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lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

volume 66 no.3 April 2009

Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033



First State Super the fund for all Nurses First State Super options are simple-to-understand, well priced and what our members want. First State Super has made super a whole lot easier for nurses If you work in either a public or private hospital (or perhaps both) you can use First State Super for all your super requirements. This could include your employer’s superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions if they provide choice of fund. You may need to complete a Standard Choice form – visit Brochures and forms on our website for a copy.

First State Super – take us with you whenever you work!

…And stay with us when you retire with a choice of two First State Super income streams.

More information Web:

Phone: 1300 650 873 Email:

Consider the First State Super Product Disclosure Statement having regard to your own situation before deciding whether to become a member or continue membership. A copy is available by calling us or visiting our website. The information contained in this document is current as at February 2009. Prepared by APRIL FSS Trustee 2 THE LAMP 2009 Corporation ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340, the trustee of First State Superannuation Scheme ABN 53 226460365.


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Contacts NSW NURSES’ ASSOCIATION For all membership enquiries and assistance, including Lamp subscriptions and change of address, contact our Sydney office. SYDNEY OFFICE 43 Australia Street Camperdown NSW 2050 PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 (all correspondence) T 8595 1234 (metro) 1300 367 962 (non-metro) F 9550 3667 E W HUNTER OFFICE 120 Tudor Street Hamilton NSW 2303 ILLAWARRA OFFICE L1, 63 Market Street Wollongong NSW 2500

Cover story

lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

volume 66 no.3 April 2009

Spotlight on aged care 12

SPOTLIGHT ON Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033


Cover AiNs at Red Leaf nursing home (left to right) Evelyn Darrah, Panatda Lathong and Rama Doramy. Photography by Sharon Hickey

News in brief

Professional issues

8 8

26 A plan for the future of health 28 National registration of nurses and midwives 29 Maternity Services Review – ‘a good start’

8 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11

WA hospital stats online NSWNA-AMA agreement for practice nurses ANF online tutorials More male nursing students NSW Health bans smoking at mental health facilities Icy poles win cool air for Manly Aged care members: does your union collective agreement expire in June 2009? PNG nurses strike UK’s RCN to adopt official position on assisted dying Danish Govt compensates nightshift cancer patients Mental health nurses call for improved eating disorder treatment Medibank considers private EDs Member’s bank gets thumbs up Fight cancer with a cuppa Nurses needed for study

NSWNA education program 11 What’s on

NSWNA news 18 TV ads celebrate the modern nurse and midwife

Private hospitals 21 Finally, a decent agreement from Ramsay

Industrial issues 22 New grades and $584K back pay for DADHC nurses 23 Little Lake Cargelligo outguns big bureaucracy 25 Dubbo nurses work together to relieve workloads



Occupational health and safety 32 Action needed for health and safety

Special people 34 Bob Whyburn celebrates 40 years with Australia’s ‘best union’

NSWNA matters 36 NSWNA branch news

Regular columns 5 6 31 43 45 47 48

Editorial by Brett Holmes Your letters to The Lamp Ask Judith Books Nursing online Our nursing crossword Diary dates

Lifestyle 38 Movie reviews


NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Noel Hester T 8595 2153 NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT Russell Burns T 8595 1219 For all Lamp editorial enquiries, letters and diary dates: Editorial Enquiries T 8595 1234 E M PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 THE LAMP PRODUCED BY Lodestar Communications T 9560 1223 PRESS RELEASES Send your press releases to: T 9550 3667 E THE LAMP EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Brett Holmes, NSWNA General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Coral Levett, NSWNA President John Lyons, Baradine MPS Mark Kearin, Blacktown/ Mt Druitt Hospital Roz Norman, Tamworth Base Hospital Stephen Metcalfe, Lismore Base Hospital Peg Hibbert, Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care ADVERTISING Patricia Purcell T 8595 2139 or 0416 259 845 F 9550 3667 E RECORDS AND INFORMATION CENTRE – LIBRARY To find old articles in The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNA library’s nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, RIC Coordinator T 8595 2175 E THE LAMP ISSN: 0047-3936 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.

41 Barbara Jean Marsden: best friend not forgotten

Competition 33 Win a relaxing getaway to Orange

Special offers 38 Win 25 double passes to Tenderness



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 Free to all Association members. Professional members can subscribe to the magazine at a reduced rate of $50. Individuals $70, Institutions $106, Overseas $116.

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Managing health reform g Nurses and midwives must actively participate in the health reform debate to identify and seize opportunities as they arise.


hese are challenging times for nurses and midwives. At the Federal level, we are digesting the recently-released interim report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) (see page 26) and at the state level we are navigating our way through the implications of the Garling Report’s recommendations. It is a time when nurses and midwives need to focus on where our professions are going. It is our responsibility to ensure our professions continue to grow, evolve and adapt to new standards of health care delivery in a way that secures the future of the next generation of nurses and midwives. Right now, politically, economically and socially, we are at a crossroad: I can see many opportunities for nurses and midwives but I can also see a number of threats. A key challenge for the NSWNA is how best to synthesise the industrial and professional objectives of nursing and midwifery in an uncertain future.

Nurses and midwives are well placed to benefit from change The NHHRC interim report continues a vigorous national debate about which tier of government should run our health system, about funding and workforce arrangements in the health sector. It is a debate that has intensified in the past few years. In fact, it has been gathering pace for the past three decades as we have seen exponential growth in the capacity and

professions will be recognised in any rigorous analysis of the health landscape. We need to understand that change is essential, both in health care and in the professions of nursing and midwifery, and if we manage it properly it will be beneficial.

Bringing the public with us

demand for health care in the developed world. Health’s continued evolution demands a high level of adaptation from the nursing and midwifery professions to enable them to keep pace with developments.

Change is essential, both in health care and in the professions of nursing and midwifery and if we manage it properly it will be beneficial. We should not fear this debate nor this evolution. We should be confident that the efficiency and effectiveness of the work done by the nursing and midwifery

In the midst of this dynamic debate on health, the NSWNA is about to embark on its next TV advertising campaign (see page 18) to promote the professionalism of nursing and midwifery. It will be a positive campaign that will showcase the value and benefits of professional nurses and midwives. It will also position the NSWNA as a guardian of modern nursing and midwifery. Nurses and midwives will be shown as real people doing a vital job in a caring and professional way. We have decided to run such a campaign after extensive consultation and discussion with nurse leaders and our members. We found a common thread in these discussions: concern about constant change and the challenge to manage it in the best interests of nurses and midwives. Our campaign aims to enhance the professional profile of nurses and midwives and will build on our past campaigns in defence of nurses’ political and industrial interests. We will build awareness among the public about the high level of education, skill and professionalism required of the modern nurse and seek their support to preserve the integrity of nurses’ and midwives’ roles in our ever-evolving health system.n THE LAMP APRIL 2009 5


LETTER of the month


Dave Hughes

Deirdre Murphy

Becky Broomfield

Are men the forgotten parents?

Checked pay slip, I was being underpaid

Promoting our professional knowledge

Ged Kearney (The Lamp: December 08, p8) wants maternity leave to ‘recognise the crucial contribution they (mums) make’ and states that it is ‘an investment for our families’. The Productivity Commission discusses the need for paid ‘Parental Leave’ and how this affects fathers and mothers. The research is overwhelming that babies need both mums and dads in the early months. Divorce rates are skyrocketing, and a disproportionate number of these are within two years of having a baby. The delegates voted almost unanimously at the 2008 Annual Conference to support a resolution that directed the NSWNA to ‘recognise and support the important role fathers provide in childrearing by demanding equal leave provisions for both parents under the award’. Can Brett tell The Lamp readers what Ged’s response was when he informed her of the NSWNA policy on parental leave? Dave Hughes, CNS Men’s Health Bangalow Community Health Centre

I would like to covey my thanks to all at the NSWNA. I am a UK-trained midwife and have been working in Australia as a midwife for approximately nine years. Like everyone else I was very excited about recognition of my academic qualifications (obtained in the UK) and a few more dollars in my pay packet due to the CEA. I initially did not receive the CEA when it was introduced because of my CMS status. When CMS status became applicable for it, I made my application. After some delay, I was paid what I assume was the correct CEA for my qualifications. I normally do not check my pay slip in great detail (I note your advice in The Lamp, February 2009, p7) but I felt something was amiss. On closer inspection I noted I was being paid a certificate allowance rather than a diploma allowance. On inquiring with HR, I was informed that my overseas qualifications were not recognised and I was only entitled to a certificate allowance. I was advised to apply to an independent body for my qualifications to be assessed at a cost of approx $600. I had no idea what to do. I called the NSWNA and they went into action and were fantastic. It has taken a few months but they never gave up and now overseas-trained nurses/midwives get what they are entitled to. Had I not been a member of NSWNA I would have had no voice and no recourse except to pay the $600. Deirdre Murphy, CMS/Acting CME

Thank you for a magazine that continues to support and promote nursing. Each issue continues to have many valuable sources of information on a number of issues. It is apparent nurses continue to work in an environment that throws many challenges at them. I am writing this letter to mention two issues of concern to me. First, the recent rewriting of the Code of Professional Conduct highlighted in the October 2008 issue of The Lamp reinforces the need to promote our professional knowledge and competence by delivering care based on current evidence, best practice and, where possible, validated research. The continuing need for our profession to update and maintain our credibility remains evident. As an RN and university lecturer I am aware nurses are expected to be able to read and critique research to aid their theoretical knowledge underpinning their clinical practice. From experience, many nurses find this a daunting experience, particularly if they were originally educated/trained via the hospital-based system as I was. I often wonder how many other nurses, whom I don’t meet as students, find reading research difficult. Another issue I feel is important to address is how nurses behave towards each other. The Code of Professional Conduct requires nurses to treat their patients with respect and dignity. I would like to see a Code of Professional Conduct written that addresses a Nurse to Nurse Code of Behaviour and Conduct. If the environment nurses work within is one that promotes support, respect and high levels of quality communication, then promoting knowledge and competence through confident nursing will naturally follow. Becky Broomfield, RN, Cert. Ed, Dip. N (Lond), BSc, MSc, PhD student Becky Broomfield won the prize for this month’s letter of the month, a $50 David Jones voucher.

Editor’s response: Please be assured that the Association treats resolutions from Annual Conference most seriously. The December Lamp story is a short article on the delays by the Government’s Productivity Commission and was in no way intended to offend or negate the important role fathers play in childrearing.

‘Green’ paper towels at Nepean It was very interesting to read your ‘green’ article on page 35 of February 2009 Lamp, but I was surprised to see that the paper towels used at Byron Bay were not able to be recycled. This caused us to check our towels with Kimberly-Clark and they have assured us that our Kleenex ‘Optimum’ towels are able to be recycled. Thought it would be good to pass this information on. Sandy Mowbray, RN Nepean Hospital 6 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

CORRECTION On page 15 of the last issue of The Lamp we featured a photo of Mary Ametximey from St Mary’s Villa nursing home. The photo was incorrectly captioned as Filomena Iakopo. Our apologies to Mary and Filomena.

Got something to say?

Send your letters to: Editorial Enquiries email fax 9550 3667 mail PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 Please include a photograph along with your name, address, phone and membership number. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

Karina So

Interested in urological nursing? Over the next two months, the NSW Urological Nursing Society (NUNS) has a few educational events organised for nurses interested in urological nursing. We begin with a national conference in the Gold Coast Convention Centre on 8-10 March. Invited speakers will share their experiences as Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses. Local, interstate and overseas nurse presenters have a number of free papers and posters to showcase their clinical, educational and research work. There are plenty of

opportunities to socialise and to check out the trade displays. On 30 May, the local group has an exciting program on bladder and prostate cancer treatment and management. We are well supported by the urologists at St Vincents Private Hospital and the venue is easily accessible by public transport. Your readers can contact urological_nurses@ for additional information. Nurses who would like to gain a certificate in Urological Nursing, here is the chance to attend a 2-day, post graduate course on urological nursing at the College of Nursing in May. Our group appreciates the on-going support from the NSWNA in providing a free service for the nursing community such as the Diary Dates in The Lamp. On behalf of our members, we would like to express our gratitude. Karina So, CNC, Concord Hospital. Vice President of NUNS

Every letter published receives a 10-week 7-day trial subscription to the Herald! Subscribe to the Herald today to save 37% off the news stand price and enjoy the convenience of the paper delivered to your home each morning. Visit www.subscribe. for more details.


You may be finding it hard to talk to our information officers on Tuesdays. This is because Tuesday is the one day of the week when all our staff are in the office for staff and team meetings. These meetings are essential for information distribution and planning activities. If at all possible, please don’t ring on this day as there can be considerable delays. But if you need urgent assistance, you will get it.

NSWNA member Lesley Urquhart (second from left) on an NPA bushwalk in Royal National Park

Our information department receives approximately 900 calls per week, and the phones are ringing hot from 8am to 5.30pm.

National Parks Association welcomes all

We are working hard to meet your needs and thank you for your patience.

I’m a member of the NSWNA and a member of The National Parks Association (NPA). I think other members of the NSWNA may be interested in joining The NPA. The NPA is a non-government, non-profit, volunteer conservation and bushwalking community group – the largest in Australia. The NPA offers members over 1000 free midweek and weekend activities a year including bush walks, canoe trips, bike rides, family trips, slideshows, biodiversity surveys, bird watching, bush care and conservation work. Activities cater for all levels of fitness. Easy/short walks, day bushwalks, overnight bushwalks and week bushwalks into remote areas. The activities take place

around Sydney, around NSW, around Australia and overseas. Research shows that bushwalking can help lower stress levels and blood pressure, improve mental wellbeing, boost immunity, and enhance your quality of life. By joining the NPA, you will get fit, make new friends, explore the great outdoors and help protect and conserve the natural areas and biodiversity of Australia. For more information, ring the NPA office on 9299 0000 or check the Website I’ve attached a photo from a recent NPA walk in the Royal National Park lead by my husband. (My husband and I are on the left in the photo.) Lesley Urquhart, CNS, St George Public Hospital

Call 8595 1234 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (non-metro).

LETTER of the month The letter judged the best each month will be awarded a $50 DJ’s voucher, courtesy Medicraft Hill-Rom, for details on the range of hospital beds, trolleys, mattress & care solutions please call (02) 9569 0255 or visit

***Proudly Australian Made*** THE LAMP APRIL 2009 7




STATS ONLINE n what has been described as a world first, the Western Australia Department of Health has posted WA Health Minister public hospital Kim Hames statistics on a new website available to the public. The website, WA Public Hospital Activity, shows daily updates of how many patients are waiting in each emergency department and how long ambulances have been ramped at each hospital, as well as weekly hospital bed information. In a statement, WA Health Minister Kim Hames said the new website was a major step forward in transparency and accountability. ‘The release of weekly hospital bed data and daily and weekly ED information on the internet is a national and international first,’ Dr Hames told ‘The website will provide information on available same day and overnight hospital and mental-health beds, and will be updated every Wednesday – making the information easily available to the community. ‘Daily information will also be available on ED attendances by urgency category and waiting time, ED admissions, ambulance attendances and ambulance diversion and ramping. ‘The Council of Australian Governments recently signed up to a range of health-system reporting and accountability targets – this new website is evidence that WA is leading the charge towards a more open and accountable system,’ he said. See: emergencyactivity



NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes and AMA NSW President Dr Brian Morton.

NSWNA-AMA agreement for practice nurses The NSWNA and the Australian Medical Association (NSW) have begun a landmark process to achieve fair pay and conditions for nurses within General Practice and Specialist Practice settings. NSWNA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, and the President of the NSW branch of the AMA, Dr Brian Morton, met to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will officially set the process in motion. The MOU recognises the important role of Practice Nurses in enhancing the quality and scope of primary health care services in NSW. The document is timely due to the likely success of the NSWNA’s case for minimum legal conditions for all nurses, irrespective of workplace, which is currently before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. If successful, this national award will replace the current State award for non-hospital based nurses in 2010. ‘This is a great opportunity for Practice Nurses to work with the NSWNA to achieve fair wages and working conditions across the sector,’ said Brett. If you are keen to contribute to the process, or would like to know more, please email

ANF online tutorials The ANF has added Manual Handling to its growing list of online tutorials. Online tutorials are a highly convenient way for busy nurses to keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge and techniques. There are now 11 Continuing

Professional Education courses available on the ANF website at reduced rates for NSWNA members. Each course is worth five CPE points, representing approximately five hours of self-directed learning. You can also maintain a record of all topics you have undertaken through the ANF and other education providers. Available topics currently include: Manual Handling; Infection Control; ECG and Rhythms; Diabetes Mellitus; Wound Care Update; Basic Life Support Update; Drug Calculations and Administration; Respiratory 1 – Upper Airway Obstruction; Respiratory 2 – Respiratory Failure; Cardiac 1 – Chest Pain Assessment and Management; and, Cardiac 2 – Acute Coronary Syndrome.

More male nursing students One of Sydney’s newest schools of nursing, The University of Notre Dame, reports a ratio of males four times the national average in its first graduating class. The school’s first cohort of nurses graduated last December and out of 29 students, over one fifth were male. Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of Nursing in Sydney, Professor Margot Kearns, was pleased to see the shift. ‘It is very exciting to see that more male students are enrolling in our course. Across the entire school we have over 10% males in the student body, coming from a range of ages and backgrounds,’ said Professor Kearns. ‘Having more males in the course really changes the dynamics of a class and adds a different dimension to discussions and debates.’




HEALTH FACILITIES SW Health will roll ahead with its smoking ban in mental health facilities with plans to completely phase it out over the next year. The new guidelines will be implemented over at least six months to give workers, patients and visitors time to adjust and, ideally, to quit their habit, with the help of counselling and antismoking aids such as patches and pharmacotherapy. The director of NSW Health’s Centre for Health Advancement Liz Develin acknowledged there was widespread hostility to the ban but said research in Britain, Canada and other Australian states showed careful planning and education can lower levels of patient distress. According to research, while only about 17% of the general population still smokes, about onethird of people with a mental illness smoke, rising to two-thirds for people with schizophrenia. ‘Some consumer groups see it as taking away a person’s right but everyone has the right to be in a smoke-free environment,’ Ms Develin told the media. NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said the Association cautiously supported the move but only if conducted correctly. ‘As a health union we would support such a move for patients and staff but only with the proper planning and resources,’ she said.


Manly Hospital Branch Secretary Beverley Brady CNC and Laisa Semira RN.

Icy poles win cool air for Manly The ‘Icy-Pole Action’ by NSWNA Manly Hospital Branch, featured in last month’s Lamp, has achieved a great, long-term result for all nurses at Manly hospital. Manly Hospital Branch was forced to take action against extremely hot working conditions, after management repeatedly ignored members’ concerns for nurse and patient health and safety. The action resulted in all wards at Manly Hospital being measured-up for the instalment of reverse-cycle, split airconditioning units. The action received considerable media coverage, and Manly branch

president and Aged Care CNC Beverley Brady said the results are very gratifying. ‘Nurses have responded to the action in a very positive way. They think it’s great that we took up the issue and got results. There have been lots of pats on the back,’ said Beverley. Temperatures have been a yearround issue at Manly Hospital for a long time. Speaking to The Lamp on a mild autumn day, Beverley said the thermometer in her office was reading a balmy 28 degrees. In winter, she said, the temperatures can be freezing. Beverley said the reverse-cycle air conditioners should be installed before the winter chill hits, meaning nurses will be able to work without wearing their beanies.

AGED CARE MEMBERS: Does your union collective agreement expire in June 2009?

All NSWNA members covered by the Union Collective Agreement negotiated between NSWNA/HSU and ACS will receive information and a survey in the mail in early April. Please return the survey to the NSWNA so we know what you want in a new agreement. The agreement delivered you secure conditions and pay rises for 2007-2008, but now it’s time to renegotiate. NSWNA and HSU will shortly start negotiations with the aged care charitable and religious employers’ peak representative body, ACS, to renew the template agreement. In order to get future pay increases, you still need a new collective agreement and will need to ask your own employer to offer you the new agreement that is negotiated with ACS. Even though WorkChoices is going and a new safety net ‘modern Award’ will apply to nurses from 2010, this modern award will not deliver you pay increases and will only cover 20 minimum entitlements.




PNG NURSES STRIKE early 1,000 Papua New Guinea nurses commenced a nationwide strike in February in protest over delays in salary increments. The Papua New Guinea Nurses’ Association told Radio Australia that a study into their workloads by the Australian Nurses’ Federation in 2006 recommended salary reclassifications and pay rises for their PNG counterparts. The association’s president, Emi Kaptigau, said the government promised the pay rises by June, last year, to nearly 3,000 nurses working in PNG’s public hospitals, but failed to honour that promise. ‘It has frustrated the nurses who have decided to take this action to force the Government to have the salaries paid as soon as possible – before the nurses will go back to work,’ she told Radio Australia. Ms Kaptiga said the nurses would remain on strike until their wage demands are met. PNG authorities declared the strike illegal as a request by the nurses union for a secret ballot to determine industrial action was refused. In Port Moresby alone, more than 200 nurses walked off the job, leaving a small number of staff to attend to accident and emergency needs. According to PNG’s The Post Courier, nurses had returned to work early last month at all major hospitals around PNG except Port Moresby General and Wewak Hospital in East Sepik Province, following PNG Government assurances to pay the nurses by early April.



UK’s RCN to adopt official position on assisted dying The UK’s Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will adopt an official position on the controversial issue of assisted suicide following an intense debate over recent months. According to the UK’s Nursing Times, the college commenced a consultation process and published a briefing document in February covering potential issues related to nursing practice including summaries of political and legal positions on assisted suicide and ethical arguments for and against the practice. Assisted suicide is illegal in the UK but the government’s position has been challenged several times in court. The move follows criticism last November by a nurse academic who accused the RCN of ‘burying its head in the sand' over the issue of assisted dying. Martin Johnson, professor of nursing at the University of Salford, has called on the RCN to conduct research into what he believes will be one of the most pressing issues to face the college in coming years. Mr Johnson claimed the RCN – which is officially against assisted dying – is ignoring work being carried out by support groups showing a significant shift in public opinion on the issue. In a statement, RCN chief executive Peter Carter said, ‘Many people have strong views on assisted suicide, an issue which provokes compelling arguments and passionate support on both sides of the debate.’

Danish Govt compensates nightshift cancer patients A recent decision by the Danish Government to compensate shiftworkers suffering breast cancer may have farranging implications. The NSWNA has long argued the detrimental health effects of shiftwork on nurses and, in a world first, the Danish Government has begun paying compensation to women who have developed breast cancer after long periods working nightshifts.

So far 38 Danish nurses and flight attendants have been paid up to $270,000 each after working night shifts for at least 20 years. The payouts followed a finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the UN’s World Health Organisation, that night shifts probably increase the risk of developing cancer. One report published in the Oxford Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed a 36% greater risk of breast cancer for women who had worked night shifts for more than 30 years, compared with women who had never worked nights. Grethe Christensen, vice-president of the Danish nurses’ organisation, told the UK’s Guardian, ‘We can’t remove their illness but this is certainly a consolation.’

Mental health nurses call for improved eating disorder treatment The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses has called on the NSW Government to urgently address the lack of services for life-threatening eating disorders. The College said anorexia nervosa is a mental and physical disease that affects up to 1% of adolescent girls, of which almost one third will attempt suicide. Bulimia nervosa, which usually affects older people, is twice as common and carries an estimated 10% suicide risk. According to the College, the condition crosses every socio-economic group and has ‘by far the highest risk of suicide and mortality rate of any mental illness’. With only four dedicated beds in NSW hospitals, the College said the Government must urgently invest in research, training for key health professionals and service development including prevention, early intervention and, most importantly, treatment. The College’s chief executive Kim Ryan told the ABC there was an urgent need for specialised eating disorder beds and specialised experts to deal with eating disorders. ‘People become so seriously unwell when they have eating disorders, and their potential to die is much higher than any other mental illness and I think that that seems to get lost,’ she said.

Medibank considers private EDs Australia’s largest private health insurer is considering opening its own emergency clinics. Craig Bosworth from Medibank Private told ABC Radio last month that public hospital emergency departments were over-stretched and one option under consideration is to offer Medibank members treatment for non-life threatening urgent care in a private clinic. Mr Bosworth said the idea was working well overseas where people decided which service to use. ‘If they have sprains or strains or a headache or whatever, rather than going to a large public hospital emergency department, they’re able to use these departments to treat them for non-life threatening urgent care,’ he said. But the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says private health insurers should not be involved in patient care. AMA president Rosanna Capolingua said there were already private emergency departments in operation around Australia. ‘But they are actually [staffed] by emergency-trained physicians, so if you go there with something that needs that expert level of care you know you’re going to receive it,’ she told the ABC. ‘I always worry about private health insurers getting involved in managing patient care. They need to stay out of that and just act as insurers.’

Members’ bank gets thumbs up Members Equity Bank has Australia’s happiest customers, according to a report from Sydney-based research firm CoreData.

The report revealed that Members Equity Bank customers are happier with services and more likely to recommend them to their family and friends than customers of any other Australian bank. The survey of client satisfaction was determined by taking the percentage of those likely to recommend the product or service, and subtracting it from the percentage of those unlikely to recommend the services. Members Equity Bank received the highest result with a score of +61.6, compared to negative scores for most of the major banks including Westpac, which scored -28.8, ANZ -32.3, CBA -39.7, St George -40.0 and NAB -60.5.

Fight cancer with a cuppa Cancer Council’s popular annual fundraiser, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, kicks off again in May. Last year more than one million people stirred themselves into action at morning teas across Australia, raising over $10 million for research, prevention, education and support. Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is the largest, most successful event of its kind in Australia. Over $60 million has been raised since it started in 1994. Getting involved is as easy as brewing your favourite cuppa. All you need to do is register as a host at your work, school, club, or home and invite your friends, family and colleagues. The official tea party date is Thursday, 28 May. However, you can host events any time during May and beyond. Whether it is a simple morning tea party or a community event, you are only limited by your imagination. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.biggestmorningtea. or call 1300 65 65 85.

Nurses needed for study The NSWNA is seeking to hear about nurses’ experiences with patients resisting care. Some members have received a questionnaire and we would appreciate your contributions to a study the NSWNA is conducting in collaboration with The University of Newcastle. Non-compliance or resistance to care has been reported to precede aggressive behaviour and may lead to nurses being injured. Participation is voluntary, and the anonymous surveys should take about 20 minutes to complete. If you would like further information, please email, or phone 02 4921 5768.

s Legal and Professional Issues for Nurses 3 April, Wagga Wagga, ½ day 1 May, Ballina, ½ day Topics covered include the Nurses and Midwives Act 1991, potential liability, documentation, role of disciplinary tribunals including the NMB, writing statements. Members $39 • Non-members $85 s Practical Leadership Skills for Nursing Unit Managers 21 April, 26 May, 23 June, Camperdown, 3 days A 3-day workshop specifically designed to meet the leadership needs of nurses. Members $250 • Non-members $400 s Leadership Skills for the Aged Care Team 22 April, 25 May, 24 June, 22 July Camperdown, 4 days A 4-day workshop specifically designed to meet the leadership needs of nurses working in aged care. Members $320 • Non-members $480 s Basic Foot Care for RNs & ENs 29 & 30 April, Wagga Wagga, 2 days 4 & 5 May, Armidale, 2 days A VETAB accredited course that aims to provide nurses with the competence to provide basic foot care. Members $203 • Non-members $350 s Policy & Guideline Writing 1 May, Camperdown, 1 day Seminar is suitable for all nurses. Members $85 • Non-members $170 s Basic Foot Care for AiNs 11 May, Wagga Wagga, 1 day This course aims to provide AiNs with the competence to provide basic foot care. Members $85 • Non-members $150 s Managing Appropriate Workplace Behaviour 18 May, Camperdown, 1 day This seminar is specially designed for managers and compliments the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour seminar. Members $85 • Non-members $170

TO REGISTER or for more information go to or11ring THE LAMP APRIL 2009 Carolyn Kulling on 1300 367 962



Campaign for equality and quality in aged care g More aged care nursing staff with the right mix of nursing skills and increased Federal Government funding are the main objectives of a national aged care campaign launched by the ANF.


n March, the ANF launched its landmark national aged care campaign, Because We Care, at Parliament House, Canberra. The first national and the largest campaign ever undertaken by the ANF, the launch drew a host of politicians, industry providers, advocacy groups, aged care workers, residents, relatives and most of the national media. The turnout of such a comprehensive cross-section of stakeholders and 12 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

observers reflected the ANF’s desire to bring all parties to the table to resolve the key problems facing the industry and to reform the sector. ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney said the campaign aims to boost recognition of highly skilled and dedicated aged care nursing and care staff by ensuring they have the resources necessary to deliver the best possible care to older Australians. The Because We Care Campaign is

supported by all state and territory branches of the ANF – including the NSWNA. She said the campaign would ‘target’ all Federal MPs, Senators and Ministers while campaign supporters around Australia were urged to send an on-line message to the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliott, calling on the Federal Government to properly fund aged care. ‘We desperately need nursing staff with the right mix of nursing skills and increased Federal Government funding, with greater accountability for that funding,’ she said. ‘The fact is, nurses working in aged care are paid significantly less than their counterparts in other sectors, on average $300 a week less, which is one of the reasons we’re having difficulty recruiting nursing staff to the industry.

Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot with Ged Kearney.

St Mary’s Villa DON and face of the campaign, Lucille McKenna, with Brett Holmes and Coral Levett.

ANF state leaders gathered at the campaign launch in support of aged care: (left to right) ANF ACT Secretary Jenny Miragaya; NSWNA and ANF Federal President Coral Levett; ANF NT Secretary Yvonne Falckh; ANF Assistant Federal Secretary Lee Thomas; ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney; NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes; Qld Nurses Union Secretary Gay Hawksworth; and ANF Victorian Branch Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick.

‘We will be working with the community, residents, relatives, and our members to send a strong message to the Prime Minister that aged care nursing and care staff matter,’ said Ged. Almost 30 senators and MPs, including Ms Elliot and shadow minister Margaret May, took time out from busy parliamentary schedules to attend the launch. Thousands have already signed the Aged Care Charter and more than a hundred emails have been forwarded to the Health Minister. Senator Claire Moore welcomed guests followed by a short address from Ms Kearney before handing over to frontline aged care workers to ‘tell it like it is’.

‘We will be working with the community, residents, relatives, and our members to send a strong message to the Prime Minister that aged care nursing and care staff matter.’ ANF National Secretary Ged Kearney

Lucille McKenna, Director of Nursing at St Mary’s Villa and one of the faces of the campaign, hoped the campaign would help her to recruit and retain nursing staff. ‘It’s so important to keep nurses in aged care because if we lose them out of the sector, we won’t be able to get them back,’ said Lucille. ‘I have spent 40 years in aged care …

I think we have reached a point where we are now going backwards.’ Ged said the ANF is committed to this campaign for the next two years and into the next federal election. To access the Aged Care Charter and send an email to the Minister, visit the Because We Care Campaign website at: THE LAMP APRIL 2009 13



Spotlight on aged care AiNs Marcos Ligos and Rama Doramy sign the Aged Care Charter in support of national aged care reform.

NSWNA appreciates aged care nurses


he NSWNA launched the Because We Care aged care campaign in NSW with a workplace visit to Red Leaf nursing home in Concord. Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda and NSWNA Officials arrived for the visit with new Because We Care signage on their cars to show their support for aged care nurses and a delicious cake for morning tea.

Pay parity shows appreciation of hard work ‘Aged care nurses are some of the hardest working members of our profession and are often the most vulnerable in terms of pay and conditions and support. Parity with the public sector will recognise their crucial contribution. I worked in aged care for a short time and, though I loved caring for the elderly, the pay and conditions did not reflect the responsibilities and expectations thrust upon us. Better pay and conditions will also help attract young nurses, which is vital given the ageing population and the ageing nursing profession.’ Holly Allen, Nurse Manager and Branch Official, Greenwich Hospital

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda unveils one of the campaign cars with Because We Care signage to carry the message out to the wider community.

More resources and nurses needed in aged care ‘Our ageing population means more resources are needed in the aged care sector, and unions have an important role in making sure those resources go towards looking after the elderly and those who care for them, particularly nurses.’ O’Bray Smith, RN and Assistant Secretary, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Branch

Bottom line is people’s lives, not saving dollars

Judith explains the finer details of the campaign to Red Leaf AiNs (left to right) Beth Roche, Rama Doramy, Evelyn Darrah and Panadta Lathong.

‘All nurses have the same sorts of obligations: bills to pay and families to feed. But not all nurses are paid or treated equally. Aged care nursing is tough. We complain about workloads in the acute care sector but they’re under extreme stress, having to care for patients with multifaceted problems that can be even more demanding than patientcare in medical wards, and yet aged care nurses aren’t paid as much as nurses in the public sector. The elderly can live in aged care facilities for 20 years or more. The facility is their home and, sadly, sometimes nurses are their only family. The ANF and NSWNA have an important job increasing the recognition and appreciation of aged care nurses. The bottom line has to be people’s lives – including nurses’ lives – not the dollar.’ Michelle Cashman, RN, Gosford Hospital THE LAMP APRIL 2009 15



Show you care about aged care 1

Visit the aged care campaign website

To find out more about the Because We Care campaign and show your support, visit the campaign website


Email the Federal Minister for Ageing

The Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot needs to know that nurses and other Australians support the ANF campaign and aged care nurses. Visit the aged care website (www.becausewecare. and send a message to the Minister telling her how much you support aged care. 16 THE LAMP APRIL 2009


Talk to your colleagues

Workplace discussion will build more support and help us put pressure on the Federal Government to make changes to ensure there is quality care for older Australians. You can download the Because We Care leaflets and posters from the campaign website. You can also add your thoughts and stories by joining in the online discusssion at the Because We Care Facebook Group


Sign the Charter for Quality Aged Care

The Charter for Quality Aged Care states the aims of the Because We Care campaign: 1.

The right balance of skills and nursing hours so that nursing and care staff can provide quality care for every resident.


Fair pay for aged care nurses and care staff who are paid up to $300 per week less than nurses in other sectors.



Recognition of the professional skills of Assistants in Nursing and care staff through a national licensing system. A guarantee that taxpayer funding is used for nursing and personal care for each resident.

Add your voice to the campaign by signing the Because We Care Charter. Visit the campaign website and sign the charter online.


Write to your Federal MP

Use the link on the campaign website to determine which Federal Electorate you live in and the name of your House of Representative’s Member. Use your own words or the form letter provided on the website.


Contact your local media

If you’re active in nursing or a related profession, you can help by adding your perspective to the public debate by sending a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper. Either use your own words or one of the form letters provided on the website.




r b e l e c s d a TV n n r e d o m e h t

g The NSWNA is about to embark on a new advertising campaign to promote the professionalism of nursing and midwifery.


SWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes says that in the past the NSWNA has run high-profile public campaigns in defence of nurses’ and midwives’ interests during election and pay campaigns but was breaking new ground with an advertising campaign that promotes and protects their professional interests. ‘It will be a positive campaign that showcases the value and benefits of professional nurses and midwives. It will also position the NSWNA as a guardian of modern nursing and midwifery. Nurses and midwives will be shown as real people doing a vital job in a caring and professional way,’ he said. Brett says the NSWNA has consulted widely among nurse and midwife leaders 18 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

about how they wanted nursing and midwifery promoted in the community. ‘They stressed the importance of raising public awareness to the expanded roles of nurses and midwives. They also wanted to change the perception of nursing and promote it in a positive light so it was more attractive to young people,’ he said. The NSWNA also conducted research with the public to measure attitudes and values towards the profession. ‘While there was strong recognition of the commitment of nurses and midwives and the caring aspects of the role there was less awareness about the high level of education, skill and professionalism that the modern nurse has.’ After months of preparation and research, a concept that involves following

a nurse through her daily routine in a documentary style was chosen. There will be several ads that highlight differing nursing and midwifery roles. The first was filmed at Campbelltown Hospital with an RN, Kim Rodgers, who works in the children’s ward.n

e f i rate w d i m d n a e s r u


ases c w o h s t a h t n g ampai c e v i t i s o p a e It will b idwives. m d n a es rs u n l a n io ss fe ro p the value and benefits of It will also position the NSWNA as a guar dian of m odern nur sing and midwifer y.



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Finally, a decent agreement from Ramsay g Members at Ramsay Healthcare are voting on a new agreement with excellent pay increases – finalised after members petitioned their employer and difficult negotiations with Ramsay.


s The Lamp reaches mailboxes this month, members at Ramsay Healthcare are voting on a new Collective Agreement that offers a 12.14% pay increase over 34 months, closing the gap in wage parity with public hospital nurses from 12 to six months. As reported in the March issue of The Lamp, the Agreement expires on 1 July 2011 and offers significant pay increases of: c 3% from 1 January 2009; c 1% from 1 April 2009; c 3.9% from 1 January 2010; c 3.75% from 1 January 2011. The Agreement also provides a new skills allowance of $25 per week at Level 1 and $35 a week at Level 2. This is a new allowance to recognise higher qualifications held by nurses that are used in their current role. On call allowances are also significantly increased.

‘The Agreement also halves the time lag in pay parity with the public health sector. Before the Agreement, the delay in parity was 12 months, after the Agreement the gap closes to 6 months. ‘The compound effect of good pay increases and closer timing makes for a very good agreement,’ said Judith. Emma Fisher, RN and Branch Secretary at Kareena Private Hospital, said Ramsay has offered a good agreement but she doesn’t appreciate their delay in putting a decent offer on the table. ‘The delay seemed to be about saving money. While that was going on I thought about leaving for the public health sector. ‘But in the end we achieved excellent pay outcomes that bring us closer to the public health sector. I recommend

to my colleagues they vote yes to this new Agreement. ‘It was a well organised campaign. We were kept up-to-date via phone conferencing where we were able to immediately discuss issues with the NSWNA and members at other Ramsay facilities,’ said Emma.n

‘In the end we achieved excellent pay outcomes that bring us closer to the public health sector. I recommend to my colleagues they vote yes to this new Agreement.’ Emma Fisher, RN and Branch Secretary at Ramsay’s Kareena Private Hospital

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said,‘While we are frustrated by six months of protracted and frustrating negotiations with Ramsay, the NSWNA and members are very happy with the final Agreement. Over the 34 months of the Agreement, the wage increases amount to 4.28% per year. THE LAMP APRIL 2009 21



New grades and $584K back pay for DADHC nurses g NSWNA wins regrading of DADHC Nurse Managers and $584,506 back pay.


fter years of negotiations with the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC), the NSWNA has won a big victory for Residential Unit Nurse Managers (RUNMs) within disability residencies. The win will result in the re-grading of over 50% of NSW’s RUNMs, on the basis of the number of residents in their care and the intensity of the residents’ needs.

This grading should have taken place nearly five years ago, when DADHC agreed upon an appropriate process in July 2004. However, a series of stalling manoeuvres – including an attempt by the Department in 2006 to keep all RUNMs at a Grade One level – has corrugated the road. ‘The wait was dreadful. The Department did everything it could to not proceed. The issue of pay increments for RUNMs was put in the too hard basket,’ said Geoff Tyson, RUNM and NSWNA Branch President at Rydalmere. Importantly, the seven RUNMs to be regraded as Level 3, as well as the 23 RUNMs to be graded Level 2, will receive back pay from the July 2004 agreement.

‘The NSWNA has achieved what can only be called an outstanding result for members in the Grading of RUNMs at DADHC,’ said Jeff. Pay increases will reflect the holistic attention that RUNMs provide for each individual resident whose care they coordinate. ‘Disability nursing is different to the acute care sector,’ said Geoff. ‘It is holistic in so much as we must provide for the resident’s physical, psychological and spiritual welfare, which may involve tasks as diverse as feeding and showering through to taking them to their preferred denomination of church. We care for each person’s “everything”,’ he said. Another important aspect of the win

Some members who have been working in Level 3 positions for more than four years will receive over $25,000 in back pay. According to Jeff Jackson, RUNM and NSWNA Branch Secretary at Stockton Centre, this will amount to a payout of a massive $584,506. Some members who have been working in Level 3 positions for more than four years will receive over $25,000 in back pay.

Geoff Tyson


ckets $2 each - 10 per book ORDER YOURS TO BUY & SELL! Email Ring 1800 888 674 Visit 22 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

is that DADHC will now only be able to rotate RUNMs within positions that receive the same level of pay. RUNMs who do not agree with their grading will have six weeks to make an application for further assessment of their grade.n

NSWNA members take to the street with the Lake Cargelligo community to save their manager’s position.

Little Lake Cargelligo outguns big bureaucracy g Country nurses show how common sense can prevail when NSWNA members and the community pull together.


hen the Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) set about amalgamating Lake Cargelligo Health Service’s manager with Condobolin’s, nearly 100 kilometres away, never did it expect such a big response from such a small community. So when 19 NSWNA members rallied with more than 300 members of the local community in late February to protest the decision, the GWAHS had little choice but to listen. Once the NSWNA demonstrated to the GWAHS the impracticalities and inefficiencies of such an amalgamation on an isolated community health service already at minimum staffing, the plans were dropped immediately. Branch President Emily Armitage, EEN, couldn’t have been prouder of her colleagues and her community describing the GWAHS’s decision as a big relief. ‘I’ve been here for 15 years and have never seen such a positive action,’ she told The Lamp. ‘As I wrote in a letter to the paper yesterday, “never underestimate the big voice of a little community”.’

Lake Cargelligo Multi Purpose Health Service consists of a 22-bed hospital providing six acute beds and eight nursing-home-type beds and eight hostel units and a Community Health Centre. It provides 24-hour emergency care, with on-call medical services. Griffith Base Hospital is the referral centre and is 75 minutes by road. Other major hospitals surrounding Lake Cargelligo include Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Orange and all are considerable distances away.

even take her admin days, as she has to cover the wards. ‘The GWAHS has currently earmarked 11 FTE positions in our cluster so we will need to keep up the fight. We believe this move would’ve been the beginning of our service disappearing. If we don’t fight for what we’ve got, we’ll lose it. ‘Our community health district nurse is on long service leave and there is already talk of not replacing her.’

‘Never underestimate the big voice of a little community.’ Branch President Emily Armitage

According to Emily, the branch already had a strong membership, which has been crucial over the past 12 months. ‘But this has sparked more people’s interest. Now some have seen [the value of membership] first-hand, it has changed some opinions out there. ‘The amalgamation would have dramatically increased our nurse manager’s workload, when she is already struggling to fulfil her duties. She can’t

Emily said the branch was now focusing on maintaining services for the isolated community. ‘If any positions are threatened, we will start the fight again. Every shift the RN on duty enters data into our approved Workloads Tool on the computer. ‘I recommend to any branches in this situation to keep organised, stick together, don’t be afraid to speak up and don’t back down!’ said Emily.n THE LAMP APRIL 2009 23




Annual Conference Professional Day, Friday, 31 July 2009

Where When Time Cost

AJC Randwick Racecourse Alison Road, Randwick Friday, 31 July 2009 8am – 3pm. Registration 7am NSWNA members $50; Branch Officials and Students free of charge (limited numbers); Non-members $75.

Free parking on site. Registration go to for registration form or contact Carolyn Kulling on 8595 1234 (metro), 1300 367 962 (rural) or email NSW Health has agreed to one day’s leave being granted to nurses and midwives to attend the Professional Day on 31 July 2009.

Professional Issue Conference.in1 1

11/3/09 1:52:00 PM

NURSES! Celebrate International Nurses’ Day on

Saturday 9 May 2009 at Luna Park In recognition of the wonderful work nurses do Luna Park is offering members and their families

Classic Unlimited Rides Passes at $29 per person* To book contact: 02 9033 7600 • 1300 244 867 (click on “Whats On”) All you need to do is give your credit card details and quote your membership number.

* Limit of 10 passes per person. Children under 85 cms free. Authorised by Brett Holmes General Secretary NSWNA

Luna LAMP Park Half.indd 1 24 THE APRIL 2009

25/2/09 10:28:33 AM



Dubbo nurses work together to relieve workloads

Dubbo branch members band together to improve conditions.

g Action by NSWNA members at Dubbo Base Hospital has improved maternity workloads


idwives at Dubbo Base Hospital’s maternity unit are about to sign off on a permanent on-call roster designed to relieve workloads and improve skill mixes. Dubbo midwife Kylie Jeffries RM said the maternity unit, with 14 beds in postnatal, six cots in special care nursery, plus another four beds in the labour ward, was regularly short staffed. ‘Midwives have been regularly working with an excess of patients in postnatal and up to nine babies in the special care nursery with no extra staff,’ she said. ‘It feels like things are improving for us and we’ve had an opportunity to have a say in the changes. In times like these, it is important for nurses to stand up together and support each other,’ she said. Last year, frustrated midwives,

who deliver over 1300 babies in Dubbo each year, decided to get proactive and, with the help of the Association, began working with management to improve their conditions by developing an on-call roster for the Christmas break.

highly-public management and funding problems last year. A successful campaign by the NSWNA in February prevented 136 job losses across the Greater Western Area Health Service region.

Frustrated midwives, who deliver over 1300 babies in Dubbo each year, decided to get proactive and, with the help of the Association, began working with management to improve their conditions by developing an on-call roster for the Christmas break. They are also involved in a review of the escalation plan and are considering the option of creating 12-hour shifts. ‘We’re making forward progress but we are still concerned. The roster is helping with the night shift but, basically, we still need more midwives, particularly during the day. In recent months, the Dubbo branch has had to band together to resist a raft of seemingly knee-jerk changes proposed by the GWAHS, following a series of

In the latest attempt to cut costs, the GWAHS had planned to completely restructure the NUMs across Dubbo Base Hospital. Members identified there were absolutely no monetary savings to be gained – only an increase in workloads and a potentially destabilising effect on the entire facility. ‘Morale across the hospital is much better,’ said Kylie. ‘Other issues like stock problems also seem to be improving.’n THE LAMP APRIL 2009 25



f o e r u t u f e h t r o f n la Ap

up mmission (NHHRC) has come Co m for Re ls ita sp Ho d an h alt g The National He health system’s future needs. the te ipa tic an to try t tha s on with ideas and innovati


etter coordination of care and a greater focus on patients underpin a raft of suggestions put forward in an interim report by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. The Commission was established by the Rudd Government to develop a long-term reform plan for the next five to 20 years. Its goal, according to chairperson Dr Christine Bennett, is a ‘fair health system where we make universal entitlement real’. The Commission’s interim report contains 116 reform proposals spanning almost 400 pages.

disappointment in the report is the failure to address the government subsidy of the private health insurance industry. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the government wanted the commission to think big. ‘This directions paper will give people an opportunity to express their view as to whether some of the ideas are radical and vital, or radical and hair-brained,’ she said. ‘In some areas they are proposing pretty ambitious things that are way, way ahead of where I or the Government’s thinking may be.’ Christine Bennett said the ideas are still realistic.

WHO SHOULD RUN HEALTH? This is the most controversial issue the NHHRC has been asked to tackle. The Commission has cautiously proposed three structures for discussion: c The Commonwealth and the States retain shared responsibility for health, with the Federal Government to take control of all primary healthcare funding and non admitted care. There would be eight bilateral agreements between State and Federal Governments over a five-year period. c The Commonwealth would take responsibility for health services

The report emphasises primary and preventative healthcare and puts forward bold ideas such as one-stop multidisciplinary clinics, a central electronic registry for health records and a universal dental care system. On the vexed question of who should run our hospitals, the Commission has come up with a choice of three different pathways that are sure to provoke vigorous debate. It is not the only contentious issue that has been smudged. The biggest 26 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

delivered through regional health authorities. c The Commonwealth would be responsible for health with a social insurance scheme similar to that used in European countries. People would choose health plans from public, private and not-forprofit providers. The Federal Government is maintaining the line it took to the last election: it will take over the health system if the states and territories are not interested in reforming their health systems.

‘They are designed to serve the health needs of the nation five, 10, 20 years into the future,’ she said.

The good ideas Primary healthcare centres: or one stop shops with services provided by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals. These centres would be the community’s first point of care. Medicare for teeth: the NHHRC proposes a universal dental care system –

Denticare Australia – funded by taxpayers through an increase in the Medicare levy. People could either choose public dental services or a dental health plan with a private health insurer, which would be paid for by the levy. Electronic health records: these could be accessed – with a patient’s agreement – by health professionals to ‘improve continuity, safety, reduce errors and duplication and promote patient care’. Indigenous health: establishment of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Authority and a more holistic approach to indigenous health and disadvantage. Better prevention: the commission recommends more resources be allocated to prevention with a suggestion of a new Medicare item for preventions and performance payments to GPs who reduce the rate of smoking among their patients or improve the management of chronic diseases.

Negatives for nurses Nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses and midwives have long argued for access to the PBS to prescribe medications and Medicare rebates for their services and to order diagnostics. The Commission recommended that NPs only have access to the PBS and MBS in areas where GPs are scarce, largely rural and remote areas. Where GPs are not available NPs or a clinic would be paid an ‘equivalence payment’ for those services. ‘The recommendation to allow nurse practitioners to prescribe PBS-subsidised drugs and Medicare-funded diagnostic tests only where GPs are scarce is a weak response that panders to the AMA,’ said NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes. ‘If a nurse is capable of prescribing and referring safely in the bush then they are equally capable of doing so in the city.’ Australian Nursing Federation Secretary Ged Kearney welcomed some of the Commission’s reform proposals around aged care such as funding directly to people’s needs instead of aged care places. ‘But the greatest area of concern

health for the ANF is the lack of recognition of the leading role nurses play in caring for older Australians. The report fails to mention nurses altogether and provides incentives to GPs and geriatricians but nothing around improving wages and conditions for nursing and carer staff.’

There’s an elephant in the room In an otherwise good report, there is one glaring issue that is dealt with timidly – the role of the private health insurance rebate. Many commentators such as health economist Ian McCauley and Doctors Reform Society president Dr Tim Woodruffe questioned how the Commission’s stated commitment to equity and efficiency could square up with the inefficient and inequitable rebate that now costs the Australian taxpayer a conservative $3.5 billion a year (see box). Fiona Armstrong from the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance says the report’s biggest failing is the commission’s willingness to accept the ideas of vested interests. She says it has unreservedly accepted that the existing balance of healthcare resources (raised through taxation, private health insurance, and out-of-pocket contributions) is appropriate, even advocating that this unique balance must continue.


The Australian Nursi ng Federation submi ssion to the NHHRC highlighted the need for better workforce planning and future modelling of the healt h system’s needs. The ANF recommend ed that the Common wealth Chief Nurse tak charge of nursing an e d midwifery workforc e planning and link the to nurse education an se d clinical placements. It called for extra fun to universities to fac ding ilitate these strategie s. These approaches we re broadly supported in the report. The ANF voiced concer ns about the access and affordability of high-quality universa l health care. It believ es that this requires measures and reform bold of funding and workf orce practices. The rep it says, falls short of ort, that. The ANF also called for an extension of nu rse roles including for nurse practitioners to be able to prescribe drugs and order diagnostic tests. The Commission only went half way on thi s proposal limiting the expansion of the NP role to areas where the re was a deficit of GP s. The ANF called for a greater focus on indige nous health and for better use of information technolo gy in health. These were cov ered in some depth by the Commission.

‘It would be more appropriate to consider that the government should have full fiscal responsibility for health care but not its delivery. That would avoid the cost-shifting that occurs in the present split,’ she said in The Australian. ‘There needs to be serious questioning of the notion that private health insurance needs to be part of the mix. There is

no justification made in the report, nor any acknowledgement of this elephant in the room. For the sake of evidencebased policy, for the sake of efficiency, transparency and fairness, it needs far greater scrutiny in the final report.’ For further details on the NHHRC Report, see Nursing Online on page 45.n

SCRAP PRIVATE HEALTH REBATE AND GIVE CASH TO PUBLIC HOSPITALS Confidential Treasury briefings to the Rudd Government obtained by the Age newspaper recommend the scrapping of the private health insurance rebate, which it regarded as ‘very poor policy’. The rebate was introduced by the Howard Government in 1999 to encourage more Australians to take out private health cover. ‘There is no doubt that its $3 billion

annual cost to revenue could deliver far better health outcomes if directed to additional capacity in public hospitals,’ the Treasury said. These costs have subsequently blown out to $3.5 billion a year. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Government would stick to its election promise of keeping the rebate.

The Federal Government has raised the income threshold for the Medicare levy surcharge, which penalises higher income earners who don’t have private cover. Private health insurers fiercely resisted these changes arguing people would dump private cover in their droves. In fact, private health insurance membership grew by 55,000 between September and December last year. THE LAMP APRIL 2009 27



National registration of nurses and midwives g The National registration of nurses and midwives promotes a more flexible, responsive and sustainable health workforce while reducing red tape between states.


he final draft legislation to nationalise the registration and accreditation of health professionals, including nurses and midwives, was released last month and is awaiting submissions from key stakeholders. The NSWNA has been working hard to ensure NSW standards are not diluted under the new scheme, providing more than six submissions and responses to the drafting process so far. Other issues high on the NSWNA agenda are the need for separate registers for nursing and midwifery; the provision of sufficient funds for boards to perform all their functions fully; and the guaranteed independence of the proposed investigative and prosecution processes. The planned national scheme will cover 10 health professions including medical practitioners, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, osteopaths, chiropractors, optometrists, dentists and podiatrists – though nurses and midwives currently make up more than half of the total health workforce. NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda is confident the scheme will deliver good safeguards for the public and promote a more flexible, responsive and sustainable health workforce while reducing red tape between states. ‘At this stage, state bodies will continue to manage matters at the local level, such as investigating complaints, while the national board will handle “macro policy”,’ she said. ‘One of the key outcomes will be 28 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

NSWNA Councillor and NSW Nurses and Midwives Board Deputy President Charles Linsell said it is a thoroughly sensible and important move, ‘though, as always, the devil is in the detail’. ‘There are complexities standardising education requirements and disciplinary proceedings,’ he said. ‘National accreditation and registration simply needs to happen. The current system is as silly as retaining separate state postal systems, or rail gauges. ‘Nurses need to be able to move interstate without attracting another whole set of fees and requirements.’ The first phase of the scheme, known as Bill A, was introduced into the Queensland Parliament in October last year. Once approved, the Queensland Parliament will take the lead in enacting the primary legislation to establish the scheme. As soon as practicable, the remaining states and territories will enact corresponding legislation permitting establishment of the national scheme by 2010. The second stage, Bill B – the bill currently awaiting submissions – is planned for introduction into the Queensland Parliament in August 2009. It will cover arrangements for registration, accreditation, handling of complaints and disciplinary matters, privacy and information sharing, and any other matters. NSWNA Councillor and NSW Nurses and Midwives ‘The NSWNA will continue Board Deputy President Charles Linsell to participate in all relevant consultation processes in cooperation with other key organisations and that health professionals banned from stakeholders to represent the interests practising in one state will be unable to of nurses and midwives in NSW and practise elsewhere in Australia.’ Australia,’ said Judith.n

‘National accreditation and registration simply needs to happen. Nurses need to be able to move interstate without attracting another whole set of fees and requirements.’

Maternity Services Review – ‘a good start’ g The Federal Government’s review of maternity services has been generally well received by midwives and stakeholders, though questions have been raised about the lack of support for homebirth services.


fter working through more than 900 written submissions, and conducting a series of round-table discussions with midwives and key stakeholders, the Maternity Service Review has released its report Improving Maternity Services in Australia. Led by the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Rosemary Bryant, the report is the first step in the development of a National Maternity Services Plan. The review canvassed a range of issues relevant to maternity services, including antenatal services, birthing options, postnatal services, and peer and social support for women in the perinatal period. The NSWNA supported the NSW Midwives Association’s submission (now the Australian College of Midwives, NSW Branch). Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney Hannah Dahlen, also an NSWNA member and national spokesperson for the Australian College of Midwives, said the report contained some very positive recommendations for women and midwives generally, though more work was needed on the issue of providing access to supported homebirth services. ‘There is an unresolved tension in the report where a decision not to allocate Commonwealth funding for homebirth (at least in the short term) is outlined, followed by indications that indemnitycover for midwives should be addressed but that this will be less likely to be successful for homebirths. ‘This essentially is a dead-end for private midwives providing homebirth services and has the potential to push it even further underground.’ Apart from the homebirth concerns,

Professor Dahlen was impressed with the report’s commitment to close the gap on disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies – in partnership with indigenous people – and improved access for rural women to safe, collaborative maternity care as close as possible to where they live. Professor Dahlen noted the problems of delivering an effective homebirth model, highlighting the fine line between providing ‘integration, collaboration and support’ for midwives currently removed from mainstream maternity care and the restrictions ‘publicly-funded homebirth models and geographic borders’ would create for midwives already reluctant to work in the mainstream maternity system. ‘The more we ... allow midwives to function to the full scope of their role, the better it will be for homebirth as a mainstream option in the future,’ she said, explaining that if homebirth was pushed underground and its skills lost, safety would ultimately be compromised, not improved.

‘In the past 20 years, there have been over 20 maternity reviews at the State and Commonwealth levels, and many of these have not been acted on. Now is the time to stop talking and start acting. ‘We need to all work together to urge the government to listen to the needs of women and their families and make sure that these recommendations are acted upon.’ The ANF has also welcomed the report, which it believes begins to address the barriers to quality care for all mothers and families. ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney said the review’s focus on improving choice for Australian women through the expanded role for midwives showed that the Maternity Services Review had not only ‘understood the needs of women in Australia, but also the professional skills and knowledge available within the midwifery workforce’. For further details on the Maternity Service Review Report, see Nursing Online on page 45.n

SUMMARY OF MATERNITY SERVICE REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Improved choice and availability of a range of models through expanded role for midwives; possible changes to Commonwealth funding arrangements; support for professional indemnity insurance for midwives. 2. New national cross-professional guidelines to be developed to support collaborative multidisciplinary care; and a system for advanced midwifery professional requirements. 3. Improved national data collections; targeted research to support a safety and quality framework; monitor impact of changing models of care. 4. Support expansion of collaborative models of care; improved access for rural and indigenous mothers; and reduced workforce pressures. 5. Assist Australian women’s decision-making by providing better access to comprehensive, reliable information. For the full report, go to: THE LAMP APRIL 2009 29

The way ahead‌ ACT Health offers fully funded Post-graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing in Canberra

Second Semester Intake – 2009 ACT Health through Mental Health ACT, have developed a program for Registered Nurses (RNs) interested in gaining postgraduate nursing qualiďŹ cations. The Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing programme offered by Mental Health ACT is an excellent means by which RNs can build their knowledge and skills base in caring for people experiencing a range of mental health conditions. The programme is clinically based and provides RNs with the option of either part-time or full-time paid employment for 12 to 18 months in Canberra, while they study through La Trobe University. Living in Canberra offers a culturally diverse lifestyle and stimulating environment. It has the beneďŹ ts of a city while retaining its rural personality and is an ideal place to educate and bring up a family.

During the program, RNs rotate through the diverse services provided by Mental Health ACT, including crisis assessment, acute inpatient, rehabilitation, community adult, child and adolescent and older persons as well as placement options with specialist teams. Registered Nurses who undertake the programme are: • Paid while they study • Guaranteed a scholarship to cover course fees • Well supported • Able to fast track their career and • Paid a qualiďŹ cation allowance on completion.

Applications close 29 May 2009. If you are interested in ďŹ nding out more, please contact Jenny Fothergill, Nursing Clinical Support OfďŹ cer, Mental Health ACT, or (ph) 02 6205 3661.

ACT Health.indd 2

26/3/09 1:28:00 PM

The College of Nursing creating nursing’s future








The College of Nursing


Q & A




Show day as public holiday I work in a private hospital in a regional area. A public holiday has been gazetted for the local Show Day, as it is every year, and our employer has advised us that this will mean staff are therefore not entitled to observe the additional public holiday that usually occurs between Christmas and New Year, which we call nurses picnic day. Is this correct?

Yes, that is correct. The Private Hospitals Industry Nurses’ (State) Award clause 23 states: (iii) For the purpose of this subclause the following are to be public holidays, viz: New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Local Labor Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and any other day duly proclaimed and observed as a public holiday within the area in which the hospital is situated. (iv) (a) In addition to those public holidays prescribed in subclause (iii) of this clause, employees are entitled to an extra public holiday each year. Such public holiday will occur: (1) on the August Bank Holiday; or (2) on a date which is agreed upon by the Association and the respective employers; (3) as an additional public holiday between Christmas and New Year; provided that such day is placed between Monday to Friday (inclusive) which is not gazetted as a public holiday. The foregoing does not apply in areas where in each year:

(4) a day in addition to the ten (10) named public holidays specified in subclause (i) is proclaimed and observed as a public holiday; or (5) two half days in addition to the ten (10) named public holidays specified in subclause (i) are proclaimed and observed as half public holidays. This means that if a day such as show day is gazetted as a public holiday then you are not entitled to an additional public holiday held on a day between Christmas and New Year traditionally called nurses picnic day.

Excessive annual leave I have been working in the public health system for many years and have been told I will soon be directed to take annual leave because I have an excessive amount of leave accrued. Is this correct? If so, how much is too much?

Your agreement Public Health System Nurses’ & Midwives’ (State) Award states in clause 30 (vii) (a): Annual leave shall be given and shall be taken within a period of six months after the date when the right to annual leave accrued; provided that the giving and taking of such leave may be postponed, by mutual agreement between the parties, for a further period not exceeding six months. This means you can have up to 12 months accrual of annual leave before you can be directed to take it. Your employer should give you three

months’ notice before you are directed to take excessive annual leave and you must be given at least 28 days’ notice.

Sick during annual leave I work in a nursing home as an AiN. I recently took annual leave but during this time was ill with whooping cough. A colleague has suggested that I may be able to get my annual leave back and use my sick leave for this period. Is this correct?

It is possible to have annual leave recredited if you were sick during the period of leave, for at least one week or more. This is covered in the Nursing Homes, &c., Nurses’ (State) Award under clause 24. Sick Leave, subclause (vi), which states: With respect to an employee who is eligible for sick leave and who produces a satisfactory medical certificate to the effect that he/she has been incapacitated for a period of one week’s duration while on annual leave, provided that no such recrediting shall be granted to an employee on leave prior to retirement, resignation or termination of services and provided further the employer is satisfied on the circumstances and the nature of the incapacity. Therefore, providing you were ill for a period of one week or more during your annual leave, you should be able to have the leave re-credited (and sick leave deducted accordingly), on production of a medical certificate.n

Little hearts need you to care! As a professional in the nursing field you would see many little hearts in need of extra care and attention. If you have been thinking about fostering then we would encourage you to call us to find out how you can give a child this extra care and attention. Centacare provides training, support and financial assistance to carers. For more information please call Centacare on 8709 9333 or visit Centracare.indd 1

17/9/08APRIL 9:22:53 AM THE LAMP 2009 31



Action needed for health and safety g New national OHS laws are being drafted and members are strongly encouraged to be active in campaigns to ensure they improve rather than diminish workers’ right to a safe working environment.


eports handed down by the National OHS Legislation Review Panel as part of the process for harmonising OHS laws across Australia reveal that workers may lose important OHS protections if recommendations are adopted. The NSWNA believes nurses are entitled to the highest possible standards of protection of their health and safety at work. Members are strongly encouraged to be vigilant of the threats to their rights and be active in campaigns to make sure that the new national laws, scheduled to be drafted in June 2009 and fully implemented in 2011, improve rather than diminish workers’ right to a safe working environment. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) established the OHS Review Panel with the aim of reducing the burden of legislation on industry, while safeguarding workers’ ‘legitimate safety concerns’. Submissions were subsequently considered from unions and employer groups, the latter having long lobbied for OHS harmonisation to save on red tape. At a 2008 workplace health and safety event, the Australian Industry Group said: ‘It is often suggested that

‘Employees in a wide range of workplaces across Australia stand to lose important protections if the panel report is accepted.’


The Review Panel’s reports, the second of which became public mid-February, were a great disappointment to unions, especially in NSW where we have some of Australia’s best OHS legislation. If the Panel’s recommendations are adopted, there will be a significant reduction in OHS standards in NSW.




ACTU Assistant Secretary Geoff Fary

OHS should be the top priority. While this is a worthy ideal every organisation should strive for, the reality is that making a profit will always be the highest priority of a business.’ But research suggests that OHS makes good business sense. Occupational injury and disease costs the Australian economy $35 billion a year, or 5% of GDP, and it’s estimated that only 3% of the total cost is borne by employers – workers and the community carry the other 97%. Of course, there is more than money at stake. According to Access Economics, as many as 8000 Australians die each year from work-related incidents or illnesses.

That means 21 deaths every day. Unsafe Australian workplaces are the cause of 689,500 injuries and illnesses annually. To improve this, the NSWNA, together with the ACTU and Unions NSW, is lobbying for laws that protect workers. We believe that harmonised OHS laws should place the burden of proof on employers when workplace safety breaches result in injury or illness, and that elected health and safety representatives (HSRs) should have powers and protection to make workplaces safer. However, OHS experts attending a two-day meeting in Sydney have raised c Prosecutor to bear the onus of proof – that is – the prosecutor would have to prove that the employer did not do all that was reasonably practicable. (Unions are lobbying for the onus of proof to be placed on the employer); c No union right to prosecute;

The Panel has recommended:

c Reduced union rights of entry with respect to OHS;

c A duty of care based on reasonable practicability (NSW has an absolute duty);

c Changes to HSR’s powers and functions. For example, they can be



WHAT YOU CAN DO The NSWNA encourages all its branches and individual members to lobby government for worker-friendly national OHS legislation. We can’t afford to lose skilled workers due to injury or illness, especially during the current economic crisis. It is important to create a community groundswell of opposition to the OHS Review Panel’s current recommendations. Actions that members can take include: c Sign the petition on the ACTU website (www. ndardsforHarmonisedOHSLawsPetition.aspx); c Letters to newspapers; c Letters to politicians; c Branch delegations to meet with local politicians; c Phone calls to talk-back radio programs.

serious concerns following the OHS Review Panel’s reports on the harmonisation process. ‘Employees in a wide range of workplaces across Australia stand to lose important protections if the panel report is accepted,’ said ACTU Assistant Secretary Geoff Fary. Of particular concern is the undemocratic requirement that HSRs must have specific qualifications, which would turn them into ‘pseudo-professionals’ and require them to take out indemnity insurance. The NSWNA believes the Panel’s proposed provisions around HSRs would act as a significant disincentive for workers to undertake the role. Successful prosecutions of unsafe work practices are also likely to become more difficult if the report’s recommendations are accepted, given that the onus of proof will be borne by the plaintiff, rather than the employer, and unions will be unable to prosecute. The Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council (WRMC) will meet on 3 April to advance the OHS harmonisation process. The new national legislation will affect all nurses, and the NSWNA encourages its members to lobby government for worker-friendly legislation.n


NSWNA members have the opportunity to win a relaxing holiday for two to Orange in Central NSW. Orange is a city full of life with elegant streetscapes and historic buildings, beautiful parks and gardens plus some of the best regional food and wine in Australia. Orange is known as Australia’s Colour City and with its four distinct seasons it is easy to see why. Colours are showcased through the city’s magical Cook and Robertson Parks and the Orange Botanic Gardens. The prize includes: c Two nights’ accommodation at Arancia Bed and Breakfast. Your stay includes breakfast both mornings and dinner one night (*; c One-hour hot air balloon flight with Aussie Balloon Trek (**; c Three-hour winery tour visiting three wineries or a two-hour winery tour visiting two wineries and a one-hour city tour; c Dinner for two at one of Orange’s premier restaurants; c Gift hamper from Orange Visitor Information Centre. For more information on the region, go to www.visitorange. and To enter, simply write your name, address and membership number on the back of an envelope and send it to: Orange Getaway Competition PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 Competition closes 30 April 2009.

* valid until 30 September 2009, only available mid week (Monday – Thursday), adults only, subject to availability ** subject to weather conditions

held accountable and dismissed from their role, and there is a lack of clarity as to who is to pay for their training. The NSWNA is of the view that these changes will deter employees from being willing to take on the HSR role. (The attack on HSRs makes unions’ request, as laid out in union submissions, for union officers to be given the right to issue provisional improvement notices all the more important); c Requirement for the employer to consult on OHS matters reduced to ‘as reasonably necessary’ instead of being mandatory. THE LAMP APRIL 2009 33



Bob s e t a Whyb r b e l urn ce 40 yea ’ n o i rs un with Aus ia’s ‘best tral

g Union solicitor Bob Whyburn celebrates 40 years service to the NSWNA this month.


ob Whyburn says the NSWNA is one of the best unions in Australia – and he’s worked with quite a few. ‘It’s very democratic, it looks after its members.’ This month is his 40th anniversary working with the NSWNA. Since 1969, Bob has provided legal counsel to the NSWNA and its members – first as a solicitor with Turner Jones (now Turner Freeman), then for nearly 20 years in his own firm and now as a Consultant to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. ‘The NSWNA has been in existence for 78 years, which means I have been the legal adviser for more than half the life of the Association,’ he said. His work includes representing the NSWNA in industrial cases before the Industrial Relations Commission and in matters such as the Garling Special Commission of Inquiry into Public Hospitals where he provided legal advice to members who wished to give evidence. ‘Having legal protection and industrial advice is one of most important benefits of being a member of the Union. You’d be mad not to have this protection,’ he said. ‘The best part of my job is meeting nurses at their hospital or other place of work and sitting down with them to discuss issues affecting them.’ There’s also his role providing general and personal legal advice and services to NSWNA members. ‘A lesser-known benefit of being a member of the NSWNA is having access to a free legal consultation on any matter. It doesn’t have to be an industrial matter, 34 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

it can be a personal or family matter. Most people just need some advice but if you need further legal services, we offer members a discounted rate,’ said Bob.

then I went to university at nights and on the weekends. It was a hard road,’ he said. When Bob started working with the Association in 1969 it was a very different

‘Having legal protection and industrial advice is one of most important benefits of being a member of the Union. You’d be mad not to have this protection.’ Bob Whyburn

Bob’s career specialising in labour law seems a long way from his childhood growing up in Maitland NSW, surrounded by family working in the local mining, farming and steel industries. But he explains that unions have been an important part of his life from a young age. ‘We were working class. I grew up aware of unions, knowing they were important,’ he said. ‘When I left high school I had decided I wanted to do law but I knocked back a university scholarship because I was playing in a rock-n-roll band, and I didn’t want to leave Newcastle. I spent a year as an articled clerk at a law firm in Newcastle that acted for trade unions. ‘In those days articled clerks were viewed as cheap labour. Bright young people were taken on and worked like dogs for not much pay and without getting much valuable experience in law. But I was fortunate, I did get a lot of valuable experience and I learned a lot about the practice of law – more than if I had been going to uni full-time. ‘I had a full case load during the day,

organisation from today. ‘The attitude of nurses towards themselves and their profession was very different. Nurses didn’t question their role. They didn’t speak out. They did what they were told by the matrons and doctors. Thus it was very much a professional Association, not a union. ‘The challenge was getting people thinking differently about themselves and the nursing profession. Former General Secretary Pat Staunton was very successful in starting the process of getting people active and thinking about enhancing the profession,’ said Bob. ‘Now nurses join the NSWNA because they want to be part of an industrial organisation which is also a professional association. The changed structure of the organisation reflects a change in nurses’ perception of themselves.’ The bringing together of the NSWNA and the ANF was a highlight of his time working with the Association. ‘This was achieved in 1987 when agreement was reached as a result of the NSWNA intervening in a Federal Award


o o o o o o o


Great service Low fees Excellent investment returns Good value insurance Investment choice Profits go to members Extra benefits for members

Bob Whyburn

application filed by the ANF. It was not a full amalgamation, we referred to it as a “harmonisation”. There was a Deed signed that enabled the NSWNA to effectively operate independently and continue to exclusively cover nurses in NSW, and also operate as the NSW Branch of the ANF. Shortly after, the QLD Nurses Union followed suit so that for the first time there was a truly national nursing union,’ said Bob. ‘It provided a national focus for nurses, enabled comparision of pay and conditions and a stronger career path for nurses.’ A more recent highlight was supporting and advising members during the Garling Special Commission of Inquiry into the public health system in 2008. ‘Commissioner Garling took evidence in public at about 32 different hospitals and facilities and I attended all but two of the hearings. I was on hand to support and advise nurses wanting to give evidence. Where necessary, I organised private hearings if nurses were concerned about the repercussions of giving evidence. Many nurses were concerned about workplace issues but they were afraid to speak out. They told me that had I not been there they would not have spoken up. ‘The NSWNA made two written submissions to the Inquiry and we estimate that about 70% of the issues we raised for consideration were adopted. That’s pretty good. ‘It was very draining. I was on the road for four months but it was a very important inquiry,’ said Bob. ’We’ve achieved a lot in the 40 years that the Association and I have been working together but there is a lot more to do. I’m looking forward to the next 40 years,’ said Bob.n

For quality super contact HIP:

1300 654 099

This information from Health Industry Plan is general only. It is not specific to your personal financial situation, objectives or needs. Get the facts from or talk to a financial advisor before making any super decisions. The Trustee of HIP is Private Hospitals Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 59 006 792 749, AFSL 247063. THE LAMP APRIL 2009 35


Bathurst Base Hospital branch members came together to celebrate their outstanding win which saved an estimated 34 FTE positions.


NSWNA Branch News

– active above g NSWNA members ... and beyond the call

NSWNA members supported 1850 workers facing redundancy at Pacific Brands.

Nursing students attended an NSWNA BBQ at the University of Tasmania’s Rozelle campus and caught up on past issues of The Lamp.

NSWNA Associate member and Associate Professor Dr Ann Bonner from the school of nursing and midwifery at Charles Sturt University, talked with Lisa Heylin about returning to nursing at an open day at Wagga Base Hospital last month.

NUMs at Dubbo Base Hospital recently succeeded in resisting a restructuring of NUMs that would have increased workloads. 36 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

Jeanette Holloway, RN, collects her Excellence Award from the Australian Women’s Health Nurse Association for her instrumental contribution to two innovative health projects designed to reach marginalised women.

NSWNA members gathered with other unions at the start of this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras.

Nurses continue to be popular at Mardi Gras – those who marched ‘had an absolute ball’ while drawing big cheers from the crowds.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Advertiser Photo courtesy of the Barrier Daily Truth

New members Sarah Kiley and Grace Matthews started their Transitional Registered Nurse program at Broken Hill Hospital.

STAY CONNECTED! If you have an important or interesting event or occasion happening in your branch or area, just email us your photos, information and contact details to Branch News:




Tenderness g A dark little tale about life, death and psychopaths.


irected by Australia’s John Polson, this is a dark little tale that follows the lives of three people, each of whom struggle in their own way. Eric (Jon Foster) has just been released from juvenile detention after murdering a number of people. He is desperate to turn his life around and makes a solid attempt to do so. Lieutenant Cristofuoro (Russell Crowe), a semi-retired police officer, is certain that Eric will not be able to reform his character, so he watches him and waits. Lori (Sophie Traub), who lives in an abusive household, hears of Eric’s release and is fascinated by him. She pursues him remorselessly and wants something from him that he seems unable to provide. She is sexually manipulative and looking for an escape from her dreadful life. The most outstanding feature about this film is the performances of the three actors. Russell Crowe, proving his versatility once again, plays an almost paternal role, caring for a sick wife, complete with her sweaty scalp and nasal prongs ‘insitu’. The screenplay is well written. All is 38 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

Review by Meg Collins, RN, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital slowly and strategically revealed scene by scene. The cinematographer and costume designer did what they could under the circumstances. The director, John Polson, has in the past favoured comedy so it is wonderful to see him developing his career, particularly abroad. I think this film is far better than Swimfan, one of his previous films.n Tenderness opens on 30 April.

WANTED We are seeking closet film buffs to share with other nurses their views on the movies they love and hate. It’s a chance to see previews of next month’s new releases. Please contact us with expressions of interest to be part of our movie review team. Call Editorial Enquiries now on 02 8595 1219 or email




GIVEAWAYS FOR NSWNA MEMBERS The Lamp has 25 double passes to see Tenderness. To enter, email with your name, membership number, address and contact number. First entries win!

Gifts so good, you won’t want to give them away. There is an ABC Shop near you. For locations visit or call 1300 360 111. Ask about our rewards program.

Inkheart g A delightful, sometimes scary, fantasy adventure, says Anni Cameron. Review by Anni Cameron, Clinical Coordinator, Nursing Section, St George College of TAFE


nkheart is based on Cornelia Funke’s best-selling novel that topped the New York Times bestseller list in 2005. It stars Brendan Fraser as Mortimer ‘Mo’ Folchart, who, with his young daughter Meggie (British actress Eliza Hope Bennett), battle the evil forces of a fictional world. Both Mo and Meggie share a passion for books, which serves to underscore the poignancy of their relationship since the disappearance of his wife, Resa, when Meggie was three years old and it is on one of their trips to a second-hand bookshop that Mo hears voices echoing among the dusty bookshelves that he hasn’t heard since his wife disappeared. Thus begins the basis upon which the fantasy is set, for Mo is a ‘Silvertongue’ – someone who can speak the written word into reality. However, this ‘gift’ is a double-edged sword – as a character is brought into the present world, a real person disappears into the book. Mo has hidden a secret from Meggie since she was three years old: that by reading aloud from a novel, Inkheart, he inadvertently called forth the villainous characters of Capricorn, tyrannically ruling over a small empire with the help of Basta, chief henchman. Paul Bettany plays Dustfinger, a mercurial firejuggling character also transported from the book into present day and never far behind Mo, who has been scouring secondhand bookshops searching for the elusive novel in the hope that by reading it aloud again he can bring back his wife. Helen Mirren stars as great aunt Elino, and Jim Broadbent as Fenoglio, the fictional author of Inkheart who meets the characters he created, and both lend depth and a dash of charming eccentricity to the film as does the mountainous location of Liguria, Italy, which has a medieval feel about it. This is a delightful film for children and those adults who can bring forth ‘the child within’ as it requires suspending the rational mind’s invariable questioning of various aspects of the film such as why Mo’s daughter has a distinctly British accent or why he would have been reading a book with such evil characters in it to a three year old in the first place. Nonetheless, what the film does capture and which is something to be nurtured and treasured is the love of reading, of books and the love of home and family.n Inkheart opens on 2 April.


NURSE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM ARE YOU: n An Australian citizen or permanent resident, and n A nurse or midwife undertaking continuing professional development (including conferences)? or n Returning to the nursing or midwifery workforce?

You may be eligible for an Australian Government scholarship. The CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION SCHEME for Rural and Remote Nurses is available for postgraduate study and attendance at conferences, short courses and workshops in Australia. Up to $10,000 is available per applicant for up to two years of study. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are practising in a rural or remote area of Australia.

The NATIONAL NURSE RE-ENTRY SCHEME is for registered nurses and midwives and enrolled nurses whose registration has lapsed and/or have not practised for three years or more. Up to $6,000 is available per applicant to undertake a re-entry or refresher program to return to the nursing/midwifery workforce in Australia.

Applications are now open and will close on 1 MAY 2009. Please visit for more information or contact the Fund Administrator, Royal College of Nursing, Australia on 1800 112 240.

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FIRST FOR REFRESHMENTS Chambord and Champagne cocktails at the Chambord Bar • Delicious lunches and coffees at the Equal Café • freshen up at the Moxie Powder Room. Tickets available in advance and on the door. As the catwalk is ticketed, it is advisable to book in advance.




Best friend not forgotten BARBARA JEAN MARSDEN 25 May 1947–24 August 2008


arb (as she preferred) died before her time, only 61 years old, working fulltime as Remote Community Nurse at Bundarra, as the Nurse Unit Manager. Ironically, she was depending on the health service for a pacemaker and died two days before the appointment, while ‘resting at home’. Born in Lakemba, Barb did her nurse’s training at Canterbury Hospital for four years, then midwifery at Crown St Women’s Hospital. Her sense of humour was unique and she believed ‘laughter was the best medicine’. Barb was passionate about helping people and excelled in all her roles at the Bundarra Community Centre, which included palliative care, wound management and anything else the community wanted or needed. Barb married Peter Hancock in 1972 at Haberfield and they had three beautiful daughters, Nikki, Shelly and Brooke. Plus five and a half grandchildren to add to her brood. Barb loved her family and lived for them. She was involved with every family event she could be. Her passion for pets led her first to a hobby farm and then onto a rural property at Uralla, called ‘Glen Leigh’. This is where I first med Barb in 1999 at our local fire brigade meetings, where she was involved with the community. We became firm friends and both did a

appointment at Bundarra Community, where her role as NUM saw her involved with the closure of the old Hospital building and the make over of the Community centre. She fought hard to keep services in the community and provided a 24-hour, on-call, five-daysa-week service. This sadly will change since her death and the position will be down graded with the on call service terminated, as stated by the health service, at the town meeting organised by the CWA ladies. Barb was the best friend a girl could have. There were harsh words when they were needed or unbelievable support. I can only imagine the pain her family is going through. She was a loyal friend who loved life. Her special 1952 Chev Ute ‘Betsey’ with its Ruby red shined finish made her stand out wherever she travelled. Barb’s wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience will be missed by her family, friends and the Bundarra Township forever. On 21 February a plaque was unveiled at the Bundarra Community Centre in honour of Barbara Jean Marsden’s commitment to nursing. The inscription with Florence Nightingale’ s maxim reads: ‘I shall pass through the world but once. If there be kindness I can show or good I can do, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.’ Townsfolk, the local mayor, her family and workmates were there for the unveiling. She will not be forgotten.n by Sonya Hughes

Her sense of humour was unique and she believed ‘laughter was the best medicine’ ... her special 1952 Chev Ute ‘Betsey’ made her stand out wherever she travelled. refresher Course for Registered Nurses at Inverell District Hospital. Barb then went to work at Armidale Community Centre until her last


With a Meal Entertainment Card, savings are always on the menu.

Here’s some food for thought. With a Westpac Meal Entertainment Card, you can make more of your hard-earned money. As an employee of a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) like the aged care industry, public hospitals and charity organisations, you’re in a unique position, because the Government allows you to take a part of your income as tax-free benefits. So, instead of taking all your salary in cash, you can use your Meal Entertainment Card to pay for meal entertainment expenses on a tax-free or reduced tax basis. And the more tax you save means the more you have in your pocket.

How does it work? It’s not some sort of tax loophole, it’s a special set of rules for a special industry. To take advantage of the savings, you need to have a salary sacrifice agreement with your employer. Then, once you’ve applied for your Meal Entertainment Card, your employer deposits the amount you’ve agreed on into your account. After that, you will receive a specific Visa card that you can start using to pay for meal entertainment expenses. As with any Visa card, you receive a monthly statement so you can keep tabs on your spending. The other advantage is that you don’t have to hang onto receipts and paperwork and apply for reimbursements. It’s a simpler system. Like any Visa card, it can be used anywhere in the world to pay for everyday expenses, wherever Visa is accepted. If you’re hungry for more information, just visit our website at: Current at April 2009

PBI Benefit Solutions Pty Ltd Suite 406, 152 Bunnerong Road, Eastgardens, NSW 2036, (02) 9314 0288 Level 9, ‘Seabank Building’, 12-14 Marine Parade, Southport, Qld 4215, (07) 5519 1904 42 THE LAMP APRIL 2009 Email: Web:


Public Benevolent Institution Solutions



Book me Communication: Core Interpersonal Skills for Health Professionals By Gjyn O’Toole, Churchill Livingstone (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP $65 : ISBN 9780729538596 (pbk) Communication: Core Interpersonal Skills introduces health sciences students to the various interpersonal communication skills that are commonly used within health settings to establish relationships with clients and fellow professionals, and improve therapeutic outcomes. It focuses on developing self awareness and skills for use in health settings and covers the types of scenarios commonly encountered in health settings that are rarely covered in generic professional communication texts. Perspectives and examples are drawn from a wide range of health professions. The book includes activities that will enable students to reflect on their experiences and practice using the skills.

Quick Look Nursing: Fluids and Electrolytes (2nd edition) By Mary Baumberger-Henry, Jones and Bartlett Publishers (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP $45 : ISBN 9780763751333 (pbk) Quick Look Nursing: Fluids and Electrolytes second edition offers updated information on the terminology involving fluids and electrolytes as well as the need for acid/base balance in the body and study questions essential for the NCLEX!

Understanding Patient Safety By Robert M. Wachter, McGraw-Hill Medical Australia Pty Ltd, RRP $55 : ISBN 9780071482776 Understanding Patient Safety is the essential book for anyone seeking to learn the key clinical, organisational and systems issues in patient safety. Written in a dynamic and easily-understood style, this text is filled with valuable cases and analyses, as well as up-to-date tables, graphics, references and tools – all designed to introduce the patient safety field to medical, nursing, pharmacy, hospital administration and other trainees, and to be the go-to book for experienced clinicians and non-clinicians alike.

Introduction to Critical Care Nursing (5th edition) By Mary Lou Sole, Deborah G. Klein, Saunders (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP $135 : ISBN 9781416056560 The goal of the 5th edition of Introduction to Critical Care Nursing is to continue to provide essential information in an easyto-learn format for nurses who are new to critical care. Information provided is common to all of critical care nursing, regardless of setting and is targeted to both undergraduate nursing students and experienced nurses who are new to critical care. Features of each chapter include pharmacology tables, evidence-based practice boxes, clinical and laboratory

WHERE TO GET THIS MONTH’S NEW RELEASES These books are all available on order through the publisher or your local bookshop. Members of the NSWNA can borrow any of these books and more from our Records and Information Centre. For borrowing information, contact Jeannette Bromfield, 8595 2175, or Cathy Matias, 8595 2121, cmatias@

Reviews by NSWNA librarian, Jeannette Bromfield.

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITES c McGraw-Hill: c Elsevier Australia: c Jones and Bartlett:



Black Stockings, White Veil: A Tale of Adversity, Triumph and Romance at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital By Decima Wraxall with forward by Jill Iliffe, Raxa Book : ISBN 9780980495409 (pbk) Black Stockings, White Veil is Decima Wraxall’s recollection of her experiences as a probationary nurse at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the 1950s. It gives many an insight into the lives of the young nurses put to work in the wards before university education was required for the profession. This easy-to-read book will make anyone who reads it reflect on a time when probationer nurses who did their initial training through the hospital apprenticeship system were faced with calamitous problems in every ward, short staffing and humiliation by those in charge. alerts, geriatric considerations, critical thinking questions, case studies and new features on genetics and transplantation.

Application of Nursing Process and Nursing Diagnosis: An Interactive Text for Diagnostic Reasoning (5th edition) By Marilynn E. Doenges and Mary Frances Moorhouse, F. A. Davis Company (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP $42 : ISBN 9780803619098 This valuable interactive text highlights the fact that the nursing process, by its nature, is collaborative and, therefore, focuses on presenting a stepby-step problem-solving design to help students develop an understanding of the meaning and language of nursing.n THE LAMP APRIL 2009 43



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A fairer and more effective health system he release of the National Health and Hospitals Commission Report has stimulated discussion and further reports on health reform.


Health care: Re-framing our thinking – Paper for presentation at Australian Health Care Reform Alliance Conference March 2009 Ian McAuley, University of Canberra and Centre for Policy Development ‘Timid’ is the sharpest summary of the Interim Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. Its recommendations and options, while Ian McAuley including some sound technical reforms such as electronic patient records and more use of nurse practitioners, generally avoid addressing the major problems in delivery of health care. The Commission has alluded to problems but has ducked the hard questions. In view of the high and rising cost of health care it would be reasonable to expect an inquiry of this nature to ground its work in cost-benefit analysis, but it is weak on economics. (See article on the Report by the National Hospital and Health Reform Commission on page 26.) c


A healthier future for all Australians – Interim Report 2008 National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Australia’s health system is in need of reform to meet a range of long-term challenges, including access to services, the growing burden of chronic disease, population ageing, costs and inefficiencies generated by blame- and cost-shifting, and the escalating costs of new health technologies. The Commonwealth Government will establish a National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission to provide advice on performance benchmarks and practical reforms to the Australian health system, which could be implemented in both the short and long term to address these challenges. c


Improving maternity services in Australia – The report of the Maternity Services Review February 2009 This Report presents for the consideration of the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, MP, the findings of the Maternity Services Review (the Review) conducted by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and led by the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Rosemary Bryant. The Review, including this Report, is a key step towards delivering the Government’s election commitment to develop a National Maternity Services Plan (the Plan). The aims of this Review were to: c Elicit a range of perspectives on maternity services in Australia; c Identify key gaps in current arrangements;

c Determine what change is required; c Determine what is needed for change

to occur; c Inform the priorities for national

action; and c Development of the Plan.

(See article on the Maternity Services Review on page 29) c


Snippets of reaction to NHHRC report Melissa Sweet The Croakey blog is a forum for debate and discussion about health issues and policy. A range of commentators provided perspectives Melissa Sweet on the interim report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. c


Reflections on the NHHRC Interim Report

Jennifer Doggett

Jennifer Doggett 5 March 2009 Like the very best sort of underwear, the Interim Report from the NHHRC Commission is important as much for what it conceals as

what it reveals.n c

reflections-nhhrc-interim-report THE LAMP APRIL 2009 45

Great legal advice for Nurses Maurice Blackburn are proud to be the lawyers for the New South Wales Nurses’ Association.

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Conditions apply

Call the Association information line on 1300 367 962 Maurice Blackburn has offices in: Sydney T (02) 9261 1488

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New offices in: Parramatta T (02) 9806 7222

Canberra T (02) 6214 3200

Visiting Offices Camperdown T (02) 9261 1488

Wollongong T (02) 9261 1488

Appointments for regional members can also be arranged.

A Unions initiative Chifley Financial Services offers: N N N N N N N N

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CRoSSWoRD Test your knowledge in this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nursing crossword.







7 8


10 11


13 15



17 18



21 22





1. Common anti-inflammatory drug (7) 3. An acute infectious disease often characterised by a rash (7) 6. Adolescents (9) 8. Windpipe (7) 10. Urinary tract infection, abbrev (1.1.1.) 11. Passes on disease (7) 13. Where the pupils are found (4) 14. A bundles of conducting fibres in the body (5)


26 15. A cavity in the bone behind the nose (5) 21. Cancer ward (8) 23. Renal failure (6) 24. Syringe (6) 25. Getting older (5) 26. Loss of motor function (9) s DOWN 1. Inflammation of the joints (9) 2. Birthmark (6) 3. Inflammation of the breast (8)

4. A superficial injury (8) 5. A calming drug (8) 7. Middle of the face (4) 9. Anticoagulant drug (7) 12. To pass out (5) 16. Sleep apnoea (7) 17. Infectious enteritis most common in developing countries (7) 18. Part of the eye (6) 19. Vomiting (6) 20. Structure at the back of the mouth (5) 22. Places for patients (4) Solution page 49 THE LAMP APRIL 2009 47

DIARY DATES Conferences, seminars, meetings SYDNEY, HUNTER & ILLAWARRA The Australian Pain Society 29th Annual Scientific Meeting 5–8 April, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour Contact: 9954 4400, Pain Interest Group – Nursing Issues Workshop 5 April, 12noon–5pm, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour Contact: 9954 4400, 2nd Annual Chronic Disease Management Australia Conference 6–8 April, Amora Jamison Sydney Contact: Hunter Wound Interest Group ‘Spring Into Wound Care’ Conference Abstracts due: 17 April Conf.: 20–21 Sept, Kurri Kurri Conf. Ctr. Contact:, Infection Control Conf. NSW Ica Inc. ‘Roller Coaster of Infection Control’ Call for abstract. Abstracts due: 24 April Conf.: 3–4 Sept, Luna Park, Sydney Contact: Michelle Berarducci, 9745 9613,, 40th Anniversary Sydney Hospital Hand Unit – Invitation to current and previous Nurses of the Hand Unit 15 May, Claffy Lecture Theatre, Sydney Hospital. Contact: Ann Grealish, ann. Kay Maddison, 9382 7574, pager 9382 7111 no 21599, kay.maddison@sesiahs. st

21 Annual ‘Leura’ SWAHS Palliative Care Conference Day 15 May, 08.15am – 4pm, York Fairmont Leura, Blue Mountains Standard Registration: $130 Contact: Pat Stoddart, 4734 2018 Post-Anaesthetic Nursing Care Seminar 16 May, The Glades Wedding & Conf. Centre, Warners Bay. Cost $85-110. Contact: Paula Hicks, 4947 5183 or 4947 5186, Hunter Breast Cancer Free Forum 09 ‘Love and Breast Cancer’ 24 May, 8am–3pm, Wests League Club Tickets: Contact: Leeanne 0413 939 009 15th Annual Heartbeat Cardiovascular Conf. 09 – ‘Essentials of Care, Governance and Technology’ 29–30 May, Novotel Brighton Beach 48 THE LAMP APRIL 2009

Contact: Jessica Scicluna, 9211 6299, Website:

14–16 May, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Qld. Contact: www.

‘Urology Uncovered’ 30 May, St. Vincents Private Hospital Darlinghurst. Contact: Virginia, Ip 9515 3652,

8th Annual Australian Dermatology Nurses’ Assoc. Conf. ‘Back to Basics’ 16–17 May, Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach Qld Contact: Pam Viret (ADNA Secretary), (02) 8567 5209,

AusMed Conferences • ’Personality Disorders in the Workplace’ Conference, 12–13 June, 66 Goulburn St. Cost $495 • ‘Nurses: General Educational Update’ 6–7 July, Quality Hotel Cambridge, 212 Riley St. Cost $438.90 • Wound Management & Skin Integrity 11–12 May/ 30 Nov–1 Dec, Quality Hotel Cambridge. Cost $438.90 • Nursing Management of People With Adult Diabetes, 30–31 July, Quality Hotel Cambridge. Cost $438.90 Contact: Ausmed, (03) 9375 7311, Sydney CAREX 2009 Aged Care Expo 15–16 July, Rosehill Racecourse. Contact: Wayne Woff, (03) 9571 5606 Web: Australian College of Midwives NSW Branch Annual State Conf. 2009 ‘MIDWIFERY GOING FOR GOLD’ 7–8 August, Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush. Contact: 9281 9522, The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) presents: the Inaugural Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference 16–17 Aug, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Ctr. Contact:

INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS Australian College of Neonatal Nurses 4th Annual Conf. – ‘New Horizons: Nursing Neonates, Families & Communities’ 19 April, Darwin Convention Centre Contact: Australian Practice Nurses Assoc. – National Conference 2009 30 April – 2 May, Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Contact: (03) 5977 0244, Melbourne CAREX 09 – Free Admission 29–30 April, Caulfield Racecourse Contact: Wayne Woff, (03) 9571 5606 Teamwork for Better Health Conf. 09 8 – 9 May, Hilton on the Park, Melbourne Contact: (03) 9417 0888, rwav2009@ Heart Foundation Conference 2009 ‘Hearts in Focus: Celebration, Collaboration and Challenges’

10th National Rural Hlth Alliance Conf. 17–20 May, Cairns Convention Centre Contact:, (02) 6285 4660 National Australian Conference – Evidence Based Clinical Leadership 27–29 May, National Wine Ctr, Adelaide. Contact: The Case Management Society of Aust. 12th National Conf. & Exhibition 18–19 June, Sofitel Melbourne Contact: (03) 9658 2399, Drug & Alcohol Nurses of Australasia – 2009 Conference 24–26 June, Holiday Inn, Surfers Paradise Contact: (07) 3831 3788 Australian Public Sector AntiCorruption Conf. – ’Taking responsibility, fighting complacency’ 28–31 July, Brisbane Contact: (07) 3360 6060, info@apsacc., 4th International Conf. on Community Health Nursing Research – ’Health in Transition: Researching for the Future’ 16–20 August, Adelaide, SA. Contact: (08) 8354 2285,

NSWNA events Upcoming NSWNA Committee of Delegates (CODs) Meetings 19 May, 15 September, 17 November th

NSWNA 64 Annual Conference Conference: 29 & 30 July Professional Day: 31 July NSWNA activist forums • Hunter Activists Forum: 8 April, 6pm, Wests Mayfield, Industrial Dr., Mayfield • New England Activist Forum: 22 April, 6pm, West Tamworth Leagues Club, Phillip Street, West Tamworth Contact: NSWNA, 8595 1234, dcajas@ NSWNA Branch Officials’ & Activists’ Training Programs 2009 • Fairness at Work: 2-days course 30 Apr–1May, NSWNA (Camperdown); 6–7 May, Orange; 13–14 May, Killara; 14–15 May, Wollongong; 20–21 May, Liverpool; 27–28 May, Merimbula & Penrith; 28–29 May, Bomaderry;

3–4 June, Newcastle & Dubbo; 10–11 June, NSWNA & Central Coast; 17–18 June, Ballina, Tamworth, NSWNA; 24– 25 June, Wagga Wagga. • New Delegates Program: ½-day, 19 May & 15 Sept, 1pm–4pm, NSWNA • Negotiation & Advocacy – Part 1: 1-day, 20 May, 16 Sept & 18 Nov, 9am–4pm, NSWNA Camperdown. • Negotiation & Advocacy – Part 2, ‘The IRC, NMB and You’: 1-day, 20 May, 16 Sept & 18 Nov, NSWNA Camperdown, 9am–4pm. For those who have completed the Negotiation and Advocacy workshop in 08/ Part 1 in 08. Full details will be sent to branches via Gen Sec Circulars. Contact: Vicki Anderson, 8595 1234 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (rural)

Reunions RPAH April ’79 Group – 30th Anniversary 2 May, 5pm, Helm Bar, Lvl. 1, Aquarium Wharf. Contact: jane.howland@ncahs. 40th Anniversary Sydney Hospital Hand Unit – Invitation to current and previous nurses of the Hand Unit. 15 May, Claffy Lect. Theatre, Sydney Hosp. Contact: Ann Grealish, ann.grealish@ & Kay Maddison, kay.maddison@sesiahs., 9382 7574, Pager: 9382 7111 pager no 21599. Western Suburbs Hospital Graduate Nurses Reunion 30 May, 11.30am, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club. Contact: Robyn Daniel, 9644 9692 David Berry Hospital Centenary Ball 5 June, 8pm, Berry School of Arts, Berry Contact: Rita Sullivan, 4264 6940, David Berry Hospital Centenary Garden Party 7 June, the grounds of David Berry Hospital, Tannery Road, Berry Contact: Rita Sullivan, 4264 6940, Prince Henry & Prince of Wales – May 1976, 30 Year Reunion 7 June. Contact: Vicki Joyce (Schubert), 0409 148 688, RPA Hospital 1979 June PCB 20 June. Contact: Debra Furniss, debra. or glenda. Blacktown Hospital PTS 1974–78 Date & venue: TBA (June, Sydney) Contact: Person Heather Chislett (Niven), 0438 246 441 or 4921 4227, hcchislett@ or heather.chislett@

Diary Dates Diary Dates is a free service for members. Please send diary date details, in the same format used here – event, date, venue, contact details, via email, fax, mail and the web before the 5th of the month prior, for example: 5th of May for June Lamp. Send information to: Editorial Enquiries Email: Fax: 9550 3667 PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450

Due to high demands on the page, some dates too close to publication or too far in the future may be cut. Only Diary Dates with an advised date and contact person will be published. Diary Dates are also on the web – Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups is now part of Diary Dates. If you are a special interest group, you now must send information about your event as above.

Send us your snaps

Please double-check all information sent is correct. The Lamp cannot guarantee that the issue will always be mailed in time for the listed event.

If you’re having a reunion, send us some photos and any information from the night, and we’ll try to publish them.

St Vincent’s Hosp. 40-Years Reunion PTS June 1969 Group. June, Sydney Contact: Carol Reidy (Taylor), 9489 3960, Chris Doig (O’Connell), 6920 7431,

Nurses Christian Fellowship • Spritual Care Workshop: 2 April, 9am–12.30pm. Followed by lunch at Lober House Mowll Village, Castle Hill. Contact: Diana, 9476 4440 • International Nurses Day ’s service & choir: 12 May, 4pm, the Chapel, RNSH. Contact: Diana, 9476 4440 • Professional Breakfast: 20 June, 9am, Coonanbarra Café, Wahroonga Contact: Jane, 9449 4868

RNSH General Nursing July ’79 4–5 July. Looking for Sue McBurnie, Lyndall Jeffreys & Anna Friejs. Contact: Judy Watson (Charles), 0412 806 138, judycharleswatson RPAH reunions July 1962–66 group Seeking interest. Contact: Rosemary Cuneo, 9953 5257, Bankstown Hospital PTS April 1979 Seeking interest. Contact: Mary T. Ehlefeldt,

Other notices Join the ‘Because We Care’ Aged Care Facebook Group php?gid=55373802286

Nursing opportunities in the UK

Union Aid Abroad APHEDA – Study Tour to East Timor 8–16 Aug. Cost: $2500 (incl. accom., return flight ex-Darwin, some meals). Registrations close: 30 April. Contact: (02) 9264 9343,

• Guaranteed Agency Work* • Work at the 'Gateway to Europe' • Take your career to new places Sign the petition to support the PSA’s new campaign against prison privatisation in NSW.

Working in the UK is a fantastic way of broadening your horizons and enhancing your career potential with international experience.

Crossword solution

Hays Healthcare, the UK’s largest specialist recruitment agency are looking for qualified nurses to relocate to London and surrounding areas. We have temporary and longer-term vacancies and offer an excellent benefits package including;

Kenmore Hospital Museum, Goulburn Weekends from 7 March–26 April, 10am –4pm/by appointment. Also on 5–6 Sept & 12–13 Sept. Historical tours at 11am & 2pm. 197 Taralga Rd, Goulburn. Cost: $2 per person Contact: Leoné Morgan, 4821 2587 or 0438 212 587,

• £500 relocation bonus* • £150 referral bonus when you refer your friends/ colleagues* • Competitive rates of pay • Ongoing secured agency work • 24 days paid holiday (pro-rata) • Advice on obtaining Visas • Help setting up a UK bank account We know that moving across the globe can sometimes seem daunting and often it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let our experienced consultants guide you step by step through a personalised service that caters to your specific needs.

15th Annual Heartbeat Cardiovascular Conference “Essentials of Care, Governance & Technology”

Please contact Caroline Morfoot-Pettit T 02 8226 9770 E

29-30 May 2009, Novotel Brighton Beach Sydney, Australia Join us for an informative and fun 2-day programme with expert speakers, latest research, lively debate and networking. The conference will be of interest to all cardiac nursing and allied health practitioners.

*Conditions apply

Ms Jessica Scicluna s Tel: + 61 2 9211 6299 s

Register online from 27 January 2009


For more information:

Specialist Recruitment




DRAWN 30 JUNE 2009

m e w m e n b a p u n g i S the chance to win a beautiful Broeomre holiday for

With more members we have a louder voice and a stronger union. The more members at your workplace, the stronger your voice and bargaining position with your employer. With more members we will achieve better pay and conditions for you! Not only will you be making your union stronger by signing up a new member, you and a friend could be jetting off from Sydney to Cable Beach, Broome. That’s seven nights of tropical bliss – just for signing up a new member!


The prize includes return flights from Sydney to Broome, seven nights in a two-bedroom apartment at Broome’s newest Resort, The Pearle of Cable Beach, a Gourmet Sunset Sail or Champagne Breakfast Sail for two from INTOMBI Broome’s Pearling Lugger Experience, car hire from Broome Broome Car Rentals plus a Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour and a Pearl Luggers Tour.

HURRY! Call the Association now for a recruitment kit and recruitment incentive scheme details. Ph: 8595 1234 (metropolitan area) or 1300 367 962 (non metropolitan area) or go to

The Lamp April 2009  
The Lamp April 2009