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volume 67 no.7 August 2010



Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033



NSWNA 65th Annual Conference 1614 Cover Prime Minister Julia Gillard expresses support for nurses at the NSWNA 65th Annual Conference Photography by Sharon Hickey

News in brief

Aged care


38 Nurses vote ‘NO’ to Bupa’s low pay offer

8 8 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11

Nurses among most stressed workers in Australia Hunter rostering: four skill mix categories agreed Graduate nurses and midwives wanted for national study Fair Work Ombudsman tackles pregnancy discrimination Health identifiers a good start on e-health UK Royal College of Nursing launches campaign to save nurses’ jobs More people seeking treatment in hospitals Nursing most ethical profession New hospital embraces robot technology Many nurses administer drugs in ignorance Experts to develop new dressing that can treat infection Cleaning sprays can trigger asthma

NSWNA education program 9

What’s on

Election 2010 40 TV ads urge public to vote for more nurses

Special people 46 Nursing 50 years and beyond

Regular columns 5 6 37 43 45 48 51 53 54

Editorial by Brett Holmes Your letters to The Lamp Ask Judith Nurses online Nursing research online At the movies Books Our nursing crossword Diary dates


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 NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Noel Hester T 8595 2153 NSWNA COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT Laura McDonald T 8595 1258 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 Sirius Communications T 9560 1223 W 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 Roz Norman, Tamworth Base Hospital Elsie May Henson, Barraba Multi Purpose Service Peg Hibbert, Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care Richard Noort, Justice Health 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

Safety in numbers

43 Win a break in Orange

THE LAMP ISSN: 0047-3936

12 Westmead members keep up the pressure 14 Nurses go into action for safe staffing 15 Safety in Numbers Roadshow

Special offers

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.

Election 2010 Vote for more nurses 26 26 30 33 35

49 Win 20 double passes each to Cairo Time and The Ghost Writer, and 25 double passes to Father of My Children

Message from the General Secretary Comparing the parties on industrial relations Comparing the parties on health Comparing the parties on superannuation Comparing the parties on aged care





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 $73, Institutions $120, Overseas $130.

ARE YOUR WORKMATES OR FRIENDS MEMBERS OF THE NSWNA? Why not ask them and if they aren’t, sign them up. Like you, they need the security of belonging to a strong and dynamic union. Not only will you be building your union by signing up a new member, you and a friend could win this fabulous holiday on Lord Howe Island. The more members you sign up, the more chances you have to win! The prize* includes a seven-nights’ stay with meals at Pinetrees Lodge, return flights for two on Qantaslink from Sydney, airport transfers on Lord Howe Island, and some activities.


Conditions apply.

Experience the natural beauty and tranquility of world-heritage-listed Lord Howe Island. Enjoy great food, good accommodation and outstanding hospitality at the historic Pinetrees Lodge. Pinetrees Lodge is situated on one of the prime aspects of Lord Howe Island as it has unsurpassed access to the lagoon. Cycling, reading, birdwatching, scuba diving, surfing, swimming and bush climbing – it’s up to you! And if you believe your cardiac health is up to it you can always attempt the challenging climb up Mt Gower. We have been told that this climb is worth every strenuous step as the views from the top are incredible.

So, if you are up for this sort of holiday where you will enjoy uncomplicated days, crystal clear waters and uncrowded and unspoilt beaches, make sure you ask the nurses and midwives you work with if they are members of the NSWNA!

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 DRA

WN 3 0 JU N E 2011



Vote for more nurses g This election we are putting the case for more experienced nurses front and centre before the voting public.


n this month’s issue of The Lamp we examine the track records of Labor and the Coalition on workplace rights, health, aged care and superannuation as we prepare to vote in the Federal election. Such a comparison needs context. The Coalition was in office during the longest economic boom in Australian history. The Federal Labor Government successfully steered the Australian economy through the most serious global financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s. On workplace rights the track record of the Coalition is diabolical. WorkChoices was an aggressive, full frontal attack on the rights of Australian workers that had been won over a long period of time. Since Labor was elected in 2007 nurses’ rights at work have been largely restored. Tony Abbott has stated that WorkChoices is ‘dead, buried and cremated’ and that he would not touch Labor’s workplace laws during a first term. There is enough ambiguity in the Coalition’s public utterances to invite a lot of scepticism about this. I know nurses and midwives are sceptical about any politician, and so you should be. I look hard at their beliefs, philosophy and track record before I make judgements and I am sure you will too. In the area of health the Coalition’s track record is not good. On their watch the Commonwealth’s percentage of health funding dropped to around 40%. This is the root cause of many of the problems we have in the public health system. The Coalition’s performance on health workforce planning was abysmal. It is

There are many factors that influence an individual’s vote. I hope you give a strong consideration to how the election will impact on you, your profession and our health and aged care systems. true that in the final years of the Howard Government there was some attempt to increase the number of nurse training places but it was totally inadequate to make up for the shortages that had arisen from their inaction during the previous decade. Tony Abbott was the Minister for Health at the end of the Coalition’s period in office and

he left Australia with a critical shortage of nurses. The Coalition admits as much. Shadow Minister of Health Peter Dutton is on record as saying: ‘We made mistakes … in areas like workforce planning and hospital management’ (AGPN conference 2008). The Rudd now Gillard Government has done some big things to turn this around. There has been a large injection of extra money into health. There have been some very good initiatives to boost the numbers and skill levels of nurses. The Federal Government has taken responsibility for the majority of funding. These are all important things but much still needs to be done. No matter who wins this election we will continue to campaign for more funding and more nurses for both the public health system and the aged care sector. During this election campaign we are running TV ads that stress the need for more nurses. Within days of our ads running on air Julia Gillard had announced the funding of 2,000 extra Emergency Department nurses over the next decade. There are many factors that influence an individual’s vote. I hope you give a strong consideration to how the election will impact on you as a nurse or midwife, your profession and our health and aged care systems.

Safe Patient Care – staffing and skill mix campaign under way Judith Kiejda and I will be visiting many workplaces to validate the ratios claim in coming weeks. We hope many public sector nurses will come along to give feedback.n THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 5



LETTER of the month Carolyn Guichard

Thrilled with my prize I have just received my Paramount DVD package, which I won through the Association and had forgotten about entering the competition. I want to thank you very much and it is has certainly come at the right time for me. I have had one of those weeks – venetian blinds falling down, broken tooth while eating a biscuit and today the laundry was flooded due to a leaking washing machine! While waiting for the repair man, it was a surprise to hear a knock at the door and find the package waiting for me. I look forward to the many hours of enjoyment. Thank you, NSWNA. Cathy Frankish, CNS, RNSH. Cathy Frankish won the prize for this month’s letter of the month, a $50 Coles Myer voucher.

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

Safe patient care document is of utmost importance On behalf of the CHHC Community Health Branch I would like to thank the NSWNA and the organisers for working so hard to put together the wonderful document Staffing and Skill Mix for Safe Patient Care. It was a relief to see that community nursing was included in the claim. This is such a fair document and will have a significant and positive effect on our patients/clients and our working lives. The protection of skill mix, the RN percentage, the replacing of like with like such as RN with RN, the capping of AiN numbers and the increase in CNEs is a huge, positive step and great relief. This reform will ensure quality care, appropriate skill mix, patient safety and reasonable and tolerable working conditions for nurses now and in the future. This is our chance to make a very important contribution to the maintenance of a highly skilled, professional nursing workforce that delivers safe and quality patient care. We look forward to working with our colleagues and the NSWNA in the coming months to ensure that the Staffing and Skill Mix for Safe Patient Care benchmark is implemented. Carolyn Guichard, President, CHHC Community Nursing Branch

Why are ENs worth only half as much as RNs? *Proudly Australian Made*

Every letter published receives a 6 month weekend subscription to the Herald, valued at over $114! Subscribe to the Herald today to save 41% off the newsstand price and enjoy the convenience of the paper delivered to your home each morning. Visit www.subscribe. for more details.


In the June edition of The Lamp, Wayne Swan announced funding of $390 million to fund practice nurses in general practice, the allocation of funds being $25,000 for RNs and $12,500 for ENs. I am an EN and have been working for 21 years as a practice nurse. I fail to understand why my corporate knowledge and clinical experience is worth half as much to my practice than an RN who started work here last week. Based on the significant difference in funding, what incentive is there for a practice to employ an EN? Practice nurses are paid significantly less than in hospitals. In order to get the best, nurses’ wages need to be increased and

incentives must make it attractive to practices to employ good-quality, trained, experienced nurses, whether they be RN, EN, or AiN. Sharon Randell, EN Editor’s response: The difference in funding may be due to the different wage rates of ENs to RNs. In effect this probably provides greater incentives for GPs to employ ENs. Closing the gap in wages and conditions with the public sector is certainly something the Association strives for in all negotiations. The Union has been successful in reaching agreement with the NSW AMA on a model common law contract option available to practices, which provides fair wages and conditions (see July issue of The Lamp). The NSWNA is also working with the ANF to consider other options under the legislation to improve practice nurse wages.

John Muddle

Thank you for nurses’ wonderful talents I would like to thank you and your Organising Committee for the most enjoyable evening at the recent NSWNA Nurses’ Short Film Festival. What a great way for those very talented nurses to express their various topical aspects of their most honoured profession; it was great to watch. You must have been pleased at their efforts. For me in relation to nursing, I visit my wife of 63 years of marriage every day for three to four hours and I admire and cherish the wonderful, kind and caring attention she receives at her nursing home, Seaside at Warriewood. After two and a half years, the nurses seem like my second family and are precious to me. I have never met an angel yet, but I know what they are going to look like. Thank you, once again. John Muddle. *John Muddle and his wife were part of the film ‘Sometimes I Forget’

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.

Problems with the national registration body

Ken Wildy

Nursing isn’t just about AiNs I recently attended the Centrelink Jobs Expo in Penrith. As a nurse, my alarm was raised in going to the NSW Health stall. While the overall thrust of the expo was targeting long- and short-term unemployed to be trained and those of younger age groups, only Cert III (AiNs) was being pushed at this stand. I did ask why full Cert for EEN or EN was not on display. This was obviously a decision that was both political and based on funding cuts in our public hospitals. Many attending were interested in nursing which was great. However, many, if not all, did not want to ‘look after old folk’ or ‘just get exploited by the Government and over-loaded at work with added stress and get paid peanuts!’. AiNs do have their place, but NSW Health is un-doing the overall need for correct skill mix on all wards and better numbers of staff and is totally distorting facts, which is impacting on the NSWNA’s gains in these areas. Added to this is the reality that people showing an interest in working in nursing did not want to care for ‘old folk’, hence AiNs get an instant label put on them. Ken Wildy, RN.

The trouble with Tuesdays 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. Our information department receives approximately 900 calls per week, and the phones are ringing hot from 8.30am to 5pm. NSWNA Information Officers are available until 7pm. We are working hard to meet your needs and thank you for your patience. Call 8595 1234 (metro) or 1300 367 962 (non-metro).

I am curious as to how you access the national registration board. The address I managed to find was www. The only thing I found was a very airy-fairy PDF on which was probably the most frightening statement: that any study to gain credit points is to be validated. By whom? One hopes it is not the managers, especially in NSW, given that bullying is still rife in the Department. The national registration body has shown complete and utter contempt in assuming that all have access to computers and the internet when there are those part-time single parents on a lot less money than the registration body participants, who are probably so full of their own self-importance that they claim a large remittance in the decision-making position of registering nurses. It has also shown a lack of professionalism in not posting their expectations by mail to the professionals that it is supposed to represent. Given the large amount of money that they are charging to be registered with them, again this reflects senior nursing’s contempt for their profession by having no insight into the occupation they supposedly represent. When were these positions voted for? And does the body have representatives of the Association on it? Or again has this been an arrogant and autocratic approach to the profession by giving the job to networkers, rather than as a democratic representation of its constituents? Peter Bolton, RN. Editor’s response: It appears that you may be confused about the key features and structures of the national registration and accreditation scheme for the health professions. The national regulatory authority for nursing and midwifery under the national registration scheme, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), was appointed in August 2009 in accordance with the requirements of the National Law for the scheme. The NMBA comprises 12 members, eight of whom are nurse/midwife professionals and four community members. In accordance with the National Law’s requirements for jurisdictional and consumer representation, two of the NMBA’s members are from NSW. The NSW members are

Professor Mary Chiarella and Ms Margaret Winn, who were both members of the Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW. The Nurses and Midwives Board in NSW will change its name but will have a continuing role as a health professional ‘Council’ dealing with the disciplinary provisions of the new NSW legislation. Under the new law the members of the Nurses and Midwives Board (as it is now) will undertake two separate roles: c As the State body (board) for the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia; and, c As the Nursing and Midwifery Council, dealing with complaints, impairment and performance issues. The NSWNA’s representation on both the State body (board) for the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Nursing and Midwifery Council will continue as it has previously. None of the members of the National or State regulatory authorities for nursing and midwifery claims either a significant sense of self-importance or a large remittance. National and State Board members receive modest pecuniary compensation for Board activities; however, they must undertake these activities while maintaining their substantive positions. Nor have Board members sought to demonstrate contempt for nurses and midwives based on unfounded assumptions. In fact, the opposite is true: the requirements for Continuing Professional Development, to which you refer, have been developed specifically so that individual nurses and midwives are not disadvantaged. The details of these requirements published by the NMBA make this clear. However, it appears that you have not had access to accurate details. The statement you cite regarding credit points does not exist in the NMBA’s requirements or information. There is no concept of ‘points’ in the national scheme; nurses and midwives are required to complete 20 hours of active learning per year. It is the responsibility of the nurse or midwife, as the licensed health professional, to determine their own learning needs and calculate the numbers of hours they have spent in their own professional development. These responsibilities are clearly laid out by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s registration standard on continuing professional development. The total fee increase for NSW nurses under the national scheme is $9 – an increase from $95 to $104 (these fees are tax deductible). All of this information is available at www. or www. Or by contacting AHPRA on 1300 419 495 or at the NSW State office on level 51 of the World Square building in Pitt Street, Sydney. Mailing address is: GPO Box 9958, Sydney NSW 2001. THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 7




Hunter rostering: four skill mix categories agreed


The Hunter New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS) has agreed to four skill mix categories, as part of its new balanced rostering system. The HNEAHS originally wanted only three categories, which would have had new graduate (RN), EENs, ENs, trainee ENs and AiNs in the same skill mix category and the potential for a diluted skill mix, such as the exchange of an RN with an AiN in a shift. The aim of the skill mix categories and definitions is to assist the NUMs when they are trying to assign their staff to a skill category. However, while the move to include four skill mix categories is a positive one, the NSWNA is concerned about the implementation process and inconsistent information and negative feedback we have been hearing back from members. Members felt they were hearing a different interpretation of the rostering guidelines from the NSWNA, than what they were hearing from HNEAHS. As the implementation phase has progressed and the release of the draft rosters became imminent, member anxiety and anger has increased. The NSWNA wrote to HNEAHS requesting a joint process where the source of inconsistencies in information could be identified and then rectified to ensure consistent information could be circulated. This suggestion was initially rejected. The release of the draft rosters has now been delayed a number of times and members have been hearing such things as permanent preferences would not be accommodated. But this is incorrect because the guidelines do provide for this preference. Branches passed resolutions expressing their extreme dissatisfaction with the new


IN AUSTRALIA urses are among the most stressed workers in Australia, according to new research. Data on workers’ compensation, compiled by Safe Work Australia, shows around 7,000 claims are made each year for mental stress by nurses, police and paramedics. People working in the health and community services sector reported the highest number of claims, closely followed by education workers. Male train and bus drivers also had a comparatively high level of claims. ‘It is concerning to find that there are many Australian workers suffering from mental stress, which can have a very significant impact on people’s ability to function at work and at home,’ Safe Work Australia chair Tom Phillips told Australian Associated Press. Mr Phillips said each mental stress claim cost up to three times more than other claims, due in part to the amount of time it takes to process them. Mental stress claims cost an average of $15,500 per person, compared with an average of $5,400 for other claims. In addition, the average time taken off work for mental health stress claims was 11 weeks, compared with just four weeks for other claims. Lifeline’s CEO Dawn O’Neil said workers and employers needed to learn how to better manage stress. ‘At the end of the day, Australians are too stressed and we are not managing our stress well enough,’ she said in a statement.



roster implementation process, requesting a realistic timeframe of when the draft rosters will be released and assurances that members will have an opportunity to speak with their NUM and give feedback before the final roster is posted, as per the guidelines. Otherwise they would consider industrial options. The HNEAHS have now agreed for meetings to occur with individual NUM/ MUMs, NSWNA representatives and members of the Implementation Teams. The NSWNA believes balanced rostering as outlined in the guidelines, should allow flexibility and certainty for nurses and the primacy of skill mix that ensure the safety of patients and members.

Graduate nurses and midwives wanted for national study Are you a first year RN or midwife? Craig Phillips, a lecturer in nursing at the University of South Australia, is undertaking a PhD entitled ‘Pre-registration paid employment and the impact on graduate nurse transition’. This study is concerned with paid employment choices that undergraduate nursing students choose in the final year of their Bachelor of Nursing/Midwifery studies, and whether a specific paid employment type gives rise to a greater or lesser successful transition to the first year of Registered Nurse/Midwifery practice. These employment types are most commonly within health-related settings such as a hospital or residential care facility, or in the hospitality and retail sectors. Craig is also keen to hear from you if you did not work in paid employment during the final year of your studies. A component of the study involves an electronic-based survey questionnaire for all graduate nurses in their first year of practice. The questionnaire can be completed anonymously at

PUBLIC NOTICES: SAVE OUR HOSPITAL INC Attention all registered midwives and general nurses! Save Our Hospital Inc (SOHI) is seeking expressions of interest from midwives and general nurses who would be willing to work at Pambula District Hospital IF maternity services were to be returned. This is not an offer of employment.

It would be helpful to understand if there were any circumstances that would exclude you from considering employment at PDH at this time. All replies will be treated in strictest confidence. Please reply to: SOHI PO Box 35, Pambula 2549

Fair Work Ombudsman tackles pregnancy discrimination Pregnancy discrimination is upsetting for everyone Sadly, some Australian bosses still discriminate against their employees for being pregnant and for requesting or taking parental leave. This is against the law.

behaviours, such as failing to let an employee take parental leave, declining to keep a job open, demotion during pregnancy or on return from parental leave, or refusing to promote an employee because she is pregnant. Threatening to engage in any of these discriminatory acts also constitutes discrimination. The Fair Work Ombudsman has information about maternity discrimination available at its website at

Health identifiers a good start on e-health Pregnancy discrimination is not ok

Every Australian worker has the right to access their parental leave entitlements without fear of discrimination.

Q permanently replace an employee who is on parental leave

An employer is taking pregnancy-related discriminatory action if they:

Q demote or change the job of an employee who has returned from parental leave

Q refuse to let an employee take their parental leave entitlements

Q do not guarantee a returning employee a job they are qualified for, can realistically perform, and which is nearest in pay and status to their pre-parental leave role

Q refuse to keep an employee’s job available while they are on parental leave

Q refuse to employ or promote an employee because they are pregnant.

Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a national campaign aimed at helping women avoid pregnancy discrimination at work. Around 100,000 information packs are being sent to hospitals, GPs and other health service providers in metropolitan and regional areas throughout Australia. Pregnant women will receive the packs when they register with their preferred health professional after becoming pregnant. The packs contain magazines and pamphlets detailing the workplace rights of pregnant women, what constitutes pregnancy discrimination, the harm pregnancy discrimination can cause and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can help women who experience it. In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman will distribute thousands of maternity discrimination posters for display in the waiting rooms of GPs and hospitals in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and some regional centres. Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Leigh Johns said the Agency received more than 70 pregnancy discrimination complaints last financial year. Mr Johns said pregnancy discrimination can include a range of employer

The ANF has welcomed the introduction of the Healthcare Identifiers Act, as it will improve patient safety and care by giving nurses and midwives access to electronic health records.

‘On a daily basis nurses and midwives are forced to make important decisions on how to initiate care for seriously ill people.’ Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the ANF hoped the Government’s e-health reform agenda could now be advanced to deliver a more streamlined health system for the nation. ‘On a daily basis nurses and midwives are forced to make important decisions on how to initiate care for seriously ill people who may present to a hospital and often the nursing and medical staff will not know that person’s medical history,’ she said. Lee said e-Health would also make life easier for those on a complex regime of medication. ‘Are they allergic to certain medicines? What, if any, medicines are they taking? Do they have an underlying medical condition or are they pregnant? This is vital information that could be quickly accessible through e-Health,’ Lee said. The ANF is committed to the development of an integrated e-health system and will continue to work with the Federal Government on the implementation of a system that benefits patients and health-care providers.

s Legal & Professional Issues for Nurses and Midwives 20 August, Coffs Harbour, ½ day 15 October, Wagga, ½ day 5 November, Port Macquarie, ½ day 26 November, Newcastle, ½ day Topics covered include the Nurses and Midwives Act 1991, potential liability, importance of documentation, role of disciplinary tribunals including the NMB, writing statements. Members $39 • Non-members $85 s Basic Foot Care for RNs & ENs 11 & 12 August, Newcastle, 2 days 19 & 20 October, Tamworth, 2 days This course aims to provide nurses with the competence to provide basic foot care. Members $203 • Non-members $350 s Appropriate Workplace Behaviour 27 August, Tamworth, 1 day 29 October, Coffs Harbour, 1 day Topics covered include understanding why bullying occurs; anti-discrimination law & NSW Health policies; how to behave appropriately in the workplace; identify behaviour which constitutes unlawful harassment and bullying; what to do if subjected to unlawful harassment and bullying; how to use workplace grievance procedures; identify, prevent and resolve bullying. Members $85 • Non-members $170 s Aged Care Nurses Forum 3 September, Camperdown, 1 day Program includes: medication roles and responsibilities in aged care; update on national registration and CPD requirements; Because we care campaign and Productivity Commission Inquiry; Advanced Care Planning; Attracting New Grads to Aged Care; Caring for gay and lesbian older people in residential care. Members $30 • Non-members $50 s Policy & Guideline Writing 10 September, Camperdown, 1 day Seminar is suitable for all nurses. Members $85 • Non-members $170 s Mental Health Nurses Forum 22 September, Camperdown, 1 day Members $30 • Non-members $50

TO REGISTER or for more information go to or 9ring THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 Carolyn Kulling on 1300 367 962




TO SAVE NURSES’ JOBS urses in the UK are being encouraged to speak out about cuts at their workplaces and to expose where there is waste in the system. The Frontline First campaign, launched last month by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), is a response to the new Conservative Government’s pledge to find billions of pounds in ‘efficiency savings’ in the National Health Service (NHS) over the next few years. Health organisations are already making deep cuts to their budgets, often hitting nursing staff numbers. The Frontline First campaign aims to expose where dangerous cuts are being made in the NHS that threaten patient care.


Almost 10,000 NHS posts in England alone have been earmarked for cuts. ‘We will highlight where there is waste in the system and we will celebrate nurse-led innovations that are saving money while giving patients the care they deserve,’ said Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary. RCN members are being asked to use the Frontline First website to share information and keep up to date with the latest campaign news. The RCN will use this data to expose the reality of what is going on at local levels in the NHS and hold decision-makers to account. The RCN’s research has found that almost 10,000 NHS posts in England alone have been earmarked for cuts. 10 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

More people seeking treatment in hospitals

New hospital embraces robot technology

The number of people seeking treatment at Australian hospitals is about 20% higher than it was five years ago, according to the latest State of Our Public Hospitals report.

Admissions have increased by 17%. The 2010 report showed there were 4.9 million admissions to public hospitals and 3.3 million admissions to private hospitals in 2008-2009. Admissions have increased by 17%, from just over four million to almost five million a year since 2004. Emergency Department presentations rose by 22%, from almost six million to more than seven million a year during the same period. These figures illustrate the importance of the NSWNA’s pay campaign for mandated staff-to-patient ratios.

Nursing most ethical profession Nurses have once again been voted the most ethical and honest professionals. In the annual Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey, 89% of Australians rated nurses as most trusted. Nurses were first included in the survey in 1994 and have topped the list every year since. ANF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said she felt proud to represent the nursing workforce who deserved public support and recognition for their work. ‘Congratulations to Australian nurses who have once again proven they are immensely valuable to the communities they care for,’ she said. ‘Nurses make up the largest proportion of the health workforce and when people need health care and advice it is often nurses who provide this. They care for families, individuals and the elderly. They work in urban, rural and remote regions, they visit the homeless and they are the backbone of the health system. ‘What this vote reflects is the longlasting, trust-based relationship nurses enjoy with people that need care.’

A fleet of fully-automated, five-feet-tall robots will be part of the team at the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert in the UK when it opens this month. The hospital will be the first in the country to use such machines – which resemble mini forklift trucks – to deliver and retrieve a wide range of supplies. Bristling with technology, the robots will trundle between wards carrying bed linen, meals, clinical waste and medical supplies. Although they are fully automated, there’s no chance of a collision with people as the machines will glide unseen along separate corridors behind the scenes. According to NHS Forth Valley, the new self-guided robots will mean patients and visitors can walk along corridors free of bulky trolleys. In addition, they will help cut down the risks of infection and free up support staff from routine deliveries. The robots use laser technology to find their way around. The technology is similar to that already used in car plants and industrial shop floors as well as in hospitals in some parts of Europe and the USA. They will be loaded and unloaded in a basement area and make their deliveries to wards via a number of special lifts with separate flows for clean and dirty goods, to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. The supply robots are only part of the brave new world that will operate in the hospital. Other innovations include a fully robotic pharmacy system, capable of labelling medicines as well as stocking supplies and picking up drugs. Robotic equipment will also be used to clean the hospital’s 16 hi-tech operating theatres.

65th Many nurses administer drugs in ignorance One in four nurses in the UK administers drugs to patients without knowing the possible contraindications and side effects, a survey by British nursing journal Nursing Times has revealed. According to Margaret Edwards, senior lecturer and head of post-graduate studies at King’s College London’s Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, those nurses were ‘failing their code of conduct’.

One in 10 respondents said they did not know the normal dose of a drug. The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s standards for medicines management state a nurse must know the therapeutic uses of a drug, its normal dosage, and any side effects and contraindications before it is given to a patient. Yet one in 10 respondents to the survey also said they did not know the normal dose of a drug before administering it to a patient. The survey results came as the annual inpatients’ survey from the Care Quality Commission found a quarter of patients said they were discharged from hospital without having their medicines explained to them properly. Nearly half of the 50,000 patients surveyed also said they were not told about side effects and 40% said they had not been told about any danger signals to watch out for after they went home. Dr Edwards said the responsibility for safe administration of drugs lay with nurses. ‘It is down to the nurse to ensure competency is maintained and that they work within the scope of their practice to make sure they are safe [to administer medication],’ she told Nursing Times.

Experts to develop new dressing that can treat infection A group of international researchers are working to develop a medical dressing that will detect and treat infection in wounds.

The €4.5 million European Commission-funded Bacteriosafe project is a collaboration of 11 organisations across Europe, as well as the University of South Australia, and includes chemists, cell biologists, clinicians and engineers. The dressing works by releasing antibiotics from microscopic nanocapsules triggered by the presence of disease-causing bacteria, which will target treatment before the infection takes hold. It will also change colour when the antibiotic is released, alerting health-care professionals that there is an infection in the wound. ‘The dressing is only triggered by disease-causing bacteria, which produce toxins that break open capsules containing the antibiotics and dye,’ Dr Toby Jenkins, project leader at the University of Bath in the UK, told The Bath Chronicle. ‘This means that antibiotics are only released when needed, which reduces the risk of the evolution of new antibioticresistant superbugs such as MRSA.’ The product is likely to be available in around five years.

Annual Conference 21, 22, 23 July 2010 NSW Nurses’ Association gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship provided by the following companies for our Annual Conference held at the AJC Randwick 21, 22 & 23 July 2010 First State Super ME Bank HESTA Super Fund Health Industry Plan Offset Alpine Printing Scott & Broad Pty Ltd Angel Mah-Chut Architects Fuji Xerox Computershare Document Services Commonwealth Bank Chifley Financial

Cleaning sprays can trigger asthma Health-care workers performing cleaning and disinfecting work are more vulnerable to asthma, a study has found. Associate Professor Jan-Paul Zock from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona presented the results from a range of studies into the emerging risks in occupational allergy, which found that cleaning sprays, chlorine bleach and disinfectants may be contributing to the rise in asthma at work and home. There is growing evidence that exposure to some cleaning products can provoke respiratory disorders and make existing asthma worse, but that it is preventable, Dr Zock noted. A series of studies has shown there is an increased rate of asthma among nurses, janitors, cleaners and housekeepers. Many cleaning agents are respiratory irritants and some have sensitising properties. Inhalation exposure to bleach, ammonia, decalcifiers or other acids, solvents and stain removers more than once a week was linked to a 20% rise in asthma or wheeze.

Services Behaviour Change The Shannon Company

The Association also thanks the following companies for their contribution and assistance: Berocca Creative Brands Forte Brands Galderma Nivea Nuance Duty Free Polyflor Mints Sweet OZ Tulsi Teas Wet Ones





Westmead members g The threat of industrial action by nurses at Westmead Hospital forced management to address recruitment issues that were impacting on safe patient care.


he Westmead and Parramatta Branch of the NSWNA has achieved some success in its campaign to address recruitment issues at Westmead Hospital, and is continuing to put pressure on management to make further improvements. Hospital management and Sydney West Area Health Service have agreed to reverse a decrease in weekend staffing 12 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

levels on a cardiac ward; review staffing for the OPERA/HOPE unit and Eye Clinic; immediately advertise externally for admission clerks for the Birth Unit; and review Pharmacy Assistants services to ensure that nurses and midwives can do their jobs. However, while these achievements are a positive move, there is still much to be done and the Branch will be keeping up the pressure for further recruitment issues to be addressed throughout the entire hospital. ‘One of our main concerns is the shortage of allied health professionals such as Pharmacy Assistants and admin staff because nurses are having to do this extra work,’ Acting Branch Secretary Leigh Bergan told The Lamp. Members initially planned to hold a lunchtime rally on 15 July to draw attention to chronic staffing deficiencies across the hospital, and to carry out lowlevel industrial action. This included members wearing

Association campaign stickers advising visitors of the staffing levels across all wards and departments when sick leave or deficiencies cannot be replaced; midwives in the Birth Unit ceasing all but necessary paperwork; and staff opposing any additional services at Westmead Hospital prior to all vacant positions being filled in the Emergency Department. However, after management moved to address some of the members’ concerns and gave undertakings to resolve recruitment issues in some wards, members at Westmead held a barbecue instead of a rally and vowed to continue their campaign for more staff to be hired throughout the hospital. About 200 nurses came to the barbecue. ‘Nurses have been frustrated because they have not had a voice and these issues have been stewing away for 18 months,’ said Leigh. ‘It came to a point where staff felt they were being put at risk and it was

NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes spoke to the Westmead Hospital Branch and said the NSWNA will support members in keeping up the pressure for safe staffing levels.

Determined Westmead Hospital Branch members: (left to right) Connie Cullen, Andrew Sipowicz, Deborah Owen, Leigh Bergan, and See Chooi with NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes.

Left to right: Sennur Goktas, Gloria Wojtun and Linda Collins.

keep up the pressure compromising patient safety. Part of that is there are no guaranteed ratios.’ Leigh stressed the importance of having an NSWNA local Branch. ‘About three years ago the Westmead Branch almost folded. Now that it’s a functioning Branch we are starting to have our issues addressed. We concede there has been some improvement but it’s too little and we’d like a lot more to be done in terms of recruitment.’ NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes praised the Branch’s hard work and commitment to safe patient care. ‘This is a good victory by members at Westmead Hospital and shows the importance of having a local Branch to make sure management take nurses’ and midwives’ concerns seriously. But nurses and midwives should not have to resort to industrial action in order to ensure the delivery of safe patient care in the State’s largest health-care facility. ‘It can be seen that through the

Reasonable Workloads Committee, the actions of the local Branch and some actions by management that we are achieving positive change, but there is a need to keep the momentum going. We know that recruitment is occurring too slowly, with managers only receiving approval to recruit to some of their vacancies, not all.

‘Now that [we have] a functioning Branch we are starting to have our issues addressed.’ Leigh Bergan, Acting Branch Secretary, Westmead and Parramatta

‘It’s important we keep the pressure on Area Health Services and the Government to mandate safe staffing levels in hospitals across NSW,’ said Brett. n

Leigh Bergan signs a letter to his local MP about safe patient care. THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 13




Nurses go into action for safe staffing g Members from across the State have been keeping the focus on the Safety in Numbers campaign by holding a series of barbeques and breakfasts to raise awareness of the issues. NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes joined staff and a group of nursing students from the University of Notre Dame at Liverpool Hospital for a Campaign 2010 lunch. Left to right (back row): Nicolette Massarike (student), Rita Freitas (Clinical Nurse Educator), Tracey Mukundwa (student), Brian Grant (Liverpool Hospital NSWNA delegate) and Brett Holmes. Front row: Students Jayde Hillery, Rebecca Mills and Sarah McCarthy.

Liverpool Hospital NSWNA delegate Brian Grant staffed a stall where members signed letters to their local MPs asking them to support safe patient care. Pictured signing is Betty Silaphet, RN. Scrub nurses from Gosford Hospital came off night shift and joined the NSWNA’s big breakfast BBQ for nurses as part of Safety in Numbers campaign.

Left to right: NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes joined Bankstown Branch Secretary Karen Fernance for a barbecue at Bankstown Hospital. 14 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

Safety in Numbers Roadshow Margaret Budge (née Gay), a retired nurse who trained in Balmain in 1957, is now a volunteer at Sutherland Hospital and has been a member of the NSWNA for 45 years. She attended the Sutherland BBQ for nurses where she drew the raffle ticket of the day.

It was a lucky day for Judy Brunning, RN, who won the Sutherland Hospital BBQ’s lucky door raffle.

g Members have received their copies of the Safety in Numbers: Staffing and Skill Mix for Safe Patient Care document, which sets out the NSWNA’s claim for mandated nurse-to-patient ratios. In July and early August, NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes and Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda visited workplaces in Wollongong, Westmead, Campbelltown, Concord, Mona Vale, POW Campus and Blacktown to explain and answer members’ questions about the claim. Throughout August the NSWNA will visit other hospitals across the state. Check out the timetable below and make sure you and your colleagues attend the session at your workplace. This is your chance to really get to grips with this important part of our campaign for better wages and conditions. MONDAY 9 AUGUST:


Dubbo: 2.30pm Liverpool: 10am and 3pm

Gosford: 3pm Blue Mountains Hospital: 3.30pm Ryde Hospital: 10am

TUESDAY 10 AUGUST Orange: 10am Bloomfield 2pm Nepean 3pm




Canterbury: 1.30pm RPA 3pm

Shoalhaven: 2pm



Hornsby-Kuringai: 12pm and 3pm St George: 1pm and 3pm

Fairfield: 10am Tweed Heads: 12pm and 3pm Wyong: 3pm



Sutherland: 3pm

MONDAY 16 AUGUST Wagga Base: 12pm and 1.30pm RNSH: 3pm

TUESDAY 17 AUGUST Nurses braved the morning cold at John Hunter to attend the Safety in Numbers campaign BBQ put on by the NSWNA.

John Hunter Hospital: 12pm and 3pm Shellharbour: 3pm

Bankstown: 2pm and 3.30pm Albury: 12pm and 1.30pm

Goulburn: 12pm and 1.30pm Lismore: 12pm and 3pm

WEDNESDAY 25 AUGUST Coffs Harbour: 12pm and 3pm Tamworth: 12pm and 1.30pm

THURSDAY 26 AUGUST Port Macquarie: 12pm and 1.30pm Armidale: 12pm and 1.30pm THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 15



PM Gillard expresses her support for nurses g Prime Minister Julia Gillard took time during the busy lead up to Election 2010 to address the NSWNA conference.


rime Minister Julia Gillard said she ‘believed passionately’ in the dignity of work and that she could not think of any profession that better illustrates the value of hard work than the nursing profession. ‘Australians trust you to care for them at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives, times of fear and uncertainty, for themselves or

Ms Gillard also confirmed that if re-elected, further aged care reform will be a second-term priority for the Labor Government. their loved ones. Your care and professionalism makes such a difference in the lives of Australians every single day,’ said Ms Gillard. The Prime Minister promised to

Prime Minister Julia Gillard with NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes, President Coral Levett and Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda.

‘We know that since Labor was elected in 2007 nurses’ rights at work have largely been restored and a major overhaul of the health system has been initiated. Some work has also started on cleaning up the aged care policy and workforce mess left by the Howard Government.’ NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes 16 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

‘stand up for nurses’ and other workers by ensuring fair workplace laws, unlike Tony Abbott who she said wanted to cut funding to hospitals and frontline care. ‘I am committed to building a 21st

century health system,’ said Ms Gillard, before setting out Labor’s achievements. ‘We have increased hospitals funding by 50%. ‘We are rolling out 1,300 new subacute beds across the country. ‘We are delivering 23 GP Super Clinics and upgrades to around 425 GP practices, so more health services are delivered in the one place. ‘We are improving after-hours care through a 24-hour helpline that provides access to a nurse or GP over the phone. ‘And we are investing, too, in the training and upskilling of the health workforce.

‘We have backed the professional skills of our most highly trained nurse practitioners and midwives, giving them access to the MBS and PBS. ‘We are already funding 1,000 new nurse training places a year. ‘And we are giving more support to the nurses who work in our health clinics, community health centres and Aboriginal medical services right across the country.’ Ms Gillard also confirmed that if re-elected, further aged care reform will be a second-term priority for the Labor Government.n

JOSEPH ASKS PM TO CONSIDER NURSES AND MENTAL HEALTH It’s not often an individual nurse gets time out with the Prime Minister, but Joseph Cidoni, RN and mental health worker at Gosford Hospital, had his moment during conference. ‘Julia Gillard passed me on her way out and shook my hand. I said, “Prime Minister, I’m an immigrant, a Registered Nurse and a mental health worker. Help. Help. Help”. ‘She said, “Joe, you’d be in good company with my father because he is a psychiatric nurse. He’s a nurse, a mental health worker and immigrant like you“. ’ Joseph was impressed that Ms Gillard took a moment to meet delegates at the conference. THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 17



Address from NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes

Building membership and bargaining are crucial


t a time when the NSWNA is waging a strong campaign to ensure sufficient nurse numbers in the public health system, NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes stressed the importance of building membership and organising around safe patient care, which he said are ‘critical to our survival’. Brett said the NSWNA had achieved a number of excellent wins in the private hospital sector and in aged care in the past year, and members were also to be congratulated on these achievements. ‘Another great achievement is the development and uptake of the ACAA template agreement with for-profit aged care employers,’ said Brett. ‘In the new industrial climate bargaining is critical to winning new agreements in the aged care and private hospital sectors, and protecting members in the Federal system,’ said Brett. ‘It’s crucial members get involved and ask non members at their workplace to join the union.’ On the upcoming Federal election, Brett told delegates to think about who will make the most difference to nurses, and cited Labor as the party most willing to discuss and commit to adequate funding and sufficient numbers of nurses. ‘Labor seems the clear choice on aged care, health and industrial relations. We must maintain the pressure to ensure there are sufficient numbers of nurses and we all need to think about this when we vote on 21 August,’ said Brett.n


Address by Nicola Roxon, Federal Minister for Health and Ageing

‘You can’t trust Tony Abbott on health and nurses’ rights at work’


ederal Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon took aim at the Liberal Party, arguing that it would take the country back to the days of WorkChoices and underfunding of the health system. ‘Tony Abbott still has your rights at work in his sights. WorkChoices is in his DNA. You cannot trust Abbott when it comes to industrial relations,’ said Ms Roxon. ‘Julia Gillard’s first task was to dismantle WorkChoices, which particularly impacted on women and nurses with its attack on AWAs and penalty rates.’ Ms Roxon then took the opportunity to set out Labor’s achievements and reforms in health and praised nurses for their hard work. ‘I understand the importance of nurses to the health system. The health system cannot run without you.’ She confirmed that aged care would be the Government’s priority if re-elected, but warned that all the Labor Government’s plans for health reform would be scuttled if the Liberals took power. ‘Under the Liberals there is a history of negligence. Since they have been in opposition, they’ve been missing in action when it comes to aged care. Our reform plans are at risk if Tony Abbott gets his hands on aged care and health,’ said Ms Roxon. ‘The Gillard Government is a better choice for health.’n

Address by NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda

Ratios will be a hard fight

W Address by Carmel Tebbutt, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Health

Nurses do a ‘fantastic job’

orkloads was the main focus of NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda’s conference address. ‘We had some initial successes with the workloads tool but management has learnt to frustrate the process,’ she said, adding that the workloads tool had ‘reached its use-by date’. ‘We decided we needed a new model that addresses the needs of today’s health system. The only system that truly seems to work is the mandated ratios model in Victoria,’ said Judith. She pointed out that only California and Victoria currently utilise a system of mandated ratios and that securing them will be a ‘hard fight’. ‘If we get ratios in place, providing enough nurses with the right skills for safe patient care, then more reasonable workloads are assured, but it will be a hard fight. This is going to be the fight of our life,’ said Judith. Encouraging non-union nurses to join the NSWNA is critical to ensuring the success of the ratios campaign, Judith said. ‘Delegates, you may need to take some kind of action. And we need everyone to invite non-members to join.’n


SW Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Carmel Tebbutt praised the work of nurses and midwives. ‘Nurses and midwives are the backbone of the health system. I’m very grateful for your hard work. You make a huge difference to patients in NSW. You do a fantastic job and we recognise this,’ Ms Tebbutt told delegates.

‘Nurses and midwives are the backbone of the health system ... You make a huge difference to patients in NSW. You do a fantastic job and we recognise this.’ She admitted that negotiating the new nurses’ award would be ‘challenging’ but said the Government would negotiate in good faith. ‘It might not deliver all you want, nor all we want, but we recognise the critical role of nurses to the health system,’ said Ms Tebbutt.n THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 19



SAFETY IN NUMBERS WHAT MEMBERS SAY CLINICAL SUPPORT ASSURED – AN INVESTMENT IN OUR PROFESSIONAL FUTURE ‘The claim specifies the number of CNEs that need to be included for a certain number of RNs. That’s fantastic. It’s about investing in our professional future. By providing CNEs we are investing in our nurses and our practice and this will have better outcomes for our patients. It’s also going to be supportive of our new graduate numbers. If we have these CNEs in place we can look at recruiting more new graduate nurses because we’ll have the support systems in place.’ Jade Starkey, CNS and nurse educator in paediatric oncology at John Hunter Hospital.

NURSES WILL STAY WITH BETTER STAFFING ENVIRONMENT ‘The nurse to patient ratios model will provide significant changes to skill mix on the wards. We’ll have more RNs, more skilled staff. Staff will be happier; patients will get better care. As a NUM, retaining staff is important. At the moment, a lot of staff are temporary. If they can be assured of a better staffing environment, they will stay.’ Francis Hoult, NUM, Blacktown Hospital.

NURSE RATIOS WOULD PROTECT SKILL MIX ‘Nurse to patient ratios would be absolutely wonderful. It would change the way we deliver care. It will improve and protect skill mix.’ Maureen Bunt, CNS in mental health at Lismore Base Hospital 20 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

Professional Day g On the final day of conference nurses were brought up to speed on important professional issues with presentations by leading national and international speakers.

Chief Nurse reflects on profession’s gains


ommonwealth Chief Nurse Rosemary Bryant reflected on some of the gains made in nursing over the past year. ‘There’s no question it’s a busy and challenging time for the profession,’ she said, noting first of all the significant benefits about to come to Nurse Practitioners, who will gain access to a Medicare provider number and to the PBS from 1 November this year. ‘This is one of the biggest changes to Medicare and many people over the years said it would never happen. It’s very exciting for me personally and professionally,’ said Rosemary. She also talked up the maternity services reforms, which she said had been challenging to implement, and praised initiatives such as the expansion of the existing Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program that will provide midwives and allied health professionals’ services in rural Australia in places where there are currently none. Rosemary commended the Government’s announcement of funding for aged care and said we need to get nurses interested in pursuing aged care as a career path. ‘In the past, aged care has been the poor relation but we don’t want that tag for it anymore,’ she said.

Mary Chiarella addresses national registration concerns Professor Mary Chiarella, member of the new Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), talked about the new national registration scheme. She noted a key issue of concern to delegates was the new requirement for continuing professional development (CPD). ‘CPD must be relevant to your practice as a nurse or midwife and you must keep a record of it,’ Professor Chiarella said. She allayed fears that self-directional CPD is not acceptable. ‘Self-directional CPD is fine. For example, rural nurses can read for an hour – it’s not just about spending money on attending conferences. But you must identify your learning needs, form a plan, do an activity statement and write up how the CPD was relevant to your practice. So if you are a nurse in a hospital, doing a fire drill or CPR may be relevant to your practice and help to keep you a safe practitioner and you’d have to show it is relevant if you were audited.’

Commonwealth Chief Nurse Rosemary Bryant

Professor Mary Chiarella

Jarrod Moran, ACTU

Professor Chiarella confirmed the audits will not start until next year. ‘So you’ll have 12 months to collect CPD, and attendees at this conference would most likely have already done their 20 hours,’ she said, adding that auditing will be done on a random basis. Another issue of concern was the requirement for nurses and midwives to demonstrate they are covered by professional indemnity insurance. ‘For the majority of you, who are employed, you will be covered already and continue to be covered but check with your employer as you will have to prove it when you renew your registration. If you are self-employed, there are insurance packages you can take out,’ Mary said. Visit the AHPRA website for more information and to check your details on the register at

Kuini Lutua, Fiji Nursing Association

Deborah Burger, California Nurses Association

ACTU reminds nurses of national OHS laws The importance of health and safety legislation was the focus of an address by Jarrod Moran, Senior OHS & Workers’ Compensation Officer at the ACTU. Jarrod discussed the new national OHS laws that come into effect on 1 July 2012. He reminded delegates of the losses of certain standards that are currently included in the NSW Health & Safety Act. These include the downgrading of risk management, the loss of third-party right to prosecute OHS breaches and the loss of reverse onus of proof. However, he noted an important clause that states health and safety representatives have the right to point out possible OHS situations where staff may be harmed and to demand the employer address them.

ANF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas

Darren Flanagan

Other speakers at the Professional Day included Kuini Lutua from the Fiji Nursing Association, who spoke about the challenges of national nursing organisations in her country; and Deborah Burger from the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United Council of Presidents in the US, who offered an insight into the challenging role of RNs in disaster relief, looking at lessons learned from the Haiti experience. ANF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas talked about staffing and skill mix in aged care. Darren Flanagan, the man nicknamed ‘The Gun’ because he charged and fired 65 shots of explosives that eventually released two miners trapped underground at Beaconsfield mine, rounded off the day with some inspiring observations about achievement, motivation and risk management.n




Nurse fashionistas g Delegates rose to the challenge of the ‘Vintage Vogue’ theme of the conference dinner – and put Versace and the like to shame. Chris Bulmer, Shirley Roach, Julie Cadet and Peter Jeffree were inspired by the roaring 20s.


e all know nurses like to glam up on occasion and this year’s annual conference dinner was no exception. However, there was one twist: delegates were asked to put together their outfits for the night from their favourite op shop. Vinnies and Salvos stores across NSW must have been buzzing in the weeks leading up to conference,

with nurses tapping into their inner fashionistas and seeking out cheap chic. On the night, there were boas and bows, wraps and hats, and a diverse range of outfits, from retro to haute couture, on display. After dinner, members were treated to dance music by live band the Hard Rockin’ Amigos and a series of lucky draw prizes.n

Ben Morwitzer and Amber Champion around some interesting props.

Vintage chic: NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes was the MC for the night. 22 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

Dianne Lohman and Linda Weir show off their vintage hats.

Dolls and molls: Marilyn Body, Katja Jackman, Mandy Short, Cameron McMillan, Gai McPherson, Dianne Lohman, Sue White, Danielle Verran, Sue Kendall from Coffs Harbour.

Rebecca Nairne and Lyn Hopper show a bit of leg.

High society ladies Janelle Hospers, Patricia Purdy, Rita Lewis and Coral Wilson.

Rags to glamorous chic: NSWNA President Coral Levett (centre left) with Dave Rodgers and Gil Wilson; and NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda (right) with Zenei Cortez from the Californian Nurses’ Association . THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 23

o t t r e v n Co ct Debit Dire e n

i e h t t W a y y a e t n s d s y l, S riou

& Havnce to a cha

e u t x o u l H a a L i r g Shan

Start paying your NSWNA fees by Direct Debit for the chance to win a two-night stay in one of Sydney’s top five-star hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. The Direct Debit prize includes two nights’ accommodation in a Horizon Deluxe Grand Harbour View Room with Horizon club privileges, breakfast on the Horizon Club Floor or option of a full hot breakfast on Level 1 of the hotel. Afternoon tea, evening drinks and Canapes on the Horizon Club Floor are also included, as well as two rescue release treatments in CHI, The Spa to treat and relieve muscle tension in the troubled areas of your body. Situated in the historic Rocks district within easy walking distance of the city’s main shopping and commercial districts, with breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour, the deluxe five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, offers the city’s largest guest rooms, all with water views. The Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, offers a wide selection of dining options and Australia’s first CHI, The Spa.

Here’s how you can win

2Cancel your payroll deductions and start paying your fees

through direct debit and you will go into the lucky draw and/or

2Convince your colleagues to convert from payroll deductions

to direct debit, and you and each of your colleagues who switch to direct debit will go into the lucky draw and/or

2Sign up a new member using the direct debit method of paying

their fees, and you and the new member will go into the lucky draw.

Direct debit is not only the easiest and most convenient way to pay your membership, but switching over could win you a luxury holiday! Don’t risk your membership lapsing from changing workplaces. With direct debit you are always protected on the job. Membership Application forms or Direct Debit forms can be downloaded from our website 24 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

Alternatively call the NSWNA on 8595 1234 (metro area) or 1300 367 962 (non-metro area) for more information.


6/4%&/2 -/2%.523%3



At this Federal election, vote for more nurses

A clear difference on


Three years ago the NSWNA and the rest of the union movement were immersed in the historic Your Rights at Work campaign, which reached a crescendo at the 2007 Federal election. During this campaign we were driven by a total commitment to defend the workplace rights of nurses and their families and to defeat WorkChoices. The three years since the last Federal election have been eventful. A new government has successfully seen Australian working people through the biggest international financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has also committed to working with us to develop modern health and aged care systems for the 21st century. Since Labor was elected in 2007, nurses’ rights at work have been largely restored and a major overhaul of the health system has started. There is obviously still a lot of work to do in terms of reforming the health system for the better. Some work has also started on cleaning up the aged care policy and workforce mess left by the Howard Government. These undoubted achievements should not be taken for granted. WorkChoices was a reminder to us that 100 years of workplace gains and achievements can suddenly be threatened by a determined government hostile to the principles of trade unionism. Sadly, this election confronts us with the spectre of WorkChoices even if the noises coming from Tony Abbott tell us something different. In this issue of The Lamp we analyse the track records of the major parties in the areas of workplace rights, health, aged care and superannuation. We have also received responses from the ALP, the Coalition and the Greens to questions on issues that are critical for nurses. Longer versions of these responses are available on the NSWNA website. There are many factors that influence an individual’s vote. I hope you give a strong consideration to how the election will impact on you as a nurse, your profession and our health and aged care systems. Brett Holmes NSWNA General Secretary 26 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010


Your Rights at Work dominated the 2007 Federal election and Australian voters overwhelmingly rejected the Liberal Government’s radical and harsh WorkChoices laws. Despite a clear message that Australian workers want a good job with fair pay and decent workplace conditions, Tony Abbott’s track record on workplace relations raises the spectre of WorkChoices, threatening to reintroduce workplace laws that would slash nurses’ rights at work. The Lamp looks at how the main parties line up on industrial relations. Both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are former Ministers of Workplace Relations and both were ardent defenders of their parties’ positions on workplace laws. Tony Abbott, who was Minister of Workplace Relations from January 2001 to October 2003, still praises WorkChoices as one of the Howard Government’s greatest achievements. ‘Let me begin my contribution to this debate by reminding members that workplace reform was one of the greatest achievements of the Howard Government,’ he told Parliament in August 2009. Julia Gillard was Labor’s Minister of Workplace Relations before becoming Prime Minister and was the architect of the Government’s Fair Work laws. Tony Abbott has said that WorkChoices is ‘dead, buried and cremated’ but has followed this up with ambiguous statements that leave the way open for at least some key elements of WorkChoices to be revived. This has been reinforced by Eric Abetz, his Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations.

Tony Abbott has been consistently anti-worker Tony Abbott has had a consistent belief in the principles that underpinned WorkChoices. This enthusiasm remained undiminished until the election was called: ‘If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband – notwithstanding all of his faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he is employing someone while he is in fact a boss.’ ABC’s PM program July 2002. ‘I should point out that just because WorkChoices is dead, it doesn’t mean we don’t still need a free as well as a fair labour market, and I would certainly like to see less union power than we have been witnessing under the Rudd Government.’ The Australian, 14 December 2009 ‘Well, the phrase WorkChoices is dead. No one will ever mention it again, but look, we have to have a free and flexible economy.’ SMH, 2 December 2009. VOTE FOR MORE NURSES n E2

protecting nurses’ rights at work The track record of the main parties on IR The Liberals’ WorkChoices WorkChoices was the most prominent policy of the final term of the Howard Government. Under WorkChoices, Australian workers faced the following cuts to their rights: n Protection from being sacked unfairly was stripped away from more than three million workers. n Employers had the power to put workers onto AWA individual contracts that cut the award pay and conditions of employees. n The award safety net was effectively abolished and there were changes to minimum wages to drive down the pay of low-income workers. Young workers, women and casuals were the most vulnerable to WorkChoices and ended up being its worst victims. More than a million low-paid workers suffered real pay cuts of up to $90 a week from WorkChoices’ changes to minimum wages. Thousands of workers were pushed onto AWA individual contracts and: n 70% lost shift loadings n 68% lost annual leave loadings n 65% lost penalty rates n 49% lost overtime loadings n 25% no longer had public holidays.

Labor’s Fair Work laws Labor’s new Fair Work laws have restored many rights lost under WorkChoices. Workers are protected from unfair dismissal and new AWA individual contracts are banned. There is a safety net of National Employment Standards (NES), awards and minimum wages with a stronger independent workplace umpire. Workers have collective bargaining rights and the right to join a union and be represented. Where a majority of staff want to bargain and their employer refuses, Fair Work Australia can intervene and force employers to bargain over a new agreement. The National Employment Standards (NES) provide a safety net for all employees not employed by State and local governments. The NES include protection for 10 basic employment rights, such as access to sick and annual leave, the right to representation and up to two years’ maternity leave. These changes were warmly welcomed by the union movement but there were some aspects of WorkChoices that were left untouched by Labor. For example, the Howard Government created a special body to investigate, prosecute and control disputes in the construction industry, called the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The ABCC has coercive interrogation powers, which means construction workers face jail if they refuse to divulge private information. The Labor Government ignored union calls to abolish these coercive powers and instead simply transferred these special powers to a new division of Fair Work Australia.

‘WorkChoices remains a threat,’ says Frances Frances Usherwood, CNS, says workplace relations deserve to be a key issue in this Federal election. ‘It’s scary to think a Liberal Government would reintroduce WorkChoices. I don’t believe Tony Abbott for a second when he says he wouldn’t. I can’t believe he wouldn’t bring back WorkChoices even though it might be under a different name. ‘WorkChoices was a horrible and dishonest policy. It was sold as a “choice” but it was really about stripping people of their rights. ‘I think the Australian public shouldn’t forget this. It should be discussed as much as possible so people remember. ‘The Labor Government has eliminated a lot of WorkChoices but there are things like the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) that they should get rid of and the election is an opportunity to make them promise they will do so. I can’t understand why Labor hasn’t already got rid of it.’ E3 nVOTE FOR MORE NURSES




How the parties stand on other key workplace issues Parental leave LIBERALS: In 2002, when Tony Abbott was Minister for Workplace Relations in the Howard Government, he voiced his strong opposition to any form of paid parental leave. ‘I’m dead against paid maternity leave as a compulsory thing. I think that making businesses pay what seems to them two wages to get one worker [is unfair]. Almost nothing could be more calculated to make businesses feel that the odds are stacked against them. So, voluntary paid maternity leave: yes; compulsory paid maternity leave: over this Government’s dead body,’ he told ABC Radio. Then in February 2010 Abbott announced the Coalition’s new paid parental leave policy of full pay for six months up to a maximum of $150,000. This policy was to be paid for with a tax of 1.7% on businesses earning more than $5 million per year. LABOR: In June 2010 Labor’s paid parental leave policy was passed by Parliament to provide 18 weeks’ pay at the minimum wage for all working women who access parental leave. The 18 weeks will be in addition to any paid maternity leave schemes currently offered by employers. This is an


important victory after 30 years of campaigning by working women, their families, unions and the broader community. This significant improvement to Australia’s social policy brings Australia in step with most of the western world.

Minimum Wage Under WorkChoices, the Liberal Government changed the method of determining the minimum wage increase each year. Previously the increase was determined after submissions by the ACTU representing workers, the AIG representing business and the Government providing economic information. Under WorkChoices, the decision was made by a panel selected by the Government. The panel appointed by the Liberal Government awarded a $0 increase to workers on the minimum wage in 2006 and 2009. Under Labor’s system, the minimum wage is again decided through a consultative process in which unions have the right to represent workers’ interests, and fairness must be taken into account. In 2010 minimum wage workers received a $26 per week or 4.8% increase.




What the parties say on workplace relations

The Labor Party

The Coalition

The Greens

Labor has for the first time established a right to collective bargaining for all employees. The Fair Work Act now allows agreements involving multiple employers where this suits the parties and is their preference.

An incoming Coalition Government will not seek to change the Fair Work Act for the three years of the next term of parliament.

The Australian Greens are on the record as supporting multiemployer bargaining. We moved amendments to the Fair Work Act to allow for multi-employer bargaining. We recognise that it is an essential component of ensuring fairness and stability across occupations. We believe it is the right of the parties to determine the level at which they bargain.

Labor believes all employees have a right to be protected from being sacked unfairly. WorkChoices took away those protections from millions of Australian workers, allowing supervisors to sack workers for any excuse they liked with no right to challenge their dismissal. Under the Fair Work Act, Australians have greater job security – once employees have gone through a reasonable probation period of six months (or 12 months for employees of small businesses), they have a right to challenge an unfair dismissal, with a process that is fast and fair. Labor opposes take-it-or-leave-it individual contracts where employers use their superior bargaining power to cut the pay and conditions of working people. Under WorkChoices, AWA individual contracts stripped away basic rights from working people. Hundreds of thousands of Australian families lost money out of their household budgets – including penalty rates for weekend work, shift work and overtime. For example, women working full time on AWAs took home $87.40 per week less on average than workers on collective agreements. Under Labor, everyone has a right to bargain collectively, and no work contract can undercut the safety net of the modern award system. E5 nVOTE FOR MORE NURSES

The Coalition will carefully monitor how the Fair Work legislation operates over the next three years, in consultation with workplace organisations and with the public. If any changes are needed, we will seek a mandate for them at the 2013 election. In the meantime, the Coalition will work within the existing legislation and with the independent umpire, Fair Work Australia, to ensure that the current Act delivers the best possible outcomes. The Coalition will also retain Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman. We will keep the Australian Building and Construction Commission (which the former Government established) under its existing legislation because it is a strong “cop on the beat” and has helped to end years of lawlessness on commercial construction sites. The Coalition has well and truly absorbed the lessons of the Coalition’s 2007 defeat as well as the different lessons of the current Government’s failures. We believe in workplace freedom but not at the expense of fairness. Labor’s Fair Work Act is far from perfect but it deserves a fair go. Workers and businesses will soon enough know what works and what doesn’t with Labor’s legislation, which is only now starting to come into full operation.

The Greens have always supported unfair dismissal laws. The only changes the Greens support making to unfair dismissal legislation is to strengthen the laws in favour of workers. For example we do not believe that employees of small business should have a reduced right to access redress from unfair dismissal. The Australian Greens have always opposed AWAs and individual workplace contracts. We moved amendments to the Fair Work Bill and to the earlier transitional bill to allow employees on unfair AWAs to terminate the agreements and be covered by the relevant award or collective agreement. We also moved amendments to better protect workers from the Individual Flexibility agreements in the Fair Work Act. The Government did not support any of these proposals to better protect workers. The Greens believe that robust and effective occupational health and safety laws and practices are vital for the social and economic health of our workplaces and, more importantly, for Australians and their families.


%,%#4)/. HEALTH

Labor has started to redress Liberals’ 12 years of underfunding Despite presiding over Australia’s health system during an unprecedented long economic boom the Howard Government consistently reduced its level of funding. In contrast, the Federal Labor Government has pumped significant resources into health despite governing through the Global Financial Crisis. The proportion of Australian Government funding decreased each year under the Howard Government from 1998. The shortfall by 2005-2006 on Tony Abbott’s watch was $1.1 billion per year. This led to the Federal Government’s share of public hospital funding to drop to 41%. Since Labor was elected federally in 2007 the Government has invested a record $64 billion in health and hospitals – a 50% increase on Tony Abbott’s last health agreement.

Primary care has become a central focus Nurses in general practice have been the recipients of unprecedented investment under the Labor Government. The under-utilisation of nurses’ skills in general practice and the potential for this role to improve patients’ access to clinically appropriate primary health-care services has been recognised.

The Labor Government has agreed to take the dominant funding role for the entire public hospital system. It will now be responsible for 60% of the funding.

Since 2007, the Labor Government has supported around 200 additional practice nurses in rural and remote areas and urban areas of workforce shortage through the PIP practice nurse incentive and extended MBS rebates for a number of items for services provided by practice nurses.

Over the past year the Labor Government has increased its investment in health by $7.3 billion including an extra $522 million for various training initiatives for nurses particularly in aged care.

More recently a funding commitment of almost $400 million over four years is being invested in further broadening the scope and flexibility of the practice nurse role. The employment of nurses in general practice will be



subsidised at $25,000 per full-time GP for a Registered Nurse and $12,500 per full-time GP for an Enrolled Nurse. The new funding arrangements promote the role of nurses in a broad range of activities including preventative health and education programs, chronic disease management and care coordination, supported self-management and reminder systems.

New funding for emergency nurses On 27 July the Labor Government announced $15 million over 10 years to educate more Emergency Department nurses. This includes 100 additional scholarships for nurse practitioners to work in emergency. An additional $600,000 has also been announced to fund about 100 scholarships a year for clerical and non-clinical support staff so that nurses can get on with the job of looking after patients. This new funding will provide a more highly skilled workforce in Emergency Departments.

Other health initiatives by Labor since 2007 n $275 million for 36 GP Super Clinics across the country. n 35% more GP training places. n 45% increase in rural funding. n Nurses and midwives get access to the MBS and PBS for the

first time. n Created the position of the Commonwealth Chief Nurse

and Midwife.

Workforce planning a shambles under Abbott As Health Minister Tony Abbott’s legacy to nursing was a nationwide shortage of nurses. During his watch there was a small increase in the number of nurses completing undergraduate nursing courses. But the numbers were grossly inadequate. Only about half the number of nurses needed were educated. This was despite the strong demand for nursing places. Between 2,500 and 4,000 eligible nursing applicants missed out on an undergraduate nursing place per year in the five years Tony Abbott was the Federal Health Minister. The Federal Labor Government announced an additional 1,000 new nursing university places each year commencing 2008. It also announced an $87 million re-entry to the nursing workforce initiative covering the public, private and aged care sectors.

The Coalition’s $1.5 million commitment to mental health The Federal Labor Government has made some commitments to mental health including investments in mental health services for young people, expansion of the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre model and extra investments in mental health nurses. Labor has also promised a $276.9 million investment in suicide prevention. This includes $113.9 million for frontline mental health services. E7 nVOTE FOR MORE NURSES

‘We can’t go backwards’ Michelle Cashman, RN, tells The Lamp why this election should be about a vote for more nurses. ‘When the Liberals were in office federally I watched the hospital situation deteriorate. There were never enough nurses. Budget, budget, budget was all we ever heard. It was getting worse and worse. You watched nurses leaving – it was just too hard. ‘The current Federal Government has brought some hope and optimism. A lot of the things haven’t come through but at least there is some hope. ‘They need to follow up on it. We need more staff and better conditions for our patients. With more staff there will be better care for patients. ‘The health system has to get better. We can use this election to get a better health system. We would go backwards under Tony Abbott. He had a go at being Health Minister and what did he do except take things away. Many of the consequences were felt after he left office. We are still dealing with the effects now – the lack of nurses because of the lack of planning. ‘Now there is a plan. Its impact won’t be instant. It won’t get fixed quickly or easily. But we have to be optimistic that we are going in the right direction.’

But these have been dwarfed by the Coalition’s recent $1.5 billion commitment to mental health. The Coalition’s policy includes 20 early psychosis intervention centres and 800 more mental health beds. The Coalition also promises 60 additional ‘headspace’ centres – one-stop venues for young people at risk of mental illness. This commitment would be funded by cuts to Labor’s initiatives. It would come at the cost of the Government’s plans to boost after-hours doctors’ services, 23 GP super clinics and $466 million for electronic health initiatives, all of which would be dumped under Tony Abbott to fund the promise. THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 31



What the parties say about health

The Coalition

The Labor Party

The Greens

The Coalition has a proud history of investing in Australia’s nursing workforce. From 2005 to 2007 alone, the Coalition created an additional 3,700 commencing nursing places. The Coalition also introduced MBS rebates for practice nurses.

The Labor Government has already taken action to address the national shortage of nurses left by Tony Abbott and the former Coalition Government. We have funded an additional 1,134 nursing and midwifery university places and over 30,000 additional vocational education and training places, including enrolled nursing places and nursing scholarships. Since 2007, we have also funded more than 900 aged care nursing scholarships and more than 1,700 enrolled nursetraining places. As part of the National Health and Hospitals Network reform plan, Labor is investing $523 million to boost the nursing and midwifery workforce. This includes funding to support almost 4,600 practice nurse positions in general practice, funding for training and education and incentive payments to assist nurses and personal care workers in aged care, and funding to establish the first ever rural locum scheme for nurses. Labor has also invested $1.1 billion through the Council of Australian Government’s health workforce reform package. This package includes increasing undergraduate clinical training and supervision capacity. The Gillard Labor Government is committed to building a better health and hospitals system. In 2008, we increased funding to hospitals by 50% in 2008 – to $64 billion. The Labor Government has also delivered the biggest reforms to our health system since the introduction of Medicare almost three decades ago. This includes a further $7.4 billion to make sure more hospital beds are available, there are more doctors and nurses, and it is easier to receive high-quality primary care services close to home.

The Australian Greens believe that an effective health-care system is dependent on a skilled and wellresourced workforce. A smart country like Australia should be training more health professionals. We have championed the need for increases in student places – be they in the medical, dental or nursing schools. We also want to see proper planning for Australia’s health workforce and we are concerned this has been hampered by little or no co-ordination or leadership, which has created a desperate shortage of appropriately skilled and qualified practitioners. We understand the importance of clinical placements for nurses and midwives and will work with stakeholders including the ANF to ensure the education and training systems for nurses and midwives meet necessary requirements and provide opportunities for practical experience. The Greens want to target our health dollars to the areas where they will do the greatest good to protect and improve the health of all Australians. We can greatly reduce health-care costs by placing greater emphasis on keeping people well. By promoting early intervention through access to information, screening and referral services and other preventative health measures, we can reduce the growing burden of chronic disease. Our health and hospital networks should be organised to support primary health-care. The Greens support establishing an e-health system to enhance patient care, as long as the privacy of health-care consumers is protected. The Greens believe that universal data will contribute to reducing the incidence of misadventure, save costs and inform performance across our health system.

A strong and well-resourced nursing and midwifery workforce is fundamentally important to supporting Australia’s health system. The Coalition is committed to providing new and flexible education and training opportunities and appropriate career progression pathways for nurses and midwives. Through strong economic management the Coalition has been able to make significant investments in our health and hospital systems whilst in Government. Funding for health and ageing under the Coalition increased from approximately $20 billion in 1995-1996 to over $50 billion in 2007. Under the Coalition, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that funding for public hospitals increased from approximately $5 billion in 1995-1996 to over $11 billion in 20062007. In fact, the 2003 Australian Health Care Agreements provided a funding increase of $10 billion over the previous Health Care Agreements, representing a 17% real increase in funding for the nation’s public hospitals. The Coalition is committed to not only providing additional resources for health and hospitals, but to directing action to provide better models of care and alleviate pressure on our public hospitals. For example, the Coalition will provide $1.5 billion for our Real Action Plan for Better Mental Health, which will create 800 additional mental health beds, 20 new Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres and increased funding for an additional 60 headspace youth mental health sites. 32 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010



Superannuation at risk from a change of government The Gillard Labor Government is committed to increasing the Super Contribution Guarantee from the current 9% to 12% phased in over several years and funded by the new Mineral Resources Rent Tax. Tony Abbott is committed to rescinding this tax, putting the increase in Australian workers’ super at risk. The right to a comfortable and financially secure retirement is a core principle for Australian unions. Unions began to the campaign for superannuation more than 30 years ago when most Australians had no superannuation at all.

superannuation contribution guarantee from 9% to 12% phased in over several years. A recent poll by Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees found that 73% of people support this. It is also widely supported by the superannuation sector.

In 1992 unions worked with the then Labor Government to introduce universal superannuation. It started at 3% and built to 9% by 2002.

John Brogden, former NSW Liberal leader, now Chief Executive, Investment and Financial Services Association, supports the Government’s move.

Research shows that 9% is not enough for many workers to have financial security in retirement.

‘We don’t back political parties, we back good policies and we will back the [Gillard] Government’s policies on super. We fully endorse the Government’s super policy.’

The Gillard Labor Government moved this year to boost the




‘Think super when you vote’ Anne McKenzie, NUM at the Kiloh Centre for Mental Health at Prince of Wales Hospital, says nurses should consider superannuation closely when they vote in the Federal election. ‘Superannuation is an important issue for nurses as we are in a predominantly female profession. A lot of women drift in and out of the workforce according to family demands, and that impacts on their accrual of super. ‘I absolutely support the initiatives to increase super. It is a right to have a comfortable retirement. It not only benefits the individual but also society. ‘The increase in the super to 12% is terrific. At my age, I won’t get the full impact of it. As it is phased in I will be phased out! But I applaud it. For those entering the workforce it will be very significant. ‘I think it would be devastating to lose the extra 3%. Anything that undermines that will be a real negative. It would be done to protect the large profits of multinationals at the expense of the retirement incomes of ordinary Australians.’

The Gillard Labor Government moved this year to boost the superannuation contribution guarantee from 9% to 12% phased in over several years. A worker now aged 30 on average earnings will receive an extra $100,000 more in retirement income. What Labor offers on super n The centrepiece of Labor’s policy on superannuation is

an increase in the compulsory employer contributions from 9% to 12%. This will benefit 8.4 million Australian workers and their families. A worker now aged 30 on average earnings will receive an extra $100,000 more in retirement income. n The Labor Government will provide low-income

workers on less than $37,000 per year with an extra contribution of $500 per year. This will deliver $850 million a year in extra superannuation benefits to 3.5 million low-income earners. Around 2.1 million women will benefit from this change. Industry experts believe this will deliver an extra $40,000 over their working life for low-income earners. n Labor has put a ban on fees and commissions that

provide massive kickbacks to financial planners and accountants at a cost to ordinary workers’ retirement balances. It is calculated that these arrangements could add $50,000 to the superannuation entitlements of a worker with average earnings.

What the Coalition offers on super Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party have said they will oppose the Labor Government’s reforms to super. Tony Abbott has said he will rescind the Mineral Resources Rent Tax that will provide the revenue to fund the increase in superannuation from 9% to 12%.

Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party have said they will oppose the Labor Government’s reforms to super. 34 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010


%,%#4)/. AGEDCARE

More to be done in aged care The ANF and the NSWNA have run a very highprofile campaign – Because we care – to gain recognition for nurses and more resources in the aged care sector. The Gillard Labor Government has started to respond but the sector still requires more commitment and funding. The Gillard Labor Government has finally recognised the need for better planning of the aged care workforce. In this year’s Budget it committed $130 million to train and support aged care nurses. Over the next four years, the Labor Government will invest more than $310 million to help build a highly skilled aged care workforce. It will provide more training places and financial incentives for aged care workers and nurses to undertake further training and enhance their careers, focusing on clinical care. Over the next four years the Government will fund more than 31,000 aged care training places and scholarships. It will provide financial incentives for aged care providers to offer up to 400 nursing graduate placements, which will help new graduates to benefit from experience, clinical support and mentoring. The Government has also promised up to 640 clinical training placements to improve clinical training and supervision. Up to 40 aged care Nurse Practitioner scholarships will be available and $18.7 million will fund 25 projects to develop, test and evaluate the use of Nurse Practitioners in aged care. The Government will also provide $60 million over four years to provide financial incentives for aged care workers to undertake further studies. It will also establish Teaching Nursing Homes to build better linkages between research and training institutions.

Productivity Commission to provide a plan

All the parties need to focus on aged care Irene Broadbent, RN at Nunyara Aged Care, wants all the main parties to commit more resources to the sector.

The Federal Labor Government has recognised the poor planning in aged care over the past decade and asked the Productivity Commission to prepare a blueprint to take the aged care sector forward.

‘Staffing levels, particularly of experienced nurses, is a big issue. The residents have adequate care but there are always shortages of RNs. We are always stretched. The workload is huge.

Aged care workers and their unions, aged care providers, consumer organisations and the public will be able to have their say to the Commission.

‘Aged care is hidden from debate. There should be more focus on aged care. We battle through the day or the night to give the best care we can. And we do.

The Commission has been asked to examine all parts of the system – from financial structures to social participation and workforce requirements. It will provide the ANF and the NSWNA with a vehicle to push for the closing of the wages gap between aged care nurses and public health system nurses. E11 nVOTE FOR MORE NURSES

‘I’d like to see a greater focus on aged care from either party, whoever wins government, so we are better resourced, there is more money for training, and we have sufficient numbers of experienced nurses.’




What the parties say about aged care

The Greens


The Coalition

The Greens are extremely concerned about the ongoing viability and sustainability of the aged care sector, the inadequate wages and conditions of aged care workers and nursing staff, and the emerging challenge of securing the skilled and dedicated carers needed to care for an ageing population. The Greens would close the wages gap by establishing an independent statutory authority to benchmark the true cost of providing care and oversee aged care funding reform. We firmly believe that aged care workers should receive the recognition and support they deserve for the important caring role they provide, and believe the aged care funding formula needs to be reformed to ensure that aged care workers are paid fairly and equitably. We see this as a crucial element of a suite of reforms that will also include a comprehensive workforce strategy, and a program to establish teaching nursing homes. The Greens would ensure provision of high-quality care by benchmarking the true cost of care and delivering funding reform so that the aged care funding instrument of the future would guarantee care quality through the allocation of an appropriate mix of qualified staff. We would improve the transparency of aged care funding and depoliticise it by handing responsibility to an independent statutory authority. The Greens released a comprehensive discussion paper on aged care reform in May, which we have circulated widely to all of the key stakeholders in the aged care industry, seeking feedback on the ideas it proposes as a basis for formulating a comprehensive policy on aged car reform, which will be replaced in August. The response can be found at

Labor understands the importance of the work that nurses and aged care workers do – without which we wouldn’t have an aged care system. The Labor Government has increased aged and community care funding by around 30%. To ensure a fair deal for all workers, the Labor Government ended WorkChoices and introduced a fairer industrial relations system with collective bargaining at its heart. The Government has also asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into aged care – this will examine future workforce requirements and develop options to ensure the sector continues to have a suitably qualified and adequately remunerated workforce. While this is underway, we are investing and providing more support to nurses and aged care workers. In this year’s Budget, the Government invested an additional $60 million in financial help for around 50,000 personal care workers, assistants in nursing and nurses to help further develop careers in aged care. A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will drive further reform in aged care. Labor is taking full policy and funding responsibility for aged care and has a vision for a national system of aged care in which older Australians can move easily from care at home through to high-level residential care as their needs change. We have already backed this system with $636 million in new investments in this year’s Budget, and will continue to deliver: n A more highly skilled aged care workforce; n More aged care beds and places; n Improved access to primary health care services; and n Stronger protections for older Australians receiving care.

Australians are living longer and each successive Intergenerational Report has highlighted the challenge and potential costs of an ageing population.


The provision of good quality care for senior Australians is a priority for the Coalition. Australians want choice and flexibility and having a say about the care options that best suit their own or family members’ needs. In aged care there are many dedicated and committed individuals doing an extraordinary job under difficult circumstances. The Coalition knows that nurses and assistants in nursing who work in aged care provide a high level of care and loyalty to frail older Australians and deserve appropriate recognition. The Coalition will be consultative and work with, rather than against, the sector to deliver certainty and engagement. The sector will have a strong voice with government and we will listen to the experts. The bureaucracy and red tape must be addressed and older Australians deserve more face-to-face care. Details of our Aged Care policy will be issued prior to the election. Visit



Q & A




Should AiNs help with food? I am an AiN in a nursing home and have been directed to help with setting up meal trays – putting cutlery and food on the trays and so on. Should I do this?

Yes, it is acceptable for you to be asked to assist in this type of work as it is all considered as part of the residents’ activity of daily living. Further, it contributes to the wellbeing and health of the resident. However, you should not be required to do this type of work for more than 50% of your shift without having direct nursing time replaced.

Will my same-sex partner get my long service leave? I work in a public hospital on a permanent part-time basis and am concerned that my same-sex partner will not receive my long service leave (LSL) in the event of my death. The right to pass on LSL entitlement only to a nurses’ widow or widower seems to me discriminatory against same-sex partners.

The Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2008 at 33 (ix) (b) was varied on 16 April 2010 to remove this discrimination and a clearer more inclusive definition has been included which states: ‘This clause now states that …. where an employee who has acquired a right to long service leave, or after having had five years of service, dies, the partner of such employee or if there is no such partner the child/children of such employee (or guardian such as the case may be) or the legal personal representative

of such employee, shall be entitled to receive the monetary value of the leave not taken or which would have accrued to such employee had or her services been terminated as referred to in paragraph (b) sub-clause (i) of this clause and such monetary value shall be determined according to the salary payable to the employee at the time of his or her death. For the purposes of this sub-clause, the term ‘partner’ means a spouse or a de facto partner (including same-sex de facto partner); and ‘child/children’ means a child or an adult child (including an adopted child, step child, foster child or ex-nuptial child).’

Will I lose out on maternity leave entitlements? I currently work in a public hospital and receive 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave. If I fall pregnant and commence maternity leave after 1 January 2011, will I forgo my maternity leave and only receive the new Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme entitlements?

No, you will not forgo your paid maternity leave in lieu of the Paid Parental Leave. Under this new scheme, parents can receive the payment (currently $543.78 per week) in conjunction with any employer-funded schemes (so your Maternity Leave provisions under the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award), or consecutively. The Paid Parental Leave is for 18 weeks, while your current maternity leave provision is for 14 weeks of paid leave. So, essentially you can receive both payments at the same time, or commence the Paid Parental Leave following on from your Maternity Leave.

Am I entitled to eight or 10hour breaks between shifts? I work in an aged care facility and for many years, on a weekly basis, we have been rostered to work until 11pm and then rostered for another shift to commence at 6.30am the next morning. I believe that we should have a 10hour break between shifts and that management cannot roster shifts this close together. Is this correct?

Most awards and agreements provide that nurses have at least an eight-hour break between rostered shifts. Some awards, such as the Public Hospitals Nurses and Midwives (State) Award provide that nurses have a 10-hour break between rostered shifts unless both the employee and management agree to only have an eight hour break. You would need to check the agreement that you are working under to clarify the break between shifts that is provided in your agreement. If you are under the new Federal Nurses Award 2010, clause 23 requires a rest break of eight hours between shifts. Again, most awards or agreements also state that if you do not have the required break between rostered shifts, whether that is an eight-hour or a 10- hour break, then you are entitled to be paid at overtime rates for the entire following shift. The appropriate agreements or award should be available at your facility; however, all awards and agreements can also be accessed in the members-only section on the NSWNA website at

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Nurses vote ‘NO’ to Bupa’s low pay offer g Bupa nurses reject sub-standard agreement.


ith the support of a determined NSWNA campaign, nurses working for Bupa Care Services have stood together and rejected a low pay offer from their multibillion-dollar employer. Staff resoundingly voted ‘no’ to a sub-standard agreement that offered wages below most of the aged care sector. Staff at Bupa’s 21 facilities in NSW voted on the agreement last month and more than 85% of those who voted, voted against the organisation’s offer. UK-based Bupa Care Services, which bought the facilities in 2007, presented nurses and staff with an Enterprise

MORE EMPLOYERS OFFER ACAA AGREEMENT In contrast to Bupa Care Services’ low pay offer, 26 employers have offered staff at 96 facilities agreements based on the ACAA template agreement negotiated with the NSWNA. Under the ACAA agreement – which runs between July 2010 and June 2012 – nurses will get a 4% wage increase in July 2010 and a 3%

Agreement that offered an average 2.6% annual pay rise over four years. This would have left Bupa’s 1,200

wage increase in July 2011, with the possibility of a higher increase in 2011 if the Federal Government improves aged care funding. Nurses will also receive wagerelated allowances that increase in the same pattern as wages and expense-related allowances that will improve with CPI increases, plus an improved higher duties allowance.

NSW nurses earning less than public hospital nurses and aged care nurses at most NSW for-profit and not-for-profit facilities.


Public Hospital nurses (per hour)

Current Bupa rates (per hour)

1/07/2009 RN 1st year


Bupa Offer (per hour)

1/7/2010 + 2% $21.69


For-profit aged care sector standard (The ACAA Agreement) (per hour)

1/4/2011 + 2% $22.57

1/7/2010 + 4%

1/7/2011 + 3%



Charitable aged care sector standard (over 90 employers) (per hour) 1/7/2010 + 3% $25.70

RN 8th year








EN 5th year








AiN 4th year








Advanced Diploma in Enrolled Nursing

Only $745.00 (Aboriginality fee exemptions apply) You must enrol in 2010 and will complete within 6 months. This course will be delivered by flexible packages with teacher support and optional workshops

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS EEN with minimum 1 year (full time equivalent) experience since registration with NSW NMB. Other eligibility criteria apply.

Please contact Pauline Campbell on 02 6885 7500 or for an information and enrolment package. 38 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010



Annual wage increases for most other NSW aged care nurses are averaging between 3.5% and 5.5%. Compared to public hospital nurses, nurses at Bupa would have been earning less in June 2014, when the agreement was scheduled to expire, than the equivalent public hospital nurse has been

Nurses working for Bupa have not received a formal pay rise since 2008. earning since July 2009. Nurses working for Bupa have not received a formal pay rise since 2008, when they received the national minimum wage rise granted by the Fair Pay Commission (now known as Fair Work Australia). Since then we’ve had 4% inflation. NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes said the offer massively devalued its hard-working and committed aged care nurses and staff. ‘On its website, Bupa claims its staff “are caring, committed and respectful. They believe in what they do and share a passion for providing quality aged care ...”. Yet Bupa failed to reciprocate this care, commitment and respect to its staff.’ The Association launched a determined campaign to support its Bupa members, including full-page ads in metropolitan, local and regional

£ (UK) m Revenues



Growth (%)




Surplus before taxation




Underlying surplus before tax




Net cash generated from operating activities







Equity attributable to Bupa

newspapers. The NSWNA strongly recommended to Bupa members that they reject the company’s low-pay agreement. By its own admission, in 2009 Bupa recorded ‘occupancy levels of over 95% that resulted in organic revenue and surplus growth’. Bupa also boasts of its ‘effective control of staff costs’.

it needs to do the right thing and offer staff a fair agreement with good wages and conditions. Good, committed staff are key to its business of delivering quality care, and these hard-working nurses deserve fair reward and recognition,’ said Brett. ‘Bupa has now responded to the NSWNA’s request to come to the bargain-

‘Bupa has now responded to the NSWNA’s request to come to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair agreement.’ Brett Holmes called on the aged care employer to show its support and respect for its staff by coming to the bargaining table and negotiating an Enterprise Agreement in line with benchmarks set by the not-for-profit Aged and Community Services (ACS) and forprofit Aged Care Association of Australia (ACAA) template agreements. ‘If Bupa wants to attract and retain its “caring, committed and respectful” staff,

ing table to negotiate a fair agreement. A meeting is scheduled for 3 August. NSWNA Organisers will be reporting the outcome of the meeting to members to decide the next steps. ‘Bupa Care Services prides itself on being an industry leader. Let’s hope it will show this leadership by negotiating a leading agreement that shows it values its staff, who are essential to the delivery of quality care,’ said Brett.n

Lead the way The School of Nursing and Midwifery at UWS offers professionally relevant and contemporary postgraduate courses designed to enhance your career pathway. Mid-year intakes, offered in an off-campus, part-time mode are available for the following courses:

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E L E C T I O N 2 0 1 0

As Health Minister Tony Abbott left Australia with a critical shortage of nurses.

TV ads urge public to vote for more nurses g ‘Vote for more nurses’ in the 2010 Federal election is the message the NSWNA and ANF are sending to the public in two new TV ads by the NSWNA.


he NSWNA has produced two TV ads featuring members Michelle Cashman, RN, and Frances Usherwood, CNS. The ads aim to put health and nursing front and centre of people’s minds when they decide their vote. The 30-second ad features Michelle saying we need enough nurses with the right skills to 40 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

provide safe patient care, followed by text comparing Tony Abbott’s and Julia Gillard’s commitment to nurses and acknowledging the Labor Government’s significant funding for nurses. Frances can be seen taking care of a child patient.

The ad ends with the message: ‘At this election vote for more nurses.’ The 15-second ad carries the same text about Abbott and Gillard, but shows an injured man in a wheelchair pulling himself along a banister down a corridor.n

The TV ads have gone to air nationally and can also be viewed on the NSWNA website:

Julia Gillard’s Government has significantly increased funding for nurses.


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One year old and going strong


ast month Nurse Uncut celebrated its first birthday – and what a year it’s been. Apart from connecting nurses to each other 24/7 via the web (which is one of our key goals), Nurse Uncut achieved some other milestones: c We now have around 1,500 nurse members c We trained two groups of nurses to become bloggers c Nurse Uncut was listed in the top 50 Essential Nursing Web Resources c Nurse Uncut was also listed in the top 50 Travel Nursing Blogs c We have made the move to a more userfriendly and functional web platform c We scored our first advertising sponsor for the site, which we will be introducing soon.

We are hoping to grow Nurse Uncut in the next year with the following aims: c to continue to be a bridge to connect nurses in Australia and those who want to work as nurses in Australia c to grow our Nurse Uncut Facebook page and Twitter account c to provide nurses with resources they need, not only for their professional lives and development, but also in their personal lives.n

WE WANT YOUR INPUT To grow Nurse Uncut, we need your help: the more you spread the word to other nurses on how Nurse Uncut can help them feel ‘connected’ to other nurses, the more we can grow. What else can we do for you? We would like to hear your thoughts on what topics you’d like us to cover at Nurse Uncut. Mystery prizes await those who provide suggestions to us. You can make suggestions by leaving comments on Nurse Uncut at We’re looking forward to another fantastic year. Come and join us at


WIN A BREAK IN ORANGE Orange is a vibrant regional city in central NSW with a rich history that survives today in its heritage buildings and parks. Orange also has a great retail and recreation sector to cater for the more discerning visitor. Orange is known as Australia’s Colour City, both from the name and from the distinctive four seasons that produce wonderful landscape colours. It is quickly becoming known as Australia’s health recruitment city. The NSWNA is offering one lucky member the chance to win a relaxing holiday for two in Orange. The winner will not only get the chance enjoy a couple of days of relaxation but will also see some of the latest developments in the NSW health industry. The prize includes: c Two nights’ studio accommodation at de Russie Suites Orange with a breakfast pack in the room (* c Winery tour via helicopter with Helicruz tours (*

c Dinner at Lolli Redini (one hat restaurant) to the value of $150 (* c Lunch or dinner at The Gallery Cafe Restaurant to the value of $75 ( au/restaurant.html)* c A $50 hamper from the Orange Visitor Information Centre. The total prize package is valued at $1,137. For more information on the region, go to To enter this month’s competition, simply write your name, address and membership number on the back of an envelope and send it to: Orange competition PO Box 40, Camperdown, NSW 1450 Competition closes 31 August 2010. Please note: only one entry per member will be accepted. THE LAMP AUGUSTessential. 2010 43 * Subject to availability. Advance bookings

³ ´













AJAN update g The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing continues to provide an excellent vehicle for nurses to publish original research and scholarly papers about all areas of nursing.

Development and validation of a novel approach to work sampling: a study of Nurse Practitioner work patterns Glenn Gardner, Anne Gardner, Sandy Middleton, Michelle Gibb, Phillip Della, Christine Duffield

This methodological paper reports on the development and validation of a work sampling instrument and data collection processes to conduct a national study of Nurse Practitioners’ work patterns. Published work sampling instruments provided the basis for development and validation of a tool for use in a national study of Nurse Practitioner work activities across diverse contextual and clinical service models. The study is part of a large funded study into Nurse Practitioner service. The Australian Nurse Practitioner Study is a national study phased over three years and was designed to provide essential information for Australian health service planners, regulators and consumer groups on the profile, process and outcome of Nurse Practitioner service. Development and preparation of a new approach to describing Nurse Practitioner practices using work sampling methods provides the groundwork for international collaboration in evaluation of nurse practitioner services.s.

Nursing resource implications of the unoccupied bed Bronwyn Collins, Lesley Fleming, Bette-Anne Hine, Johanna Stephenson, Kate Veach, Sue Anderson, Tim Mawson, Joan Webster

The aim of this research was to explore the specific factors that impact on nursing resources in relation to the ‘unoccupied bed’. A descriptive observational study was used to identify and classify tasks associated with an ‘unoccupied bed’. Four project nurses held informal discussions with all levels of staff in four divisions of the hospital (surgery, internal medicine, cancer care and women’s and newborn).

Field notes were made throughout the process and the project nurses met regularly to compare findings and identify similarities. This study identified three main areas of nursing work that centre on the ‘unoccupied bed’: 1) bed preparation for admission; 2) temporary transfer; 3) bed preparation post patient discharge. The researchers concluded that the unoccupied bed is not resource neutral and may involve considerable nursing time. The time associated with each of the reasons for the bed being unoccupied remains to be quantified.

Trends in workplace violence in the remote area nursing workforce Tessa Opie, Sue Lenthall, Maureen Dollard, John Wakerman, Martha MacLeod, Sabina Knight, Sandra Dunn, Greg Rickard

The aim of this research was to assess incidence of workplace violence in the remote area nursing workforce and to compare present data to data collected 13 years previously. The research adopted a cross-sectional design, using a structured questionnaire. The main outcome measure was posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, as assessed using the PTSD Checklist (PCL). Findings indicate increases in all incidents of reported violence in the workplace between 1995 and 2008. Verbal aggression, property damage and physical violence are the most frequently experienced forms of violence as perpetrated directly towards remote area nurses, with statistically significant positive correlations between all types of workplace violence and PTSD symptoms. Verbal aggression, physical violence and property damage are the most commonly witnessed forms of violence occurring between other people. Statistically significant positive correlations were also found between each type of witnessed violence and PTSD symptoms, excluding sexual abuse/assault. Nurses working in very remote regions in Australia are fearful for their personal safety.

The researchers conclude that working in fear for your personal safety can function as a major occupational stressor. The research has implications for the implementation of workplace policies that target the identification, management and prevention of violence in the remote area nursing workforce.

Historical imagination and issues in rural and remote area nursing Pamela Wood

Using issues in rural and remote area nursing as the example, this paper explores how nurses can use their historical imagination in considering professional issues today. Historical imagination is the creative capacity to imagine possibilities of engaging with the past. Historical imagination in nursing has the potential to help nurses address current professional issues. Points of familiarity with the past can show nurses which issues are enduring and which are transient. A sense of familiarity can bring strength, encouragement and comfort. Points of difference can show nurses that problems are not necessarily permanent or can be dealt with differently. This paper uses aspects of the history of bush nursing in Australia to illustrate how nurses in rural and remote area nursing today could use their historical imagination in addressing current issues. It explores points of familiarity and difference between issues faced by bush nurses in the past and current issues in the international literature. Ways of using historical imagination in rural and remote area nursing recruitment are considered to illustrate the process. As the example of engaging with the history of bush nursing in Australia attempts to demonstrate, nurses can use their historical imagination to identify points of familiarity and difference with the past to prompt a shift in thinking and strengthen creativity in addressing current issues.n THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 45



Nursing 50 years and beyond g The Lamp celebrates three nurses who have achieved a major milestone – a halfcentury in the profession and as members of the NSWNA – and they are still going strong. RUTH TURTON


t was 9 November 1959 when 16year-old Ruth Turton started work at St George Hospital in Kogarah. ‘In those days you left school and did the preliminary training school for six weeks then you were on the wards,’ she told The Lamp. ‘We had to train for four years. The first year you did all the bad jobs like the pan rooms, cleaning up and doing fluids – we’d make the high-protein milkshakes for patients and squeezed the oranges – all the things they hire a dietitian for now. By the second year, they let you give out a few drugs and do dressings.’ Having started out in general nursing, Ruth became a midwife for the next 41 years, including a stint as a CNC in lactation. She remained at St

George until 2000. During this time she got married and had children. ‘The first one came in 1971 and I went on night duty because it was the easiest way with kids. Your husband worked during the day and looked after them at night,’ she said. ‘The girls I met at that time are still longstanding friends; we formed a bond.’ When asked about the changes she’s seen in the profession over the past five decades, Ruth – who has worked in the short-stay surgical unit at Lismore Base Hospital for the past three years – said: ‘The worst thing we have now is

paperwork and computers. The things that were supposed to make it easier for us have made it harder. It’s increased our workload a hundred fold. We are sitting at desks instead of being out with patients. I spend most of my time answering phones and admitting patients.’ Talking of technology, The Lamp asked Ruth’s colleagues to sit her in front of the nursing super-blog Nurse Uncut to gauge her opinion of it. ‘I am wondering when nurses have the time to sit down and write all that stuff,’ she chuckles. ‘If it had been around in my day, there would have been a lot of whingeing about night duty. If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s nurses’ attitudes to night duty. They never like it unless they choose to do it.’ Ruth said her favourite period was 1959 to 1963. ‘The four years of my training was the best period of my life. We all had to live in the nursing home so we were all friends, had a lot of fun and broke a lot of rules.’ It was during this time that one of many amusing incidents happened. ‘It was in my second year training and we had this senior nurse, who must have been 6’4 and really thin,’ Ruth recalls. ‘We used to be in the men’s public ward and in those days it was all prostrate troubles. We used to tie the [men’s genitalia] up with Penrose tubing

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into big bottles and the men would go slightly crazy. They used to try to get out of the hospital. ‘One night this old bloke got out and he had the Penrose tubing flying everywhere, no top on and he ran up to the railway station – they always used to head for the railway station – and this nurse went after him. She did a flying tackle on him, got him around the legs, and he just stood there and stepped out of his pyjama pants and kept running! He got to the train station before the police picked him up. There was so much fun over the years but that sticks in my mind.’ It’s obvious that Ruth, now 67, loves this profession – so much so that retirement wasn’t for her. ‘I love the company, the camaraderie,’ she said. ‘I like being with all the young girls and acting the goat! I like looking after people.’ If you’re wondering how she has the energy to still work full time, Ruth stays fit and healthy by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as being as active as she can. When asked what advice she has for fellow nurses, or those wishing to train as a nurse, she said: ‘You need a sense of humour, common sense and to be a good listener.’ She also recommends everyone joins the Union. ‘I’ve been a member since I started as a nurse,’ she said. ‘You’ve got to, especially today with all the legal problems. Unless we speak as one we are never going to get anywhere.’n



Pauline Fitzpatrick née Price, known to her colleagues as ‘Fitzy’, commenced nursing on 10 December 1959 at Young District Hospital, where she trained and worked until commencing her midwifery training at the Mater Hospital, Sydney, in 1964. Pauline began working as a midwife at Mudgee District Hospital in 1970, where her experience and passion for lifelong learning have earned her the deep respect of her peers, and her ‘larrikin ways’ have won her the affection of all who know her. Pauline has been known to dress up in a Santa suit at Christmas time, and she often jokes that she was nursing when many of her colleagues were born. She might have even delivered them. Well done, Pauline, on an amazing and ongoing career!


Vivienne began her nursing career at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on 21 February 1960. As well as her work as a nurse, Vivienne and her husband Samuel Beggs temporarily cared for children who were abused and neglected. In the early 1980s, they began caring for Cambodian refugees, and in 1982, they became foster parents to an abandoned 11-year-old refugee child. Vivienne worked at Liverpool Hospital in many senior nursing roles, and was appointed as Acting Co-Director of the Division of Women’s and Children’s Health in 2004. In 2008, she was appointed as the Area Clinical Manager for Paediatric Services in SSWAHS, the position that she currently holds. Vivienne says she is not ready to give up and ‘retire’ yet, as she still has a passion for the health and wellbeing of women and children, especially the disadvantaged, both globally and, in particular, in Sydney South West.

.ATIONAL&ORUMON3AFETYAND1UALITYIN(EALTH#ARE 24 October – 27 October 2010 The National Convention Centre, Canberra

Society, Regulators and Health Providers: a clash of expectations?

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), with key partners the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and ACT Health, is delighted to host the National Forum on Safety and Quality in Health Care in Canberra, 25-27 October 2010. To be held at the National Convention Centre, the program will be of national importance for anyone working on safety and quality in health care. The theme is 3OCIETY 2EGULATORSAND(EALTH0ROVIDERSACLASHOF EXPECTATIONS With speakers ranging from local health journalists to international safety and quality leaders, this timely program will tackle high profile issues on the national agenda.


The program has been designed by representatives from national bodies, the public and private sectors along with consumer representation. Join us in Australia’s capital for this dynamic program, a busy exhibition, a vibrant social calendar and a chance to meet and network with colleagues. For further information please contact the conference organisers sapmea via Annabel Holliss phone 08 8274 6050 or email aholliss@ or visit






Our reviewers and tipsters receive a delightful ABC Classics CD for uplifting enjoyment!


Father of My Children g A deeply moving film about a father and a man’s love for cinema.

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.

Review by Chris Benellie Ladera RN, St. Vincent’s Hospital


regoire Canvel is not your typical father. Driving to his country home, his hands are everywhere but the wheel, as he juggles his two phones and a lit cigarette. He doesn’t get home. Instead his family picks him up at the police station after he is booked for speeding. His daughters brighten on his arrival and he boasts to them, ‘I wish you’d seen how

charming I was.’ The girls greet him with such affection that, in an instant, we know that he is a father who is loved. Gregoire is a man who has everything: a loving wife, three lovely daughters and his dream job. As a film producer, he pushes limits as he develops numerous projects akin to his concept of what is good in cinema. At first glance, he embodies invincibility as he juggles domestic responsibility with the endless demands of his film company.

It becomes apparent, however, that ultimately he devotes much of his time and energy to his work. Things begin to unravel, as Gregoire realises that he may have reached a breaking point, which triggers events that have serious repercussions for those he loves. I saw the film at Palace Academy Twin, which after 36 years, was screening its last preview. The mood was sombre, and sentiments about losing one of Sydney’s much loved art-house cinema were evident. I was all of a sudden nostalgic, remembering wonderful films that I have watched and loved in this cinema. Father of My Children was no different. Its Special Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival is truly well-deserved. It’s a deeply moving film not only about a father, but also about a man’s love for cinema. There is subtlety in how the story is told that compels you to explore how much you can truly know another. At its core, the movie pays homage to those who enable the creation of films to be enjoyed by true lovers of the cinema.n Father of My Children opens on 26 August.





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The Ghost Writer g Roman Polanski directs this political thriller, which has the added bonus of starring Ewan McGregor.

Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) is a woman who married young and still ardently loves her husband, Mark, who works abroad. Their children have grown up and moved away. Life, doing what it usually does to a marriage, has replaced their hopes and dreams with accomplishment and responsibilities. In the back of her head, Juliette had thought that sooner or later, she and her husband would have time for each other, which was the reason for her trip to Cairo. In Cairo on her own as she waits for her husband, Juliette finds herself caught in a whirlwind romance with her friend Tareq, a retired cop. As Tareq escorts Juliette around the city, they find themselves in the middle of a brief affair that catches them both unawares. Only at the movies from August 19


he Ghost Writer starts with Ewan McGregor being offered the job of ghost writing the memoirs of Adam Lang (Piers Brosnan), the former British Prime Minister, a job that is said to offer him the opportunity of a lifetime. An ordinary guy is plunged into a completely strange world. It begins with being mugged on the way home from the job offer. The Ghost, as he’s referred to throughout the movie, is like Rebecca in the same book by Daphne Du Maurier – totally nameless. With a plot centred around a political journalist chosen for his ability to seek the truth, the film – like Rebecca – has an Alfred Hitchcock thriller feel. The movie travels at a frantic pace. While waiting for his flight at Heathrow, news breaks about Lang being accused of illegal dealings with the CIA. The Ghost is replacing Mike McCara, the original ghost writer who wound up dead, apparently from falling from a ferry – the very same ferry the Ghost finds himself riding to meet Lang and continue McCara’s story. The Ghost arrives under tight security at a luxury house with an icy atmosphere, greeted by Lang’s personal assistant,

Review by Susan Miles, RN, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Amelia (a new role for Kim Cattrall), and acknowledged by Lang’s wife Ruth (Olivia Williams). The original manuscript is given to the Ghost to read. After signing a confidentiality agreement, and under excessive security, on review it appears dull and tedious. Lang and the Ghost meet to discuss the memoir, where it’s revealed that Lang’s political desire only started because he fell in love with Ruth when they met during local election canvassing. The story becomes one of political intrigue and controversy as the media pursue Lang about his dealings with the CIA and alleged ‘torture flights’. Lang’s former British Foreign Secretary Richard Rycart involves The Hague and the international Criminal Court. The Ghost uncovers Rycart’s number when going through McCara’s things, and many questions arise.

The Lamp has 20 double passes each to Cairo Time and The Ghost Writer, and 25 double passes to Father of My Children. To enter, email lamp@nswnurses.asn. au with your film preference, name, membership number, address and contact number. First entries win!

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 1258 or email Roman Polanski directed this movie in the Hitchcock thriller style and he delivers a thriller to the end, made all the more enjoyable for the presence of Ewan McGregor.n The Ghost Writer opens on 12 August. THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 49

‘Lighting the Way’

NIDA Advanced Film Making Workshop for Nurses and Midwives


Due to the success of the NSWNA’s Nurses Short Film Festival the Association wants to know if you would be interested in undertaking a 5 day intensive short film making workshop at NIDA?

• to pursue the professional, career and educational interests of EN’s

Who can attend?

The Enrolled Nurse Professional Association of NSW : a voice for all Enrolled Nurses.

• support and advocate for Enrolled Nurses in the NSW Health sector. • yearly enrolled nurse conference for networking and information. • to promote extended roles through further education. Join this progressive organisation and participate in the enhancement of your career. Membership fee’s are tax deductible. Membership $30 per annum FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Phone: 1300 554 249

Those who have previously attended NSWNA sponsored 2 day NIDA film making workshop, or those who have submitted a film in the Nurses’ Short Film Festival, regardless of whether it was selected to be shown at the festival, or those who have experience making short films for family, friends or others this workshop may be just what you are looking for to further develop your skills.

What will the intensive film making workshop cover? The workshop will cover the following - story structure, script development, visual narrative, pre and post production, shooting on location and in the studio, lighting, sound, music and directing of actors.

Forward cheque/ money order & details to : ENPA, PO Box 775 Kingswood 2747

How can I register my interest in this film making workshop?


How much will the workshop cost?


While the Association would subsidise some of the costs, there would be some costs for you as a participant. For a workshop of 14 participants (maximum number) the approximate cost per person would be $400. Considering the calibre of the NIDA programs, the range of topics covered and the fact that all materials are provided during the week, this represents excellent value for film makers wanting to take their films to another level.

Work Place: Contacts: (H) MOB




Please email and tell us a little about your film making experience why you would like to attend.

See and click onto the Nurses Short Film Festival icon for more information.



Book me Critical Care Notes: Clinical Pocket Guide (1st ed.) By Janice Jones, F. A. Davis Co, RRP *$29.95 : ISBN 978-0803620841 Critical Care Notes: Clinical Pocket Guide is a pocket-sized quick reference for clinical information needed to care for adult patients safely and effectively. This handy guide provides answers from disease process and the underlying pathology through to nursing and medical management.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: A Manual for Adults Assisting Young People (2nd ed.) By Claire Kelly, Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm, ORYGEN Youth Health Research Centre, RRP *$30 : ISBN 9780980554144 Youth Mental Health First Aid: A Manual for Adults Assisting Young People has been written to accompany a revised version of the 14-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid Course. The major improvements over the 1st edition is that the first aid information is based on Mental Health First Aid Guidelines which were developed by the Mental Health First Aid program


No Births on Monday from 2005-2009. It also contains updated statistical information on mental health problems in young people and incorporates the latest evidence on treatments and services available for them.

Clinical Skills Made Incredibly Easy! (1st UK ed.) By Mhairi Hastings, Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, RRP *$39.95 : ISBN 9781901831054 Clinical Skills Made Incredibly Easy! succinctly outlines the fundamental skills that cover a patient’s hospital stay, specimen collection, aseptic technique and wound care, and medicines management. It also focuses on the procedures related to specific body systems, in which nurses have to demonstrate their competency.

Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care (9th ed.) By Betty J. Ackley and Gail B. Ladwig, Mosby Elsevier (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP *$72 : ISBN 9780323071505 Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An EvidenceBased Guide to Planning Care assists to make

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.

PUBLISHERS’ WEBSITES c Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: c Churchill Livingstone (Elsevier Health Australia): c Triple D Books: www.tripledbooks. c ORYGEN Youth Health Research Centre: c F. A. Davis:

Disclaimer: Some of the items featured in Book Me are based on information received and have not been independently reviewed.

By Mavis Gaff-Smith, Triple D Books, RRP *$35 (plus $11 p&h) : ISBN 9780980492095 No Births on Monday tells the story of midwifery services in the rural and remote areas of Australia and looks at the importance of early maternity training hospitals and Tresillian nurses. It outlines the various government services and makes a plea for decision makers to listen to the needs and concerns of the women they are supposed to serve.

nursing diagnoses and create individualised care plans. This guide shows you how to build customised care plans using a three-step process: assess, diagnose, and plan care. It includes suggested nursing diagnoses for over 1,300 client symptoms, medical and psychiatric diagnoses, and diagnostic procedures.

Binan Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health (3rd ed.) By Anne-Katrin Eckermann, Toni Dowd, Ena Chong, Lynette Nixon, Roy Gray and Sally Johnson, Churchill Livingstone (available through Elsevier Australia), RRP *$49.95 : ISBN 9780729539364 Binan Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health explores the background, processes and practices behind the health status of the many Aboriginal people who continue to remain the poorest in Australia. Practical strategies are provided to assist in addressing the complex and multidisciplinary topics of Indigenous Health, and the reader is challenged to examine their own values, the relativity of values and the use of power in society.n *Price in Australian dollars at time of printing THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 51

Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney is embracing the challenges of health care now and for the future. Formerly known as the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Sydney Nursing School takes its new name into a new era. With new and revised programs and a strengthened research framework, we are preparing health care professionals for leadership in clinical practice and research. We offer students a full suite of nursing programs, from our pre-registration degrees through to PhD. Registered nurses will gain advanced learning through our specialty areas of:


– clinical nursing – cancer and haematology nursing – clinical trials practice – emergency nursing – intensive care nursing – mental health nursing – nurse practitioner (subject to NMB approval)


Join us to help shape the future of health care. For more information head to: H34623 CRICOS 00026A

Don’t be left out in the cold this winter… NSWNA unisex bonded polar fleece zip front jackets are suitable to wear on those frosty morning starts and freezing night shifts.





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To order, fax the order form to Glen Ginty (02) 9550 3667 or post to: NSWNA, PO Box 40 Camperdown NSW 1450 Merchandise order forms available on our website 52 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010





Test your knowledge in this month’s nursing crossword. 1










11 12


14 15



18 19




23 24


26 27










1. An instrument for measuring the curvature of the spine (11) 6. Nipple (4) 9. A current of water, gas or vapor projected into a cavity (6) 10. Relating to touch (7) 12. A pouch (3) 13. Monitoring of movement to assess sleep disorder (10) 15. To reduce a fracture (3) 16. An irritating sensation in the skin that arouses desire to scratch (4) 18. The back of the neck (5) 19. Yellow-fever mosquitoes (5) 21. Beginning to exist or to grow (7) 23. Urgent (4) 24. The upper part of the human body that contains face and brain (4)

25. A part of the body between the chest and the pelvis (7) 27. Administration of a strong electric current through the brain to induce coma (1.1.1) 28. A clinical data relating to a patient’s case (5) 30. The ability to see (5) 32. Causing contraction of the tissues (10) 33. Self infection by direct contagion (13) 34. Emergency room (1.1) s


1. Sending short radio waves or x-rays for treatment or diagnosis (9) 2. Exerting an effect resembling a burn (7) 3. The near end of the ulna that forms the pointed portion of the elbow (9) 4. Out of place; congenitally displaced (7) 5. To decay (3) 7. Vomiting (6)

8. Inflammation of the sheath of a tendon (8) 11. Denoting a disease of unknown cause (10) 14. Various single-celled fungi that reproduce asexually by budding or division (5) 17. Breathing movements involving a sudden intake of air due to an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm (8) 20. Ability of muscles to sustain a force repeatedly (9) 22. Student nurse (1.1.1) 23. Causing an increase of flesh (8) 25. Inability to walk (6) 26. A graphical recording produced by an electrocardiograph (1.1.1) 29. Hormone produced early in pregnancy by the placenta (1.1.1) 31. Embryonic digestive tube (3) 32. National union for nurses and midwives (1.1.1) Solution page 55 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 53

DIARY DATES Conferences, seminars, meetings SYDNEY, HUNTER & ILLAWARRA ANCAN & CFA Continence Education Day ’Bottoms Up’ 13 Aug, 8.30am-4pm, St George Leagues Club. Contact: Marilyn Woodcock, 8741 5699 or Renal Palliative Care Symposium 13 August, St George Hospital, Sydney. Contact: Elizabeth Josland, 9113 2854 or Ausmed Conference • ‘Basic High Dependency Nursing’ 2 day seminar: 20-21 August, Quality Hotel Cambridge. Cost: $451. • ‘Practical Management Skills for ANUMs’: 2-3 September, UTS. Cost: $451. • ‘Acute Coronary Syndromes’ 2 day seminar: 17-18 Sept, UTS. Cost: $451. Contact: (03) 9375 7311 or www. Sydney Alliance ‘2 Day Alliance Building Institute’ Sat stream: 14 & 21 Aug, weekday stream: 26-27 Aug, Sun stream: 29 Aug & 5 Sept Contact: Liliana Cappichone, 8007 6055, Discharge Planning Association Professional Development Day 26 August, Sydney Adventist Hospital Contact: Kerrie Kneen,

Increase your opportunities with a practice-based, industry-backed course at UTS. 54 THE LAMP AUGUST 2010

31 Aug, Educ. Ctr, Our Lady of Consolation, Aged Care facility. Contact: Jill Sparks, 8887 4484/ 0414 192 691 Clinical Nurse Consultant Assoc. of NSW Networking Event 10 Sept, 12noon-4.30pm, Burwood RSL Contact: Jan Dilworth, Janice.Dilworth@ Sue Monaro, 0423 356 141, Day Surgery Nurses Association of NSW Conf. – ‘Education into Practice’ 11 September, Sydney Masonic Centre Contact: Tricia Goh, 9553 9905 or pgoh@aesthetic, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Paediatric Perioperative Seminar 11 Sept, 8am-5pm, The Sebel Hotel, Parramatta. Contact: Claudia Watson, 9845 2112 or Stockton Centre (previously Stockton Hospital) Centenary Celebrations 13-19 Sept (official opening on 15 Sept), Stockton Centre, Fullerton St, Stockton. Contact: John Naylor, 4928 0891 or john. The Mental Health Services 20th Annual Conference 14-17 Sept, Sydney Convention Centre Cost: $750, full fee, 3 days. Contact: 9810 8700,

20th Annual Spinal Injury Conference 26-27 August, College of Nursing, Burwood Web:

Solace Association – 12th National Solace Grief Conference 8-9 Oct, Vibe Hotel, Goulburn St, Sydney. Contact: Ken, 9529 4805/ Margaret, 4655 1575 or

CNC Continence & Urology Community Service Seminar – ‘All about the bladder’ 27 August, Burwood RSL, Burwood. Contact: Ronda Brownlow, 9534 2555 or Virginia Ip, 9515 3652

Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association 20th Annual Conference 14-15 Oct, Novotel North Beach Hotel, Wollongong. Contact: Penny Kearney, 9808 9385 or Penny.Kearney@royalrehab.,

Endocrine Nurses Society of Australasia 21st Symposium ‘Sex, Drugs & Broken Bones’. 30-31 Aug, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Ctre. Contact: Klaus Sommer, 9767 7939,


Sydney West Wound Interest Group Seminar

10th Rural Critical Care Conference – ‘Delivering Safe Rural Critical Care’ 20-21 August, Orange Ex-Services Club. Contact: 17th Enrolled Nurse State Conference ‘TWENTY 10 and BEYOND’ 16-17 Sept, Cessnock Supporters Club,

NSWNA Branch Officials’ and Activists’ Training Program 2010 ‘Fairness at Work in Aged Care’ 18-19 August, 9am-4.30pm

’Fairness at Work in Public Hospitals’ 23-24 September, 8.45am-4.30pm

’Fairness at Work in Private Hospitals’ 16-17 September, 8.45am-4.30pm

’Negotiation and Advocacy Part 1’ 22 Sept & 17 Nov, 9am-4pm

‘New Delegate Program’ 21 September, 1pm-4pm

’Negotiation and Advocacy Part 2’ 22 Sept & 17 Nov, 9am-4pm

Contact and registration: Diana Modderno at NSWNA on (02) 8595 1234 (metro), 1300 376 962 (rural), or visit diary dates at the

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 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 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.

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. 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. Diary Dates are also on the web –

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

Cessnock. Cost: members $220, nonmembers $260. Contact: Roz Norman, 1300 554 249 or

13 August, 7pm, Le Montage, 38 Frazer Street, Lilyfield. Contact: Linda Kelley, 9395 2267 or

Community Nurse Audiometrists Association Inc, 28th Annual Conf. – ‘Hearing Through the Years’ 20-22 October, West Diggers Tamworth. Contact: Kathy Challinor, 0428 667 502,

Peat Island Centre/Hosp. Reunion 14 August, 7pm-late, Gosford RSL, West Gosford. Contact: Kathie Terrens, 9985 0169, or

Midwives on the Tweed Annual Education Day 25 Oct, 8am-4.30pm, Tweed Heads Bowling Club. Contact: Donna, 0414 311 066 or INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS Victorian Nurses Health program Inaugural Nurses’ & Midwives’ Wellness Conference 2010 10 Sept, Carson Conf. Centre, Melbourne. Contact: Julie Ferrier, (03) 9415 7551, 18th International Congress on Palliative Care 5-8 Oct, Palais des Congres, Montreal, Canada. Contact: April O’ Donoughue,,

NSWNA Events Education Dates: • Aged Care Nurses Forum: 3 Sept, NSWNA Camperdown. • Basic Foot Care for AiNs: 6 Sept, Twin Towns Clubs & Resort, Tweed Heads. • Mental Health Nurses: 22 September, NSWNA Camperdown. • Enrolled Nurses Forum: 8 October, NSWNA Camperdown. • Legal & Professional Issues for Nurses & Midwives: 15 Oct, Wagga RSL Club. • Basic Foot Care for RNs & ENs: 19-20 October, West’s Diggers, Tamworth. • Computer Essentials for Nurses & Midwives: 25 Oct, Concord Hosp., Concord • Appropriate Workplace Behaviour: 29 Oct, Ex Services Club, Coffs Harbour. Contact: Carolyn Kulling, 8295 1234/ 1300 367 962, www.nswnurses.asn. au/topics/2761.html

Reunions Balmain Hospital Celebrates 125 years

Stockton Centre (previously Stockton Hospital) Staff and Client Reunion 16 Sept, Stockton Centre, Fullerton St. Contact: John Naylor, 4928 0891 or john.



Sydney Hosp. Graduate Nurses’ Assoc. Luncheon at State Parliament House and visit to Lucy Osburn / Nightingale Museum 6 October, luncheon starts at 12 midday. Contact: Jeanette Fox, 4751 4829 Wollongong Hospital 1973 General Nurse Graduates 9 October, Wollongong. Contact: Adriana Van Bockel (née Pesch), 4228 3641 or Mater Graduate Nurses’ Assoc – Annual Reunion Mass & Lunch 17 Oct, 11.45am mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church Kirribilli, & 12.45pm lunch at Vibe Hotel, Milsons Point Contact: Cathie Molyneux, matergrads@ Armidale & New England Hospital, 30 Year Reunion – Light Green Group Seeking interest. Contact: Brian Rapley, 6366 3242 or St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, March 1978 PTS, 30 Year Reunion March 2011. Contact: Patsy Sullivan, Maria Hulme (née Honner),

Crossword solution

Our graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, masters and research degrees give you plenty of scope to boost your career in a range of clinical, education and management areas. APPLICATIONS OPEN SOON FOR 2011 Find out more online or at one of our Information Evenings Phone: 1800 ASK UTS Online enquiry: UTS CRICOS PROVIDER CODE 00099F UTS419NMH THE LAMP AUGUST 2010 55

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NURSING & MIDWIFERY UNIT MANAGERS MANAGERS’SOCIETY SOCIETY OF NSW (INC.) PO Box A103, Enfield South NSW 2133 / ABN: 68 014 575 993 / Phone 9715 1065; Fax 9715 1071

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The Lamp August 2010  
The Lamp August 2010  

In this issue: NSWNA 65th Annual Conference – PM Gillard expresses her support for nurses.