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lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033

volume 66 no.10 November 2009


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Cover story

lamp the

magazine of the NSW Nurses’ Association

Bargaining The only way forward 14

volume 66 no.10 November 2009

14 16 17 18 21

Happy members at Sydney Adventist Hospital Heart clinics show some heart Finally, a fair deal at Peninsula How to get an Enterprise Agreement Awards overhaul threatens pay

Cover Print Post Approved: PP241437/00033


Leigh Treseder, RN, and Julia Taylor, CNS, Sydney Adventist Hospital Photography by Fiora Sacco

News in brief

Aged care


26 Day of action for aged care 28 Minister for Ageing receives Charters for Quality Aged Care 31 Ged addresses Press Club on aged care

8 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13

ANF makes recommendations regarding swine flu vaccinations Off-duty nurse saves lives Numbers of children with diabetes could double by 2020 Expert supports prescribing rights for nurses Judith Kiejda addresses California Nurses convention American nurses endorse ‘super union’ Dementia set to become ‘major disease’ of the century First NSW academic chair in palliative nursing Union membership up Nurse develops assessment tools Schoolies begin nursing career Nurses should be driven to work Family nurse project a success with disadvantaged mums Obama supports union ideals Death rates up when junior doctors arrive More young drinkers need hospital treatment Nurse Uncut

NSWNA education program 13 What’s on

Industrial issues 23 NSW Health calls halt to redundancies

2009 NSWNA Roadshow 24 NSWNA hails nurses from the Central West



Legal matters 34 The importance of admitting to our mistakes 37 Legal services for NSWNA members

NSWNA matters 38 NSWNA branch news

Lifestyle 40 Movie reviews

Notices 46 2010 NSWNA Election of Branch Delegates and Alternate Delegates 46 NSWNA Membership Fees 2010

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 Media and Communications T 9560 1223 PRESS RELEASES Send your press releases to: T 9550 3667 E THE LAMP EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Brett Holmes, NSWNA General Secretary Judith Kiejda, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Coral Levett, NSWNA President John Lyons, Baradine MPS Mark Kearin, Blacktown/ Mt Druitt Hospital Roz Norman, Tamworth Base Hospital Elsie May Henson, Barraba Multi Purpose Service Peg Hibbert, Hornsby & Ku-Ring-Gai Hospital Michelle Cashman, Long Jetty Continuing Care ADVERTISING Patricia Purcell T 8595 2139 or 0416 259 845 F 9550 3667 E RECORDS AND INFORMATION CENTRE – LIBRARY To find old articles in The Lamp, or to borrow from the NSWNA library’s nursing and health collection, contact: Jeannette Bromfield, RIC Coordinator T 8595 2175 E THE LAMP ISSN: 0047-3936

Regular columns 5 6 33 43 44 45 47

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

Competition 39 Win tickets to Cats

Special offer 39 Win one of 25 double passes to The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls



General disclaimer The Lamp is the official magazine of the NSWNA. Views expressed in articles are contributors’ own and not necessarily those of the NSWNA. Statements of fact are believed to be true, but no legal responsibility is accepted for them. All material appearing in The Lamp is covered by copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission. The NSWNA takes no responsibility for the advertising appearing herein and it does not necessarily endorse any products advertised. Privacy Privacy statement: The NSWNA collects personal information from members in order to perform our role of representing their industrial and professional interests. We place great emphasis on maintaining and enhancing the privacy and security of your personal information. Personal information is protected under law and can only be released to someone else where the law requires or where you give permission. If you have concerns about your personal information please contact the NSWNA office. If you are still not satisfied that your privacy is being maintained you can contact the Privacy Commission. Subscriptions Free to all Association members. Professional members can subscribe to the magazine at a reduced rate of $50. Individuals $70, Institutions $106, Overseas $116.

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Redundancies end, farce follows g A directive from NSW Health has put an end to voluntary redundancies in the Sydney West Area Health Service, but what’s the cost of this hasty and ill-considered plan?


directive from the Director-General of NSW Health has put an end to the offers of voluntary redundancies to nurses in the Sydney West Area Health Service. This is a sensible and welcome response to our campaign to keep experienced nurses within the already stretched public health system. There are lessons to be learnt from this debacle and a mess remains to be cleaned up (see p.23). The AHS has contractual arrangements with scores of nurses who have made other plans for their futures. Their positions now need to be backfilled and the public purse will be down millions of dollars. A hasty and illconsidered plan to save money has actually worsened the area’s budget. Hopefully, all the state’s health administrators will learn a lesson from this. Losing our most experienced nurses is not an option when searching for solutions to budget shortfalls.

More work needed on night shift penalty case The NSW Industrial Relations Commission cannot be accused of such haste or lack of consideration. It has shelved a final decision on our night duty penalty test case pending a study and risk assessment to be carried out by NSW Health and the NSWNA. The Commission expressed surprise and disquiet that NSW Health had not already carried out such a survey of NSW nurses. It also acknowledged the NSWNA provided strong evidence that there were medical risks arising from night shifts. ‘It is a matter of considerable concern that there has not been a risk assessment of night shift work by nurses in the public hospital system. Furthermore, the strength of the expert evidence of psychological and

I would like to thank the six nurses who took the witness stand on our behalf. Their evidence was a vital component of our case.

Bargaining is the only way forward in aged care

physiological harm that may derive from working extended periods of shift work weighs against a simple rejection of the case, at least on public interest grounds,’ it said in its judgement.

Losing our most experienced nurses is not an option when searching for solutions to budget shortfalls. The Commission has directed NSW Health and the NSWNA to conduct a joint study and risk assessment of nurses currently in the system over the next 12 months. The study must determine if an increase in penalty rates would lead to a change in work practices that would minimise the health risks. While it is disappointing the Commission has postponed its decision on this case for 12 months, the window of opportunity is still open to make improvements for better night duty penalty rates.

The Federal Government’s process of modernising awards has thrown up an adverse outcome for NSW nurses employed by non-government health providers (see p.21). An initial decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission sets the pay rates in the new nurses’ award well below the current NSW levels. The Association is vigorously contesting this decision but it does raise a bigger issue that we will have to confront. NSW aged care and private hospital nurses have better pay and conditions than their colleagues in other states. This is because the NSW industrial relations system, until now, has given the NSWNA the opportunity to use innovative and creative methods to achieve good outcomes as in our work value case in 2005, which resulted in a 25% pay rise over three years for aged care nurses. The terrain on which we operate is now changing and we will have to adapt to the new circumstances. Bargaining will be paramount in achieving improvements in pay and conditions. The award will provide a base level but nurses will have to organise at the workplace and exert pressure if we are to be rewarded for our hard work and professionalism. As an organisation we have been moving in this direction for several years. This latest development as the industrial relations environment evolves vindicates our preparation and highlights the need to continue this trend. Aged care and private sector employers must bargain or face losing nurses now and in the future. You cannot successfully bargain if you are not well organised in your workplace.n THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 5



LETTER of the month Julieann Kinsella

Big note of thanks Marie Florence

Measure our work in load, not time I’m greatly disappointed in the Garling Report, even though workload issues were reported. Nursing is politically controlled, as this is where we get our funding. In all the recommendations given, not one even suggested easing our workload and improving work conditions by actually increasing the number of nurses on the floor. Why is our work measured in time and not workload? Most of our patients are elderly, often delirious, demented, incontinent and, at times, verbally and physically abusive (of which I have been on the receiving end). We have to deal with demanding families (not all I admit), we’re on our feet all day, except at handover, tea break or when doing notes. The reality is there is a shortage of nurses because the tool is based on time per patient and not the acuity of each patient. So, instead of employing the number needed to care, employment is based on time only. Therefore, only the minimum numbers of nurses are employed for the time required per patient, not the other way around. I am an EEN hoping to graduate as an RN soon but I certainly don’t intend to stay working in the acute care setting or on the ward. I am 47 years old. Nursing is making me old. I go home tired, with aching legs and often no satisfaction because all I’ve done is ticked off my list, because it is such a task-orientated role that leaves little room to actually enjoy your work. Marie Florence, EEN, Mona Vale Hospital Marie Florence won the prize for this month’s letter of the month, a $50 David Jones voucher. 6 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

Big thanks to everyone involved in the Because we care campaign and especially to Ged Kearney from the ANF for her address to the National Press Club recently. Ged’s address was truly inspirational and very moving. She was most informative and determined as she brought to the audience’s attention the plight of a sector suffering badly. Despite limited resources and being faced with difficult conditions, aged care nurses are generally performing a caring and effective task with dignity for older Australians. Ged successfully showed how the sector is suffering and what needs to be done ‘now’ to help the ailing population so we can continue to deliver the best of care in a dignified manner. Because we truly do care. Julieann Kinsella, RN, Lady of Grace Nursing Home

Debbie Renshaw

Rostering concerns At the September Committee of Delegates (COD) meeting, a branch member spoke about information they had received about a new program NSW Health has set up called the Rostering Centre of

LETTER of the month

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Excellence. There was so much discussion among the delegates. According to the information sheet that NSW Health has released, it is ‘embarking on a four-year rostering program with the aim of streamlining rostering work practices, and developing and implementing an effective rostering system’. The document also goes on to state: ‘It will promote improvements in patient care quality and safety, work/life balance of NSW Health staff and their professional training needs.’ NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda stated at this COD meeting that the Union had had discussions with NSW Health and she understands this is not a proposal to introduce pattern rostering. She also stated that the NSWNA would continue to monitor this new program. My question is: Why did it take a member/delegate to raise concerns before the NSWNA shared this information with its members? I understand the NSWNA has many discussions and meetings that its members are not privy to, but I believe and most of the branch believes that rostering is very important to nurses. Hopefully the NSWNA will continue to monitor this as it has stated. Debbie Renshaw, Delegate/Assistant Secretary, NSWNA Nepean Hospital Branch Editor’s response: The current rostering program platform used by NSW Health needs to be replaced. The tender process for a new program requires expertise from workforce managers to ensure that the new program includes all the elements required for quality rostering. To that end, NSW Health has gathered rostering experts from across the system to pool their ideas and draw up parameters that ensure rostering applications comply with NSW Health policy and the nurses and midwives award conditions. This initiative is not about a centralised rostering system.

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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.

Rita Regmi

Nursing is cool I was watching TV and the ad about midwives came on. It made me very happy as I am a very proud and professionally-satisfied nurse (RN). The ad reminded me of when my eight-yearold daughter asked: ‘Mum, I know you are a nurse, but what actually do you do?’ My answer was: ‘I look after sick people and help them get better’, which did not satisfy her. I thought that it was a big question for her to ask. People who have been sick, or their family or friends have been sick, kind of figure out what nurses do. But what portion of the general public actually knows what nurses do? (Apart from giving meds, showering, making beds, and checking BP, sometimes cleaning up patient’s poo and following doctor’s orders, which was my 18-year-old’s answer to her sister’s question.) Your ad also reminded me of my unsuccessful efforts to convince one of my friend’s daughters to do nursing. Her answer was: ‘I know I did not do very well in the HSC but I am not that dumb.’ I have become curious to know people’s opinion about nurses. Even though I have not done a proper study, whenever I get the opportunity I ask people what they think about nursing. My informal findings are that people think you do not need to be intelligent to be a nurse, anybody can be a nurse, and when deciding a career path a good

employment opportunity is the most common attraction. A lot of nurses I talk to (who are not in higher positions) say they would leave nursing in an instant if they find other employment because of the employment conditions, and the fact it is not seen as ‘cool’ to be a nurse. The general public rarely knows about the dynamic role nurses occupy and the part they play in the healthcare system overall. So I wonder if we can advertise how rewarding, fulfilling, challenging (requiring not only intelligence but also a lot of other qualities.) and ‘cool’ nursing actually is? I have been a nurse for more than 12 years and I cannot express well enough to people how ‘cool’ I feel about being a nurse: how every day I get up in the morning and look forward to going to work and can’t think of doing anything else in the world. Rita Regmi, RN, Ryde Hospital

Now call me old-fashioned, but when I did my training and worked in public health, we were NOT to be seen outside the hospital grounds in a uniform, let alone seen shopping in one. Noting the amount of serious infections in hospitals such as MRSA and VRE, there seems to be a problem with infection control standards and I feel we need to lift our game and perhaps adopt the principle of only being seen in uniform at work and not in the general community. Christine Yule, RN, Coffs Harbour Legacy Nursing Home

Colin Spicer (left)

Wining and dining

Christine Yule

Don’t wear uniforms outside work I’m writing in response to the article in the October issue entitled ‘Nurses Speak out: Uniforms Are Inadequate.’ I read with interest the article about uniforms being adequate and, while I cannot comment on the issues raised in regards to the public health situation (as I am in the private sector), I do have an issue with one respondent’s comment that she had been confused for a store worker when shopping in Big W.

Thank you for the opportunity to win the weekend at the Leisure Inn at Pokolbin. The weekend was very much enjoyed and much appreciated. I think we slowly crawled our way around 10 wineries, a chocolate factory, the smelly cheese shop plus visits to Maitland, Cessnock and the Hunter Valley gardens. A most enjoyable three hours was spent sampling wine and learning how to make pasta. Adrianne, our hostess, was a delightful and most interesting person to make the acquaintance of, with the end product – our pasta meal – being most enjoyable too. Colin Spicer, RN, Wollongong Mental Health Editor’s note: Colin Spicer won the June Lamp competition.

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SWINE FLU VACCINATIONS he ANF and Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) have put forward recommendations regarding the risk of multi-dose vials for mass vaccination against the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic.


A nurse [should] be appointed to the Australian Health Protection Committee. The recommendations are in response to concerns raised by the Australian College of Physicians and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases about the heightened risk of infection transmission through the vaccination process to the public, and the fact that health professionals may not be indemnified for this risk. Since a single-dose vial usage is not an option, the ANF and RCNA have recommended that: c the Department of Health & Ageing (DoHA) develops clear guidelines for all health professionals; c DoHA endorses a collaborative approach to the development of guidelines on the use of multi-dose vials; c DoHA commits to investment in education for all health professionals engaged in the vaccinations; c a nurse be appointed to the Australian Health Protection Committee. Frontline health care workers who have direct contact with the public are among the priority groups for the vaccination. 8 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

Off-duty nurse saves lives Many nurses save patients’ lives as part of their jobs. But Amy O’Beirne put her nursing training into action while off duty, and saved lives on two occasions. Most recently, Amy, an RN who works in the day surgery unit at Bankstown Hospital, was doing a boxing and fitness boot camp at South Cronulla beach when she heard cries for help and saw the body of a man in his early 70s being dragged out of the water. ‘There were a couple of confused people so I jumped in,’ Amy told The Lamp. ‘I rolled him on his side and cleared his airway. He wasn’t breathing and was completely unresponsive – I couldn’t get a pulse. I commenced CPR and by then an off-duty policeman had arrived, so he started doing expired air resuscitation. Then I did compressions and was involved in the whole rescue until the ambulance turned up.’ Sadly, the man’s spine was severely damaged and he asked not to be kept alive. ‘But the positive thing was that he swam every day, was really fit and he was an organ donor and, in turn, he saved four other people,’ Amy said. The other incident took place a couple of months before, when Amy was in Caringbah and spotted a car crashing into a light pole. ‘The guy got out of

the car and was standing up, looking very pale and disoriented,’ Amy said. ‘I was screaming from across the road, “Sit him down!”, but before I could get there he collapsed and had a full-on epileptic seizure. He’d stopped breathing too. He bit his tongue and had occluded his airway, so I did a jaw thrust and he started breathing.’ Amy’s been dubbed a local hero and the next Florence Nightingale. ‘I think my teachers at uni would have laughed because we did a whole subject in first year on Florence Nightingale,’ she chuckled. ‘I don’t think I’d go that far.’

Numbers of children with diabetes could double by 2020 The number of children under five with type 1 diabetes could double by 2020, according to Australian researchers. Dr Tim Jones and Dr Trang Ly of the University of Western Australia also predict a 70% rise in cases of the disease in children under 15 years old. They said health professionals need to develop different and new ways to control glycemic levels in children, as many will be too young to control their own levels and may have an increased risk of hypoglycemia.

RN Amy O’Beirne has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and managed to save two people’s lives when off duty.




FOR NURSES ustralia should extend prescribing rights to pharmacists and nurses, according to a British academic. Writing in Australian Prescriber, Professor of Pharmacy at the University of London Nick Barber said extending prescribing rights, as has been the case in the UK since 2003, would improve prescribing quality and medicines access for patients. ‘If Australia widens the range of prescribers, it can avoid our errors and draw on our experiences of education,’ Professor Barber wrote.


There is a clear rationale to extend prescribing rights. In the UK, supplementary prescribing rights were introduced in 2003 and were followed by independent prescribing rights in 2006. The new prescribers work as part of a team with the doctor but are legally responsible for their own prescribing. Professor Barber said supplementary prescribing had been evaluated favourably. In 2007, after consultations lasting around 20 minutes, nurses prescribed 9.3 million items and case studies showed that patients found nurses and pharmacists easier to talk to than doctors. ‘Overall, there is a clear rationale to extend prescribing rights,’ said Professor Barber. ‘The burden of knowledge associated with medicines is vast and expanding, so it makes sense to share the task of prescribing while retaining an integrated system of care.’

NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda (right) with Canadian Federation of Nurses Union Secretary-Treasurer Pauline Worsfold (left) and Angela Gorman from National Health Service Union (UNISON) during their address to the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee national convention.

Judith Kiejda addresses California Nurses convention NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda was invited to address the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/ NNOC) national convention in September and told delegates to keep up the fight for universal, single-payer healthcare. Judith explained the benefits of Australia’s universal, single-payer healthcare system, and the ongoing challenges of maintaining and upgrading the health system. While pointing out that the health system in Australia falls short and needs improvement, Judith said she was grateful to live in a country where healthcare is a guaranteed right and would never trade this for an American-style system that depends on employer-based coverage provided by private insurance companies. Judith told delegates of her frustration with Australia’s complex system of private health insurance rebates. ‘It would be so much easier if we cut out the insurance middleman and put the money that the government puts into private hospital insurance rebates into improving the system,’ she said. Judith encouraged CNA/NNOC members to keep fighting for singlepayer/universal healthcare.

American nurses endorse ‘super union’ Formation of the largest RN union and professional association in US history has taken a major step forward after delegates at the biennial convention of the California Nurses Association/National

Nurses Organizing Committee in San Francisco voted unanimously to endorse and join the new union. National Nurses United (NNU), will unify the 86,000-member CNA/NNOC with the United American Nurses (UAN) and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), in a new 150,000-member national union. NNU is scheduled to hold its founding convention in December. ‘Let it be known this was a unanimous vote by the House of Delegates,’ said CNA/NNOC Co-President Deborah Burger, RN. ‘This is truly a historic moment and I hope it sends chills down the backs of those employers who would want to keep us down.’ The CNA/NNOC vote came on the heels of a gathering of 1,200 RNs from across the US, including large delegations from the UAN and MNA, who reaffirmed their commitment to the creation of the NNU to strengthen the ability of direct care RNs to fight to protect and improve patient care conditions and RN standards from coast to coast, to win union representation in an RN union for all un-represented RNs, to pass state and national legislation to protect patients including national RN-to-patient safe staffing ratios, and to work for guaranteed healthcare for all. ‘The entire health care agenda is up for grabs,’ said MNA Executive Director Julie Pinkham. ‘It’s a sea change – a great opportunity and a great risk.’ CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro added: ‘A unified, national nurses’ movement has enormous significance for patients and the ability of RNs to work together to improve care standards and transform our broken health care system. For direct care RNs, it means the opportunity to resist the employer onslaught on the nursing profession and secure a better future for RNs and their families.’ THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 9





OF THE CENTURY ustralia must act now to combat dementia, which is set to become the ‘major disease of the century’, an expert has warned. Glenn Rees, Executive Director of Alzheimers Australia, was reacting to figures released by Alzheimer’s Disease International in September that show there will be 115.4 million people with the disease by 2050. ‘Australia will be hit hard by this chronic health condition,’ he told The Australian. ‘Access Economics predicts that by 2050 there will be 7,400 new cases of dementia each week, and 1.3 million Australians will live with the illness.’


Those responsible for health policy must give dementia a similar level of attention and resources allocated to cancer and heart disease. The current cost of dementia to Australia’s economy is already rising, Glenn warned. ‘It is estimated at about $5 billion a year, and projections indicate that the illness will become the third greatest source of health and residential aged care spending within two decades.’ Those responsible for health policy must give dementia a similar level of attention and resources allocated to cancer and heart disease, Glenn said. This includes dementia education and training for doctors, who should work closely with nurses. ‘There is a need for the employment of practice nurses to better assess and support the active management of patients with dementia,’ Glenn said. 10 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

First NSW academic chair in palliative nursing Professor Jane Phillips will be NSW’s first Academic Chair in Palliative Care Nursing. The position was established by the Cancer Institute NSW in collaboration with Professor the University of Notre Jane Phillips Dame Australia and the Cunningham Centre for Palliative Care. Assistant Health Minister (Cancer) Barbara Perry said as the number of cases of cancer continues to grow it is vital that cancer services meet the needs of people in NSW. ‘This new position recognises the central role of specialist palliative care nurses in the delivery of quality cancer care in this state.’ Professor Phillips will provide leadership in areas of palliative care nursing research, education, models of service provision and have state-wide influence on how to optimise palliative care services. Based at the Sacred Heart Centre on the St Vincent’s Campus in Darlinghurst, the Cunningham Centre was established in late 2007 through the collaboration of the Sacred Heart Hospice, the University of New South Wales, the University of Notre Dame Australia and Calvary Health Care Sydney. This collaboration aims to create a multi-disciplinary research team well equipped to explore pressing contemporary issues in palliative care.

‘Multi-disciplinary research will effectively evaluate all aspects of the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological needs of palliative care service consumers,’ said Professor Phillips. ‘Knowledge obtained from this type of research will help us further improve the quality of life of those entering the final stage of their lives.’ Professor Phillips’ proposed program of research will involve collaborating with patients, families, nurses, primary health care workers and clinicians to improve care delivery for people with life-limiting illnesses.

Union membership up Unions in Australia have seen record membership increases across a range of industries, despite expectations of huge drops due to the economic downturn. The ANF recruited 7,000 new members in the first six months of this year, a result Federal Secretary Ged Kearney described as ‘unprecedented’. The Australian Workers Union achieved growth in the mining and construction sectors, with its Queensland branch membership rising by 14%, according to The Australian. The newspaper also reported increases in membership for the 120,000-member Australian Services Union and the Finance Sector Union. ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said a change in workplace culture since Labor gained power federally meant that more people were seeking to join a union because of the security it offered during the downturn.

WE WANT YOUR OPINION The NSW Nurses’ Association will soon be conducting a survey amongst our members. The purpose of this research is to ensure that our activities continue to meet your needs and to understand how we can improve our activities in the future. Feedback from members is crucial so we can continue to provide the best and most relevant services to our members. The survey will be conducted via email. If we do not have your email address and you would like to participate, send an email to nswna_membership@ All responses to this survey will be strictly confidential and no information will be stored, or attributed to any individual respondents.


ASSESSMENT nurse in the UK has successfully developed two assessment tools to help colleagues give intravenous Sara Wells treatment in particular chemotherapy. Sara Wells developed the Venous Assessment Tool (VAT) and the Deciding on Intravenous Access (DIVA) while working as a RN on the haematology day unit at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust (UHB). Both tools, which are paperbased, are aimed at helping nurses to assess patients for the most appropriate device to deliver medication directly into patients’ veins. Sara, who now works as a bone marrow transplant coordinator for Southampton University Hospitals National Health Service Trust, said the tools would primarily be used for chemotherapy patients. ‘When a patient is admitted to hospital with haematological problems, they may need to have a range of treatments delivered into their veins,’ she said. ‘VAT and DIVA aim to help nurses make a proactive assessment when a patient arrives to ensure the most appropriate venous access device is used.’ MidTECH, one of a network of nine regional National Health Service innovation hubs, approached 3M Health Care for support, which led to an educational grant that covered the design and production of 2,500 laminated cards to be distributed to Sara’s colleagues at UHB. Sara, who came up with the idea during research for her Master’s thesis, hopes the idea will be adopted by nurses nationally.

Year 12 students Hannah Glennon, Emily Ford, Aimee Luther, Jess Watson, Sarah Alexander and Nikita Long have completed an innovative pilot nursing program at Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Schoolies begin nursing career

Nurses should be driven to work

High-school students in Orange and Broken Hill are well on their way to a career in nursing, thanks to innovative programs by Charles Sturt University (CSU) and TAFE. Eight Year 12 students recently passed the first two subjects of a Bachelor of Nursing through a pilot scheme at CSU in Orange, which guarantees them a place on the course, regardless of their HSC performance. They will receive credits for the two subjects. CSU nursing coordinator Susan Bragg told the Central Western Daily that the students performed at university level in areas including assignment writing, referencing and clinical skills. Meanwhile, a group of Year 11 and Year 12 students in Broken Hill are taking part in a nursing course with TAFE as part of their high-school studies. The pupils are studying the Certificate III Health Services Assistance (Assisting in Nursing Work in Acute Care). ‘This program allows them to complete their Year 12 studies as well as the TAFE qualification, so they will be ready to work immediately as assistants in nursing at the end of school or will be on their way to further training pathways in health, including becoming an enrolled or registered nurse,’ said Narelle Pascoe, Head Teacher Community Services at Broken Hill TAFE.

Employers should provide transport for nurses and other shift workers to prevent them from crashing their cars while suffering from extreme fatigue, according to an expert.

Photo courtesy of Jude Keogh, Central Western Daily


A recent study that tracked 56 nurses found a significant proportion were driving while dangerously sleepy. Dr Simon Smith, a research fellow at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety at the Queensland University of Technology, said a recent study that tracked 56 nurses in Brisbane found a significant proportion of them were driving while dangerously sleepy. Nurses were asked to rate their level of fatigue each time they drove to and from work during a two-week period that included both day and night shifts. ‘There’s a scale from one to nine for sleepiness, and about 15% of the trips were rated as eight or nine, which is very sleepy – quite close to falling asleep,’ Dr Smith told delegates at an Australian Sleep Association conference last month. ‘We know from previous data that that rating is associated with a highly increased risk of crashing. We looked at 1,300 trips, so about 150 of those were made by drivers who were very sleepy.’ THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 11






MUMS T he British Government’s family nurse initiative pilots have shown some success in encouraging young pregnant women to stop smoking and to breastfeed their babies, according to research from the University of London.

63% [of babies] were initially breast-fed and more than a third were still being breastfed at six weeks. The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based nurse home-visiting program designed to improve the health, wellbeing and self-sufficiency of young first-time parents and their children. The pilots took place in 10 test sites across England and a total of 1,003 babies were born to families included in the pilots in their first two years. Of these, 63% were initially breast-fed and more than a third were still being breast-fed at six weeks. The researchers said this was ‘promising in relation to rates identified in national surveys for socio-economically disadvantaged mothers’. In addition, the study showed a ‘relative reduction’ in smoking among young pregnant women, although researchers found ‘substantial differences’ between the 10 sites. There are currently 40 pilot sites across England and another 10 will be launched by January. 12 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

Obama supports union ideals President Obama inspired delegates at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention recently. He told the audience he is committed to the same goals as the union movement: restoring the economy, getting health care for everyone and passing the Employee Free Choice Act. The Act, if passed, would give workers, not bosses, the choice of how to recognise unions in the workplace. If a verified majority of staff signed cards in support of a union, they could choose immediate recognition at that employer and bypass the need for a secret ballot. ‘Quality, affordable health insurance. A world-class education. Good jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. A strong labour movement. That’s how we’ll lift up hardworking families. That’s how we’ll grow our middle class. That’s how we’ll put opportunity within reach in the United States of America,’ President Obama told the AFL-CIO, which is a federation of 57 national and international labour unions. ‘When workers want a union, they should get a union,’ he added.

effect has been recorded in the US (known as the ‘July phenomenon’), but previous studies only looked at a small number of hospitals. Researchers from the Dr Foster unit and the department of acute medicine at Imperial College London cast their net much wider, examining data from nearly 300,000 patients in 175 hospital trusts between 2000 and 2008. They compared death rates on the first Wednesday in August with the last Wednesday in July and found the difference was most marked in medical cases, such as heart attacks and strokes, where there was an 8% increase in deaths. There was no difference in surgical cases. The researchers said it was too early to determine the reason for the rise in death rates.

More young drinkers need hospital treatment Hospitals in NSW have seen a 50% increase in the numbers of young people treated for alcohol problems in eight years.

The rise in alcoholDeath rates up when related presentation junior doctors arrive among teenagers National Health Service hospital deaths in the UK rise on the day junior doctors join bodes poorly for wards, a study has found. Each year on subsequent long-term the first Wednesday in August, a team of newly-qualified junior doctors arrives on alcohol use disorders. the wards. And on this day, the number of deaths goes up by an average of 6%. Although researchers suspected this happened, this is the first time it has been established in Britain. A similar

Each year, a team of newly-qualified junior doctors arrives on the wards. And on this day, the number of deaths goes up by an average of 6%.

Researchers, who reviewed emergency room data from 43 hospitals across NSW between 2000 and 2008, claim the trend mirrors the rise in the consumption of alcopops. ‘Analysis of routine ED databases can provide a timely insight into the social and epidemiological context of high-risk drinking,’ wrote NSW Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office Director David McGrath and fellow researchers in the Medical Journal of Australia. ‘The rise in alcohol-related presentation among teenagers and young adults bodes poorly for subsequent long-term alcohol use disorders and other risk behaviours and their consequences.’

Nurse Uncut has rapidly become a mirror that members are using to hold up to the health system and to the nursing profession, and a platform for telling the world and each other about what is important, sad, of concern, or simply what is funny.

Nurses can let their hair down, get to know each other [and] tell nursing jokes that push the limits of acceptability. The website is a bit like a staff Christmas party – a place where nurses can let their hair down, get to know each other, tell nursing jokes that push the

limits of acceptability, talk about serious professional issues, or indulge in a bit of gossip – except that Nurse Uncut is there every day of the year, the ‘staff’ on the invitation list are thousands of nurses around NSW, and nobody gets drunk. Highlights of the past month include professional discussions on issues such as walkabout turnovers, paperless record taking and the swine flu vaccine, conversations on holiday destinations and camping tips, and ‘the most dreaded specimen’ – which should have a ‘nurses only’ warning for the squeamish general public! Just like the profession itself, Nurse Uncut is all about diversity. Have you come to the party yet?

s Legal and Professional Issues for Nurses 6 November, Westmead; ½ day Topics covered include the Nurses and Midwives Act 1991, potential liability, documentation, role of disciplinary tribunals including the NMB, writing statements. Members $39 • Non-members $85 s Review & Implementation of Guidelines & Policies 6 November, Camperdown, 1 day Seminar is suitable for all nurses. Members $85 • Non-members $170 s Drug and Alcohol Nurses Forum 27 November, Camperdown, 1 day Seminar is suitable for all nurses. Members $30 • Non Members $50

TO REGISTER or for more information go to or ring Carolyn Kulling on 1300 367 962


Looking for funding to further your studies

in 2010?

The trustees of the Lions Nurses’ Scholarship Foundation invite applications for scholarships for 2010. Nurses eligible for these scholarships must be resident and employed within the State of NSW or ACT. You must be registered or enrolled with either the NSW Nurses and Midwives Board or regulatory authority of the ACT, and must have a minimum of three years’ experience in the nursing profession in NSW or the ACT. Applicants must also be able to produce evidence that your employer will grant leave for the required period of the scholarship. Details of eligibility and the scholarships available (which include study projects either within Australia or overseas), and application forms are available from: The Honourary Secretary, Lions Nurses’ Scholarship Foundation 43 Australia Street, Camperdown NSW 1450 or contact Ms Glen Ginty on 1300 367 962 or Completed applications must be in the hands of the secretary no later than 28 November 2009.




Bargaining The only way forward g Collective bargaining is the only guaranteed path to a pay rise for most aged care and private hospital nurses.

Happy members at Sydney Adventist Hospital g 7.95% pay rise for two years and improvements in professional development are part of a new proposed agreement at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

Happy with their proposed agreement: Sydney Adventist Hospital members: Julia Taylor CNS, Linda Thomson Mangnall NUM, Amanda Ledger RN, and Lee Treseder RN. 14 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

expertise and it’s our job to represent you in negotiations with your employer for a new agreement. However, we need at least 50% of staff to be members of the union before the NSWNA can commence bargaining at a workplace where the employer refuses to bargain. So if you would like an Enterprise Agreement at your workplace that delivers good pay and conditions, you’ll need to start recruiting other nurses to the NSWNA. It is vital that aged care and private hospital nurses who are not protected by an agreement contact the NSWNA and start preparing for an Enterprise Agreement now.

he Federal Government’s award modernisation process has provided a new Nursing Award, which will cover most private sector nurses working in aged care facilities, private hospitals, and private sector specialist services such as medical practices. However, the new Award provides minimum protection only, and aged care and private hospital nurses will not be guaranteed any pay rises or improvements to conditions under the award. If aged care and private hospital nurses don’t come together and bargain for an Enterprise Agreement


at their workplace, they will not be guaranteed pay increases. Collective bargaining for a new agreement is the only way you will be guaranteed any pay rises and improvements to conditions. An Enterprise Agreement with union representation will deliver nurses the fairest agreement with the best pay rises and conditions. Collective bargaining is a new concept for many private sector employers, especially for for-profit aged care employers. And it may be a new concept for many aged care and private hospital nurses. This is where your union can help. The NSWNA has the industrial


‘Members were keen to get pay parity with other hospitals, and we achieved this,’ said Julia Taylor, CNS at SAH, who c 3.9% pay increases in wages and allowa has taken part in the nces each year for two years fro m the first full pay pe bargaining process. riods in July 20 09 and July 2010. ‘We also won c NUMs are now inc luded in the Agreeme recognition for nt. c On call rates have continuing education been standardised an d increased. The ordina and seniority within ry rate is now $3.08 pe r hour. Being on call on the nursing ranks. a day off now attracts $5. 20 per hour. We got a pay rise for our Grade Four c Increase to CNS an d CNE rates: An addit ional nurses who met $109.30 per week wil l be paid. certain criteria and c PRP RN Grade 4 is now included in the for our CNSs.’ classification structure with increased Importantly, remuneration ($1,340p w). NUMs have c Paid parental leave includes nine weeks been included maternity/ adoption leave and fi ve days paternity lea in the two-year ve. c Nurses now have agreement. the option to cash ou t tw o weeks of annual leave Another so long as there is tw o weeks leave in reserv achievement is the e. Annual leave can als o be tak en in single days if there standardisation of is mutual agreement. on call rates for c Telephone allowance is set at $20 per calen dar staff throughout month or part thereo f. the hospital. ‘We discovered that a lot of our on call people were getting different payments,’ Julia explained. ‘We ended up with a good pay rise for them, both maternity or adoption leave and five during the week and at weekends. days paternity leave. Everyone will get the same on call According to Julia, the bargaining allowance and the rate is above award.’ process was smooth, thanks to the Other key wins include paid helpful union organiser and the industrial parental leave that includes nine weeks expertise of the NSWNA.n

he NSWNA is close to finalising a new agreement with Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAH) in Wahroonga that offers 3.9% pay increases in wages and allowances each year for two years.

‘The bargaining process was smooth, thanks to the helpful union organiser and the industrial expertise of the NSWNA.’ Julia Taylor, CNS, Sydney Adventist Hospital

Key features of the proposed Agreement




Miriam Sheehan (seated, front right) with colleagues at Sutherland Heart Clinic.

Heart clinics show some heart g Bargaining wins 3.9% pay rise for two years at Sutherland and Eastern Heart Clinics.


he NSWNA and nurses at Sutherland Heart Clinic have negotiated a draft agreement that will deliver a 3.9% pay rise in January 2010, and a further 3.9% rise from January 2011. ‘We asked the Union to step in and help in bargaining because the NSWNA has the expertise and knows what is coming up at other workplaces,’ said Miriam Sheehan, CNS at the clinic, who was part of the bargaining team. It was important for staff from different sections of the clinic to have a say, she said. ‘There are different issues in the labs and Coronary Care Unit (CCU), so we needed both sides represented. Nurses in CCU work 12-hour shifts, whereas staff in labs work Monday to Friday. Shift workers get extra annual leave if they work Sundays and public holidays. The clinic asked that rather than looking at it in terms 16 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

of so many Sundays and public holidays, we look it per hour. For example, if staff worked two 12-hour Sundays, it would be equivalent to three eight-hour Sundays, so it makes sense to consider it by the hour.’

Miriam maintains it was bargaining that improved their current conditions, and recommends other private sector nurses also get together and start bargaining for an agreement. The proposed Agreement maintains conditions from the previous agreement and provides more flexible arrangements for mothers returning from maternity leave, with the provision to work eighthour days. Sutherland Heart Clinic negotiated a draft agreement with the NSWNA in just

four weeks, showing its high regard for nurses. ‘We have a good employer that treats us well,’ said Miriam. ‘As well as above award wages, they also give us a longevity bonus after we’ve been there 18 months and our super also includes 9% of the bonus.’ Miriam maintains it was bargaining that improved their current conditions, and recommends other private sector nurses also get together and start bargaining for an agreement. ‘Apathy will make you lose you out,’ she warned. ‘You need to get together with your colleagues and discuss what you want in an agreement. Don’t just wait for your employer to offer conditions.’ Although Miriam was initially ‘daunted and confused’ by having to bargain for her wages, she said that with the help of the Union, she’d be confident to do it again. ‘We are happy with the result at Sutherland Heart Clinic,’ she said. Sutherland’s sister clinic Eastern Heart Clinic has negotiated the same draft agreement. Members at Sutherland and Eastern Heart Clinics are expected to vote on the draft agreements in early November.n

Finally, a fair deal at Peninsula g After initially rejecting a non-union agreement, nurses at Peninsula Village have won a new enterprise agreement, with assistance from the NSWNA.


n June 2009, nurses at Peninsula Village were facing the prospect of pay cuts and a reduction in leave entitlements. Management at the aged care facility on the Central Coast tried to push through a collective agreement that aimed to exclude unions just one week before the start of the Government’s Fair Work laws. At the time, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda branded the move ‘outrageous and un-Australian’. ‘Nurses would have lost their job titles and there were no guaranteed wage increases over the life of the four-year agreement,’ she said in the August issue of The Lamp. Members reactivated their local NSWNA branch, and agreed to vote against the non-union agreement. On members’ behalf, the NSWNA stepped in to ask Peninsula to come to the bargaining table to start negotiations for a fair agreement that did not reduce standards and guaranteed wage increases. Peninsula has now offered its staff an Enterprise Agreement based on the ACS template, negotiated by the NSWNA, Aged and Community Services Association and HSU. Over 50 aged care employers have

Peninsula Branch member Claire Nicholson (left) and Branch President Daphne Ferguson campaigned to secure a fair agreement for nurses at Peninsula Village.

offered nurses agreements based on this template. The two-year agreement at Peninsula Village will see staff receive a 3% pay rise in November 2009 and another 3% from the first full pay period after July 2010. The new agreement also offers improved conditions such as nine weeks’ paid maternity and adoption leave and one week paid paternity leave, 20% casual loading, and nurses’ classifications remain.

‘This is an excellent result for nurses working at Peninsula,’ said Judith Kiejda. ‘If staff had accepted the employer’s non-union agreement they would be far worse off in terms of wages and conditions. Instead they are now reaping the benefits of collective action, which delivered a very good agreement. ‘It is a positive move for the employer to adopt the ACS template agreement and we congratulate them. It shows they value their staff.’n

‘This is an excellent win for nurses working at Peninsula. If staff had accepted the employer’s non-union agreement they would be far worse off in terms of wages and conditions. Instead they are now reaping the benefits of collective action, which delivered a very good agreement.’ Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 17



Steps to negotiating an Agreement

How to get an Enterprise Agreement g Collective bargaining between employers and employees, represented by unions, is the main way to get pay increases and better conditions. Here’s how to use bargaining to win better pay and conditions.


All members can have a say.


Determine your claims for an Agreement. It is important your claims are formulated through surveys or meetings of members and are relevant to your workplace. NSWNA can give you a copy of our recommended claims for your sector.

Enterprise Agreements

nt is ion Collective Agreeme The new name for a Un ment ree nt’. An Enterprise Ag an ‘Enterprise Agreeme ir the h wit rgain collectively means employees ba . ion un ir the istance of employer with the ass must include: Enterprise Agreements major ltation in the event of c provision for consu for ion tat en res rep d workplace change an sultation; employees in that con with safeguards; c a flexibility clause st be n process, which mu c a dispute resolutio Fair (eg rty pa ependent conducted by an ind es to ye plo em w allo st Work Australia) and mu be represented. length must be a maximum Enterprise Agreements of four years. h as: can include content suc Enterprise Agreements c pay increases; nursing workloads; c processes to set other allowances; c qualification and tion; rticipate in union educa c paid time off to pa te pu dis n in consultation or c union participatio s; settlement procedure c paid parental leave; ve t nurses want to impro c anything else tha s. their working condition


An NSWNA representative at your workplace needs to talk to members to hear what members want in the Agreement. If your employer owns more than one facility, contact the others and build a network of nurses.


Meetings of members need to be held to endorse the claims. A log of claims should be formulated and voted on by members. If agreed, the Association will initiate bargaining with your employer.


Negotiations need to be genuine.


What happens when a proposed Agreement is reached.

It is important to keep notes to prove that genuine bargaining has been attempted or has occurred.

A copy of the proposed Agreement will be provided to the relevant employees to consider for a minimum period of seven days. After this time, a vote of the affected employees will take place. If the majority of those who vote approve the proposed agreement, it is submitted for approval to Fair Work Australia.

TO GET AN ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT, CALL THE NSWNA If you do not have an agreement at your workplace, or your current agreement is about to expire, the first step is to call the NSWNA on 1300 367 962 for advice and assistance in bargaining with your employer.


NOW Dealing with difficult employers The new Fair Work laws require both employers and unions to act in good faith. This means: c

If your employer refuses to bargain for an agreement and the majority of nurses and staff can prove they want an agreement, the NSWNA can help you to apply for a ‘majority support determination’. If you are successful, your employer, by law, must start negotiating with the Association.


Unions and employers must:

1 2 3

Ask your colleagues to join the Union so you will be in a stronger bargaining position.

Arrange a meeting of interested nurses and have a plan to make sure as many employees as possible are union members. Remember to include casuals. Form a workplace union committee to develop a list of issues that are important to nurses – issues you would like dealt with in an Agreement. Call the NSWNA office to get some tips on how to go about this.

attend and participate in meetings at reasonable times;

disclose relevant information (other than commercial-inconfidence or commercially sensitive information) in a timely manner;

respond to proposals in a timely fashion;

Under the new work laws, your employer must:

give genuine consideration to the proposals of other parties, and provide reasons for responses;


refrain from capricious or unfair conduct that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining.

advise you of your right to have a bargaining representative, which is the NSWNA – unless you personally nominate otherwise;


recognise and bargain with the NSWNA.

If your employer fails to do this, the Union can ask Fair Work Australia to issue a bargaining order.



Want to make the last cut? Nurses, midwives, apply to attend the Association’s sponsored 2 day NIDA short film making workshop. Frances Usherwood who was the winning film maker from this year’s festival with her film Robo-Nurse attended the NIDA workshop in January this year, along with 13 other nurses sponsored by the NSWNA from across NSW. Frances said she found the NIDA workshop ‘amazingly useful’, and said ‘it gave me the confidence to work on and produce my film as I had the opportunity to meet all the other

budding film makers and share ideas with them’. Frances said ‘For everyone considering making a short film for the 2010 festival, I highly recommend it. The process of creating Robo-Nurse provided myself and my colleagues with a sense of community as we were creating something together. I’d really encourage nurses to take this opportunity to build a world with film and tell a story to all the hundreds of nurses and members of the community who will watch this short film festival.’


Check out the Association’s website to: — View the 2009 Nurses’ Short Film Festival films. — Apply for sponsorship to attend the 2 day NIDA short film making course. — See Rules and Conditions for the 2010 Nurses’ Short film Festival.

The NSW Nurses’ Association Short Film Festival is proudly sponsored by: 20 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009



Awards overhaul threatens pay g The Federal Government’s sweeping award modernisation process has thrown up anomalies and consequences that could impact on the pay of private sector nurses in NSW.


ward modernisation aims to reduce the current 4,000 state and federally-based awards and industrial instruments to approximately 150 ‘easy to find and apply’ modern awards. This enormous and complex rationalisation has led to some employees on award wages being adversely affected. In a decision that is being challenged vigorously by the NSW Nurses’ Association, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission set the pay rates that would apply nationally in the new nurses’ award at a level considerably below the current NSW rates. Nurses who earn the current minimum of $738 a week are faced with an $88 a week pay cut. An RN with eight years’ experience could lose $295 a week. Following union pressure, the Federal Government has created ‘take home pay orders’ which, it says, will prevent wages and conditions from being cut in this way. The NSWNA has raised its concerns about the practicality of applying and implementing these orders.

The goal is to promote bargaining NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes says the AIRC decision will not affect nurses who are protected The NSWNA and the ANF have made stron by enterprise agreements g representations to the Federal Government but could affect thousands and Fair Work Australia to strengthen the protec of aged care and other tio n in the new nurses’ aw ard: private sector nurses who c Union pressure ha rely on the award. s led to the creation of ‘take home pay orders ‘The problem is ’, which are intended to prevent a cut in wage concentrated in the fors; c Our submission to profit sector of the NSW Fair Work Australia pu shes for a delay in the imple aged care industry where mentation of the award to allow more enterprise bargaining is time for nurses to win secure enterprise ag a relatively new concept reements; introduced under c The ANF and NSWN A met with senior WorkChoices. The charitable advisors to Minister for Industrial Relation providers have largely s Julia Gillard, who ha s agreed to support the embraced bargaining, NSWNA submission to delay for two years but the for-profit sector the implementation of the new pay rates; has been highly resistant c NSWNA General Se cre tary Brett Holmes ha and used WorkChoices s outlined the plight of aged care nurses in to justify a virtual pay a letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and urged freeze for three years,’ him to intervene. he said. ‘We have told both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard they must intervene in this process as a matter of urgency.’ Brett said there is a sobering lesson to be drawn from this process. ‘From now on, bargaining is the only way private sector nurses will be able to improve their pay and conditions. The award is merely a basic level of protection. ‘Over the past few years the Association has managed to work with many aged care nurses for agreements where good improvements in pay and conditions have been won. ‘We need to maintain this trend and it will require nurses to become organised to achieve good results, particularly in those workplaces where recalcitrant employers refuse to negotiate fair agreements with their staff.’n NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes


‘The decision will not affect nurses who are protected by enterprise agreements but could affect thousands of aged care nurses who rely on the award.’


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NSW Health calls halt to redundancies g The Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) has withdrawn offers of voluntary redundancy to frontline nurses following a directive from the Director-General of NSW Health.


ore than 60 nurses had been offered and accepted the voluntary redundancies prior to the directive. With the withdrawal of the offer, these nurses are left in a legal limbo. The NSWNA is now looking at their legal avenues. It is believed it will cost in the vicinity of $7 million to meet contractual obligations to these nurses and to backfill their positions. One hundred and thirty-seven positions were initially tabled for redundancy. Thirty-six positions, mainly at Nepean Hospital, Auburn Hospital, Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital and Westmead Hospital, were lost as the SWAHS had made offers of redundancy and accepted them prior to consultation with the NSWNA. Following the directive that no frontline positions were to be made redundant, the SWAHS withdrew 62 frontline clinical positions from their list. The NSWNA accepted that another 20 positions were genuinely redundant in the nurse manager restructure. NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes welcomed the withdrawal of the redundancies to nurses, but said lessons need to be absorbed. ‘We accept there are serious budgetary problems in several area health services, but any plan to solve these problems still has to be consistent with the clinical needs of the health system,’ he said. ‘The Garling Report and many subsequent Federal Government reports into health have provided a blueprint for the future. In all of these reports there is one constant theme: experienced nurses hold the public health system together; we are facing a demographic time bomb where many of these nurses are poised to retire and the retention of these experienced nurses is critical.

‘What on earth was the SWAHS thinking when it targeted these frontline positions, without consultation, for abolition?’ Brett said. ‘It is vital that lessons be learnt from this fiasco. This rash and poorly thought-through plan to save money has actually worsened the area’s

budget. The already low morale of many nurses has taken another hammering. ‘Hopefully, all the state’s health administrators will learn a lesson from this. Losing our most experienced nurses is not an option when searching for solutions to budget shortfalls.’n

INVALUABLE SKILLS ARE LOST Barbra Monley, a CNE at Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital, said she was shocked that experienced nurses were part of the voluntary redundancy plan. ‘I was hugely surprised, knowing that the State Government had said no frontline nurses would be lost. I assumed that any nurse applying for voluntary redundancy would be rejected. It was contradictory to everything the State Government had announced,’ she said.

‘The whole system seems to be in a very confused state.’ Barbra Monley, CNE at Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital.

‘The staff involved from my hospital had applied for redundancy, so they had reviewed their personal situations. I hold no blame towards the individual or local management, but when the Government is attempting to attract nurses back into nursing, while at the same time seeing senior nursing numbers being reduced in the wards, the whole system seems to be in a very confused state. ‘What will the outcome of these actions be in a few years? What position will nursing hold in the health system? These are the questions that need to be considered now to prevent chaos later.’ THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 23



Roadshow organiser Ronelle Kiernan took a break from driving to enjoy the countryside.

f s e s r u n s l i a h A N W S N g The NSWNA kicked off its 2009 Roadshow with a visit to hardworking members working in public and private hospitals, health services and aged care facilities in Central Western NSW.


SWNA officials and Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda hit the road in late September for an exhausting but exhilarating roadshow to Central Western NSW. Over five days and around 1,800 kms, the NSWNA team visited 29 hospitals, community health services and aged care facilities from as far afield as Trundle and Canowindra to further inland at Orange and Bathurst. 24 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

Judith said the annual roadshow is a highlight on the NSWNA calendar and provides an important opportunity to meet with members at their workplaces and hear and see first hand issues that are concerning them. ‘Across the Central West we heard the same message time and time again: nurses are under huge pressure because there are not enough nurses and poor skills mix. There are not enough experienced, senior nurses for nurses to be able do their jobs safely. ‘Right across the Area Health Service, management has relied heavily on the goodwill of our members going beyond the call of duty to provide safe patient care. However, this is becoming less and less possible as resources become more and more stretched and the skills mix becomes more diluted, while the demand for more complex care continues to rise,’ said Judith. ‘From what I saw, Central West nurses have had enough.’ Along with hearing members’ concerns, the NSWNA team was able

to able to help resolve a number of recruitment problems on the spot while visiting the hospitals. ‘We found a number of vacant frontline positions, which we were able to discuss with Area Health Service management and secure commitment to filling those positions immediately. Members had been trying to get these positions filled for months and they were absolutely delighted we could get this commitment. ‘The gratitude from our members on resolving these recruitment issues alone made the entire trip worthwhile,’ said Judith. Visiting the tiny town of Canowindra, near Cowra, added a very special dimension to the Central West tour for Judith. It was a return to her home town and the Canowindra Soldiers Memorial Hospital where she was born and did her first placement as a newlygraduated RN. While exhausting, the Central Western Roadshow was exhilarating for the NSWNA team, who have come home with a long list of issues for resolution.n

C e h t from

t s e W l a r t en Judith Kiejda recruits new member Margaret McKellar.

Visiting members at Canowindra Soldiers Memorial Hospital added a very special dimension to the roadshow for Judith Kiejda. It was where she was born and did her first placement as a newlygraduated RN. Appearing outside the Canowindra Health Service are (from left) Melissa Workman, Tharon Hutchings, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda, Julieanne Sigsworth, Clarissa Spencer and Sarah Gillan.

Judith Kiejda met Merryl Atcheson RN (right) during the visit to Orange Base Hospital.

Nurses at Orange Base enjoyed well earned tea break.

Liz Tanswell RN, Jody Luck RN, Kay Page EN, Bev Thompson RN, Di McGrath EN, Nancy CareyBerryman EEN, and Suzanna Santiagoo RN from Trundle MPS. THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 25



Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner (right) with ANF (Victorian Branch) Assistant Secretary Yvonne Chaperon and ANF (Victorian Branch) Professional Officer Mark Staaf.

Staff at Cardinal Freeman Nursing Home in Ashfield held a morning tea for nurses and residents.

Debbie Lang (left) and NSWNA Professional Officer James Figallo (right) gave out postcards to community members such as Val (centre).

Day of action g Nurses from across Australia spread the word about respecting aged care at last month’s national Day of Action for Aged Care.



now and icy cold winds didn’t stop NSWNA and ANF members determined to raise community awareness about aged care. On Wednesday 7 October, they ran stalls and organised activities at nursing homes across the country, collecting thousands of postcards to send to MPs. In NSW, approximately 1,700 postcards were collected from seven community stalls in electoral seats Richmond, Bennelong, Robertson, Dobell, Lindsay and Macquarie, and four nursing home events at Cardinal Freeman in Ashfield, Rotherham in Ryde, Kanandah Retirement Village in Mudgee and Miranda Aged Care Facility. At Kanandah Retirement Village,

local MP Mark Coulton marked the Day of Action by visiting the facility the day before. He expressed a wish to receive thousands of postcards, as he has a father in a nursing home and was sympathetic to the Because we care cause. Linda Langton, RN at Miranda Aged Care Facility, and her colleagues used the Day of Action to educate staff at the home about the Because we care campaign. Enticed by pizzas and chocolate, around 25 nurses attended the event. ‘Some staff came in their lunch hour and others came in on their day off,’ said Linda. ‘We talked about the campaign and its objectives and how we can make a difference. They took postcards for their family and friends to sign and they’ll bring them back to me so I can deliver them to our local MP.

From ANF Tasmania, Sue Becker and Trish Ashby attended a high tea.

Members from Queensland Nursing Union (QNU) were active in collecting signatures for local MPs. L-R: NSWNA members Mary Ann Rofe, Linda Langton, Tewai Bishop, Carol Graham-Anderson and Raissa Galanos enjoyed pizza while spreading the message about the Because we care campaign to nurses at the Miranda Aged Care Facility.

Members from Queensland Nursing Union (QNU) were active in collecting signatures for local MPs.

for aged care ‘The event was a great opportunity to let nurses at the home know that the NSWNA and ANF are working hard for aged care nurses, to bring their conditions and wages to the attention of politicians,’ Linda continued. ‘It’s good to know the Union is backing us up.’ The response from a stall in a shopping mall at Gosford was extremely positive, according to Debbie Lang, RN at Gosford Private Hospital. ‘Not one person knocked us back,’ she said. ‘We explained what we were doing and that our purpose was to raise awareness of aged care and to lobby the Government to get more funding to improve aged care, and we had people walking up to us. People were so keen to sign the postcards that they waited in line to get a card. They were very happy

to sign and even brought their family members back. They’d say, “I’m going to meet my husband or daughter” and would bring them to the stall to sign a postcard.’ Around 300 postcards were signed on the day and Debbie was pleasantly surprised by the different types of people who were keen to support the campaign. ‘Even teenage mums came up and said, “I’ve got a nan in aged care.” A lot of people who work in aged care also came past and our stall got their attention. People were really happy to sign and we were thrilled.’ In Queensland, members held 40 events; while in Melbourne the focus was on attending appointments with local MPs to discuss aged care issues. This included a meeting with Finance Minister

‘People were so keen to sign the postcards they waited in line to get a card.’ Debbie Lang, RN.

Lindsay Tanner. Tasmanian members held a ‘high tea’ with around 20 nurses, and members in NT visited nursing homes in Alice Springs to talk about the Because we care campaign.n THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 27



Minister for Ageing receives Charters for Quality Aged Care g The ANF handed just under 20,000 charters signed by aged care nurses and the community as part of the Because we care campaign. Brett Holmes (left) and Ged Kearney (right) hand the Charters for Quality Aged Care to Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.


round 45 people turned up at Amaroo Aged Care Facility in Tweed Heads last month to see Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot accept just under 20,000 Charters for Quality Aged Care, which call on the Federal Government to properly fund aged care. The ANF’s Charter for Quality Aged Care was the first part of the Union’s Because we care campaign, which aimed to boost funding for aged care in the next Federal budget. NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes attended the handing over of the Charters to the Minister for Ageing. ‘There has been a huge groundswell of support behind the campaign, from both aged care workers and the wider community,’ he said. ‘It’s important that the Federal 28 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

Government sticks to its promise to improve aged care. The fact we have so many charters signed shows how strongly aged care nurses and the public feel about the issue.’ ANF General Secretary Ged Kearney told the Minister, ‘The ANF believes that key reforms must be made in aged care to boost the numbers of nurses and trained staff and to halt a decade-long decline in their numbers. We need to adopt minimum staffing levels and close the $300 a week pay gap between aged care staff and those working in public hospitals.’ The Minister said she was pleased to accept the charters and reaffirmed her commitment to aged care. She also praised Blue Care which hosted the event at Amaroo, for the leadership it showed in bargaining and having a good workplace agreement that showed commitment to its staff.n

L-R: Anne Stevens (Organiser, QNU), Jo Smith (Organiser, QNU), Lynette Flanaghan (Organiser, NSWNA), Stella Topaz (Professional Officer, NSWNA), Ged Kearney (Federal Secretary, ANF), Lee Thomas (Assistant Federal Secretary, ANF), Brett Holmes (General Secretary, NSWNA).

Executive Director Stephen Muggleton of Blue Care, which hosted the event, welcomes attendees.

Residents at Amaroo witness the handing over of Charters to Minister Justine Elliot.

Ged Kearney and Brett Holmes with student nurses at Amaroo. THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 29

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Ged addresses Press Club on aged care g ANF Secretary Ged Kearney calls on the Government to fulfil its pledge to improve pay and working conditions for aged care nurses.


t’s time to start building an aged care system we can be truly proud of. That was the message delivered by ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney in her speech to the National Press Club in September. Before an audience of journalists and other guests, including the Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot, Ged told the nation – via a live broadcast from the ABC – about the plight of aged care nurses, who struggle with poor pay and understaffed nursing homes. ‘Even in the best-funded, best-run centres it needs only one thing to go wrong for things to go seriously off schedule,’ she said. ‘In fact, it is really only manageable on a good day. Our members tell us that nursing homes are constantly understaffed. All it takes is for one worker to call in sick or one person to be called away urgently for family reasons and workloads become unbearable. If a replacement worker cannot be found, the other staff must pull together to ensure their elderly residents still get bathed, dressed, get their meals and medication. The pressure is unrelenting.’

Being forced to cram an eight-hour workload into seven or even six-hour shifts, together with a shortage of the right mix of staff, means residents, as well as nurses, are suffering, said Ged. ‘Under-staffed, overwhelmed, insufficiently supported, our nurses and carers are sometimes asked to choose which crying, bewildered resident to help first. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, in the 21st century, with all the wealth our nation has recently accumulated, our aged care nurses and carers should not have to be practising a form of triage. They should not have to be choosing whose pain is worse and whose urgent need is the most urgent of all. They should not have to be spending their valuable time on unnecessary administration because the system that supports them is badly designed. They should not have to be muddling along, cutting corners and stretching resources that extra inch further until they are at breaking point and finally snap. Our aged care nurses and carers are doing a heroic job on our behalf, for the people we love. ‘But they are battling against a system that will not support them,’ Ged continued.

Ged Kearney told journalists and the public about the problems of the aged care sector.

‘Our Government, our society, we ourselves, are letting them down and in the process letting our elderly people down. It is time we did something about it. The time to start is now. In fact, we have little choice. Because if we do not start now, the rapid ageing of our population means we will soon be swamped.’ Ged called on the Federal Government to fulfil its pledge to address wage disparities between the aged care and hospital sectors, improve training, introduce minimum staffing levels and ensure that a portion of the funding for aged care is set aside to improve wages and conditions. Finally, she called people’s attention to the ANF’s Because we care campaign and invited the press and guests at the National Press Club to view the campaign DVD featuring aged care nurses and patients’ families. ‘We cannot escape the implications of an ageing population any more than we can escape the ageing process ourselves,’ said Ged.n A copy of Ged’s speech is available in full on the ANF website at THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 31

Be part of the effort to improve Indigenous health “Being accepted as part of the local community was the highlight of my experience. I would go back there in the blink of an eye if I could; the people were amazing and so inspiring.” Mary, Registered Nurse and RAHC Participant. We need registered nurses to fill short-term placements in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Placements are paid and from as little as three weeks.

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32 THE LAMP Funded by theNOVEMBER Australian2009 Government


Q & A




public hospital and I am responsible for preparing the rosters. I would like to know what the gazetted public holidays are over the Christmas/New Year period and also for 2010.

Rosters should allow OH&S meetings I am on the OH&S Committee in a large public hospital and every time we have a scheduled meeting or need to do an assessment the rosters are arranged in such a way that I am not able to attend without leaving the area really shortstaffed. There have been occasions when I have not been able to attend a meeting due to staffing levels. I always provide plenty of notice to my manager of the meeting dates and feel that I should not miss these meetings due to lack of roster planning. What are my rights in this situation?

The public holidays over this period are: c Christmas Day: Friday 25 December 2009 c Boxing Day**: Monday 28 December 2009 c New Year’s Day: Friday 1 January 2010 **Please note this day is in lieu of, and not in addition to 26 December 2009. The holiday is automatically transferred from the Saturday. In addition, employees are entitled to an extra public holiday during the Christmas/New Year period each year, which is in lieu of the August Bank Holiday. The suitable day is agreed between the employer and the Association. The staff rostered to work on that day will be entitled to public holiday rates. In the private sector the same public holidays apply for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The additional public holiday can generally be observed in the following way: 1. On the August Bank Holiday; or 2. On a date that is agreed upon between an employer and the Association; 3. As an additional public holiday between Christmas and New Year, provided that such day is taken between Monday to Friday (inclusive) on a day that is not gazetted as a public holiday.

In the first instance, you should discuss with the person who does the rosters (and with your manager, if they are a different person). In terms of your rights, s.136 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 is very clear that it is an offence under the Act to ‘obstruct, hinder or impede any authorised official in the exercise of the official’s function’. This includes members of the OH&S Committee. By not facilitating your attendance your manager may be breaching this section of the Act. Should there be no improvement in rostering practices after you have discussed the issue, you need to contact the Association for further assistance.

Public holidays over Christmas I am the NUM of a surgical unit in a


The gazetted public holidays for 2010 are: c New Year’s Day: Friday 1 January 2010 c Australia Day: Tuesday 26 January 2010 c Good Friday: Friday 2 April 2010 c Easter Saturday: Saturday 3 April 2010 c Easter Monday: Monday 5 April 2010 c Anzac Day: Monday 26 April 2010 c Queen’s Birthday: Monday 14 June 2010 c Bank Holiday: Monday 2 August 2010 c Labour Day: Monday 4 October 2010 c Christmas Day: Saturday 25 December 2010 c Boxing Day: Monday 27 December 2010

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The importance of admitting to our mistakes g Former NSWNA General Secretary Patricia Staunton gave an address to the 2009 NSWNA Annual Conference on nurses’ legal responsibilities in the delivery of care. She had a crucial tip: admitting your mistakes can defuse a situation.


urses and midwives are in daily contact with the law – just think of all your clinical record taking and drug administration, for example. However, for many the law can seem like an alien, dry and daunting subject. This makes Patricia Staunton’s address at the 2009 NSWNA Annual Conference all the more remarkable. While it is usually an employer, rather than a nurse or midwife, who is litigated against for the negligence of an employee, awareness of what is expected of the profession in terms of duty of care can save lives, and sometimes careers, too, Patricia said. In assessing whether a nurse’s duty of care has been met in accordance with accepted standards, a judge will assess the evidence that is provided by one’s professional peers, and reference will also be made to the patient’s clinical records. If what occurred falls below the

standard that should have been expected by reference to peer professional opinion – that is, what other Australian nurses or midwives think should be done in the same situation – then the judge will be able to establish that the nurse was in breach of her duty of care. With regards to daily nursing and midwifery practice, Patricia emphasised the importance of good clinical habits. If something happens that puts a nurse’s practice into the spotlight of legal inquiry, lawyers will trawl through the patient’s clinical notes to determine what was and wasn’t done. If a nurse administered a drug, or raised a concern with a doctor, but failed to write it down in the clinical notes, she will have no way of proving what she really did. ‘Make sure you have the habit of contemporaneous note taking,’ Patricia urged. ‘Write legibly. Learn to report objectively, and contemporaneously, instead of at the end of each shift, and

avoid shortcuts in the delivery of care. You might be able to get away with shortcuts eight times out of 10, but there will come a time when you won’t,’ she warned. Patricia also emphasised the



NURSES & MIDWIVES You are invited to hear Patricia Staunton address important professional and legal issues for nurses and midwives. 2 – 5 pm 26 November 2009 Kerry Packer Auditorium RPA No cost but RSVP essential . Email RSVP: Carolyn Kulling at

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importance of asking questions: ‘If in doubt, question and clarify. I cannot endorse that strongly enough. Learn to question. Learn to record that you’ve questioned or asked for clarification, and don’t ever be embarrassed or ashamed to say, ‘Look, I’m not sure. I’m a little uncertain about this.’ The surprise message for many nurses and midwives was the importance of acknowledging when a mistake is made. When things go terribly wrong and a patient dies or is badly injured, the staff reaction in most medical settings is to retract into a cone of silence, Patricia said. Nobody will tell family members what went wrong and consequently relatives become angry and upset and, therefore, are more likely to turn to the courts to find out what happened. ‘I have heard relatives in court saying they wouldn’t be there except nobody would talk to them; it was the only means they had of finding out what happened,’ Patricia said. Indemnity insurance companies tend to encourage nurses and midwives to stay silent to avoid the risk of liability, but Patricia said silence can be the least productive path.

A better course of action, she suggested, is to acknowledge mistakes and apologise. Section 69 of the NSW Civil Liability Act allows for an apology to be made without it being legally interpreted as an admission of fault or guilt. According to the NSW Civil Liability Act, Patricia explained, an apology is an expression of sympathy or regret, or a general sense of benevolence or compassion, and she argued it is something that needs to be practised more often in the clinical setting. ‘Most people don’t genuinely want to litigate if they can avoid it. Some do, and you’ll never talk them out of it, but most people just want answers, and if somebody would just sit down with them and say, ‘I made a mistake,’ or ‘we made a mistake, and this is where we went wrong,’ you will be surprised how understanding people will be. I believe apologies would cut down on a lot of litigation,’ said Patricia. A new DVD series, Law for Nurses and Midwives, will explore these issues and many others in greater detail. Patricia Staunton was instrumental in the production of the DVDs, which will be released and promoted in the coming months.n Nurses and midwives can also join the discussions on how to react when things go wrong, and on clinical note taking on Nurse Uncut:

PATRICIA STAUNTON An experienced voice on nursing and the law

The Honourable Patricia Staunton, AM, is well-known to many of our members. During 15 years of service for the NSWNA she worked as an organiser, legal officer, Assistant General Secretary and finally as General Secretary between 1987 and 1995. Patricia is a qualified RN and midwife with postgraduate training in intensive care nursing. She also holds a law degree from London University and a Masters in Criminology from Sydney University. She was a member of the NSW Legislative Council, before taking up a position as a Magistrate, and was later appointed Chief Magistrate of the Local Courts of NSW. Patricia was then appointed to the Industrial Court of NSW. Nobody is better qualified than Patricia Staunton to speak about nursing and the law, or to articulate how interesting and important the law can be for nurses and midwives.


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Legal services for NSWNA members g The NSWNA is on hand to provide important legal services to members.


ustice Patricia Staunton’s speech at this year’s annual conference reminded us how important the law is for nurses. ‘Nobody begins their nursing career expecting to appear before a court or tribunal, but the reality is that many nurses do. In most cases it is not because of personal misconduct, but simply because a nurse has been witness to a critical incident in which a patient has died or been seriously injured,’ said NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes. Nurses care for people when they are at their most vulnerable, and critical incidents are as commonplace in many wards and workplaces as medication trolleys and vital signs machines. They are a part of the job. Sometimes, though, they can turn the vulnerability stakes around, and nurses can find themselves thrown into an unfamiliar world of lawyers, tribunals and judges. ‘The NSWNA has a full-time team of legal officers who represent and help members in Coronial Inquiries, Health Care Complaints Commission Inquiries and in the NSW Nurses and Midwives Board. The NSWNA is here to help nurses

‘The NSWNA has a full-time team of legal officers who represent and help members in Coronial Inquiries, Health Care Complaints Commission Inquiries and in the NSW Nurses and Midwives Board.The NSWNA is here to help nurses when they are at their most vulnerable.’ NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes.

when they are at their most vulnerable,’ said Brett. NSWNA legal officers guide hundreds of nurses through unfamiliar legal terrain, but for every nurse who finds themselves in the uncomfortable chair of a court room, there are many more who attend seminars or access the Association’s other, less visible legal services. Every time a nurse or midwife needs advice or clarification about an issue, there is somebody at the NSWNA who can provide answers and advice. ‘Members are always coming to us with valid questions about their legal and professional concerns, like whether or not it is acceptable to receive money from a grateful patient, or what they should do

if they suspect a senior nurse or doctor has done something wrong, or failed to do something that the member thinks is important,’ said Brett. The NSWNA believes prevention is the best cure, which is why the Association organises dozens of seminars and conferences each year on legal and professional issues and co-produces resources and videos to educate nurses about the law. Members can find information about legal seminars in The Lamp, or on the Association’s website. In the coming months, the NSWNA will also be releasing and promoting a new video series, Law for Nurses and Midwives, which will be an additional educational tool for Australian nurses.n

LAW FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES The NSWNA is producing Law for Nurses and Midwives in conjunction with Patricia Staunton. The series will comprise seven chapters across five DVDs, and will explore and explain the Australian legal system, professional negligence, standards

of care, compensation, professional misconduct, patient record taking and the importance of communication. In addition to Patricia Staunton’s contributions, the series will also include insights from Joan Englert, who was President of the NSW

Nurses and Midwives Board from 1990 to 2004, lawyer and barrister Yvonne Grant, and Bret Walker SC, who was President of the NSW Bar Association between 2001 and 2003 and is one of Australia’s leading barristers. THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 37



NSWNA Branch News

Photo courtesy of Steve Gosch, Central Western Daily.

ns get active in campaig g NSWNA members ate achievements. br le ce d an , ts es ot pr and

A small group of Orange women known as Friends Assisting the Community and Orange Base Hospital Auxiliary have donated $30,000 worth of equipment to Orange Base Hospital, including three portable ECG machines, wheelchairs and blood pressure monitors. From left are Nurse Unit Managers Gail Simpson and Leanne Casey, acute services manager Brad Molenkamp and Friends Assisting the Community members Kerrie Foster, Robyn Colley and Wilga Morgan.

Photo courtesy of John Bannon, Cooma Monaro-Express.

Mathew Anderson will be the last trainee nurse to graduate at Cooma Hospital, with the TAFE-based Certificate IV in Nursing moving to larger hospitals. Congratulating Mathew on his certificate are Shannon Constance, Daniel Kelly, Eileen Pevere, Maree Hatton, Elizabeth Mendez and Kim Anderson.


Professor Lynette Russell (centre) welcomes two visitors to Sydney University’s History Week exhibition at the Nursing History Research Unit.

An education day for the Better Services campaign was held in Wollongong on Friday 25 September. Appearing from left are NSWNA Information Officer Helen Smith, Chisholm Ross Centre Delegate Sipho Nthakomwa, Chisholm Ross Centre Delegate Anna Wurth, and Unions NSW Deputy Assistant Secretary Adam Kerslake. In a great show of dedication, Sipho arrived to the training day after a night shift, travelling all the way from Goulburn without any sleep. Union NSW heads the Better Services campaign.

Nurses at Ballina District Hospital’s Meryl Brown Rehabilitation and Transitional Care Ward celebrated Rehabilitation week with some well-deserved rehabilitation of their own. Appearing from left are Carolyn Donald, Urel Smith, Anne Westaway, Toni O’Keeffe, Brett Singleton, Emma Smith, the coffee supplier Rebecca Zentveld, and Tracey Beck.



Photo courtesy of the Ballina Shire Advocate

Riviera Health Management pledged to support the national Because we care campaign. From left are support managers Nerendra Gounder, Katrina Sharp and Robert O’Shea.

It’s been 15 years since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical Cats played in Sydney, but it’s back for a limited season from May next year at the Lyric Theatre in Star City. Featuring the poignant hit song ‘Memory’, a fantastical set, inspired choreography and mischievous costumes, Cats is a brilliant song and dance spectacular not to be missed. Boasting a cast and crew of 53 including a live band, Cats tells the imaginative tale of a tribe of Jellicle Cats as they gather together for the annual Jellicle Ball, and one by one tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, who must choose one of the cats to journey to the Heavyside Layer to be ‘reborn’ into a new life. The Lamp is offering members the chance to win one of two great prizes in connection with this legendary show.

FIRST PRIZE Two nights at York Apartment Hotel and two tickets to Cats on Sunday 16 May 2010, for the 3pm performance. Situated right in the middle of Sydney’s CBD, The York by Swiss-Belhotel offers spacious, fully serviced studio, one and two-bedroom suites. Each comes with modern appliances including a fullyequipped kitchen, open-air balcony, laundry and large living and dining areas. The hotel sits almost on top of the Harbour Bridge, only minutes from Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour and Pitt Street shopping mall.

SECOND PRIZE Two tickets to Cats on Sunday 16 May 2010, for the 3pm performance.

Delegates from the Coffs Harbour Hospital Branch decided to work on their resolutions in the Coffs Harbour Airport after their Sydney flight was delayed by four hours. From left are Branch Secretary Amanda Short, Vice-President Jen Ryan and President Sue White.

To enter this month’s competition, simply write your name, address and membership number on the back of an envelope and send it to: Cats competition PO Box 40, Camperdown, NSW 1450. Competition closes 30 November 2009.




Capitalism: A Love Story g This is a classic Michael Moore movie and if you loved his others, this will not disappoint, says O’Bray Smith.


et me start by saying I have (in my mind) a love affair with the beautiful Michael Moore and was eager to see this film. I was not disappointed. I was not, however, prepared for the magnitude of despair and anguish that he obviously felt and portrayed in every scene of this movie. It was like watching an old colleague keep banging their head against a wall out of complete frustration with the system. It was brilliant but sad, engaging yet terrifying and days later I still haven’t figured out how I feel. Moore pushes


THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is the first time that the irrepressible Kiwi entertainment double act, Jools and Lynda Topp’s extraordinary personal story has been told. It has often been said that if the story of the Twins was fictional, 40 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

and pulls you into a web of heartache, frustration and anger. It’s an emotional roller coaster and completely exhausting. A special warning goes out to justice health nurses: be prepared to witness the devastating future of privatised prisons. Luckily Moore pulls us out of this depression with hope. The movie shows us that the trade union movement is alive and is ‘kicking and screaming’ for social justice and equality. Basic human rights and dignity are fought for and won back by hard-working, unionised Americans.n Capitalism: A Love Story opens on 5 November.

Review by O’Bray Smith, RM, RPAH



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Dorian Gray g This gothic period piece is enjoyable but not entirely faithful to the Oscar Wilde novel it’s based on. Go and see it anyway, says Megan Barker. Review by Megan Barker, CNE, RPAH, Sydney


elcome to the prim and proper, hedonistic and debaucherous city of London in the late 19th century! Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel on aestheticism and morality has been made into a new film starring Colin Firth and Ben Barnes. Knowing I was going to be seeing this movie, I returned to the bookshelves of my youth to re-read The Picture of Dorian Gray. Admittedly, I didn’t get through the whole book before seeing this movie, but I needn’t have worried. The movie takes the premise of the book, without the cleverness of Oscar Wilde. The mood is sinister throughout, and Wilde’s moral of the story is certainly made clear by the end. Somehow the sporadic use of Wilde’s dialogue made the movie as a whole lack dimension, but the attention to detail in regard to costumes and scenery is excellent. I was particularly impressed with Colin Firth playing Lord Henry Wotton and Ben Chaplin playing Basil Hallward. I do, however, confess to being a fan of Colin Firth, especially in the roles that give him a dark side. This movie does that, but he doesn’t seem as comfortable in the role as he was in Easy Virtue, another movie in which he played alongside Ben Barnes. Barnes was tolerable as Dorian, but it was like he didn’t understand the role. Despite the above criticisms, I enjoyed this film. It was a fabulous escape on a rainy, miserable evening, not too taxing on the brain, and there was just enough suspense to keep me interested. Do not see this film if you are a fan of Oscar Wilde, though, as you will find it lacking, but if you enjoy a period piece with a twist, this might just be for you. I have deliberately not talked much about the plot, as it would give too much away. Go see the movie.n Dorian Gray opens on 12 November






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The College of Nursing creating nursing’s future Physical assessment for nurses: A practical approach Develop your skills in physical assessment and learn how to conduct a head-to-toe, neurological, cardiac, respiratory, abdominal and musculoskeletal assessment. The DVD and the study guide provide the nurse with a self-directed and self-paced learning experience. This Physical Assessment Package may be used in a variety of ways. Individual Study The DVD, in conjunction with the study guide, may be used as a self-directed, self-paced learning package for the individual nurse. Small Groups The DVD can be used in small groups to provide the stimulus for discussion on any of the physical assessment topics included in the package. Classroom Instruction A teacher can use the DVD to provide visual demonstration of physical assessment skills to facilitate learning when instructing a large class of students. Reference Material The Physical Assessment package represents a valuable resource in a Nursing Library where students can view and refer to the study guide at their convenience. This DVD and the accompanying Study guide were produced by The College of Nursing with the assistance of grants from Baxter. 42 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

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Medical Murder

Book me Basic Concepts of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (7th edition) By Louise Rebraca Shives, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), RRP *$71.00 : ISBN 9780781797078 The updated seventh edition of this respected learning text delivers the clinically essential content psychiatric and mental health nurses need to practise with confidence. Spanning the continuum of care, this edition will help you excel in a range of settings, improve client and family education skills, and build the selfawareness you need as a member of the interdisciplinary care team. The book’s wealth of new learning features and dynamic full-colour design combine to create an engaging knowledge-builder you’ll turn to again and again.

Mosby’s 2010 Nursing Drug Reference (23rd edition) By Linda Skidmore-Roth, Elsevier, RRP *$44.00 : ISBN 9780323066518 If you are going to buy one drug handbook, this should be the one. No other drug handbook enables you to access reliable drug information quicker. With an A-Z organisation, each drug is easy to find. But what’s even better is the fact that Mosby’s 2010 Nursing Drug Reference gives you the most complete drug information for each drug, including uses, side effects, and

interactions. Key nursing considerations are identified to help you assess, administer, evaluate, and teach your patients. Instructions for giving drugs by various routes (PO, IM, IV) are also included.

Clinical Companion for Medical-Surgical Nursing (6th edition) By Donna D. Ignatavicius, Christine Winkelman, M. Linda Workman and Kathy A. Hausman, Elsevier, RRP *$44.00 : ISBN 9781416051893 The Clinical Companion for Ignatavicius & Workman: MedicalSurgical Nursing: Critical Thinking for Collaborative Care is an easy-to-use, A-Z guide to 240 common medical-surgical conditions and their management. Written in reader-friendly, direct-address style, this handbook is a convenient quick reference that students can carry with them on clinical days.

Theoretical Basis for Nursing (2nd edition) By Melanie McEwen and Evelyn Wills, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, RRP *$65.00 : ISBN 9780781762830 This text is possibly the most contemporary and comprehensive nursing theory textbook on the market today. Written in an easily understood style, it reflects current content course needs by addressing the underlying information needed to understand and

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,

PUBLISHERS’ WEBSITES c Allen & Unwin: c Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: c Elsevier Australia:

By Dr Robert M Kaplan, Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99 : ISBN 9781741756104 Medical Murder goes beneath the scrubs, behind the operating theatre doors and into the minds of medicine’s most notorious and infamous characters. Dr Kaplan unearths their twisted motivations and grapples with the chilling paradox of why these healers spend years learning and practising the techniques of preserving life only to use their position and skills to tear it away. apply theory to practice. One of the most popular aspects of this text is how it presents shared theories from other disciplines, such as the sociological, behavioural, and biomedical sciences, and relates them to nursing practice, research, education, and administration.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing By Sheila Videbeck, Wolters Kluwer Health/ Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, RRP *$71.00 : ISBN 9780781764254 Now in its updated fourth edition, this popular text is designed for undergraduate nursing programs that teach a shortened or integrated psychiatric-mental health core course. The book presents sound nursing theory, therapeutic modalities and clinical applications for the major DSM-IV-TR disorders across the treatment continuum, from hospital to home setting. The text uses the nursing process framework and emphasises assessment, therapeutic communication, neurobiology and psychopharmacologic intervention. Features focus on developing student self-awareness, communication skills, and utilising family and community resources. A bound-in CD-ROM and companion website offer numerous student and instructor resources, including clinical simulations, psychotropic drug monographs and movie viewing guides.n *Price in Australian dollars at time of printing. THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 43



Nursing research highlights g The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing continues to provide an excellent forum for new and original research and analysis for Australian and international nurse researchers. Below is a selection from the latest edition. Fear of falling Stephen Harding and Andrew Gardner (University of Adelaide). The purpose of the paper is to describe the ‘fear of falling’ phenomenon, to raise clinicians’ awareness and to consider the associated risk factors. Fear of falling can be experienced in any clinical setting or within people’s own homes. The paper argues that individual clinicians and the treatment and care teams should consider fear of falling in people with a disordered gait or balance, or in the months following a fall, particularly where there is a recognised decline in ‘recent’ activity or obvious activity avoidance and changes in patterns of activity. Fear of falling is an under-recognised phenomenon. This paper suggests a range of assessment tools and outlines some management options that are available to clinicians in order to address the problem of fear of falling. c

The psychosocial needs of families during critical illness: comparison of nurses’ and family members’ perspectives Trish Kinrade (Social Worker, Geelong Hospital), Alun C. Jackson (University of Melbourne) and Jane E. Tomnay, (School of Rural Health, University of Melbourne). The purpose of this paper is to explore the needs of relatives whose family member is unexpectedly admitted to an Intensive Care Unit and compare ranked need statements between family members and nurses. This is a descriptive study using the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory (CCFNI) to measure, rank and compare a series of need statements. The research was conducted in an ICU in regional Victoria. Comparative analysis of the data revealed that there were minor differences identified in the rank order of the need statements listed in the CCFNI among nurses and family members. A comparison with previous studies also identified minor differences in both the rank order of individual need statements and the five factor analysis categories previously established. 44 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009

The researchers concluded that the CCFNI continues to be a good diagnostic tool in family needs assessment. c

The breast or bottle? Women’s infant feeding choices in a subsequent birth after a previous Caesarean Section Dr Pam McGrath and Mrs Emma Phillips (International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research, Central Queensland University). The objective of the study was to explore, from mothers’ perspectives, the experiences and decision making associated with a subsequent birth following a Caesarean Section (CS) of which feeding their newborns was a specific focus. This article presents the sub-set of findings on infant feeding choices. Twenty women who had given birth at Redland Hospital after experiencing a previous CS were invited to participate. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted six weeks postpartum. The findings identify that mothers fell into three different attitudinal groups regarding their decision making with respect to feeding their newborn. The first perspective was based on a strong commitment to breastfeeding, which was often maintained in the face of quite significant difficulties. The second perspective was a complete refusal to breastfeed and a clear decision to bottle feed made prior to the birth and adhered to irrespective of alternative advice or persuasion. The third perspective was an initial desire to breastfeed that was easily thwarted by difficulties. The findings emphasise the importance of facilitating for CS births an environment that promotes bonding and breastfeeding by ensuring, where possible, that there is no separation of mother and baby after the birth, maximum opportunity for skin-to-skin contact, time for the mother to breastfeed the baby in the period immediately after the birth and no supplementation of breastfeeding with formula.

The success of the midwife or maternity nurse in relation to supporting breastfeeding was, in part, impacted on by the mother’s pre-determined approach to feeding the newborn. Breastfeeding support for attitudinal groups one and three were most likely to be successful, while the second group was refractory to nursing breastfeeding assistance. c

Pursuing the golden mean – moral decision making for precarious newborns Dr Tamara Zutlevics (Patient Ethicist, Children Youth Women’s Health Service, Visiting Scholar Flinders University, South Australia). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a need, and develop a process, for moral decision making regarding precarious newborns. This paper argues that it is imperative for health-care institutions to develop a formal process of ethical review for decision making regarding precarious newborns. Broadly, precarious newborns are those that are either born with congenital anomalies that are either life threatening or pose a risk of significant morbidities, and extremely premature babies who are otherwise physically normal. After identifying some of the reasons why decision making regarding these infants is particularly fraught, some examples are used to draw out the problems that arise in the absence of a formal decision-making process. The authors conclude that Aristotle’s metaphor of the golden mean provides a framework for a moral decision-making process, which can be beneficially utilised in complex cases involving precarious newborns. The decision making process advocated in the paper is briefly characterised as a cooperative discursive one, based on inclusive representation and underpinned by core ethical principles such as non-maleficence, beneficence, justice, and transparency.n c

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

















17 19



21 22






1. 3.

For local or external application (7) The pair of bones forming the upper jaw (7) Non-invasive illness (6) Anaphylaxis, …….. reaction (8) Local dilation of a blood vessel (8) Sharp, sudden (5) Relating to the spine (6) Keratinised portion of the dorsal extremity (4) Twist, squeeze (5) Observes, notices (4)

6. 8. 9. 12. 14. 15. 16. 17.



19. 22. 24. 26. 27.

Standard, mean (4) Wound, sore, tissue damage (6) Nauseous, uneasy (6) Relating to the wrist (6) Renal organs (7)



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7.

Shine bone (5) Worldwide spread of disease (8) Pigmented growth (4) Lower extremities (4) Type of addiction (10) Relating to older people (10)

10. Invasive disease, progressively worse (9) 11. Caisson disease (5) 13. Erosion or loss of skin or membrane (5) 14. Relating to the contraction of the heart (8) 18. Breathe out (6) 20. Fungi (5) 21. To speak unclearly (4) 23. Unwell (3) 24. Affirmative (3) Solution page 47 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 45



2010 NSWNA Election of Branch Delegates and Alternate Delegates


ursuant to the Industrial Relations Act, 1996, Robert Leslie Whyburn will be the Returning Officer for the election of branch delegates and alternate delegates to the Annual Conference and the Committee of Delegates of the NSW Nurses’ Association.

NOMINATIONS Nominations in writing are requested on and from 1 January 2010 for the following positions: Branch delegates and alternate delegates to the Annual Conference and the Committee of Delegates. Each branch shall be entitled to elect such delegates according to the number of financial members in that branch as at 31 December 2009, as follows: (information as to the number of financial members in each branch is available from each branch secretary, or the NSW Nurses’ Association, telephone 1300 367 962) c 50 financial members or less:1 delegate c 51-130 (inclusive) financial members: 2 delegates c 131-300 (inclusive) financial members: 3 delegates c 301-500 (inclusive) financial members: 4 delegates c 501-750 (inclusive) financial members: 5 delegates c 751-1000 (inclusive) financial members: 6 delegates c 1001-1250 (inclusive) financial members: 7 delegates c 1251-1500 (inclusive) financial members: 8 delegates c 1501 financial members or more: 9 delegates

Each branch shall be entitled to elect alternate delegates equal to the delegate entitlement of that branch, provided that a branch shall be entitled to elect at least 2 alternate delegates. NOTE: A person may nominate for one of these positions only. Candidates for election to the position of branch delegate or alternate delegate are required to be financial members of the Association at the date of opening of nominations i.e. 1 January 2010. A person is not eligible to nominate for, be elected to, or hold any office in the Association, Committee of Delegates or branch thereof if: (i) such person holds any office in any other registered trade union or a like or kindred nature or having objects similar to the objects of the NSWNA other than the Australian Nursing Federation, (ii) such person has been, within the period of 2 years immediately preceding the date of nomination or election, dismissed from any office or position in accordance with rule 14 of the Association’s Rules. Pro forma nomination forms may be obtained from the returning officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, c/- NSW Nurses’ Association, 43 Australia Street, Camperdown or from NSWNA (telephone 1300 367 962) or from the member only section of the Association’s website (

CLOSE OF NOMINATIONS Nominations must be received by the returning officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, not later than noon on Wednesday 24 February 2010. They may be hand delivered to Returning Officer, Robert Leslie Whyburn, c/- NSW Nurses’ Association, 43 Australia Street, Camperdown; posted to P.O. Box 239, Camperdown, 1450

or faxed to (02) 9565 2747. Nominations received after the time and date specified will not be accepted. Nominations cannot be lodged with the NSW Nurses’ Association. Any defect in a nomination must be rectified by the candidate prior to the close of nominations. A candidate may only withdraw his/her nomination in writing so as to be received by the returning officer prior to the close of nominations. Should more than the required number of nominations be received a draw will be conducted to determine the order of candidates’ names on the ballot paper at 43 Australia Street, Camperdown at 12.00 noon, Tuesday 2 March 2010. Candidates or their representatives are invited to witness the draw.

VOTING If the election is contested a postal ballot will be conducted. All members of the relevant branch of the NSWNA financial as at noon, Wednesday 24 February 2010 and entitled to vote will be sent a ballot paper on Tuesday 9 March 2010. The ballot will close at 5.00pm, Thursday 25 March 2010. The method of voting to be observed for this election will be first past the post. Any candidate in a contested election may nominate another person to act as their scrutineer at the counting of the ballot. Candidates should ring the Association to ascertain the date and time of counting. Members should ensure that the Association is aware of their current residential address as voting material will be posted to each member’s residential address. Any enquiries concerning this election should be in writing or by fax and be addressed to R L Whyburn. Robert Leslie Whyburn, Returning Officer for the 2010 NSW Nurses’ Association Election

NSWNA Membership Fees* 2010


embership fees for members of the NSWNA will be increased effective from 1 January 2010 as listed below.

Members who pay their fees by account will be invoiced these new rates in December 2009. Members who pay their fees by Direct



Quarter Month Fortnight

Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife


$150.25 $50.08


Enrolled Nurse





Assistant in Nursing1, Assistant in Midwifery, Enrolled Nurse Traineeship, Residential Care Nurse


$105.25 $35.08



Debit or Automatic Credit Card Payment will be charged the new rate from the first debit on or after 1 January 2010. Employers who deduct fees via your payroll system have been asked to deduct the new rate from the first full pay period in 2010. We ask that members check their pay slip to ensure that their pay office is deducting the correct amount.n * NSWNA fees are deductable and all inclusive of GST 1 Trainee AiNs have the first year’s fees waived.


DIARY DATES Conferences, seminars, meetings SYDNEY, HUNTER & ILLAWARRA The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Nurses’ Association NSW & ACT 9th Annual Conf. & Dinner. 6 Nov, 9am-5pm. Dinner starts at 6.30pm, Harbourview Hotel, North Sydney Cost: $70 (conference only) / $100 (conference & dinner). Contact: Kerrie Cooper, 8382 1111, Sydney West Wound Interest Group Lecture Day – with guest lecturer Jacqui Fletcher, a leading tissue viability expert, from Uni of Hertfordshire 9 November, 5-6pm refreshments, 6-7.30pm lecture, Our Lady of Consolation Aged Care Hall, Rooty Hill. Contact: Jill Sparks, 8887 4484, Nurses Christian Fellowship Professional Breakfast 14 November, 9am, Koorong book shop, West Ryde. Contact: Jane, 9449 4868 Acute Care Seminar ‘Patients are becoming sicker on our wards – how to manage them.’ 20 Nov, 8am–4.30pm, Crown Street, Wollongong. Cost: $50. Contact: 4222 5120/4222 5100, Paola. Wollongong Hospital Annual Acute Care Forum: Promoting excellence in nursing practice, aimed at improving critical care skills for all nurses. 20 Nov, 8am-4.30pm, Wollongong Hospital Auditorium. Cost: $50. Contact: 4222 5120/4222 5100, Paola. John Hunter Hospital – Staff Health Professional Day 20 Nov, 8.30am–4pm, John Hunter Hosp, Newcastle. Cost: free, lunch provided Contact: Staff Health Unit, 4921 3501/ Leonie Crowder, leonie.crowder@ St Vincent’s & Mater Health Sydney Nursing Research Symposium 2009: ’Phoenix Rising: Nursing Research At SV & MHS Back On The Agenda’

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.

26 Nov, St Vincent’s Clinic Function Room, 438 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst Contact: Liz McInness, 9739 2528, INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS Leadership & Practice Development in Health Conference: ‘Quality and Safety through Workplace Learning’ 19 March 2010, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, TAS. Contact: Anna Boyes, (03) 6231 2999,

Reunions Wollongong Hospital Graduates 40th Reunion 7 Nov. Venue: TBA. Seeking graduates Contact: Carolynne Macdonald, 4228 8936, WWBH 1908 – 1993 ’I Remember When’ Reunion – for staff of WWBH prior to transition to Riverina Health Service 13–15 November. Venue: various. Contact: Mary Saligari, 6932 3002, MARSDEN 40th Reunion 14 November. Contact: Ronnie James or Virginnia [Lawrence] Watt, 9842 2355 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital PTS Jan 1970 – Jan PTS 40 Years Reunion 5 January 2010. Venue: TBA Contact: Robyn Newman (née Eglington), 9971 4880, Macquarie Hospital – 50 Year anniversary reunion 1959-2009 Date and venue: TBA. Contact: Susanne Russell, 9887 5682, Sabrina Lobo, 9887 5902 Prince Henry & POW July 1979 PTC 30-Year Reunion Date: TBA. Contact: Gill Longbottom, 0402 848 542/ Karen Mcguire(Gilliman), 0408 269 414/ Lynne Dive (Mccarthy),

Other notices Treatment for Alcohol Use and Trauma Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Study If you have suffered serious trauma or distress, you can participate in this study. Sponsored by NSCCH, RPAH & National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre. Contact: Dr Claudia Sannibale, 0414 385 149, Volunteers required The Health Promotion Service for Older People is looking for volunteers (both male & female and 50+) to educate older people on health topics. Contact: Habib/ Barbara: (02) 9281 3588 or 1800 451 488 (free call) or health@ Lecture ‘Interrogating Death and Dying: Legal, Biomedical and Social Perspectives’ – Presented by Centre for Health Governance Law & Ethics and the Sydney Law School 6 Nov, 9am-4pm, registration from 8.30am, Sydney Law School, New Law Building (next to the Fisher Library on Camperdown Campus) Uni of Sydney. Cost: $50. Contact: ’Controversies in Public Health – Lecture Series 2009’ 19 Nov, Eastern Ave. Complex, Uni of Sydney Camperdown, 5.30pm: refreshments, 6–7pm: lecture. Topic: Whither primary health care in Australia? Cost: free. Contact:

NSWNA Events Upcoming NSWNA Committee of Delegates (CODs) Meetings 17 November

Crossword solution

Canterbury Hospital PTS July 1969 Seeking interest. Contact: Lorraine Barton (née Hardy), 9773 6223, lorraine.barton@optusnet.

Branch Officials’ and Activists’ Training Program

2009 Negotiation & Advocacy Part 1 1 day, 9am-4pm for branch officials and activists c Wed 18 Nov, NSWNA Camperdown

Negotiation & Advocacy Part 2 ‘The IRC, NMB and You’ 1 day – 9am-4pm Target group: those who have completed the Negotiation and Advocacy workshop in 2008 or Part 1 in 2008. c Wed 18 Nov. NSWNA Camperdown Full details will be sent to branches via General Secretary Circulars. For more information contact Vicki Anderson at the NSWNA. Metro (02) 8595 1234 • Rural 1300 367 962


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).

Send information to: Editorial Enquiries Email: Fax: 9550 3667 PO Box 40, Camperdown NSW 1450

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.

group, you now must send information about your event as above.

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

Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups is now part of Diary Dates. If you are a special interest

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

Diary Dates are also on the web –

Send us your snaps




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Nurses and Midwives Board of New South Wales

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST The Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW is seeking expressions of interest from Clinical Nurse Consultants (or similar level), who are working in clinical practice, for membership of the Nurses Practice Committee. The Nurses Practice Committee is a committee of the Board established under section 12(A)(4) of the Nurses and Midwives Act 1991, involved in the accreditation of courses leading to enrolment or registration of nurses, and other activities as requested by the Board. The Clinical Nurse Consultant should be a registered nurse in NSW, and preferably demonstrate understanding and/or experience in course curriculum development and the Board’s requirements of courses leading to registration or enrolment as a nurse. Nurses who wish to submit an expression of interest must be supported by professional references from their senior nurse manager and other professional nursing peers. Referees (a minimum of two) should provide their name, position, relationship to the applicant, and contact details. Referees will be contacted by the Board’s officers for checking of references. Interested persons should submit a detailed curriculum vitae, with name, registration number and contact details, to: The Registrar (EOI Practice Committee) Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW PO Box K599, Haymarket, NSW1238 Nurses wishing to make inquiries regarding the Practice Committee may contact either Kim Bryant, Professional Officer or Alan Brown, Professional Officer at the Board on telephone: (02) 9219 0222.

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

Free legal advice#


Conditions apply

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

Newcastle T (02) 4953 9500

New offices in: Parramatta T (02) 9806 7222

Canberra T (02) 6214 3200

Visiting Offices Camperdown T (02) 9261 1488

Wollongong T (02) 9261 1488

Appointments for regional members can also be arranged. 50 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009




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Registered Nurses (4 positions) Community Care – Warnervale Part Time 16hrs/wk Toronto Nursing Home – Casual Booragul Nursing Home - Part Time 54hrs/ft and Casual Registered Nurses provide leadership, coordination and participation in the care of our residents. We are looking for motivated and energetic RN’s with a commitment to providing quality care to aged residents. We welcome enquiries from RN’s looking to return to the workforce! The Community Care position requires the availability for on call work. Site car is also available during business hours for this position. Essential Requirements: Registered Nurse “List A” with the NSW Nurses Registration Board Desirable: Ability to work in a flexible, multi-skilled team environment with advanced interpersonal, communication and customer service skills Tertiary qualifications in Geriatric Nursing or demonstrated competence in that field Experience in the Health, Aged Care or Community Services Sectors or a demonstrated understanding of these sectors 82604 Salary and conditions are in accordance with the Anglican Care NSWNA & HSU Enterprise Agreement 2009. Enquiries: Jodie Marshall, Human Resources Officer 02 4958 0059 Close Date: 30th November 2009 All applications should address selection criteria and be addressed to: Human Resources Manager, Anglican Care, Toronto Rd, Booragul 2284 or Benefits of joining Anglican Care: Career Development, Paid Parental Leave, up to $16,049pa Salary Packaging, Flexible Working Conditions and Staff Immunisation Program. All applicants are subject to a pre-employment medical and criminal record check.

At Anglican Care - it’s not just a job, it’s a career!

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nnn%fiXe^\%ejn%^fm%Xlfi nnn%fiXe^\Ylj`e\jj%Zfd%Xl G%')-*0*/),' THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 51

Win a fabulous 3-day luxury retreat

to the Hunter Valley Start paying your NSWNA fees by Direct Debit for the chance to win a three-day, luxury retreat at Parrot Stump Farm in the Hunter Valley. Just 2 hours drive from Sydney, Parrot Stump Farm in the foothills of the Lovedale area offers luxury, self-contained accommodation in a country home set in 12 hectares of vineyards and landscaped gardens with its own on-site cellar door. Our lucky Direct Debit winner and a friend will enjoy three nights’ mid week, luxury, country-home accommodation at the Parrot Stump Farm at Lovedale; three-course dinner and bottle of wine at Mojo’s on Wilderness Restaurant; two-course lunch and bottle of wine at Leaves and Fishes restaurant; massage; wine tasting on site; cheese platter; and a tasting pack of Midnight’s Promise wines.

Here’s how you can win • cancel your payroll deductions and start paying your fees through direct debit and you will go in the lucky draw and/or • convince your colleagues to convert from payroll deductions to direct debit and you, and each of your colleagues who switch to direct debit, will go in the lucky draw and/or • sign up a new member using the direct debit method of paying their fees and you, and the new member, will go in the lucky draw.

Photo courtesy of: Anson Smart/Tourism NSW

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 52 THE LAMP NOVEMBER 2009 Alternatively call the NSWNA on 8595 1234 (metro area) or 1300 367 962 (non-metro area) for more information.

The Lamp November 2009  
The Lamp November 2009