harms from secondhand smoke exposure (including lung cancer and heart disease) Cancer Council NSW believes that all indoor spaces of NSW prison facilities should be smoke-free. In the outdoor areas, smoking should be restricted to areas that pose no risk of second-hand smoke exposure to those not smoking and identified as a “designated smoking area” with clear signage to that effect. The current Smoke-free Environment policy of Corrective Services NSW allows smoking in prisoners’ cells, which fails to recognise that prison cells are workplaces that often need to be accessed by prison staff and can be occupied by both smokers and nonsmokers at the same time. Increasingly, correctional authorities elsewhere are recognising the benefits of broad smoke-free prison policies. The latest jurisdiction to adopt such a policy is New Zealand, where all prison facilities are now 100% smokefree. Similarly, numerous states and provinces of the US and Canada have adopted smoke-free prison policies, with few unintended consequences. So what are the potential benefits of smoke-free prisons policies? The literature suggests a number: 6 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

• reduced risk of tobacco-related illness leading to reduced healthcare expenditure; • reduced risk of second-hand smoke-related litigation; • increased smoking cessation among prisoners (most prisoners want to quit); • a newfound sense of achievement among prisoners who do quit; • possibly reduced tobacco-related social disadvantage for inmates released from prison into an increasingly smoke-free community. Cancer Council NSW supports progress towards appropriate policies that include provision for prisoners and prison staff to access specialised smoking cessation support. To view the Cancer Council NSW Position Statement on Smoke-free environments within NSW prisons see Greg Soulos, Tobacco Control Project Officer, Cancer Council NSW


SOMETHING Send your letters to: Editorial Enquiries email fax 9662 1414 mail 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo NSW 2017. Please include a high resolution photo along with your name, address, phone and membership number. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

Thank you Winning the February Lamp competition was the last thing I expected when I received the wonderful phone call at work. It certainly couldn’t have come at a better time. I wish to thank you for the wonderful package – Corrimal Tourist Park was an awesome place to stay. We had four wonderful days with plenty to keep us busy. Thank you once again. Marisa Sbona RN

NSWNA responds The New South Wales Nurses’ Association totally supports the Cancer Council NSW position on smoke-free environments within NSW prisons, in that staff and inmates should be able to enjoy the same health and safety protections as the general community. Additionally, nursing staff in all workplaces in NSW, under the current Work Health and Safety Act 2011, have the right to be protected from all workplace hazards, including exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, which has such far-reaching health effects. Some parts of the corrections system e.g. Long Bay Prison Hospital and Forensic Hospital, are totally smoke-free, as are wings in facilities such as the newly constructed South Coast Correctional Centre. These initiatives apply only to a small percentage of corrections workplaces and leave a large section of the workforce and prison population exposed and unprotected. NSWNA has been working actively with members, Justice Health, work health and safety authorities and Corrections NSW to achieve the Smoke-free Buildings Trial, which is to commence on 1 June 2012 at Lithgow Correctional Centre.The trial framework includes most aspects of the Cancer Council recommendations, including a total ban on smoking in all indoor areas at the participating facility and initiatives that support smoking cessation for inmates and staff. It is proposed that successful outcomes from this trial be applied to other correctional facilities, with the aim of achieving totally smoke-free building environments within correctional facilities in NSW.

Every letter published receives a $20 Coles Group & Myer gift card.


Look forward in hospital design In addition to problems related to road access at the new level five hospital to be built at French’s Forest [on Sydney’s northern beaches], I hope the government will include in the architectural brief a necessity to be forward-thinking in terms of energy efficiency, not just opt for the proposal that is cheapest in the short term. For example, inclusion of on-site solar energy generation, inclusion of showers and change rooms to encourage employees to walk/ride to work, and design that maximises energy-efficiency without foregoing comfort and health. I currently work at Mona Vale Hospital and am horrified at the lack of efficiency and the needless waste, going directly against the waste management policy of the region. One example of this is the food. It has been suggested there have been problems with asbestos on-site, leading to the decision not to repair the dishwasher. Now, food and water is brought in from outside. Honestly, can the Health Department/Government really justify the serving of every meal on plastic plates with disposable cups, mugs and cutlery, not to mention the supply of bottled water at every meal rather than good, old-fashioned tap water? I hope that this time the government will not simply go for the cheapest short-term option, but will instead think about creating a project that will last the distance and set a new standard in hospital design. I thought there was an urgent problem related to insufficient landfill space in our region, but apparently not. Oh, and by the way, could the dishwasher please be repaired at Mona Vale Hospital? Name withheld WorkCover crumbs barely enough I am a nurse of 25 years. I have been on WorkCover for about three years.The money is sometimes not enough to get by on as it is – constantly getting reminder mail to pay bills – let alone trying to live on less. Considering I hurt myself because there was nobody to help me at work, the ultimate indignity is to take what basic crumbs they throw our way. I am back at work 3x4 hours a week ... but am unable to lift and have to take daily medications for pain. Then there are the repercussions for having to take such medication. I see a psychiatrist for the pain and depression and attended a pain clinic. ...This affects all parts of my life, working, driving a car for good distances, my home life, cleaning of the house, mental and emotional health, etc. I tell you this because like you I am a living human being. ... Mr O’Farrell, I wonder if your family were injured like this would you be able to survive on what you expect others to? ... Please, when you vote on this in Parliament, consider the anguish and hardship put on these families who served their workforce well and are injured, usually through no fault of their own. Donna Cook EN

LETTER OF THE MONTH The letter judged the best each month will be awarded a $50 Coles Myer voucher courtesy of Moore Equipment. ‘Clever carts to help clever nurses.’ For details on the range of clax carts please call (02) 9519 5540 or visit


Win a relaxing holiday to

eurobodalla Eurobodalla, land of many waters, sits less than 4 hours drive south of Sydney and 2 hours east of Canberra on the NSW South Coast. The region is known for the award winning Montague Island, Batemans Marine Park, 83 spectacular beaches, and vast tracts of wilderness, national parks, reserves and forest which cover more than 70% of the land. Abundant wildlife dominates the visitor experience while vibrant communities and picturesque historic and coastal villages connect the regional centres of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma. Eurobodalla will bring out your better nature. The Lamp is offering members a chance to win a mid-week escape to the Oaks Ranch, in Eurobodalla. The Oaks Ranch is a unique country resort featuring 300 acres of magnificent bushland, perfect for a peaceful ‘back to nature’ break from the rat race, or an adventurous family holiday amid Australia’s unique flora and fauna. Go for a horse ride, play a challenging round of golf, throw in a line or simply relax and enjoy nature. The Oaks Ranch: it’s the perfect place for a holiday. The prize includes three-nights midweek accommodation for two people twinshare at the Oaks Ranch at Mossy Point, including continental breakfast daily, a round of golf on their challenging nine hole course and a $15 food voucher. PLUS a $300 gift voucher from Eurobodalla Coast Tourism to use on extra nights at the Oaks Ranch, activities or attractions. To enter the competition, simply write your name, address and membership number on the back of an envelope and send to: Eurobodalla Competition 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo, NSW, 2017 Competition closes 30 June 2012. Conditions apply: all prizes are valid to 30 June 2013. Accommodation, breakfast, food voucher and golf at the Oaks Ranch must be taken as a package during the stay and is subject to availability. Not valid during Christmas period (23 Dec 2012 – 10 Jan 2013), long weekends or public holidays. Accommodation is for up to two people twin share.



The Lamp: giving voice to your issues Two letters and an article from The Lamp were read out in the NSW Parliament recently. In a speech to Parliament honouring International Nurses’ Day, Dr Andrew McDonald, member for Macquarie Fields, quoted extensively from the May issue of the Association’s monthly magazine, saying: “Rather than give a prepared speech, I would like to quote from this month’s copy of The Lamp.” He went on to read in full a letter by RN Sharon Cylkowski to her local MP Lee Evans, the member for Heathcote, which was also published in The Lamp. Dr McDonald then went onto refer to two other articles from the May Lamp, one relating to nurse Bob Fenwick, who died on 5 January 2011 after being attacked by a patient, and the other a letter about nurses, from Vera Spasojevic, thanking the staff of Port

United Kingdom

Prostate cancer breakthrough An experimental treatment to treat prostate cancer, known as focal therapy, “leads to a low rate of genito-urinary sideeffects and an encouraging rate of early absence of clinically significant prostate cancer” according to a new report published in Lancet Oncology. Focal therapy is similar in principle to the “lumpectomy” operation commonly used as an alternative to a full mastectomy for breast cancer. One year after treatment the majority (95%) of the 41 participants in the trial were cancer-free. None of the men in the trial had incontinence, and just one in 10 suffered from poor erections – both common side effects of conventional treatment. Dr Hashim Ahmed, who led the study at University College London Hospitals told the Guardian newspaper: “Our results are very encouraging. We’re optimistic that men diagnosed with prostate cancer may soon be able to undergo a day case surgical procedure, which can be safely repeated once or twice, to treat their condition with very few side-effects. That could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life.”

8 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Kembla Hospital for their support after the passing of her husband. “Those three articles in this month’s Lamp say it all about the modern nurse. They are the good guys and they do an incredible amount of good for our community. They deserve their status as the most trusted of all professions in society,” Dr McDonald said. The Lamp is also spreading the good word about nurses and midwives online, via the Informit database ( Data collected from the website indicated that out of the 700 full text journals on the e-content database, The Lamp was among the top 20 journals that received the most hits for access to the indexed articles.

“Those three articles in this month’s Lamp say it all about the modern nurse.They are the good guys and they do an incredible amount of good for our community. ” — Dr McDonald

United Kingdom

Midwife-led care safer and cheaper A British study, Birthplace in England, claims that home births are the cheapest option for the NHS when the mother already has children. Second-time mothers who have a planned birth outside hospital need fewer interventions, such as forceps delivery, and it is just as safe for the baby. Researchers at Oxford University, Warwick University and University College London, found women at low risk of complications, who gave birth either at home or a midwifery unit, saved the NHS money. Their analysis, published in the British Medical Journal, compared data for 65,000 women deemed at low risk of complications who planned to give birth in a hospital maternity department, at home or in a midwife-led birthing unit. A planned birth in an obstetric unit, for mothers who already had children, cost the most at £1142 (AUD1830.00) per woman on average, while a planned home birth cost the least, at £780 (AUS1250.00) per woman. Only 2.5% of mothers had a home birth in England in 2010 – a slight fall on the previous year – with nine out of 10 births occurring in hospital. The Royal College of Midwives said the research paved the way for changes to maternity services in the UK. Deputy General Secretary Louise Silverton told the Daily Mail newspaper: “This and other research points out the substantial benefits of midwife-led care. It is better for mothers and babies, it is better for midwives and it is better for the NHS.”

“…there may have been another reward: a narcotic euphoria.”

United States

United States

Wired to run

Obesity costs

New research suggests that chemicals produced by continuous aerobic exercise have had an evolutionary impact: humans are “wired to run”. The research, by University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, suggests some level of aerobic exercise was encouraged by natural selection, and it may be fairly deep in our evolutionary roots. “Our brains are probably, have been sort of rewired from an evolutionary sense to encourage these running and high aerobic-activity behaviors,” he told National Public Radio. Many anthropologists think early humans learned to run long distances to chase down and exhaust prey, like antelopes. Raichlen says there may have been another reward: a narcotic euphoria. He says the cannabinoids produced during aerobic exercise, which give the feelings of a high, may be an evolutionary payoff for doing something hard and painful, that also helps humans survive better, be healthier, hunt better or have more offspring.

Keeping obesity rates at their current levels in the United States – and below the 33% increase currently being projected — would save nearly US$550 billion in the next two decades, according to researchers from Duke University in a report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. They estimate that obesity will continue to expand and will affect 42% of American adults by 2030. That projection takes into account recent evidence that obesity has leveled off among some groups. Obesity-related expenditures are calculated to cost US$190.2 billion, or one in every five dollars spent annually on health care in the United States.


Inform Information mation Sesssions Sessions


Want Want more information i about work working ing for the NSW Nurses’’ Association and what the e role of an Organiserr entails?

Do you want to be involved in you your ur union aand make a difference to nurses and midwives across NSW NSW? W?

We We are holding ho olding an session information se ession at our Waterloo Waterloo office office on T Tuesday uesday 3 July from 5pm. 5 If you’d like to attend this session, RSVP to Employee E Relations on 8595 1234 orr jobs@nswn jobs@nswn job nurses asn au

Permanent Perman nent and 12 month Secon Secondment ndment Positions availablee

The NSW N Nurses’ Association is seeking applicatio applications ons from our m permanent manent and secondm secondment ment membership for per Organiser Org p located in our W Waterloo aterloo office.. aniser positions, Primarily, he Org Organiser aniser w works orks with members and Primarily, tthe t address collectiv collectivee workplace workplace issues bbyy branches to providing viding quality advice, support representation. pro q ad vice, suppor rt and representatio on. Relevant support provided. Rele vant eeducation ducation and suppor rt is pro vided.

The rolee is responsible for for::     

advocating advocaating on behalf of members orkplace campaigns participating par rtticippating in w workplace responding respon ding to w workplace orkplace industrial issues vels of management. management. liaison with all le levels tthe he de development velopment of strategies to recruit recruit ne new w me members. embers.

TToo be co considered onsidered onsidere dered for f this role you nee need: ed:  a recognised recoggnised nursing ursing qualificati qualification alification  a current cu reent NSW cur NS driver’s driver er’s licence icence encee


excellent written and vverbal erbbal communications skills skills negotiation neg otiation and conflict resolution r to be computer literate and a self-confident to be able to tra travel vel regularly regulaarly and a commitment to improving the working working conditions improving coonditions for nurses and mid midwives wives and to the TTrade rrade Union movement movement  an understanding of indust industrial, trial,, political and health issu issues. sues.

The Application Proce Process ess For fur further rther infor information e mation aboutt the role, pleasee email lkremmer@ns wnurses.asn.auu or phone (02) 2) 8595 1234 (country countr y calle callers). allers). To To obtainn an an (metro) or 1300 367 962 (c application pack, please ggoo to t www w.ns n wnurses.asn.a au/ about or contact Emplo Employee yee Relations R lations through our ur office o or via email: jobs@ns wnurse Applications shouldd be recei received ved bbyy Friday Frida Fridaay 6 July and ndd addressed to: Robyn Rob yn Mor Morrison rison Employee Manager Empl Emplo ployee Relations Relat ations ions Manag Man aggger e er 50 O’Dea Avenue, Avenue, WATERLOO WAT WA ATTE TERLO OO NSW SW 2017 2 or via email: jobs@ns jobs sw sw


11,00o,000 43,00o,000 c i t i z e n s hav e b e e n t e st e d


“Sometimes they do so much sex education that you get tired of it.”


Cuba attacks HIV Developed countries can learn a lot from Cuba in controlling AIDS according to a recent report in the New York Times newspaper. Cuba now has one of the world’s smallest epidemics, a mere 14,038 cases. Its infection rate is 0.1%, on a par with Finland and Singapore. It is one-sixth the rate of the United States, one-twentieth of its neighbour Haiti. The population of Cuba is only slightly larger than that of New York City. In the three decades of the global AIDS epidemic, 78,763 New Yorkers have died of AIDS. Only 2364 Cubans have. The NYT attributes this success to “stunningly high rates of HIV testing”. According to its health ministry, Cuba’s 11 million citizens have been tested 43 million times. Last year, more than two million tests were done. That is the equivalent of testing the sexually active population every three years. Highrisk groups are tested more often. Cuba saturates its population with free condoms concentrating on high-risk groups like prostitutes; it gives its teenagers graphic safe-sex education and it rigorously traces the sexual contacts of each person who tests positive. One student, Abel Lescaille, told the Times, “Sometimes they do so much sex education that you get tired of it.”

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Health, education workers bear brunt of British austerity

NHS efficiency savings collide with demand

More than 30,000 NHS workers and 71,000 in education were among more than a quarter of a million public sector staff who lost their jobs in 2011, as the British conservative government’s austerity measures kicked in. A total of 270,000 jobs were cut from the public sector last year, reducing the workforce by almost 7%, to 5.94 million. Dave Prentis, General Secretary of the public sector union Unison, told the Guardian newspaper, “It is clear that we are not all in this together. Since the coalition came to power, one public sector job has been lost every two minutes and 18 seconds. That’s 625 public sector workers joining the dole queues every single day. The government urgently needs a credible plan for growth and recovery.” Women are disproportionately represented among the public sector workforce, and more than 80% of the increase in unemployment in the latest quarter was among female workers. Women’s unemployment in Britain is now at a 25-year high. Young workers are also being hammered. The number of 16-to-24 year olds out of work hit 1.04 million, taking Britain’s youth unemployment rate to 22.5%, the highest since records began in 1992.

10 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

270,000 public sector jobs

lo st in 2011

o n e p u b l i c s e c to r j o b has b e e n lo st e v e ry two m i n u t e s an d 18 s e c o n d s



nhs workers


education workers

lo st

their jobs

A Patients’ Association report shows that fewer patients in the British National Health Service undergo planned operations such as joint replacements, cataract removal and hernia repairs, as a consequence of £20bn (AUD32bn) of efficiency savings by the conservative government, at a time when demand for healthcare is growing. The association reported that between 2010 and 2011 the average wait before having a new knee fitted rose from 88.9 days to 99.2 days, while patients needing hernia surgery typically waited 78.3 days in 2011 compared with 70.4 the year before. The delay before the removal of gallstones increased over the same period, by 7.4 days, as did the delay before having a new hip (6.3 days longer), hysterectomy (three days) and cataract removed (2.2 days). Hospitals that supplied figures jointly performed a total of 18,268 fewer operations for these conditions in 2011 than in 2010, with those affected by worsening vision, especially older people, most affected.




Bahraini nurse leader persecuted Egypt and Libya are not the only Middle Eastern countries that have had a so-called “Arab Spring”. So has Bahrain, where uprisings have been met by brutal repression by the government. Last year the head of the Bahraini Nursing Society, Rula al-Saffar, and 19 other medical workers, were sentenced to 15 years in jail by a military court, for treating injured protesters during the uprising. Amnesty International says the charges were politically motivated and the trials were unfair. al-Saffar had volunteered to help at the Salmaniya Hospital, which had been overwhelmed by protesters injured in a violent crackdown by the government in 2011. Within a few weeks she had been arrested, and convicted in a trial that lasted minutes.

‘I know one thing; that I did my job. This is all that I know. I did my job and I’ll do it again and again and again.” She spent five months in custody enduring beatings, torture, sexual assault and threats of rape. ‘I know one thing; that I did my job. This is all that I know. I did my job and I’ll do it again and again and again. I am a nurse,” she told the Guardian newspaper. “One of the accusations was that I was stealing the blood from the blood bank and throwing it on the protesters to make them look bad. Do you think we have a bazaar or a sale on blood? We barely had blood at that time.” The Royal College of Nursing and Physicians for Human Rights condemned the imprisonment of Rula al-Saffar and her colleagues. In the year to February 2012, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights documented 65 killings, 1866 cases of torture, 500 people exiled and three men on death row following the protests.

Appropriate Workplace Behaviour – 1 day 14 June, Griffith Topics covered include understanding why bullying occurs; anti-discrimination law and NSW Health policies; how to behave appropriately in the workplace; identifying behaviour that constitutes unlawful harassment and bullying; what to do if subjected to unlawful harassment and bullying; how to use workplace grievance procedures; identifying, preventing and resolving bullying. Members $85 Non-members $170

——— • ——— Computer Essentials for Nurses and Midwives – 1 day 4 July, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick Seminar is suitable for all nurses and midwives. Members $85 Non-members $170

——— • ——— Basic Foot Care for RNs & ENs – 2 days 27 & 28 June, Penrith Members $203 Non-members $350

——— • ——— Legal & Professional Issues for Nurses and Midwives – ½ day 7 June, Newcastle, 29 June, Armidale 6 July, Albury Topics covered include the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, potential liability, importance of documentation, role of disciplinary tribunals and writing statements. Members $40 Non-members $85

——— • ——— Are you meeting your CPD requirements – ½ day 8 June, Newcastle, 22 June, Dubbo Seminar is suitable for all nurses and midwives to learn about CPD requirements and what’s involved in the process. Members $40 Non-members $85

——— • ——— Aged Care Seminar Series – 1 day 20 July, Armidale Seminar is suitable for all RNs, ENs and AiNs. Members $75 Non-members $170

——— • ——— To register or for more information go to or phone Carolyn Kulling on 1300 367 962 THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 11


Injured nurses pushed toward poverty Proposed changes to the NSW workers’ compensation scheme will only add to the physical, financial and social costs borne by injured nurses. The NSWNA has written a submission proposing changes that “fix” the scheme, without punishing workers.

“This completely ignores the fact that many workers genuinely cannot return to work due to their injury.” — brett holmes

12 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

THE ORIGINAL 1926 WORKERS’ compensation legislation called “for industry to bear the consequences of its own casualties”. Now, 86 years later, the O’Farrell Government is hell bent on shifting the costs and risks of workplace injury back on to workers. Proposed changes to workers’ compensation, put forward in the State Government’s Workers Compensation Scheme Issues Paper, paint a dire picture for injured nurses relying on workers’ compensation for survival. NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes says the government issues paper is riddled with prejudices against injured workers. “The underlying assumption is that injured workers are lazy or are fraudulently claiming higher workers’ compensation benefits, either through inflated lump sum or medical claims or by willingly working less than they are able to. The Association utterly rejects this line of reasoning,” he says. “The advent of sophisticated technologies and the creation of an independent medical examiner has reduced workers’ comp fraud to miniscule levels.” Brett says the government issues paper repeatedly suggests that reducing or taking away workers’ compensation benefits will encourage workers to return to work.

“This completely ignores the fact that many workers genuinely cannot return to work due to their injury,” he says. EMPLOYER FAILURE TO FIND ALTERNATIVE DUTIES Brett says workers’ compensation costs are hugely inflated due to employers’ failure to find alternative duties for injured workers, leaving workers reliant on the scheme. “NSW law imposes a positive obligation on employers to provide suitable work to injured workers. “The real problem is the attitude of many employers, who view injured workers as liabilities that need to be removed from their business. “This employer mindset can result in injured workers being dismissed, pressured to risk re-injury by returning to work too early, or pressured to seek work elsewhere.” Brett says the consequences of failing to find suitable work for nurses returning from workers’ comp, reverberate beyond the fate of the individuals. “It leads to highly-skilled nurses and midwifes leaving the health sector in order to find work.This clearly exacerbates the nursing shortage in this state.”


alternatives to punishing the injured

In its submission to the government the NSWNA recommended the following ways to fix current problems with workers’ compensation, without punishing injured workers:


Create a financial incentive for employers to provide suitable work to injured workers. This could be in the form of a reduced premium.


Impose severe penalties on employers and individuals who refuse to provide work to injured workers, where such work is available. A financial disincentive could also be imposed by way of an increased premium.


Give insurers the capacity and obligation to rigorously examine whether their clients are able to provide suitable work to an injured worker.


In any legal proceedings, place the onus on the employer to establish that no suitable work exists.


Implement an independent review that must be undertaken prior to an employer being able to withdraw suitable work, or terminate injured workers, and in doing so shift the cost to the workers’ compensation scheme.


Make it an offence for an employer to require a prospective employee to declare whether they had previously suffered a workers’ compensation injury, unless that injury would prevent him or her from performing the inherent requirements of the role.


Make it an offence for an employer to inform other prospective employers that a former employee has suffered a workers’ compensation injury.


PARLIAMENT HOUSE RALLY 13 JUNE 2012 Unions NSW has called on NSW workers to rally outside Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, on 13 June 2012 at 12.30pm to oppose changes to the workers’ compensation scheme that disadvantage workers in NSW. Unions NSW also have a website – Stop The Attack On Workers’ Compensation – with a wealth of information and news about the O’Farrell Government’s assault on workers’ comp. There is also a facility for you to email your local MP and let them know your feelings about what the government is doing. Visit:

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 13


Fighting for my future Nurses are being blocked from returning to work after injury despite having medical clearance. A young RN tells The Lamp of her battle to save her career.

DESPITE UNDERGOING FOUR BACK operations following a workplace injury, registered nurse Emily Orchard remains passionate about nursing and anxious to resume the career she set her sights on as a school girl. Emily, 26, has been medically cleared for work that avoids heavy lifting; including specific clearance for an advertised position for 16 hours per week at a special care nursery, with her current employer. But despite the shortage of nurses, she was turned down for that job and several others at no fewer than four Sydney hospitals. The NSW Nurses’ Association is taking the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District to the Industrial Relations Commission on Emily’s behalf. The district refused to employ Emily, despite the decisions of a doctor and an independent functional assessor that she is able to do the 16-hour per week special care nursery job.The NSWNA maintains this is a breach of health service policy that requires injured workers to be given priority for suitable work. “I’m desperately hoping we can reach a solution before we go to arbitration, but if not, I’m prepared to fight for my right to continue nursing,” said Emily, who must now rely on weekly workers’ compensation payments. Emily hurt her back at St George Hospital in April 2007, when trying to resuscitate a patient who had gone into cardiac arrest. A CT and then MRI scan showed two discs had herniated with nerve compression. Months later Emily had a nerve block to manage the pain but it got worse, leading to bladder and bowel problems.Then followed four back operations over three years. The first two aim to relieve pressure on the nerve by removing the part of the disc that was protruding, and some of the surrounding bone, and the third involved fusion surgery, which unfortunately failed. Each operation enabled her to go back to work after recuperation: at one stage she was back on the ward 8.5 hours a day, 4 days a week. The final operation in 2010 succeeded in stabilising the spine by replacing the disc with a titanium cage and bone graft with rods and bolts into the bone. Doctors certified her fit to resume nursing duties starting with 8 hours a day, two days a week, with a lifting limit of 10kg. At the same time they suggested she consider a career outside adult nursing.

“It broke my heart when they told me that,” Emily, who had hoped to eventually do trauma nursing or retrieval work, said. At school Emily had aimed to do a medical degree, until work experience at Sutherland Hospital. “When I worked with the nurses, and saw what they did, it was all I wanted to do. They were so encouraging and keen to teach. Their passion for their work made me passionate so I changed tack.” Emily got into University of New England nursing under the principal’s recommendation scheme, before she had even done her HSC, and loved it. She now aims to get into neonatal nursing but cannot apply to do a certificate until she is employed in the area. “I do find it distressing that I can’t find work when there is such a shortage of nurses. I find it confusing that I was permitted to work when I had an unstable spine, but now that I have a back which is as stable as anyone’s – because the problem disc has been removed and that level of my spine is stable with the rods and bolts – I can’t get a job. “The stigma sur rounding workers’ comp makes it worse. People who were friendly before my injury suddenly stopped being friendly. I’ve had other nurses treat me as though they are personally having to pay my medical bills, and tell me I’m in it for the money. “I can to some extent understand where they are coming from. Sadly there are people out there doing the wrong thing. “However I can assure you there is no profit in workers’ comp – you are broke. “But the attitude persists that you must be lazy, that you just want to sit at home and get paid. “One of these nurses hurt her own back and was off for a month.When she came back to the ward she said, ‘I’m so sorry, I can’t believe you’ve coped with this for three years, I would kill myself.’ From then on I got a bit less attitude from other people as well.” Emily has had feedback of a different sort from other nurses who are also blocked from returning to work on suitable duties following injuries. “One nurse hurt her back after a patient fell on her. Our experiences have been similar but I have had the union fighting for me and she was not a union member at the time, so they walked all over her.”

“I’m prepared to fight for my right to continue nursing.”

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 15


Blame the nurse Lana Robertson’s story – not untypical of nurses who suffer manual handling injuries – highlights the dangers posed by suggested changes to the NSW workers’ compensation scheme. DESPITE TWO ROUNDS OF BACK surgery, and endless medical appointments far from home, doctors say she will never be well enough to resume all her former nursing duties. “I’m 38 years old and my life has completely changed because of this injury,” says Lana, an endorsed enrolled nurse and mother of two from Lake Cargelligo, an isolated township in central west NSW. When she is fit enough for part-time work, Lana’s wage from restricted-duties nursing at Lake Cargelligo Multi Purpose Health Service (MPHS) is supplemented by workers’ compensation payments. When unable to do any work her compensation falls to the statutory minimum of $17 an hour. Her income has sometimes dropped to as little as half her pre-injury level. Each of the dozens of medical appointments – tests, treatments and operations – have involved long, painful drives: to the physio at Griffith (a 260km round trip), to Wagga for an MRI (560km), to Lana’s neurosurgeon in Canberra (800km) and to the insurance company’s Sydney neurosurgeon (1100km). Now, a state government issues paper is proposing that weekly compensation payments be capped in order to “give workers a fixed time frame during which they know they need to work toward a certain level of work readiness.” It also recommends a cap on payment of medical treatment for injured workers because “many workers have access to medical treatment many years after their date of injury.” Under the present system, Lana’s insurance company pays for her treatment and medications, some of which cost as much as $150 a month. Insurance also reimburses her travel costs. Lana is appalled by the “blame the victim” approach taken by the authors of the issues paper. She says the stigma of being on workers’ compensation is hard to bear. “I hate the perception some co-workers have of you.They think you might be shirking, because they can’t see the injury. But 16 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Lana: “I can’t take care of my family and my home the way I used to.” what type of neurosurgeon would do two back surgeries in 18 months, which I went through, if there was nothing wrong with you?” She accepts there may be a need “to weed out people who aren’t fair dinkum” but asks, “What about people like me who are fair dinkum? Why should I and my family have to suffer any more than we have?” Lana’s husband works as a shearer. They have a son, 15, and a daughter, 12. “My husband shears up to 10 months of the year. Before my injury we were able to put money away for the periods when there’s no shearing, but now for the first time in 10 years we have nothing in the bank. “I can’t take care of my family and my home the way I used to. Luckily I have a very supportive husband. But it’s terrible having to say no to the kids.” In 2007 Lana thought she strained a back muscle while stopping a resident from falling. A CT scan showed she had two bulging disks. She had physiotherapy and resumed her normal job. In 2009, while squatting down to help a resident get undressed she felt “a pop in my back and pain down my leg. I ignored it at first but it got worse. I took sick leave thinking it was just a pinched nerve and it would get better.” However an MRI scan confirmed a bulging disk and compressed root nerve. A neurosurgeon advised a microdisectomy to try to take compression off the nerve.

Lana underwent the operation in January 2010. It eased the pain so she went back to work on light duties, gradually building up her nursing hours. A year later the pain down her leg had returned to pre-surgery levels.Another MRI scan showed the disk was once more compressing on the nerve. And the disk had split and was leaking. Her neurosurgeon then performed posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery in August 2011, with the aim of stabilising the spine and reducing pain. The fusion took but the severe “pins and needles” pain is back to the level of a year ago.“It’s a horrible pain. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” she says. Doctors have told Lana’s employer she will not be able to return to her normal EN job full time. She currently does nine hours a week. “Our manager has been wonderfully supportive in finding me light duties. I do medications, feed the residents, do hazard inspections and paperwork, and sometimes observations depending on the state of my back. “Lake Cargelligo MPHS has a hostel and nursing home, plus acute care and A&E, so there’s a lot of manual handling that I can’t do. And I’ll never be able to do CPR again. Fusion puts more pressure on other disks, so I could very easily blow another disk if I’m not careful.”



When it comes to your rights and entitlements at work, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary JUDITH KIEJDA has the answers.

Dual qualifications: dual CPD I am a dual registrant, holding both general and midwifery nursing qualifications. Can you advise me how many hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) I need to complete per year? Is it 20 hours for each individual qualification or just 20 hours to cover both? You are required to complete 20 hours CPD each year for each qualification, i.e. 40 hours per year. However, if in your position the nursing activities you undertake are relevant to both qualifications, those activities may be counted as evidence for both general and midwifery. An example of this would be nurses who are Diabetes Educators, where the specialty covers all areas of nursing. For more information around CPD please go to

Registration renewal 31 May. I am an EEN and my NSW Registration Board renewal used to be every July. I have been told I should have received my renewal from AHPRA already, is that correct? The Australian Health Professional Registration Authority (AHPRA) has had the responsibility for all health professional registrations nationwide since 1 July 2010. In order to manage this AHPRA has moved all registered and enrolled nurses and midwives registration renewals to a common date, which is 31 May each year. So yes, you should have received notification already. If you have provided AHPRA with a personal email address it is possible that they have notified your renewal details by email so please check your email. In the March 2012 edition of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s News for Nurses and Midwives, on page 6 and highlighted in blue, is a chart with time lines for renewing your registration in 2012. I refer you to this guide and or the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website

Permanent night duty I am an RN and have requested to work permanent night duty. Is this allowed and if so, is there any requirement to do day shifts at all? Any agreement for you to work permanent night duty would need to be by mutual agreement between you and your employer. There is nothing to preclude a nurse from doing permanent night duty. It is however, an accepted practice that nurses who do permanent night duty are required at some point throughout each 12-month period (anniversary date to anniversary date), to do a period of day duty to ensure they attend any/all compulsory in-service requirements, such as fire drills, cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) etc. I would advise that if you are successful in negotiating permanent night duty, you ensure you have a written contract stating this as a condition of your employment.

“I am an RN and have requested to work permanent night duty. Is this allowed and if so, is there any requirement to do day shifts at all? Any agreement for you to work permanent night duty would need to be by mutual agreement between you and your employer.…”

Certificate for carer’s leave I am an RN working in a public hospital and I took two days off recently to look after a sick child using my sick leave. Now I’m being told I have to produce a doctor’s certificate. Is this correct? The entitlement of leave to look after a sick child is covered by Public Health System Nurses’ & Midwives’ (State) Award, Clause 32 “Family and Community Services Leave and Personal/Carer’s Leave” at part B, “Personal/Carer’s Leave The key parts are B (xi) (a), (e) (f) & (g): (xi) (a) requires that the employee be responsible for the care and support of the person concerned and that the person concerned comes within the definitions of a person set out in B (x) — in this case, a child, comes under B (x) (c). (xi) (e) says: “The employee shall, if required, establish either by production of a medical certificate or statutory declaration, that the illness of the person concerned is such as to require care by another person.” (xi) (f) says: “The employee has the right to choose the method by which the ground for leave is established, that is, by production of either a medical certificate or statutory declaration.” (xi) (g) says: “The employee is not required to state the exact nature of the relevant illness on either a medical certificate or statutory declaration.” You, therefore, can produce either a medical certificate or a statutory declaration.

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 17


RNs returning to troubled nursing home The NSW Nurses’ Association has forced an aged care facility to ensure that registered nurses are rostered on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. THE ROYAL FREEMASONS’ BENEVOLENT

Institution (RFBI) embarked on radical change when it took over Waratah Village nursing home at West Wyalong, in the Central West of NSW, from Bland Shire Council. Nine registered nurses were made redundant during the sale process, leaving just two RNs – the full time general manager and part time care manager. Six enrolled nurses resigned with some of them telling the union they did not want to work at a facility with poor staffing levels. The NSWNA took up the case with the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd, the Aged Care Complaints Scheme, the federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Fair Work Australia and Bland Shire Council. The union said the RFBI was in breach of section 52 of the Public Health Act 1991 (NSW) by failing to have a registered nurse on duty at all times in a nursing home, as defined by the Act. Waratah Village comprised a nursing home or high care area of 10 beds and a hostel or low care area with 43 beds, when the RFBI took control on February 1. After the change of ownership there was no RN to care for residents before 8.30am or after 5pm Monday to Friday or at any time on weekends. Staff were unable to access Schedule 8 medication outside the hours of 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The absence of RNs forced residents to undergo unnecessary transfers by ambulance to the local hospital, NSWNA members reported. In an attempt to dodge its obligation to 1 8 | T H E L A M P M AY 2 0 1 2

“This sleight of hand…would make a mockery of our nation’s aged care system.” — brett holmes provide 24-hour nursing coverage, the RFBI then effectively reclassified all high care beds as low care, by applying to the Department of Health and Ageing to relinquish the high care place, sand then notionally moved the high care residents in those places into what it called “pre-1997” places. They claimed that by doing this they no longer had a legal obligation to ensure Waratah Village’s residents were cared for by Registered Nurses at all times. However after pressure from the union the RFBI finally agreed on May 7 to recruit nurses “as soon as possible” in order to comply with the Act.This means residents at Waratah Village will soon be cared for by registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NSWNA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said the NSWNA is pleased it was able to secure this outcome for Waratah Village residents and staff. “Royal Freemasons has told us it is starting registered nurse recruitment immediately and we welcome that commitment. Adequate staffing, in the right skills mix, is vital to the provision of good quality care in all aged care facilities and is something

the NSWNA will continue to keep an eye on at Waratah Village,” he said. In his letter to the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, Brett said the RFBI was trying to avoid its legal and moral obligations to the residents of Waratah Village. Brett said there had been a dramatic drop in the level of care provided to high care residents who until February 1 were attended to by registered nurses at all times. “We believe that RFBI’s stated intention to move high care residents out of high care places and into low care places, represents a sleight of hand and, if allowed, would make a mockery of our nation’s aged care system,” he told the minister. Inquiries by the NSWNA revealed 29 residents required a high level of care. The union told Fair Work Australia that staff no longer had enough time to properly care for all residents. “Residents are often now found lying in soiled beds because there is simply not enough staff to attend to them,” the union told the tribunal. Brett Holmes said that since RFBI took over Waratah Village, nursing and PCA hours in the dementia unit had dropped by 28 per week, while nursing and PCA hours in the rest of the facility other than the dementia unit, had been slashed by around 175 per week. Cleaners’ hours had dropped by around 46 per week, and kitchen staff hours by around 45 per week. The Association would encourage any registered nurses looking for work in the West Wyalong area to apply to the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution for work at Waratah Village as soon as possible.

Darren Price and Jill Funnell (far right) with nursing colleagues took the issue of changes at Waratah to the public and the media.

“Since RFBI took over WaratahVillage, nursing and PCA hours in the dementia unit had dropped by 28 per week, while nursing and PCA hours in the rest of the facility other than the dementia unit, had been slashed by around 175 per week.” — brett holmes

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 19


Blow to residents, remaining staff Getting rid of RNs means untrained staff must send elderly residents to hospital for minor treatments.

Darren: “The loss of nurses has had a big impact on the people left trying to do the job.”

Aged care loophole must be closed NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes has called on the federal government to close a legal loophole that might allow an aged care facility to reclassify high care beds as low care, or relinquish them completely, in order to avoid having to employ registered nurses. Brett said the Royal Freemasons Benevolent Institution had admitted that 29 of their current 51 residents at Waratah Village were classified as high care residents. “Therefore, it is only right that registered nurses be on the premises at all times,” he said.


with registered nurses hit West Wyalong, population 3000, “like a bombshell” said RN Darren Price. “It’s been front page in our little town for months.” Darren was employed at Waratah Village for two years until November 2010. He now works around the corner at West Wyalong District Hospital, where Waratah Village residents are sometimes sent for treatment of minor injuries that were previously dealt with at the facility by a nurse. Darren gave an example of an elderly resident at Waratah Village who fell down and suffered a skin tear. “It would have been no issue for an RN to do the dressing, but the personal carer was not comfortable with handling it, so the lady was transferred by ambulance to the hospital,” he said. “The loss of nurses has had a big impact on the people left trying to do the job. Most of them are personal care assistants who now have to make decisions that were once made by an RN. “There’s been a phenomenal reduction in hours which is forcing staff to look for other jobs because they cannot continue to operate under that pressure.”

20 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

As a Freemason, Darren was especially upset because he helped facilitate Waratah Village’s sale to the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution which owns 20 aged care facilities across NSW and the ACT. “I introduced the CEO of the RFBI to Bland Shire Council and championed their cause because they had such a glowing reputation in aged care going back 40 years,” he said. “The RFBI jumped at the chance to put in a tender, and I don’t understand why they took a slash and burn approach to this facility. Waratah Village was losing money but the RFBI’s bottom line is very good – they had a $6.4 million net operating surplus last year.” In a letter to the West Wyalong Advocate, Darren said the RFBI’s decision to agree to round-the-clock rostering of RNs “was completely a result of the NSW Nurses’ Association applying pressure to an organisation that thought it could flout a small legislative loophole …” and degrade a standard of care that had served the town for 30 years. “The NSW Nurses’ Association should be well commended for their diligent, consistent and vigorous defence of the right of aged care residents to receive proper care from a complement of staff that includes registered nurses.”

“Thankfully NSW law can still ensure that happens at places such as Waratah Village. Royal Freemasons was trying to deny it was a nursing home, as it only had low care beds after it recently took its 10 high care beds offline. “Under current federal aged care legislation, aged care facilities can arguably get away with this ruse. It is a loophole that the NSW coroner recently noted with concern, after investigating a resident death at a similar aged care facility in the Northern Rivers. It is an unacceptable legacy of the Howard Government’s deregulation of aged care in 1997 and the current government should fix it.”

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ON 15 APRIL AN 86-YEAR-OLD DEMENTIA sufferer, resident of Waratah Village, was found knocking on the windows of the West Wyaong District Hospital. She somehow managed to leave Waratah Village undetected and walk to the hospital several hundred metres away. “When the hospital staff called the facility nobody answered the phone, and when they took mum back there no one knew she was missing,” her daughter, Jill Funnell, a registered nurse of 42 years standing, told The Lamp. Jill, who works casual at the hospital, said the incident underlined the impact of staff losses at Waratah Village. “If residents can’t find a staff member they might seek reassurance somewhere else and they will wander.” Jill said the people and council of West Wyalong thought they were handing Waratah Village over to an organisation experienced in age care.“Nobody expected the staff cuts and that the facility would be downgraded from high care to suit the provider.” “The new owners effectively wiped out all the RNs here.They were experienced RNs trained to know what to look for when frail and aged people become unwell. High care residents were put in the hands of unlicensed people, changing the whole concept of the village. “The owners (Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution) claim they have an RN on call if issues arise, but someone working there has to have the competence and training to recognise a problem. “For instance there’s a difference between someone with dementia being confused as they normally are, and someone hallucinating because they are ill, septic and becoming poisonous. An RN can recognise these differences.” Jill described the RFBI’s eventual acceptance of 24hour, 7-day nurse coverage as “a good outcome, which wouldn’t have happened without the union getting involved. It shows what can happen when nurses make a stand, which is not always easy in a small town.” She said getting local media on side and keeping them informed, also contributed to the outcome. Jill said many elderly West Wyalong residents now receiving home help were on the cusp of requiring high residential care. “People are worried they won’t be able to get this care in town any longer and will have to travel at least 80km away, maybe much further. There are people in the 22-bed acute care hospital here, who will soon have to vacate their beds and will also need residential care. “These are people who have lived in the community all their lives and suddenly in their darkest days they face the risk of being forced out of town.”




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A picnic with better on the menu There was a sea of red in Hyde Park on a perfect picnic day, as 200 aged care nurses, their families and supporters gathered to press their claim for better pay. THE TIME TO ACT CAMPAIGN for better pay in the forprofit aged care sector increased momentum with a picnic and rally in Hyde Park on 18 May. More than 200 people gathered to send a strong message to the Aged Care Association (ACAA) NSW, which was holding its annual Congress in the Sheraton Hotel across the road from the rally. NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda told the crowd that they had good reasons for cynicism about their better interests being served at the employers’ Congress “No doubt they are using this time to strategise about how to get the best out of the aged care industry. But history tells me that the strategy probably won’t include how to make your working lives better,” she said. 22 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Judith said it was time to increase pressure on ACAA NSW and employers to ensure nurses receive a fair pay rise. “So far ACAA have made no offer at all,” she said. “I know you love your work and they trade on it day after day.You have told us over and over again that you can no longer provide quality care with the resources you have. “You tell me that the industry cannot attract and retain an appropriate nursing workforce because the pay and conditions are lousy – way behind other sectors. “That needs to change.” Several activists from other parts of the aged care sector shared their experiences from their successful pay campaigns. Stephen Mierendorff talked of the pay campaign at BUPA.

• There are currently 50 employers on the ACAA NSW model agreement, which expires 30 June 2012. • Employers are currently appointing ACAA-NSW to bargain on their behalf. • So far, 24 employers have committed to bargain for a new agreement. Many employers are yet to commit to bargaining. • Nurses working in the for-profit part of aged care have fallen behind the wages paid to nurses on agreements in the charitable sector and they are 11% to 17 % behind the public sector. • Negotiations have been underway since the log of claims was provided to ACAA NSW in March. • There is still no wages offer.


“Originally BUPA put forward an EBA that they believed would be unanimously accepted by the staff across the state. That EBA took away conditions in return for an 11% pay rise over four years.” Stephen said BUPA was pressured into coming up with a much better agreement in response to BUPA branches growing their NSWNA membership and forming activist groups in each facility. They gathered signatures on a petition and postcards to reinstate former conditions, held ‘no vote’ pickets and the union conducted a serious media campaign.

Judy Nemaia, an AiN from Strathdale Nursing Home, explained how she and her workmates were successful during their sixmonth pay campaign in 2010. “At each of our three nursing homes we formed campaign teams and networked together to grow a majority union membership across the company. “The crucial turning point in our campaign came when we were able to demonstrate by a petition that a majority of nurses wanted a new agreement. Once we knew we had a majority of nurses in the union we knew we could win.” THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 23


Bridge the gap Norma Bukalan, AiN, Columbia Marrickville. 21 years working in aged care. “Aged care nurses need better pay now. We’ve been waiting for so long. We need to bridge the gap with the public sector. If not we’ll be left behind. “This is what the Time To Act campaign is all about. The gap in wages shouldn’t be like that. There should be no difference when we do the same work. It’s time for AiNs with their Cert 4 to be recognised for their qualifications and to be paid properly. If they have their Cert 4 they can give medication and they should be recognised for that. “My colleagues feel strongly about the campaign. The work is getting harder but the pay is not getting any better. A lot have been joining the union during the campaign especially the casuals.”

Here for aged care Margy Scott, AiN Moran Sylvania. 28 years in nursing. “I’ve been doing nursing for 28 years and I love my job. I love my workplace, my residents and the team I work with. “I want to increase my skills especially working in aged care. I’ve improved my qualifications so I can give better care. “It’s not just about money. We should be recognised for our qualifications and we’re not. “I’m behind the campaign. It’s about fighting for our rights. We’re all here for aged care. “When you walk into a house and the residents’ faces light up, it makes it all worthwhile. We’re a family to them. We make it as comfortable and as nurturing as we can. It’s so important to them.”

24 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Recognise our valuable work Maureen McLean, RN, Meredith House, 28 years working in aged care. “I came today because I want to support the union and to get fair wages for aged care nurses. Everything is becoming more expensive. We need a pay increase just to keep up with inflation. “It’s also for recognition of our valuable work. It’s a difficult job. We need better pay so we can continue to care for our residents. “At the moment, unlike other homes, we have a reasonable number of RNs. We always have two on night shift – one in each building. But, in the future, ENs will replace RNs if there aren’t sufficient pay increases. If the RNs leave the quality of care will go down. “The campaign has got people in my workplace interested in joining the union because they see the union as being important for better pay and conditions or if they ever have any problems. The staff at Meredith House are very supportive of what the NSWNA are doing.”

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 25



26 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

‫ﱘﱞﱘ‬ madang, new guinea, c.1945. Group portrait of Nurses, left to right: Sisters Witcombe, McNamara, Furey, Senior Sister Doherty, Sisters Scholes, Rodda, Fewkes, in their tropical uniforms at no. 1 Medical Receiving Station RAAF. Photographed by John Thomas Harrison. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id og3354.



Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan, a new exhibition at the Australian War Memorial, explores the personal stories of Australian military nurses, from the first known Australian nurse in the Zulu War of 1879 right up to the experiences of nurses serving in recent conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The exhibition draws on the Memorial’s rich collection to tell the story of Australian military nursing. The iconic veil and cape worn by early nurses together with the technologically advanced equipment used today, speak of the changing role and place of nurses in Australian military operations. Photographs, diaries and personal objects, such as a hand-stitched doll, reveal a much more personal story.

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 27


‫ﱘﱞﱘ‬ Sister Fletcher is pleased to see land at last. Photographed by Damien Parer on 13 February 1940. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id 000924.

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north queensland, c.1944. While on duty, a sister with the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a patient. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id p00784.008.

Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan is on display at the Australian War Memorial until 17 October 2012. Entry is free. For more information visit:

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 29



Glenelg, SA. Two patients from the Glenelg Anzac Hostel in white painted cart wheel hospital beds in the grounds of the hospital with a group of nurses and probably two visitors. The men are hospitalised from wounds they sustained as soldiers during the First World War. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id po3845–007.

‫ﱘﱞﱘ‬ Studio portray of Sister Myrle Mary Eileen Moston AANS c. 1941, 2/3 Australian Hospital Ship Centaur, killed in action at sea after the Centaur was sunk by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine on 14 May 1943. Of the 322 crew and staff only 64 survived, including Sister Ellen Savage, the only survivor from 12 nursing sisters. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id po4397.

‫ﱘﱘﱞﱘﱘ‬ Portrait of Sister Cherry Wilson (born 6 June 1910, Geelong, Victoria), Royal Australian naval Nursing Service (RANNS) member of Australian Victory Contingent, 1946. She enlisted October 1942, and was discharged 24 October 1946. Painted by Geoffrey Mainwaring in 1946 using oil on canvas on plywood. Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. image id art26671. 30 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012


In the footsteps of those who fell Former NSWNA president Jennifer Collins visited the grave of the only nurse buried at the end of the Kokoda Track. 32 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

overlooking the kokoda track in papua new Guinea (PNG) is a memorial to all the Australians and Papua New Guineans who fought, and those who died, on the Kokoda Track in 1942. It was here that former NSWNA President Jennifer Collins (pictured), now deputy commissioner for the Department of Veteran Affairs, gave a rousing tribute to all those Australians who have fallen while answering the call of duty, at a dawn service in April. “Isurava is the site of one of the most desperate battles in our military history,” Jennifer said during her speech that day. “Those who fought along this track helped prevent the capture of Port Moresby at a dark time in our military history. “In doing so, under terrible conditions and while mastering the demands of jungle warfare, they reinforced the legacy given to us by their comrades in other conflicts and other battles: the fine example of what can be achieved by courage and endurance, by mateship and sacrifice.” Isurava was the site of some on the most intense fighting in the Kokoda campaign and four black granite pillars, built by Department of Veterans Affairs in 2002, stand to commemorate that moment in time. Jennifer told The Lamp that the pillars are inscribed with the words COURAGE, MATESHIP, ENDURANCE and SACRIFICE, to represent the values and qualities of those men from Australia and PNG who fought and died along the Kokoda. “It was a very moving experience and just as dawn broke, the Ode was read and the last post was played into the still and quite dawn. It was a very surreal moment and one that will remain with me forever,” Jennifer recalled. Although Jennifer prepared herself for the trek on the Kokoda Track, she and 250 other trekkers were met with harsh and unpredictable conditions on the day. “The trek to Isurava from Kokoda is about 10 kilometres and due to rain, mud and landslides it took about 12 hours instead of five,” the former NSWNA president explained. “It was the hardest physical trek I have ever done and even though I trained by walking up 40 flights of stairs every day and walking 10 kilometres every weekend, it does test your strength and mental health.” Jennifer also visited the grave of nurse Marie Craig, who died after the crash of a medical evacuation flight, attempting to bring wounded diggers home from the battlefields of Morotai, near Borneo, just weeks after the war had ended. During World War II air evacuation became a quick and effective way to transport seriously wounded troops from the front line in New Guinea and the surrounding islands, back to base hospitals in Australia. In early 1944, 15 nurses from the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service were recruited to the newly formed No. 1 Medical Air Evacuation Transport Unit (1 MAETU). Nicknamed “The Flying Angels”, they were trained in in-flight medicine and care, emergency survival procedures, and tropical hygiene. Flight teams comprising a sister and an orderly flew in Douglas C47s carrying up to 18 stretcher cases at a time. Within the first year of operation some 8000 patients were evacuated. “The only female on board that fatal flight was Marie Eileen Craig,” Jennifer told The Lamp. “She, along with the other 28 on board, is buried at Bomana War Cemetery.” THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 33



Organising for Safe Patient Care Put this date in you r diary and register no w!

Hosted by Angela Catterns Keynote speakers: Dr Adam Fraser Researcher & Educator in Human Performance

Kathy Vaka

My Wellness Our Strength PROFESSIONAL DAY 8 AUGUST 2012

Tongan Nurses Association

Linda Silas Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Other international guests to be confirmed Professor Di Twigg Edith Cowan University

Khao Do Speaker, filmmaker & screenwriter

Venue: Rosehill Gardens, James Ruse Drive, Rosehill. Time: 9am-5pm, Registration from 7.30am. Cost: NSWNA members $50, Branch Officials and students: free of charge, Non-members $100.

For more information or to register please contact the NSWNA on 8595 2181 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (rural) or go to


New South Wales Nurses’ Association Summary of The Financial Statements For The Year Ended 31 December 2011 The financial statements of the New South Wales Nurses’ Association have been audited inaccordance with the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 1991, and the following summary is provided for members in accordance with Section 517(2) of the Act, as applied by section 282(3) ofthe Industrial Relations Act, 1996. A copy of the Financial Statements, including the Independent Audit Report, will be supplied free of charge to members upon request. Certificates required to be given under the Act by the Accounting Officer and the Committee of Management have been completed in accordance with the provisions of the Act and contain no qualifications







NursePower Fund Subscriptions



Other Income











Financial Assets Reserve Deficit Recognised as Impairment Loss


Net (Loss)/Gain on revaluation of Financial Assets







Membership Subscriptions



Information to be provided to members or registrar

In accordance with the requirements of the Industrial Relations Act 1991 [NSW], the attention of members is drawn to the provisions of Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 512 which read as follows: (1) A member of an organisation, or the Industrial Registrar, may apply to the organisation for specified information prescribed by the regulations in relation to the organisation. (2) An organisation must, on the making of such an application, make the specified information available to the member or the Industrial Registrar in the manner, and within the time, prescribed by the regulations. Auditor’s certificate

We certify that the above Summary of the Financial Statements is a fair and accurate summary of the Report, Accounts and Statements of the New South Wales Nurses’ Association for the year ended 31 December 2011. Our Independent Audit Report to the members dated 1 May 2012 on the Financial Report did not contain any particulars of any deficiency, failure or shortcoming as referred to in the Industrial Relations Act 1991 [NSW], as applied by Section 282(3) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1996.

DALEY & CO Chartered Accountants 98 Kembla Street Wollongong, NSW 2500



23,147,194 Michael Mundt Registered Company Auditor

Represented by: Current Assets



Non-Current Assets






Current Liabilities



Non-Current Liabilities









Dated this 1st day of May 2012. A copy of the Financial Report, including the Independent Audit Report, may be found on the Members page of the website or can be obtained upon written application to: Brett Holmes, General Secretary, New South Wales Nurses’ Association, 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo 2017 THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 35

Come oout Come ut in force forrce ce i tthese h e new scrubs! in w scr ub ! ubs! The new scrub uniforms for NSWNA memberss ar aree here here and it is se of having a unifo time to scrub up! The purpose uniform orm is to show a ence times and this new uniform united front during rally and confer conference range has been designed to do just that. We would like to welcome Totall Image Group as thee new uniform supplier supplier.. WNA and dT otal t l Image I eG Group h have b been Over the past few months, NSWNA Total crubs range. The working together to create a new fit for purpose sc scrubs new uniform range endorses a modern appearance and offers both tures, while still emb bracing NSWNA image. comfort and durable features, embracing ts of a Unisex Scrub T op o and Unisex Classic The new range consists Top m 65% polyester % cotton. This fabric Pant. Both made from polyester,, 35% d of superior quality blend is durable and quality.. m also has number off functional features, The scrub uniform rawstring front on pants kets, pen partition, d including jet pockets, drawstring d comfort. ric coating for added and brushed fabric


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The size range is from om XS-5XL. This is too ensure various body izes are catered and, most importantly shapes and sizes importantly,, the as been designed to ensure e range has a comfortable fit very time. Please see size s chart on the bottom. every

ORDERING The he scrub top and pantt are $20 incl GST each. b the following methods: You can place your order by * Shop hop online, by registe registering ering as a user on otalimagegrouponline on red NSW Nurses Ass our tailored Association sociation online store. * Browse se through the custo customised mised catalogue, he order form and sen nd back to T otal o Image by: complete the send Total Email: Fax: 9569 6200 200 Post: PO Box 19 199, Westgate 9, W estgate NSW 2048

PAYMENT d accepts Visa, * Credit card: Total tal Image prefers and ge on AMEX). MEX. (3.5% Surcharg MasterCard, and AMEX. Surcharge * Cheque/Money order: er: Please make chequ cheques ues out to ‘T ‘Total Total o Image u cheque/money order Group’. Note: your order will not be processed until have been cleared. has been received by Total Image and cheques h

DELIVERY Delivery by Australia post, please working se allow 10 10-14 14 worki ng days. days Deliveries will ress on order and ch be made to the nominated address charged GST.. harged at $5 incl GST Scr Scrub ub T Top op Size











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Do You Know an Enrolled Nurse Who Excells?

The Enrolled Nurse Professional Association

Call for Nominations for ENPA are offering full conference attendance (travel, accommodation and conference fees) and 12 months membership to ENPA in remembrance of Ron and his dedication and passion to Enrolled Nursing. This award is for Enrolled Nurses currently employed in NSW who has demonstrated their commitment to nursing by: U Excelling within their scope of practise. U Pursuing professional, career and edu cational interests for all Enrolled Nurses. for nursing. U Showing a passion and U Acting as an advocate for, and support ing, Enrolled Nurses in NSW Health.

Typed applications (min 250 words) addressing any of the above criteria and outlining the qualiďŹ cations and employment history of the nominated Enrolled Nurse. The application should be signed by the applicant (either an RN or EN) and another (either RN or EN) who supports the application, and forwarded to: The Secretary ENPA PO Box 775, Kingswood NSW 2747

Before 1 August 2012. **Please ensure that full contact details are included. THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 37


Nurses are on the frontline of health care – and at the cutting edge online! See what the New South Wales Nurses’ Association and nurses throughout the state are up to via our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. What you “liked” on Facebook this month Aged care sparks interest On all our Facebook sites the federal government’s announcement of aged care reform sparked lots of interest. In the lead-up to the announcement, Lee Thomas of the ANF spoke at the National Press Club, a link that got lots of “Likes”. When the announcement finally came, of a compact to improve wages and conditions of the aged care workforce, one nurse commenter was wary but relieved: As a very tired AIN and a student RN this is very good news for the aged care sector! The overworked and underpaid nurses in aged care = burnout on a massive scale!! Good work Gillard and the ANF!! It will be interesting to see how this funding is distributed, but it’s a step in the right direction!

A big thanks to the NSWNA and the ANF!! If we truly believe we can move mountains. To all AGED CARE NURSES, this is truly a great day!!

Threat to ratios On Twitter, another sceptic tweeted: Isn’t your latest ad a little premature, not every hospital has or is going to have patient ratio system. International Nurses’ Day There are few sceptics when it comes to International Nurses Day. Tracy Spicer tweeted @NSWnurses, MCing the Nurse of the Year awards in Melb. Shld have worn waterproof mascara. So many inspiring stories. Then later: So underappreciated.These women – and men – all deserve a medal! @NSWnurses

Another nurse was exuberant: A big thanks to the NSWNA and the ANF!! If we truly believe we can move mountains.To all AGED CARE NURSES, this is truly a great day!! On One2four, a student nurse threw in her 5c, slightly off topic (but that’s social media for you): Hey Julia start paying our future RNs for their training in the hospitals... How do u expect us uni students to do slave labour, it’s 2012 Someone else had a lot to say: There are many workforce challenges in aged care, not least of which is being able to attract and retain sufficient workers due to inadequate pay. Staff earn less than they could if they worked in a supermarket. Nurses earn less than their counterparts in health services. ... It has been demonstrated in other nursing sectors that one of the outcomes of MANDATING NURSING RATIOS is the reduction in turnover of nurses. … furthermore the clinical indicators for patients and residents show better outcomes. Aged care cannot afford to wait much longer for someone to COMMIT TO OUR CALL: MANDATE NURSE-TO-RESIDENT RATIOS IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE!

Make yourself heard on Facebook New South Wales Nurses’ Association Aged Care Nurses: Time to Act for Better Pay One2four the way to safe patient care

Tweet us NSW Nurses @nswnurses Watch us on YouTube NSW Nurses

38 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Ratios ad a hot topic The recent NSWNA television ad, about benefits flowing from the successful 2010 campaign to create staff-to-patient ratios, brought nurses keen to get ratios out of the woodwork. My ward in Sydney’s busiest hospital STILL waiting for our 1:4 ratio, wrote one nurse on the NSWNA page, while on One2four the way to safe patient care, another said: We don’t have the ratios on our wards. Someone else chimed in: Hope ratios have been fixed in paediatric wards also :)

The Edith Cavell Trust

Scholarships for the academic year 2013 Applications for the Edith Cavell Trust Scholarships are now being accepted for 2013. Members or Associate Members of the NSW Nurses’ Association or the Australian Nursing Federation (NSW Branch) are invited to apply. Applicants should meet one of the following criteria: 1. Student nurses undertaking full-time courses leading to initial registration as a nurse or midwife. 2. Registered or enrolled nurses who wish to attend:

an accredited clinical nursing education course of six months or less, either full-time or part-time; an accredited nursing conference or seminar relevant to applicant’s clinical practice. 3. Properly constituted nursing organisations, faculties or schools of nursing or registered or enrolled nurses wishing to: attend full-time, relevant postbasic studies at an approved institution for a period or periods of more than six months;

undertake an academically approved research program in the theory and practice of nursing work; conduct or fund a relevant professional or clinical nursing educational program. Applicants must be currently

Applicants must use the official Edith Cavell Trust application form. Details of the Edith Cavell Trust Rules are available on request and will also be supplied with the application form.

For further information or forms, contact: The Secretary – The Edith Cavell Trust 50 O’Dea Ave, Waterloo, NSW 2017 T Mrs Glen Ginty on 1300 367 962 E W – click on ‘Education’

Applications close 5pm on 31 July 2012

A BRAND NEW LAW Proud Proud to to be the th he lawyers lawyers for for NSWNA NSW WN NA me members mbers We offer a wide range of legal services including: * Employment * Superannuation * Insurance claims * Family Law * Discrimination * Wills and Probate

registered with the Nurses and Midwives Board of Australia.


Civil litigation Conveyancing * Criminal * Defamation *

‘If you trust the Association enough to look after your industrial and professional affairs, then you can trust it to direct you to a professional and caring legal service.’ Bob Whyburn, Solicitor Director of NEW Law.

Ring 8595 1295 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (rural) for a referral from the Association.

LEGAL SERVICES FOR NSWNA MEMBERS In addition to the assistance provided by the NSWNA to members in relation to workplace, employment and professional issues, the NSWNA offers a referral for all other legal matters to the Association’s solicitors, NEW Law. All first consultations are free. For the convenience of members consultations can be arranged at NEW Law offices in Sydney and Newcastle or visitation offices, if required, throughout New South Wales. To access this service, contact the Association for a referral. Due to advertising regulations in NSW, we are restricted in publishing information on some of the services we provide. If you would like any information or assistance in relation to other legal issues, please contact the Association for a referral.

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 39


WHAT’S HOT ON NURSE UNCUT? A victory for aged care nurses; threat to workers’ comp; dermatitis – an occupational hazard; three in 10 Australians affected by alcohol-fuelled violence; ratios revisited internationally. And check out our International Nurses’ Day contest – you could win a two-night stay in the Hunter Valley! Read all the latest at

Three in 10 Australians affected by alcohol-fuelled violence.

Hot topics Victory for aged care nurses The Gillard Government delivered its aged care reform package and it was well received by the sector. The reforms carry broad implications for all Australians, whether we have ageing parents or grandparents or are getting close to retirement age ourselves. For those who work in aged care the reform package is a sweet and special victory, as it acknowledges that improving the pay, training and staffing levels of the aged care workforce is fundamental to ensuring the best level of care for older people. Check out the full blog at Nurse Uncut. Threat to workers’ compensation! The O’Farrell Government has threatened further attacks on workers’ rights through benefits for those injured at work. Nursing is a hands-on, physical job in many areas and nurses still receive significant injuries, so any change to workers’ compensation entitlements has implications for all nurses. Considering Barry O’Farrell’s recent attacks on the powers of the Industrial Relations Commission, it is reasonable to expect that any changes will not be in the best interest of workers. Read the full story at Nurse Uncut. Dermatitis – an occupational hazard Healthcare workers are one of the main groups who suffer from occupational contact dermatitis (OCD), according to a major report released by Safe Work Australia. OCD is the most common occupationally-caused skin disease and one of the most common work-related problems presented to GPs in Australia. How about you? Do you suffer from work-related dermatitis or have you worked alongside someone who has? Do you have tips for managing this condition while still working as a nurse? Share your thoughts at Nurse Uncut! Ratios revisited internationally Inspired by the successful NSWNA campaign for nurse-patient ratios, Nursing Unison, the largest nursing union in the UK, recently carried out a survey of their members to get a snapshot of nurse-patient ratios on a typical working day in March 2012. The result? The survey showed problems with understaffing on a national level. Read the full story at Nurse Uncut.

40 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012 A national poll shows that more than three in every 10 Australians has been affected by alcohol-fuelled violence. According to Last Drinks, a coalition of doctors, nurses, paramedics and police officers, alcohol-fuelled violence is a major occupational health and safety issue for emergency service workers. Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber said “You see it every weekend – a fight outside a pub, the police have to break it, ambulance officers get attacked while treating the injured, then emergency ward doctors and nurses are left to deal with aggressive drunks until they’re fit to go home.” Read the full story at Nurse Uncut.

What nurses are talking about? On the ‘I Support Nurses’ Facebook page “The Gillard Government’s aged care reform package has huge positive implications for the aged care workforce – though the media seems mostly uninterested. What do you think?” “Very good news but I am finding most staff waiting to see if all the promises are going to happen. Hope they do. Aged Care staff are working so hard under difficult conditions. Staff are just plain worn out!” Dermatitis is an occupational hazard for nurses. Has it been a problem for you? “If I am particularly stressed I break out in it. My main problem is [that] the Avagard hand rub causes me asthma and nausea.” “I have to keep on top of looking after my hands or it reoccurs. I can’t use the alcohol-based rubs as they dry out my skin too much. I was told years ago by our stoma/ wound care nurse to use only the white microshield, stay away from the green one unless I was doing a procedure and had no choice.” “Another tip is to wash your hands with cold water only as hot water will open up your pores and make you suck up more of the irritating chemicals. It works for me..”

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The Conversation is an independent source of analysis, commentary and news from the university and research sector that aims to: “Give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas by providing a trusted platform that values and promotes new thinking and evidence-based research.” The Conversation publishes a wide variety of material of interest to nurses and health professionals and can be accessed online at:

From homophobia to homophilia: the future face of medicine

Overseas-trained doctors can’t fill rural workforce shortages forever

Victor Minichiello and Tinashe Dune

Peter Brooks

Homophilia, a term once used to define “unnatural” relations between same-sex people in the early-to-mid-20th Century, has been given a makeover. Urban gay communities around the world are using the term homophilia to describe open, supportive and non-judgemental acceptance towards gays and lesbians.

The recently released report from the House of Representatives’ inquiry, into the registration processes and support for overseastrained doctors, highlights some major shortfalls in how Australia’s health workforce is organised.

Jason Tye-Din

Poignantly titled Lost in the Labyrinth, the report explains how on the one hand, we rely on the skills of overseas-trained doctors, who account for 40% of the clinicians in regional Australia. On the other hand, we subject them to an enormous amount of red tape and administrative hurdles to have their overseas qualifications recognised.

While most proteins were readily consumed, some people’s immune systems struggled to tolerate others. Wheat was the first cereal to be widely domesticated, and in the case of the gluten protein from wheat, the result of this struggle was coeliac disease.

Like the word queer before it, homophilia is a rebuttal to homophobia. By definition, homophiles are able to form bonds and associations with others based on their similarities, rather than their differences. And plenty of common ground can be found between people who identify as homosexual and those who don’t. The first step to embracing commonalities is to do away with prejudicial definitions of difference – an area in which medicine has played a crucial part. What the budget means for dental care in Australia Kaye Roberts-Thomson and Jane Harford

The Federal Budget includes a $515.3 million dentistry package that will go some way to easing the problems with dental care in Australia. Of this total, $345.9 million will be used to treat patients on long waiting lists and provide other vital services to adults. The oral health of Australian children has worsened since the mid-1990s. Dental disease is now one of the most common reasons for children to have a general anaesthetic in hospital.The options devised by the National Advisory Council on Oral Health to address these issues were intended to improve access to dental care for children, either by extending an existing entitlement, such as the Teen Dental Program, to all children (and by including treatment), or by extending existing public services for children. Sadly, the Budget has made no specific recommendations for children’s dental care, although the money for employing oral health therapists and for oral health promotion may include a focus on children.

42 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Some groups, particularly specialist colleges, refuse to accept these highly qualified professionals and insist on them redoing basic examinations rather than assessing them on their job skills and providing on-the-job training. Also in the report, the parliamentary committee rightly recommends a review of the 10-year moratorium on the requirement for overseas-trained doctors to work in an “area of need”. Currently, newly arrived doctors must service a geographically isolated are for 10 years before being eligible to gain full Medicare access. -forever-6195

Everything you need to know about coeliac disease (and whether you really have it) The Neolithic Revolution introduced a whole range of new foods and proteins into the human digestive tract. But this phenomenal change created the perfect conditions for the rise of coeliac disease.

When people with coeliac disease consume gluten, an abnormal immune reaction occurs causing inflammation and damage to the small bowel lining. This impairs absorption of nutrients and can lead to a wide range of symptoms and medical complications. The second century Greek physician Arateus is credited with coining the term coeliac disease, or “koiliakos”, after the Greek word koelia (abdomen), to describe patients suffering typical symptoms of diarrhoea, weight loss and anaemia.


LO O K I N G A F T E R YO U R H E A LT H At Bupa, we understand that your health is important. That’s why we offer a 3 % discount when you join NSW Health corporate health plan.~ And, you’ll also get access to special corporate benefits including: ° we’ll waive 1 excess for singles and 2 excesses for families for same day or overnight admissions into hospital.^ ° gap free dental and no excess hospital cover for children under 25.*

Call us on 134 135 and quote ID 2076307


Drop by your local Bupa centre

~Discount is reviewed annually by Bupa and your company. Must pay by direct debit or payroll deduction (if available). ^Available on Corporate Hospital Top level 2, Corporate Hospital Intermediate level 2 and Corporate Hospital Saver level 2. *Available on selected extras, when taken with hospital cover on a family membership. Only for treatment provided at a Members First dentist. Major dental only available in VIC and SA, excludes orthodontics and Hospital. Annual limits, Waiting periods and fund dental rules apply. Child Dependents only. No excess for kids is available on Corporate Hospital Top and Corporate Hospital Intermediate level 2 on family memberships only. Bupa Australia ABN 81 000 057 590. 10860-05-12P

Accounting and Taxation Spe Specialists ecialists cialists for Health Professionals Come to us in Kogarah or our mobile bile sservice ervice rvice ccan n come to you We understand the needs of health professionalss in particular, particular pa ticularr, nurse nurses. nu sees. es innformation ormation so s you Tax with Integrity provides current and relevantt tax information can minimise your tax now and in the future.

Let us provide you with the most effec effective ve outcom outcomes outco es ‘Make an appointment’ online ne at m/hea th care m/health-care or call Gerard on 0481 215 686 orr 9587 2225 Like us on m/taxw withintegrity thintegrity Tax with Integrity et, Suite 5/40-42 Montgomery Street, Kogarah NSW 2217

YOU CAN REACH OVER 55,000 NURSES AND MIDWIVES BY ADVERTISING IN THE LAMP. Contact Patricia Purcell on 02 8595 2139 or 0416 259 845 or email for more information.

THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 43

HIP members beneďŹ t from great insurance


HIP works hard to offer members better income protection and death cover. Improved policy beneďŹ ts include: • increased death cover up to a total of $618,240* without the need to supply a medical report • a 20% increase in the beneďŹ t of each unit of death cover

HIP is a national industry superannuation fund for health and associated industries, offering low fees, no commissions, great insurance, super pensions, plus much more – run for the beneďŹ t of members.

• $6,000** per month of income protection for four units of cover.

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How good is your super? ......................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................ 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This information from Health Industry Plan contains general advice only. It is not speciďŹ c to your personal ďŹ nancial situation, objectives or needs. Get the facts (including a Product Disclosure Statement) from or talk to a ďŹ nancial advisor before making any super decisions. The Trustee of HIP ABN 50 030 598 247 is Private Hospitals Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 59 006 792 749, AFSL 247063.* This calculation is based on members aged between 16-36 at four units of cover, and only if members apply for an additional three units of cover within 60 days of joining the Fund. Insurance beneďŹ t is reduced each subsequent year. Please refer to the HIP Insurance Booklet or PDS for full details. ** Subject to a maximum monthly beneďŹ t of 75% of the member’s monthly income. Please refer to the HIP Insurance Booklet or PDS for full details.

When you’re on the frontline of patient care, you can use all the help you can get. NPS offer a range of medicine safety resources, so you can help your patients stay safe.

Find resources at

Independent, not-for-proďŹ t and evidence based. NPS enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.














11 13

12 14 14

15 17

16 17 20








19 19



25 27

26 26



28 30

31 32

Across 1. Pain in any viscus (11) 8. General term for malignant neoplasms (6) 9.The process of becoming less dense (11) 12. Production or causation (9) 13. A hollow space; hole (6) 14. Spinal tap (6.8) 16. Left anterior oblique position (1.1.1) 17. Sodium Iodide (3) 18. Nothing; zero (3) 19. International Council of Nurses (1.1.1) 20.To set again (5) 23. Over the counter (1.1.1) 24. Nursing classification (1.1) 25. Nodule, especially in an anatomic sense (8) 27. Symbol for gold (2) 28. Suffering from abulia (6) 29.Turning or movement around an axis (8)

46 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012


30. Early stage of the process through which a zygote develops into an embryo (8) 32. Skin stain, alteration, defect, or flaw (7) Down 1. Resembling a worm (10) 2. Having a shrill or creaking sound (10) 3.Thinning of cervix before or during labor (10) 4. Physiological or psychological adjustment to a new environment (11) 5. Severe cystic acne (4.10) 6. Nitrogen mustards (1.1) 7. Relating to liver and kidney (11) 10.Therapeutic puncture with hot needles (12) 11. Intravenous (1.1) 15. Having three sphygmographic waves or elevations to one beat of the pulse (10) 21. Cell movement that occurs in the early embryo (7) 22. Cilium (7) 24. Distal portion of the large intestine (6) 26. Outdated term for a male who has been castrated (6) 31. Antibody (1.1)


BOOK ME Borderline Personality Disorder: New Reasons for Hope Francis Mark Mondimore MD, and Patrick Kelly MD, John Hopkins University Press (available through Footprint Books RRP $29.95 ISBN 9781421403137

SPECIAL INTEREST — DVD Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child. (DVD) Available through Citizens Commission on Human Rights International RRP $20.00 ISBN 9781457212413 This book advocates a therapeutic approach to treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) by incorporating compassion and optimism in the face of what is often a tumultuous disorder. For those who care about someone who has been diagnosed with BPD, this book can guide you in understanding the experiences of that person, enough to know how to offer care and support. Fast facts for Nurses Springhouse (available through Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins) RRP $46.95 ISBN 9781582552880 Fast Facts for Nurses is a quick-consult collection of facts, checklists, algorithms, tips, key steps, alerts, and sketches that span almost every area of nursing practice. Up-to-the-minute information is presented on more than 600 topics, including signs and symptoms, documentation, diseases, assessment, procedures, ECGs, medication administration, drugs, complementary and alternative therapies, and diagnostic tests. Formatted for quick reference, each chapter includes section tabs in the margin. Bulleted text and quick-scan tables and illustrations help the reader immediately focus on the most important information‌provided by publisher Introduction to Public Health (2nd ed.) Mary Louise Fleming and Elizabeth Parker, Churchill Livingstone (available through Elsevier Australia) RRP $84.95 ISBN 9780729540919 Introduction to Public Health provides an overview of the field of public health and its key concepts such as the history of public health, health determinants, epidemiology, planning and evaluation, evidence-based practice, indigenous health, epidemics and health promotion. The second edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect current health policy and the changing Australian health environment. Each chapter is designed with the student in mind and includes chapter learning objectives, review questions, chapter summaries, reflection activities, case studies boxes and major public health highlights. Nursing Theorists and Their Work (7th ed.) Martha Raile Alligood and Ann Marriner Tomey, Mosby Elsevier (available through Elsevier Australia) RRP $POA ISBN 9780323056410 Nursing Theorists and Their Work includes case studies and critical thinking activities that help bridge the gap between theory and application. This is a classic resource in the field of nursing theory and provides an in-depth look at 49 theorists of historical, international, and significant importance. Each chapter features a clear presentation of a key nursing philosophy or theory.

Dead Wrong is a documentary that centres on a mother, Celeste Steubing, searching for answers as to why her son, Matthew, killed himself. The journey she embarks on reveals to her how dangerous the drug Lexapro, and other antidepressant medications, can be. She hopes that by sharing her story other families will be spared the devastating heartbreak she must live with every day. This documentary includes stories from eight brave mothers and their families, health experts, drug counsellors and doctors about the devastating effects of these prescription drugs on children.

Maternal Child Nursing Care (4th ed.) Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk and David Wilson, Mosby Elsevier (available through Elsevier Australia) RRP $POA ISBN 9780323057202 This textbook provides just the right amount of maternity and pediatric content in an easy-to-understand manner. Divided into two sections, the first part of the book includes 28 chapters on maternity nursing and the second part contains 27 chapters covering pediatric nursing. Numerous illustrations, photos, boxes, and tables clarify key content and help the reader quickly find essential information.

All books can be ordered through the publisher or your local bookshop. NSWNA members can borrow the books featured here, and many more, from our records and information centre (RIC). Contact Jeannette Bromfield or Cathy Matias 8595 2121 Reviews by NSWNA RIC Coordinator Jeannette Bromfield. Some books are reviewed using information supplied and have not been independently reviewed. THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 47

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Are your workmates or friends members of the NSWNA? Why not ask them. And, if not, invite them to sign up. Like you, they need the security of belonging to a strong and dynamic union. Not only will you be building your union by signing up new members, you and a friend could win this fabulous cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. The more members you sign up, the more chances you have to win! Prize includes return airfares for two from Sydney, a seven-night cruise of the fabulous Barrier Reef in a stateroom on the beautiful Coral Sea Princess Cruises. Multi-award-winning Coral Princess Cruises will introduce the lucky prize winner to Australia’s most famous natural wonder: the Great Barrier Reef. With over 28 years’ experience and an unrivalled reputation for cruising excellence, their exclusive itineraries


showcase the very best of the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands in total comfort and unmatched style. You’ll enjoy the hidden jewels of the Great Barrier Reef: the reef, ancient rainforest and secluded tropical islands most visitors never see. Exclusive reef moorings mean you won’t be surrounded by hundreds of other reef visitors – and the company’s small ships accommodate a maximum of just 44 guests, ensuring an intimate and personalised experience. You can be as adventurous or as relaxed as you please. Explore remote coral cays, deserted but for a myriad of colourful tropical fish, peaceful tropical islands and primordial rainforests well beyond the reach of most visitors, or simply relax on the sun deck or in the open-bridge or spa and cruise serenely through some of the most aweinspiring scenery Australia has to offer. Coral Princess Cruises’ informative crew is always on hand to provide assistance and information about the fascinating reef life and habitats, and an experienced dive instructor can take you for an exhilarating introductory scuba dive, revealing even

more of this breathtaking world heritage-listed wonderland. Three, four and seven-night cruises depart Cairns and Townsville each week, all year round. A special 10% discount is available to NSW Nurses’ Association members on the company’s range of small ship cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, Western Australia’s Kimberley, Across the Top of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and New Zealand.

HURRY! Call the Association now for a recruitment kit and recruitment incentive scheme details. Phone 8595 1234 (metropolitan area) or 1300 367 962 (rural) or go to RECRUITERS NOTE: nurses and midwives can now join online! If you refer a new member to join online, make sure you ask them to put your name and workplace on the online application form. You will then be entitled to your vouchers and draw/s in the NSWNA Recruitment Incentive Scheme.



Rated M. In cinemas 21 June. Check newspapers for details.


university, a decision she is devastated by. In desperation Elena enacts a bold plan to get what she wants.

This film requires patience and tenacity to stay with its slow pace, but it is worth the effort, writes Murray James. Ravens perch on skeletal trees outside the home of Elena and Vladimir, an older couple in a modern Russian apartment block. It’s a slow and ominous start. The film Elena has been described as a “noir thriller”, a genre encompassing themes of modernist pessimism. Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev describes his movie as being about “survival of the fittest” and “survival at any cost”. From this dark premise he explores through his characters perennial questions about life and death, and adapting to change in a modern consumer culture. Elena is a former nurse, married to Vladimir, a rich retired businessman. They met late in life and each has a child by a previous marriage. Their lives are bound by claustrophobic bland domesticity and their focus, and their future, seems largely determined by their children. Elena is in constant contact with her son Sergey, who is unemployed, and unable to support his family. He constantly demands money from Elena, his most pressing need to get money to send his son to university, so the boy can avoid enforced enlistment into the military. 50 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

MEMBERS GIVEAWAY The Lamp has 15 in-season double passes to give away to Elena thanks to Palace Films. The first 15 members to email their name, membership number, address and telephone number to will win.

In contrast,Vladimir and his wayward daughter Katerina have an emotionally distant relationship. However, this changes when a heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, forcing him to acknowledge his mortality and draw closer to his cynical daughter. In an honest but tender exchange with his daughter,Vladimir decides to make her his main heiress. Consequently he refuses to give Elena’s grandson money to enter

Essentially this is a morality tale, dealing with issues of greed, temptation and the enticements of money. Zvyagintsev seems to question the social realities of the new capitalist order of Russia, where there are some winners like Vladimir, but also many losers like Sergey and his delinquent son. Elena is “everywoman”. She is a “kind nurse” who is struggling with conflicting loyalties to her rich husband and her family from a previous marriage. She seeks guidance and hope in the symbolism of the Russian Orthodox Church, but finds no solace. Her husband derides her faith as “fairy tale nonsense”, saying “let your lazy son help himself ”. This movie is absorbing, inviting us to reflect on our values, the quality of our relationships, and the meanings we attach to our everyday lives. The urgent pulsating rhythm of music by Philip Glass moves the narrative on to a suspenseful climax. Nevertheless, we are forced to confront the mundanity of our individual and collective lives, where money provides no easy panacea. Murray James is a mental health nurse in a Mood Disorders Unit, St John of God Hospital, Burwood, Sydney

Nursing career opportunities exist now with Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to provide services to people with an intellectual disability. Large residences and specialist supported living facilities exist across the state of New South Wales. These facilities provide supported accommodation and specialist services to people who have an intellectual disability. Ageing Disability and Home Care have vacancies in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast, North Ryde, Western Sydney and Western New South Wales. Expand your nursing knowledge and take up an exciting nursing opportunity in disability nursing.

Our large residential and specialist supported living facilities have full time, part time and casual positions available now for: • Registered Nurses (Salary package up to $78685) • Medically Endorsed Enrolled Nurses (Salary package up to $56525)

Successful applicants can expect to be provided a paid comprehensive work place induction. Learning and development staff provide ongoing education and support to large residence and specialist supported living staff. Vacancies and other details can be confirmed by contacting the nurse managers below: NEWCASTLE/LAKE MACQUARIE Helen Winning 02 4928 0844 CENTRAL COAST Bill Learmouth 02 4394 3702 WESTERN SYDNEY Sing Ting 02 9842 2314 ORANGE Michael Herbertson 02 6362 7153

• Enrolled Nurses (Salary package up to $53780)

SUMMER HILL Yvonne Turiano 02 9798 1100

• Assistant in Nursing (Salary package up to $44128)

NORTH RYDE Stephen Jankovic 02 9857 8002

Interested in finding out more about Careers in Nursing with Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) visit www.adhc.nsw.

Palliative P alliative Car Caree Nur Nursing singg A Guide tto o Pr P Practice actice Third Third Edition Edited by Margaret O'Co O'Connor, onnor, Susan Lee and Sanchia Aranda Aranda Thoroughly updated, rewritten and revised this third edition offers ferss nurses and healthcare professionals an evidence-based approach to providi providing ng better ca care re for a for those who love and support them. them m. people in palliative care and

Available A vailable Now v w in Print and Digital Form Formats mats $



Visit www w ook Visit to Or Order rd der Online for $79.95 Download With Y o our Download Your Ausmed Ausme ed Membership

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THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 51


Elizabeth “Betsy” Graham 21 October 1947 — 12 February 2012

[e\ John, Betsy’s brother said: “She was always going to be a nurse and at age four or five told the matron at the Scottish Hospital, ‘I am going to be a nurse; just like my Aunty Telly!’” True to her word, Betsy did her General Nurse Training at St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Brisbane and Midwifery at Crown Street, Sydney. She also undertook her Intensive and Coronary Care certificates at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scotland. Over the years Betsy worked in a number of clinical areas including Oncology, Aged Care, and Emergency Nursing. She was the Clinical (Nursing) Head for Neuro/Spinal, Orthopaedics and Aged Care at Royal North Shore Hospital from 1993 to 1998, when she left to become Director of Nursing, Fairfield Hospital.

“Betsy was a dynamo, a real organiser, and a great manager. She was honest and trustworthy and had enormous compassion for others.” I first got to know Betsy during her time at Royal North Shore, where she was the night duty charge nurse in ED in the early 80s. She was known for running a tight ship and was passionate about emergency nursing. In fact she was passionate about nursing until the day of her passing. One of her colleagues Renee said: “Betsy was a dynamo, a real organiser, and a great manager. She was honest and trustworthy and had enormous compassion for others. She believed in the professionalism of nursing, and remained concerned about its future. I, as well as many others, was a guinea pig for all her questionnaires, survey questions, etc. as she did her doctorate.”

52 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012

Betsy completed her Masters in Public Administration and on 26 April this year was posthumously awarded her Doctorate in Nursing at the UTS graduation ceremony, for her thesis on “Retention of an Ageing Nursing Workforce in NSW, Australia”. Her husband Peter accepted on Betsy’s behalf. Betsy had a strong Christian faith. She was choirmaster and organist at her local church and had a great love of the church choir. She was affectionately known by the choir as the “the dragon lady”. Their singing at her memorial service was fabulous and a great honour to her. When her husband Peter was appointed Mayor of Ryde, Betsy carried out her role of Lady Mayoress with confidence and grace. While involved with her very busy professional life, Betsy and Peter brought up three delightful and individual children, John, Katy and Lizzy. Betsy was seen as the glue that held together a very large network of diverse friends and family. While feisty and unafraid to hold and voice her own opinions, she was a committed, loving and faithful friend and spent her life in pursuit of excellence in all that she entered into. During her final illness Betsy appeared on the George Negus programme to speak on behalf of those who, unlike her, could not afford to pay for an extremely effective but expensive pain relief drug called Targon. Due to Betsy and others of equal courage,Targon was listed on the PBS on November 2011 and is now available to many others. This was typical of Betsy’s life, that even in the midst of her own illness she was a voice and advocate for others. I would like to thank the following for their contributions,Alison Zecchin, Renee de Neve, Julia Poole, Christine Duffield, Judith Donoghue and Susie Lang. Kathy Baker AM Adjunct Professor UTS & UWS


Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations

ARCHI is a free, national knowledge sharing and networking service for health professionals, supporting clinical practice improvement and innovation. ARCHI promotes discussion, sharing tools and resources as well as connecting health professionals across the country.

What’s new on ARCHI? Self Assessment Checklist for Surgical Services helps hospitals assess the essential components necessary for a robust surgical program. The checklist helps identify areas for improvement to their surgical program. The Community Map is an interactive online map designed to allow you to identify and connect with other health professionals who share your areas of interest. Join our Community Map and see your connections.

30 JUNE - 15 JULY 2012

Visit the ARCHI website today at

See an amazing Winte See Winter er scene at Hunter Va Valley alley G Gardens complete wit with th snow and ice sculp sculptures, ptures, have ha ave a go ice skating and take a toboggan n ride! · 114cm 1 High Polar Bear Ice Sculpture Sculpture Storytelling · Winter W · 15m 1 2 Skating Rink* · Make your own snowman or snow angell M S Tubing Toboggan To oboggan Race · Snow Tubing

Throwing Game · Snow Ball Throwing · Winter Wonderland Wonderland o Treasure Hunt Treasure *Additional nal fee · Hunter Valley Va alley Gar dens T rain *Addition Gardens Train · Food and Beverage are fr ee after paid entry into the Gardens Gardens · All activities are free

M Hu Make a night of it and stay in the Hunter unter Valley Wine Country at Harriga Harrigan’s an’s Irish Pub & A Accommodation nigh ht midweek and $284 per night on weekends. just $204 per night This includes accommodation, breakfast and garden entry for 2. Terms & conditions apply. Based B on twin share.

Book Tickets online at Phone 02 4998 4000 Broke Road Pokolbin

Fo For or bookings and inquiries pleas please se contact Harrigan’s Ha arrigan’s on 02 4998 4300 THE LAMP JUNE 2012 | 53

Upcoming Upcoming Nursing g Se Seminars eminars


June Ju ne 2012 2012 - S Sydney ydney



Teresa Farrell 4389 9419 Nicole Field 4389 9449

RAHC March 1973 PTS reunion

Mountains to the Sea midwifery conference


6 July 2012, Wollongong Kerry Duggan 4253 4267

Gundagai District Hospital Dinner Dance

Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre Symposium

Farewell Gundagai District Hospital and welcome new Gundagai Multi Purpose Service. 27 September 2012, Gundagai Brunch & Hospital Tours 30 September Gundagai Health Service 02 6944 1022

10 August 2012, Liverpool Hospital Lynette McEvoy 02 8738 3886

NSW GENCA Conference – Gastroenterological Nurses 18 August 2012, Sydney 1300 788 155

21st Annual Spinal Injury Conference

Improve your bottom line: Best Practice Continence Management 23-24 August 2012, Sydney

15 June 2012, Tamworth $40 Marilyn Woodcock 8741 5699

Day Surgery Nurses’ Association Conference: Embracing Change

12th Rural Critical Care Conference

25 August 2012, Sydney DSNA Secretariat 9799 1632 24-25 August 2012, Dubbo

40th annual meeting of International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery

Australian Women’s Health Nurses Association Annual Professional Update 9-13 September 2012, Sydney

27-28 August 2012, Canberra Sue Green 02 6298 9233

National Spina Bifida Conference

INTERSTATE & OVERSEAS 19-20 October 2012, Sydney Julie Dicker 9845 2802

NOTICES Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan exhibition Australian War Memorial, Canberra Until 17 October, free

NSWNA Events Check venue locations with Lyn Stevens 02 8595 1234 Free call 1300 367 962.


3rd International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector

It’s a Knock Out! Anaesthetic Cocktails and PACU Pick-me-ups

17 March 2013 Bronwyn Exley Jenny Elliott Sherran Alexander (Peck)

For more information on NSWNA Education Courses, contact Carolyn Kulling (02) 8595 1234 Free call 1300 367 962 .html Diary Dates is a free service. Please send details of your event by the 5th of each month, in the format used here – event, date, contact details. Email: Fax: 9550 3667 Post: 50 O’Dea Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017

24-26 October 2012, Vancouver, Canada Abstracts accepted till 1 August MAILING/vancouver/

27 October, Terrigal




54 | THE LAMP JUNE 2012






7 - 8 Ju June ne

10.5 10 0.5 CPD Hrs

This pr ogram aims tto refresh refresh program              knowledge about de epressive depressive manife estation in illness and its manifestation older people.

Managing Chronic Managing Chronic Illnesss in Older Illnes Older People P eople 14 --15 15 Ju June ne

10 10.5 0.5 CPD Hrs

The aim of this semi seminar inar is to pr p ovide nurses with knowledge g provide and skills, which wil willl guide clinical decision-ma decision-making king when aged persons in the their ir care care present pr esent with one or more more chronic chronic conditions.

Chronic Chronic Kidney Kidney Disease Disea ase 10.5 10 0.5 CPD Hrs

21 -22 Ju June ne

          an opportunity to fu further rther their knowledge about cu urrent bestcurrent practice car care e of a pe person erson who has chr chronic onic rrenal enal dis disease. sease.

Understanding Understanding Mental Ment al Illness Illness

Crossword solution V E R M I C U L A R S

Deprre Depression ession in n Later Lat er Life Liffe


25 - 26 Ju June ne R N Y A E E X A E U N U C H

10.5 10 0.5 CPD Hrs

The purpose of this program program is to pr ovide general nurses nurses with provide information about mental m illness and disease so that they can improve impr ove their nursin nursing g car care. e.

Clinical Clinical Nursing Nursing Assessment Assessment Ski Skills lls 28 - 29 Ju June ne

10.5 10 0.5 CPD Hrs

The aim of this seminar semiinar is to


        update their clinical assessment skills.

To vie view w mo more ore pr programs ograms a and nd tto o rregister: egis e ter: o /register

ph: (0 (03) 03) 9326 9326 8101 8101






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A First State Super initiative

Please consider the First State Super Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relevant to your own situation before deciding whether to become a member or to continue your membership of First State Super. To obtain a PDS visit or call 1300 650 873. FSS Trustee Corporation recommends that, before you make any financial decision regarding a First State Super product, you seek professional advice from a suitably qualified adviser. Issued by FSS Trustee Corporation (ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340) as Trustee of the First State Superannuation Scheme (ABN 53 226 460 365). April 2012

The Lamp June 2012  

In this issue: proposed changes to the NSW workers' compensation scheme will only add to the physical, financial and social costs borne by i...

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