News bulletin 16 March

on 16 March

Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.

No. 584, Wednesday 16 March 2022

Weekly news round-up of nursing and health information in New Zealand and internationally


New Zealand news


DHB boss wants easier registration for overseas nurses |

Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming says it needs to be easier for international nurses to register in New Zealand as the Nursing Council ...


Kaupapa Māori approach taking healthcare into the whare

Two nurse practitioners are heading into the whare as they help reshape the way healthcare is delivered in Te Tauihu (the top of the south).


Could Denice Make It Back To The Clinic? | Scoop News

Denice Stock had a wide experience as a nurse, but that was a decade ago. Could she make it as a nurse again?


New Charity-funded Breast Cancer Nurse Making A Difference In Canterbury | Scoop News

A new nurse, funded by Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ), is playing a huge role in helping women in Canterbury to recover from a breast cancer ...


The women in charge of rebuilding New Zealand's health system | The Spinoff

“She was a district nurse, she was a public health nurse, she was the ... Kerri Nuku of the NZ Nurses Organisation told RNZ her members were ...


Maintaining boundaries between healthcare professionals and patients - HDC |

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Dr Vanessa Caldwell today released a report finding a registered nurse in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) by failing to maintain professional boundaries with her client.


Nurse condemned for 'intimate' months-long relationship with prisoner

A registered nurse who exchanged dozens of “intimate” and at times “sexually explicit” phone calls with a prisoner she earlier provided mental health support to has been condemned by a health watchdog.


International news


Vanuatu wants retired nurses to plug covid induced staff crisis | RNZ News

Vanuatu's newly appointed Minister of Health, Bruno Leingkon, says the government is preparing to offer short term contracts for retired nurses ...


Nurses in the ACT will now have less patients to look after on each shift | ABC News - YouTube

The ACT government has committed to investing $50 million over four years to improve nurse-to-patient ratios.The improvement will see a typical ...


Zimbabwe clinics struggle for nurses after exodus to the UK - BBC News

With large numbers of nurses emigrating, patient care is suffering as there are not enough staff.


Four Ideas To Improve Hospital Work Environments To Help Combat America’s Nursing Crisis

Hospital design experts Teri Oelrich and Bryan Langlands explore ways to improve the efficiency and experience for nurses in hospital settings.


CommonSpirit's plan to curb turnover among new nurses

Nurses who entered the field during the COVID-19 pandemic faced unique challenges as they stepped into a time of unprecedented turbulence in modern healthcare. 


Ontario nurses getting $5000 retention bonus - CTV News Toronto

The Ontario government is giving eligible nurses a $5000 payment to help incentivize them to stay on the job.


Addictions (Alcohol, tobacco, drugs)

Detecting early signs of dementia crucial to stopping it developing, researcher says

Imagine if you could be told 20 years in advance you were going to get dementia and then begin treatment to prevent it.


Aged care / Aging population

Nursing shortages threaten arts programmes in care homes |

As care home nurses leave for better pay in district health boards, staffing – and therefore the consistent providing of “integral” services including ...


New Clinical Advisory Committee to focus on primary care provision for older people |

Third Age Health, primary care provider for older people’s health, has bought together healthcare experts and sector leaders to establish its first Clinical Advisory Committee.



Waikato University study confirms priority groups had worst access to Covid vaccines 

Priority groups including Māori, Pasifika and older people had “significantly lower” access to Covid-19 vaccines, Waikato University researchers looking at the geographic distribution of vaccination services have found.


'Inequitable burden of Covid-19 changed Maori drinking, smoking, and gambling habits during lockdown'

National MÄori Public Health Agency, HÄpai Te Hauora are concerned with multiple findings in the ‘ Impact of Covid-19 August 2021’ ( survey released by Te Hiringa Hauora and NielsenIQ today. It canvassed the participants’ use of alcohol, tobacco, vaping and gambling in the August 2021 lockdown period. The survey had 1,401 respondents, 396 were MÄori and 229 Pacific Peoples.


COVID survey 2021 - Te Hiringa Hauora Health Promotion Agency

Nearly one in three drinkers bought alcohol online during the August/September 2021 lockdown, according to a survey of what New Zealanders got up to during that time. This was among those who drank alcohol in the previous four weeks.


Te Waihanga 'recommends big changes in health infrastructure'

A new report recommends big changes in the way that public health infrastructure gets managed.

The Health Infrastructure Review, from the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga comes in response to the 2020 Health and Disability System Review, which found our public hospital estate has been extensively underfunded over the past 15-20 years.


Why Asian Kiwis are hesitant to get the Covid-19 booster 

Fiona Luo says she has no plans to get her Covid-19 booster before June.

“My main concern is how safe and effective the booster would be,” the 30-year-old Christchurch woman said.


Covid-19: The charts that show why a booster is so important

There are many reasons that it’s risky to characterise Omicron as Covid-lite.

Long Covid (which we don’t have good Omicron data for yet) is one. The fact that it can still kill people – especially older age groups – is another.


Covid-19: Children now eligible to receive second dose of paediatric vaccine

Eight weeks has passed since children between the ages of five and 11 were first eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.


How does one recover from long Covid symptoms?

We all know about severely infected people suffering from long Covid, but new evidence is showing that after even the mildest of Covid bouts, millions of us have been left with a legacy of debilitating ills – everything from loss of smell to brain fog, exhaustion and breathlessness.


Government funds research into long Covid and support for sufferers

A group will be established to advise on how New Zealand’s health system will treat potentially thousands of sufferers of long Covid. Read more


Dental health

Dental difficulties driving people to Waikato Hospital's emergency department, study shows

People are turning up to Waikato hospital’s emergency department because dental treatment is too expensive and hard to access, a study shows.



Wellington hospitals planning for major redeployment of staff during Omicron peak

Wellington and Lower Hutt district health boards are planning for a major redeployment of staff as they predict 20 per cent of health workers off with the virus at each hospital in the worst of the Omicron surge.


Covid-19: Up to 200 nursing vacancies close Southern beds |

The Southern District Health Board has up to 200 nursing vacancies as it braces for the Omicron outbreak peak.


Wairarapa ED Nurses Concerned DHB Misleading Public On Wait Times While Failing To ...

Members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation | Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) at Wairarapa DHB's Emergency Department are concerned ...


Emergency nurses feel temperature rise - Wairarapa Times-Age

A Wairarapa Hospital emergency department [ED] nurse is calling out the DHB for failing to take action on critical staff shortages.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation delegate and ED nurse practitioner Lucy McLaren described the staffing crisis


Wairarapa nurses say DHB failed to act on unsafe staff levels after concerns raised - NZ Herald

Wairarapa DHB says it is working with the New Zealand Nurse Organisation to resolve the issues, but NZNO says it has been disappointed by the ...


Covid-19 case numbers at Auckland's hospitals exceed predictions

Auckland hospitals are dealing with far more Covid patients than they predicted in even their worst case scenarios.


Hutt Hospital faces influx of Covid-19 patients amid staff shortages

Up to one in three patients coming through Hutt Hospital's emergency department have Covid-19.


Wellington Hospital upgrades ED as part of $3 million infrastructure boost 

Wellington Hospital has invested in its emergency department to improve safety and better manage patient flow as Covid-19 put more load on an already stretched facility.


Senior nurses, office workers boost Waikato DHB as 400 off due to Covid

Senior nurses are being pulled back onto the floor, corporate staffers are turning hospital attendants and planned care is being put off as Waikato DHB deals with the Omicron wave.

Canterbury DHB postpones operations due to staff shortages - 1News

Most elective surgery is being postponed in Canterbury as hospitals grapple with Covid-19 staff shortages.


Health reforms

Resources will follow need under Health NZ, says new boss

On July 1, 20 district health boards and a workforce of more than 80,000 will become one entity: Health NZ. In her first interview in the new role, its inaugural chief executive, Fepulea’i Margie Apa, tells Rachel Thomas why now is the right time for change.


Māori Health Authority gets $22 million initial funding

Health Minister Andrew Little has announced $22 million of funding for kaupapa Māori health services through the interim Māori health authority.


Mental health

Māori medicine to help combat suicide

Ngāti Pikiao Runanga is determined to do something about the number of suicides in the Lakes District.

Over 2019/2020 the district saw 17 suicides, so the runanga is now introducing traditional Māori rongoā to whānau, teaching them to heal and support whānau who are facing trauma.


Pasifika health

Pasifika warned to be vigilant against rheumatic fever

The parents of a young boy with rheumatic fever are urging adults, particularly in Pacific communities, to take sore throats and rashes in children seriously. Read more


Public health

'Kidney disease is silent' - Expert calls for further intervention | RNZ News

A medical expert says more needs to be done about chronic kidney disease in New Zealand.


Tobacco, Drugs  and alcohol

Alcohol dependence significantly increases suicide risk - Otago Study

There are calls for changes to New Zealand’s national suicide prevention strategy in light of new research linking harmful drinking to a heightened risk of suicide.


Reports and Journals online

Pacific Health Review

Issue 32

Welcome to Issue 32 of Pacific Health Review. 


In this first issue for 2022, we look at a paper investigating the nature and context of non-traumatic dental presentations at emergency departments in NZ.  Read more


Articles of interest

Caring for COVID's emotional long haulers,

Tye, Joe MBA, MHA; Long, Kimberly DHA, MSN, RN, FNP, FACHE; Blake, Nancy PhD, RN, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, NHDP-BC, FAAN, FACHE; Luu, Allison MD, MS; Tye, Annie PhD 

Nursing Management (Springhouse): March 2022 - Volume 53 - Issue 3 - p 26-35 doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000821720.94922.5a

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of healthcare workers. This article presents 14 strategies nurse leaders can use to help safeguard nurses' mental health.


The article below is not freely available but may be accessed through databases and libraries to which readers have access.  Alternatively SnIPS can provide it on a cost recoverable basis


Practice nurse provision of early medical abortion in general practice: opportunities and limitations. 

Moulton Jessica E., Subasinghe Asvini K., Mazza Danielle (2021)

Australian Journal of Primary Health 27, 427-430.

Approximately one in three Australian women with an unintended pregnancy will have an abortion, yet significant barriers remain to ensure the delivery of equitable and timely medical abortion services, including lack of trained providers, high out-of-pocket costs, abortion stigma, conscientious objection and large geographical distance to services. Practice nurses can be suitably trained to provide early medical abortion in general practice; however, there remain several key limitations to the implementation of nurse-led models of care. This forum article discusses these limitations, including issues concerning legislation, funding models, lack of access to medical abortion training, practice structure and systems, and makes recommendations as to how increased access to medical abortion in Australia can be achieved.


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 of 15 March


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