News Bulletin 9th June 2011

on 9 June

From NZ media this week 

Kiwi nurse wins Florence Nightingale medal
A New Zealand nurse, Andrew Cameron, has been awarded one of the world's highest nursing honours, the Florence Nightingale Medal.

First-Year Nursing Graduates Make Their Mark
A group of 89 first-year registered nurses were recognised in a special graduation ceremony at Waikato Hospital today (Tuesday May 31).

New Zealand's aged care sector 'in crisis'
New Zealand's aged care sector is where the pre-school sector was 20 years ago - unregulated, with an untrained workforce and in crisis, says Greens MP Sue Kedgley.

Adolescents in New Zealand face a gauntlet of dangers putting them at unprecedented risk, a major Government report says

Integrated services for adolescents urgently needed to reduce social and psychological morbidity
The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) welcomes Sir Peter Gluckman’s report to the Prime Minister which makes recommendations on reducing social and psychological morbidity during adolescence. This is an important step towards making adolescent issues more visible and addressing the needs of this group more effectively. To ensure that adolescents grow into healthy and productive adults we need to make sure that they are well supported throught heir journey into adulthood.

Nearly two-thirds of patients turning up to Taranaki emergency departments aren't sick enough to be there

Nurses against refusing ED treatment
Turning patients with minor ailments away from the emergency department is unsafe and unethical, New Zealand Nurses Organisation professional nursing adviser Suzanne Rolls says. <> 

Doctor calls for ED refusals for minor conditions
Health workers are opposed to a suggestion that patients arriving at emergency departments with minor conditions should be turned away.

Southern Cross Healthcare Group, the private healthcare provider and insurer, has taken its first step towards building a national general practice network, with a minority stake in a north Auckland clinic.

NZ launches the Rights of Children and Young People in Healthcare Charter
A ground-breaking new charter which sets out the rights children and their families have when receiving health care in New Zealand is being launched today by the Children's Commissioner.

New Zealanders urged to ‘just do one thing’ to take action against child abuse
Child abuse prevention organisation, Child Matters  today launched the booklet, How Can I Tell?  - an educational resource available to the public to help people know what to look for and know what to do.<>  

Health organisations oppose any change to Pharmac
A wide range of New Zealand health professional organisations have voiced their opposition to any changes to current intellectual property and patent provisions concerning medicines being included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) New Zealand and six other countries are currently negotiating this free trade agreement with the United States (US).

New Series Aims To Make Mental Health Sector 'Media Savvy'
The Mental Health Foundation and Like Minds, Like Mine today launch a new online series taking an inside look at the media and how organisations working within mental health can better tell their stories.

Public Health Association media release 1 June 2011
The Public Health Association (PHA) is questioning government proposals to disestablish and merge a number of crown agencies, including The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) and the Health Sponsorship Council.

A parenting model based on pre-European times and aimed at tackling child abuse in the Maori community is being promoted by child advocacy organisation Te Kahui Mana Ririki - though a historian questions its accuracy.

The biggest killer of teenage New Zealanders is the target of a new campaign.

Retired Temuka doctor Rodger Hilliker is still interested in improving his community's health care services.

Foreign health bills top $19m
Foreign patients treated in New Zealand hospitals owe the system at least $19 million.

Drug sold at dairies puts young man in mental unit
Anguished father wants substances such as Kronic synthetic cannabis banned.

Parents unaware of risk, says rehab expert
A health professional who has seen the destructive effects of synthetic drugs such as Kronic believes…

An internal Child, Youth and Family report has revealed the extent of the neglect and misery many children suffer before they are taken into state care.

From international media sources 

Consultants must involve nurses at bedside
Matrons at a large hospital trust have changed ward rounds to prevent consultants from leaving bedsides until they have discussed a series of questions about the patient with nurses.

Oz nurses more stressed?
Australian nurses are more likely to report high job strain than their New Zealand counterparts, the early data from a major longitudinal study has found.

Hospitals Overhaul ERs to Reduce Mistakes
Hospitals are implementing a handful of initiatives to reduce medical errors and avoid missed or delayed diagnosis. Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia is ensuring that both a nurse and a doctor will see patients jointly, while Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston has implemented a "trigger system" that checks five vital signs during triage. Sixteen hospitals participating in a project by Crico/RMF Strategies will organize emergency departments into different areas, among other strategies, to boost nurse-doctor communication

Boost Nurse Responsibility with Shared Governance
Adopting shared governance helps empower direct care nurses in decision-making, according to this article. Diana Swihart, a nurse expert on shared governance, names four important factors in creating this environment, including a committed nurse executive and a strong management team, and said that a design team composed of nurses and interprofessional teams is needed to make the transition to shared governance.

Nurses teach children all about water safety
A team of nurses at the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida went to Hector A. Cafferata Elementary School to teach about 400 children water safety measures, including lifesaving techniques and how to wear a life vest properly.
No Excuse For Poor Nursing Care, Says NMC Chief Executive, UK
Dickon Weir-Hughes stresses nurses and midwives accountable for care.

Nursing Advocacy: Standing Up for Patients and the Profession
Nurses are advocates for patient care as well as for their co-workers, and they champion their causes as "servants to others and stewards of our profession," one nurse and advocate says. To be an advocate of nursing, nurses can simply express how proud they are of their profession, take part in research and use evidence-based practices to ensure safety, according to this article.

Nurse prescribers can boost clinical capacity for ADHD treatment
Nurse prescribers can safely be used to increase clinic capacity for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to UK researchers.

Student nurses face tougher tests for course places
Almost two thirds of institutions offering nursing degrees are increasing their entry requirements in the face of unprecedented demand for places, a Nursing Times investigation can reveal.

Higher nurse ratio improves care, finds major study
Increasing the ratio of registered nurses to patients significantly improves the perceived quality of care on hospital wards, according to early findings from a major study.

Nursing Students Benefit From Scenario Simulation
A study, published in the March issue of Clinical Simulation in Nursing, has found that simulating clinical scenarios is an effective method of education for nursing students. The study authors, Melinda Hermanns and colleagues, presented nursing students with a scenario involving an attempted suicide. They explained that students are often asked to leave the unit when this type of unusual or volatile situation occurs or that students may not come across this situation during their nursing training. However, attempted suicides occur in both psychiatric and non-psychiatric settings and they present a very challenging situation to the nursing staff involved, where fear and confusion may impede the performance of the staff. Therefore, the authors explain that it is important for students to be educated about management of an attempted suicide so that they are prepared.

Nurses are at the Frontlines of the Vaccination Battle
Nurses are being called upon to encourage a greater uptake of flu vaccinations. Health experts believe that nurses are in a good position to provide the necessary education and advice to help patients prevent the transmission of influenza as well as to urge them to seek vaccination

Backing the Future
Changes to future nursing practice, education gain support

DH finalising programme to develop school nursing
The Department of Health has said it is finalising details of a development programme for school nursing.

Nurses Improving Mental Health Care
Experts say that nurses in psychiatric facilities and other settings are key players in connecting the psychological, social and medical aspects of care, promoting mental health and wellness, and improving overall mental health care. Nurses also lead initiatives to boost mental health care, including "Open Arms," an approach that avoids using restraint or seclusion on children, and dialectical behavior therapy to help patients with eating disorders.

Online communities valuable for specialist nurses
Online networks can be particularly valuable to nurses working in highly specialist fields, according to Canadian researchers.

RN Recognition Has Lasting Results
In a profession where nurses focus on patients, it’s important for employers and outside organizations to turn that attention toward the nurses, as well. Through recognition programs, hospitals boost nurses’ self-esteem and practice confidence while also improving workplace morale for their colleagues.

Recording resident violence in care homes is 'crucial'
Consistent recording and reporting procedures for violence from care home residents with dementia is crucial, according to Irish researchers.

Staff cuts 'affecting patient care'
Staff reductions and increasing workloads are causing patient care to suffer, nurses and midwives have revealed..

NMC plans shake-up of support staff
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is planning a shake-up of the support staff it employs for its fitness to practise hearings.

Nurse Referrals Safe and Effective in Colonoscopy Programs
A study found that safety outcomes after colonoscopy, including rates of perforation, emergent surgery and death, did not significantly differ whether patients sought screening referrals from a nurse or a gastroenterologist. Researchers, who presented the findings at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago, found that emergency department visits and inpatient admissions were slightly lower among patients in nurse-driven, open-access colonoscopy programs.

Noisy EDs Impact on Patient Care
More attention is being paid to the ambient physical healthcare environment of hospitals and other healthcare settings. Included in this is the impact of sensory stimuli, such as sound and light, on staff and patients in these environments. Accordingly, excessive sound becomes noise, and noise has been shown to have a negative impact on health and healing. In their study, published in Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, (18(1), 26-31, 2011 Alison E. Short and colleagues measured noise levels in multiple clinical care areas of a large Australian ED in order to assess current noise levels and the possible implications for patient care.

Postgraduate nursing programmes 'enhance practice'
Postgraduate programmes enhance practice and further professionalise nursing, say Welsh researchers.

Standards Required For Healthcare Ethics
A Queen's University professor is helping standardize practices for healthcare ethicists who consult and give guidance on medical ethics issues to doctors, nurses and patients across the country.

Nurses key to cutting readmissions
One in five elderly patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within a month, according to a study in Health Affairs. To mitigate the readmissions, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found transitional care can improve outcomes and reduce readmissions, specifically with the utilization nurses.

ANA: ACO Regulations Should Place More Emphasis on Nursing
The ANA, in written comments to the CMS, said the agency should implement stricter rules on transitional care and require accountable care organizations to provide sufficient funds for care coordination. The ACO rules should also be modified not to exclude leadership roles for nurses in quality programs, the ANA recommended. "By failing to recognize and reward nursing's role in improving quality patient outcomes, CMS has created a blind spot obscuring what could otherwise be an exciting and transformative part of redesigning health care in this country," said ANA President Karen Daley<> 

Highlighting Drug Industry Influence, Watchdog Says Overmedication in Nursing Homes Is Troubling
Nursing homes are unnecessarily administering powerful antipsychotic drugs to many elderly residents, including those with dementia who could suffer life-threatening side effects, according to a new government watchdog report.

 Public health 

Nearly 10,000 employees are killed or injured in workplace incidents each year, according to a new workplace health and safety report.

Swine flu will return this year to "mop up" those who previously escaped infection, a leading flu expert says.

Finn Bilby's uncle Matt died last year of bowel cancer. Last week the three-year-old joined his mum, Priscilla, and his grandparents in putting their bums in the air for bowel cancer awareness. <>

 Health and wellness 

My aching back: Relieving the pain of herniated disk
A healthy spine provides strong, flexible, support for the body. But when a herniated intervertebral disk strikes, your patient's pain may interfere with his daily life. We'll help you understand why this common problem occurs and what you can do to help your patient be pain free.

Bullying at work increases long-term absence risk
Frequent bullying increases the likelihood of care home staff taking long-term sickness absence, according to Danish researchers.

 From the Ministry of Health 

District Nursing Service Development in New ZealandDate of publication (online): 31 May 2011
Summary of publicationThis report highlights the range of creative and responsive district nursing service delivery models. The report goes deeper into four case studies demonstrating how district nurses work flexible providing care to help patients transition across hospital and home boundaries. Moving services closer to the patients, collaborating with providers, and co-locating nurses with other community teams are common themes.

Opportunities and challenges for developing district nursing are identified in areas including; governance, leadership, clinical outcomes, information sharing, and advancing their scope of practice.

District Nursing Services in New Zealand in 2010Date of publication (online): 31 May 2011
Summary of publicationThis report identifies 65 separate district nursing services offering a wide range of home, clinic, and community based health care services usually seven days a week. Preventing hospital admissions and enabling early discharge are the main focus of the services.

People over seventy five years of age are referred most often for care and this group is likely to grow by thirty five percent over the next ten years. The bulk of the workforce is registered nurses alongside enrolled nurses and health care assistants.

Immunisation Handbook 2011Date of publication (online): May 2011
Summary of publicationThe purpose of the Immunisation Handbook 2011 is to provide clinical guidelines for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice. These guidelines are based on the best scientific evidence available at the time of printing, from published and unpublished literature.

Better, Sooner, More Convenient Health Care in the CommunityDate of publication: June 2011
Summary of publicationThis booklet looks at a new policy direction for health, introduced two years ago, which creates an environment where health professionals in the community are actively encouraged to work with one another, and with hospital-based clinicians to deliver health care in a co-ordinated and co-operative manner so that more services are delivered in the community, people wait less for services and are kept healthier in the community.

 Research subjects 

Interested in taking part in a study on disability and substance use?
In New Zealand little is known about substance use among people with disabilities. Research is being carried out to bridge this knowledge gap and better inform services. The research aims to gather information from people who have a physical or sensory disability and have experienced a substance use problem. If you live in the North Island and are willing to share your experience in a confidential interview please contact Lynne Cooper at Massey University, email  phone 027 319 5624 or visit  for more information.

 Reports online  

UK: The Government's Health Reforms: An Analysis of the Need for Clarification and Change <>May 10, 2011 21:13
Source: Royal College of General Practitioners (UK)From the Introduction:General practice is the largest branch of the medical profession. It provides over 300 million consultations for patients in Britain each year and deals with 86% of the health problems experienced by the British population.The RCGP believes that whatever changes are introduced, the fundamental values and principles of the NHS must not be undermined.The NHS must ... <> 

The Social Life of Health Information, 2011 <>May 16, 2011 19:29
Source: Pew Internet & American Life ProjectFrom the overview:The internet has changed people’s relationships with information. Our data consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, but online resources, including advice from peers, are a significant source of health information in the U.S.

 Conferences and hui 

September national suicide prevention conference - date and venue change
National Conference, a World Suicide Prevention Day Event
(one day conference)
Conference Theme: How do we talk about suicide?

New date and venue details
TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, Manukau City, date now Wed 7 Sept
Cost: to be advised.

Clinical governance for the NZ health sector
12-13 July, Auckland

Patient safety conference
14 July 2011, Auckland

Report from Matua Raki/DANA Addiction Nurses Symposium held in Hamilton 20th May 2011
Under the wonderful organizational skills of Louise Leonard the International Vice President of DANA,  the first in a series of three addiction nursing symposiums was a huge success. The day was attended by nearly 40 nurses who hailed from many regions within New Zealand including Tokoroa, Taumaranui,, South Waikato, Tauranga , Hamilton , Auckland , Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.  The range of area’s the nurses worked in was varied and included, prison nursing, private and public  addiction settings, methadone, inpatient and outpatient area’s and the salvation army to name a few.The line up of the advanced addiction nurses was impressive and their presentations on innovative practice were well received by the attendees.  The networking that took place was also really valuable, as well as the sharing of ideas and resources. Thank you to the presenters who gave up their time so generously to come and share their expertise.  Acknowledgments and grateful thanks also go to Matua Raki for funding the speakers to fly to Hamilton from out of area and providing the nourishing lunch and Biomed for supplying the morning tea.There will be a second symposium held in Wellington on the 19th of August 20011. For details go to the Matua Raki website at <> 

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