News bulletin 17 August 2011

on 17 August

News Update.No. 66 – 17 August 2011 

From NZ media this week
 Comic books to help young patients
Medikidz comic books designed to help children understand medical conditions will be a great resource for Dunedin Hospital's paediatric ward, charge nurse manager Shirley Bell says. 

Mental health care changes criticised
A new Dunedin mental health housing facility is "far too big with too many people" and is a service downgrade, a mental health agency manager says 

Amendments to Standing Orders applauded
Recent amendments to the Medicines Standing Order Regulations (2002) are good news for rural health providers because it allows for more flexibility in the prescribing process, says New Zealand Rural General Practice Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones. 

Doctor and nurse honoured

A last-minute decision to apply for medical school instead of studying law has paid off for Gary MacLachlan. ProCare Health honoured Dr MacLachlan as GP of the Year and Kathy Neilson as Practice Nurse of the Year at its annual awards ceremony, held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum recently. 

EDs performance praised by Minister

Health Minister Tony Ryall has opened the New Zealand Emergency Department Conference in Taupo today, and told guests that the latest health target result for Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments (EDs) reflects well on all involved 

Ryall: NZ Emergency Departments Conference

This is your fourth annual conference, and the fourth time I have come to speak at it, including the last three times as Minister of Health. 

Urgent changes needed at Dunedin Hospital - review
Urgent improvements need to be made at Dunedin Hospital, where demoralised staff are struggling to provide safe services, following a damning review of the hospital's systems 


A Temuka GP fears all of New Zealand's rural practices will eventually be stripped of their after-hours funding if the Government does not provide the much-needed money and support. 


Extra health services are being considered in Rangiora after a public outcry over cuts to the town's after-hours GP care. 


Some anaesthetists are threatening to quit the country if their lesser-trained assistants are allowed to administer potentially lethal drugs. 

Medical miracles
We have more hospital supplies than we can use - but the cupboards are often bare in developing countries. Sophie Bond meets those trying to balance things out.It has the ... 


A new report ranks New Zealand 28th out of 30 developed nations for child outcomes. 

Study: Quarter of NZ kids in poverty One in four New Zealand children live in poverty and spending more on early childhood would reap huge social rewards, according to a new report out today which ranked New Zealand 28th out of 30 countries in the developed world.  

Shift for public health nurses recommended by youth review
Public health nurses should be employed by primary care and allocated to schools, recommends a youth health workforce review. 

New priorities for HWNZ postgraduate funding
Nurses seeking to specialise in the areas of aged care, mental health and rehabilitation will get first priority for postgraduate funding in 2012, says Health Workforce New Zealand. 

Nurse educators concerned HWNZ priorities too “medically focused”
A “whole of workforce” approach rather than focusing on specific disciplines is needed by Health Workforce New Zealand, says nurse educator group NETS. 

Wider use of HWNZ funding sought by DoNsThe first focus of the new ‘port of call’ for advice and feedback on nurse workforce education is a push to use HWNZ postgraduate funding more broadly.  

From international media sources 
'A lot of research is barely seen by the nurses who could use it'Let’s encourage universities to ensure their research is disseminated to a wider range of publications 

Study examines issue of distance caregiving
Researchers said that distance caregivers -- expected to total 14 million by next year -- suffer emotional dilemmas regarding the right time to visit or call their family members and uncertainty about what is happening with them, among other findings. In the study published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, they said nurses have the ability to ease caregivers' emotional distress. "The nurse is the health care team member most likely to have an impact on distance caregiver distress by providing education tools and support," the researchers wrote 

New communication tool designed to help humanize the ICU experience
Families help nurses in the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital get to know patients who are unable to communicate by filling out the My Story booklet. Families use the booklet to provide personal information about a loved one's likes and dislikes, hobbies and pets, and can attach photos and a family tree so all caregivers, including chaplains and social workers, have a better understanding of the patient. 

New communication tool designed to help humanize the ICU experience
Families help nurses in the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital get to know patients who are unable to communicate by filling out the My Story booklet. Families use the booklet to provide personal information about a loved one's likes and dislikes, hobbies and pets, and can attach photos and a family tree so all caregivers, including chaplains and social workers, have a better understanding of the patient. 

Exploring New Roles for Nurses in Local Health Networks
In his study, published in Collegian, Richard Baldwin discusses the role of nurses and midwives in the governance of new local health networks, which are being established throughout Australia as part of the federal government's overhaul of the country's health system.

Learning-Centred Approach for Teaching Nursing
Health-related literature is increasingly questioning how well nurse graduates are prepared to face the ever-changing challenges of nursing practice, upon completion of their undergraduate studies. The literature also suggests that curricula have not been successful in marrying the theoretical and practical aspects of nursing education. In response to this, Siobhan Murphy and colleagues discuss the merger of two active-learning strategies - problem-based learning (PBL) and simulation - in their 

Program: Teen depression, suicide drops
A study in the Journal of School Health found that the percentage of high school students who considered suicide declined 65% after taking the Surviving the Teens curriculum, which was created by registered nurse Cathy Strunk. Most of the students said the intervention "helped them to learn suicide warning signs, suicide and depression risk factors, how to cope with stress, steps to take if they or a friend felt suicidal, and how to talk to their parents and friends," Strunk said. 

Summer Safety for Nurses
From the heat to hurricanes, summer has its dangers, and nurses have professional and personal duties to perform when an emergency or a disaster strikes. "You should know the disaster plan where you work and your role in it," said Katie Brewer of the ANA. At home, it's wise to create an emergency communication plan and gather 72 hours' worth of supplies. "It could be up to three or four days before response efforts can meet the needs of the people," Brewer said 

Nurse shortages result in patient deaths, strikes
Staffing shortages aren't simply headaches for the medical staff. Staffing levels that can't meet demand can cause strikes and, even worse, patient deaths. 

Chief nurse role downgraded in DH structure plan
The role of England’s most senior nurse has been downgraded in plans for a new Department of Health structure, sparking concern about loss of influence. 

Public health 

Alcohol problems with long work hours

A "work hard, play hard" outlook may be resulting in alcohol addiction among New Zealand workers, a University of Otago study has found. 


Fat Kiwis are forcing a health crisis as we bulge to US levels of obesity, experts say. 


Parents are rushing to get their children immunised following a measles outbreak that has so far infected more than 120 people. 

Work and management 
5 Reasons Nurses Want to Leave Your Hospital
Mandatory overtime, assignment in units outside nurses' areas of expertise, designation of non-nursing-related tasks, workplace bullying and bad management are five factors that are sure to make nurses want to leave their hospitals for new jobs once the economy improves, according to this article. 

Most nurse managers 'negative' about tackling staff absenceMost nurse managers are apathetic about tackling staff absence, despite nurses consistently having one of the highest rates of absenteeism among NHS staff, a study suggests. 

Reports and publications online 

Who will care? Nurses in the later stages of their careers (PDF 1.4 MB)
It is well documented that the UK has an ageing population. The consequent increase in chronic and long-term conditions and the increased focus on a preventative approach to public health will change the demands for health care. The provision of high quality health care will be increasingly important in the future and nursing is vital in meeting this need. This guidance provides information for RCN representatives and officers to help them influence health and social care employers to apply good practice in the effective management of the older nursing workforce. It includes details on the changes in the nursing workforce demographic, the employment needs of older nurses, stereotypical assumptions that build barriers to their continuing in work, influencing employers and discrimination legislation. There is also a detailed section on sources of further information. This is published alongside Who will care? Nurses in the later stages of their careers (publication code 004 126, web only) which provides insightful information on employment patterns, preferences and needs, retirement decisions and the motivations of the older nursing workforce. 

Barriers to achieving good health outcomes refugee background people
(2011, June). Wellington: Regional Public Health and Department of Labour.
 This report highlights barriers facing people from refugee background communities in achieving and maintaining good health. 

Competences: Children's and young people's cardiac nursing (PDF 1.0 MB)
These competence frameworks and role descriptions were developed to enhance the clinical care that children and young people with congenital heart disease receive. Nurses must function at an optimal level to deliver appropriate care and evaluating clinical competence is essential to ensure the confidence of children and their families in cardiac nursing provision. 

Technical Report Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Health Emergencies in the Emergency Medical Services System
Emergency department (ED) health care professionals often care for patients with previously diagnosed psychiatric illnesses who are ill, injured, or having a behavioral crisis. In addition, ED personnel encounter children with psychiatric illnesses who may not present to the ED with overt mental health symptoms. Staff education and training regarding identification and management of pediatric mental health illness can help EDs overcome the perceived limitations of the setting that influence timely and comprehensive evaluation. In addition, ED physicians can inform and advocate for policy changes at local, state, and national levels that are needed to ensure comprehensive care of children with mental health illnesses. This report addresses the roles that the ED and ED health care professionals play in emergency mental health care of children and adolescents in the United States, which includes the stabilization and management of patients in mental health crisis, the discovery of mental illnesses and suicidal ideation in ED patients, and approaches to advocating for improved recognition and treatment of mental illnesses in children. The report also addresses special issues related to mental illness in the ED, such as minority populations, children with special health care needs, and children's mental health during and after disasters and trauma. 

A national professional development framework for palliative care nursing in Aotearoa New Zealand
A National Professional Development Framework for Palliative Care Nursing in Aotearoa New Zealand was developed as part of the implementation of the New Zealand Palliative Care Strategy and the Cancer Control Strategy Action Plan 2005–2010.This document provides a framework for the professional development of nurses working in palliative care including: 

Interesting websites
"CareSearch is an online resource of palliative care information and evidence. All materials included in this website are reviewed for quality and relevance." "CareSearch is an online resource designed to help those needing relevant and trustworthy information and resources about palliative care. The website has been funded by the Australian Government as part of the National Palliative Care Program.There are sections designed specifically for health professionals and others for patients, for carers, and for family and friends. All material in the website has been checked for quality by Australian health professionals" 

Conferences, hui and professional development 
AfriHealth Conference in Nairobi
30 November - 1 December 
The programme of confirmed presentations for this conference can be found at the url above.  The deadline for any new presentation proposals is 31 August. You are welcome to contribute your knowledge and experience to this important gathering of Africa’s healthcare community, aimed at maximising the positive impact of effective management and leading-edge technology across the continent. 

Follow Snips on Twitter @SnipsInfo will find us. 

The above information has been collated for the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) Inc by Linda Stopforth,  SNIPS  and is provided on a weekly basis.  It is current as at Wednesday 17 August 2011
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