News Bulletin 4 September

on 4 September

Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 168, Wednesday 5 September 2013 

From NZ media this week

Nursing squeeze a threat to health

Recently nurses and patients alike have shared their distress about nursing care not being delivered to in-patients in our public hospitals. 

Nurses rationing patient care

A nursing shortage at Wairarapa and Hutt hospitals means nurses are sometimes "rationing" their care to patients.


Care Rationing In New Zealand Hospitals a Cause For Concern

Recent media reports highlighting ‘care rationing’ in two New Zealand hospitals are a cause for concern but not a surprise for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO). NZNO believes the practice is widespread as DHBs and the nursing team are forced to do more with fewer staff and less money. Fiscal constraints are creating a ‘head in the sand approach’ to staffing issues in our hospitals.


Care rationing last resort - DHB
The Nurses Organisation says nurses are forced to make ethical decisions about the kind of care they can give patients because of inadequate staff numbers.

Rationed care cuts deep say patients

Care rationing in understaffed hospitals is affecting basic medical needs as well as comfort, patients say. 

Nurses fear for patient safety

Nurses have been holding stopwork meetings to discuss proposed new laws they say could put patients at risk.New Zealand Nurses Organisation Taranaki organiser Chrissy Darth says law changes being considered by Parliament, which include possible restrictions to the time and duration of meal and rest breaks, are "bad medicine".

Employ more nurses says NZ First
The Government is creating a health crisis by not employing enough nurses in public hospitals and aged care facilities, claims New Zealand First Health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.


Graduates frustrated at lack of jobs

Why train when there are no jobs?


Employment law changes 'unfair'
New employment law changes will drive down wages and affect the care of patients, the country's leading nursing association says.

Nurses' under-cover mission 'could save millions'

Pillow talk and some clever under-cover work by Dunedin nurses has resulted in a bed-making change that could save millions of taxpayer dollars. 

New role for Te Awhina’s clinical nurse manager
Te Awhina clinical nurse manager Katheryn Butters is to take up a new role as Wanganui Hospital's Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) coordinator - a role she expects will be as challenging and fulfilling as her career in mental health. 

Voluntary bonding scheme pays out $10 million
$10 million has been paid out to hundreds of graduate doctors, nurses and midwives who have chosen to work in hard-to-staff communities and specialities through the government’s voluntary bonding scheme. 

Minor cases clog emergency care

Taranaki emergency departments are becoming clogged up with patients who should have gone to their GP

Doctors dine out on $9m of unlimited food

Nurses have a meal clause in their contract too, but are entitled to only $7.95 and only if they work more than an hour overtime, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation said.

Aged care


Lonely and infirm opt for death as way out
Loneliness and isolation could be the leading factors in the high suicide rate for elderly men, according to Age Concern Horowhenua.

Govt to post rest-home audits online

Lobbyists hail 6-month experiment but minister says reports will be removed if they're not read.

Mental health

Quakes produced enduring health impact
The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes have produced an enduring physical and mental health impact on Christchurch people, a University of Canterbury (UC) expert says.


Comfort-drinkers seek counselling
More Cantabrians are seeking help for alcohol and drug addiction from post-earthquake life. 

Time to face up to rural mental health needs
Federated Farmers is joining the Rural General Practice Network in calling for specific funding for rural mental health. This follows the latest annual release of suicide statistics by the Chief Coroner.


Medsafe's inability to act on gout drug seen as dangerous loophole

New Zealand's medicines regulator has a "serious safety concern" over a gout drug that has won state funding, but is powerless to initiate a safety review. 

All pharmacists should be offered health literacy training – new report

A new report recommends all pharmacists are offered training to ensure people understand why they are being given medicines, how to take them, and their risks and benefits.

Whanganui launches Too many medicines? pilot service
The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) and Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) are delighted to be piloting the Central Region's Too many medicines?  service set to be launched on Monday.

Just the pill to reduce wait for specialist

Long wait times at southern clinics may be reduced by changes to the way specialist medicines can be prescribed.

Primary care

Doctors' fees for children under fire
Wide variations in the cost of a child's appointment with a doctor are ''obscene'', and the medical fraternity should agree a city-wide price, Salvation Army Dunedin Community Ministries manager Lindsay Andrews says.

Tele link to big city specialists
New equipment at Dargaville Hospital will mean many Kaipara residents can now have consultations with specialists in Whangarei or Auckland without having to make the long journey to visit them

New patient identification system improving health care
Health Minister Tony Ryall says the new National Health Index (NHI) system is an excellent example of how information technology improves patient care.

Public health

Doctor warn of steroid dangers   

Young men are faking hormone-related disorders to get steroids so they can bulk up, a doctor says.

Puffing mums are toxic

Measures urged to protect babies from toxic residue on clothes, hair and skin.

International media

Mental illness and substance abuse top global causes of disability: report

Mental health problems and substance abuse cause the most disability and poor health across the world, according to a report published in The Lancet. 

Shock stats on nurse substance abuse (Ire)
One third of cases involving nurses appearing before fitness to practise hearings relate to alcohol or drug abuse issues, according to new statistics. 

Nurse-led care relatively comparable to rheumatologist-led care for RA patients (USA)

Nurse-led care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis was relatively effective compared with rheumatologist-led care, with possible clinical benefits in the nurse-led program, according to recent study results 

Two-thirds of nurses have considered resigning, says survey (UK)
Royal College of Nursing report finds plummeting morale and stress levels soaring amid cuts and poor working conditions 

Developing a leadership competency model (registration required)
A programme conducted by a Turkish health provider showed a nursing leadership competency model can improve charge nurses’ skills and identify leadership potential 

Nursing infection preventionists invaluable to improving hand hygiene rates and decreasing hospital-acquired infections
Hand hygiene is the single most important step caregivers can take in preventing hospital-acquired infections, yet research shows that nurses and other caregivers often don't follow recommended guidelines for hand hygiene - and are only in compliance from 30 percent to 48 percent of the time, depending on which study is being cited.

Articles of interest

Building nurse executives

Nursing Management:
August 2013 - Volume 44 - Issue 8 - p 52–54
Historically, the nursing profession has been slightly behind other professions in creating leadership development programs for the purpose of succession planning

Online resources

Disaster Preparedness and the Older Adult

Disasters can happen any time, anywhere.  Sometimes we can predict them ahead of time, such as an approaching storm or hurricane.  But many times, we can't.  A disaster can be as largescale as a terrorist attack or a major disease outbreak, but can be as localized as a house fire or a power outage.

On-Line Course Trains Nurses on Preventing Workplace Violence
A new free on-line course aims to train nurses on recognizing and preventing workplace violence. The multi-media training incorporates lesson text, videos depicting workplace violence incidents, testimonials from real nurses, and lesson quizzes.

Publications and Reports online

Right blood, right patient, right time. RCN guidance for improving transfusion practice (PDF 343.6 KB)
Blood transfusion is generally a safe process that saves lives and improves the quality of life for patients. However, there are a number of risks associated with transfusion, as with any other clinical intervention. This newly updated RCN guidance sets out advice for nursing staff in the administration of red blood cells and other components. It is not wholly evidence based but built on recommendations to improve the safety of blood ordering and administration from current national guidelines, including the Serious Hazards of Transfusion reports. This publication covers the transfusion process, the role of the nurse in this process, as well as the role of the transfusion practitioner. Each area includes lots of good practice advice, information on patient monitoring and what to do if you suspect a reaction, plus a comprehensive reference and useful website section. 

Positioning nursing in a digital world. RCN eHealth survey 2012 report (PDF 3.8 MB)
Commissioned by the RCN, this eHealth survey explores the knowledge and experiences of nursing staff in relation to current eHealth developments, together with their attitudes to new and emerging uses of technology in health and social care. The aims of the 2012 survey were to identify the readiness of nursing staff to participate in eHealth, to understand the barriers that prevent nursing staff from benefiting from information and communications technology, and to ascertain what progress has been made since the previous RCN eHealth survey in 2010.

Defining staffing levels for children's and young people's services (PDF 326.1 KB)
Children’s services are becoming increasingly complex, encompassing general and specialist care provision across an age spectrum that extends from neonates to adolescents and young adults. This RCN guidance, which was first produced in 2003 as a result of a Delphi study, has been revised to encompass additional areas of children’s and young people’s services, drawing upon evidence, best practice and the professional judgement of a wide range of practitioners and children’s nurse leaders. The guidance and standards apply to all areas in which infants, children and young people receive care, as well as across all types of services and provision commissioned by the NHS including the acute and community, as well as third sector and independent sector providers. The standards are the minimum essential requirements for all providers of services for babies, children and young people.

Evaluation of the Nurse Practitioner in Aged Care
The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of the implementation of a Nurse Practitioner: Older Adultrole in three aged care facilities in the Horowhenua District, namely the Horowhenua Masonic Village,Reevedon Home and Levin Home.

New publications

Reflective Practice in Nursing,
5th Edition
ISBN: 978-0-470-65810-9
Paperback 272 pages March 2013,
AUD $49.95 / NZD $57.99 
The ability to reflect on practice has become a competency demanded of every healthcare professional in recent years. It can be a daunting prospect- but this practical and accessible text guides the way, using the latest research and evidence to support the development of skills in reflective practice and provides help and advice on how to get started, how to write reflectively and how to continue to use reflective practice in everyday situations.This fifth edition of Reflective Practice in Nursing is an indispensable guide for students and practitioners alike who wish to learn more about reflective practice, as well as containing essential information for teachers and lecturers. 

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 Tuesday 3 September 2013 
If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email 
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