24 hour support service for nurses and midwives has launched

nurse & midwife support

Turning Point, an Australian leading addiction treatment, research and education organisation, has launched first national health and support service for nurses and midwives in Australia, called Nurse & Midwife Support. The service is an initiative of Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) to provide education and support on health impairment as defined in the [Read More…]

New index to examine geographic supply of clinical health workforce for Indigenous Australians

spatial distribution of clinical health workforce

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare utilised a new measure for its report, Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population. The measure is Geographically-adjusted Index of Relative Supply (GIRS), which was developed to overcome limitations in using relatively simple provider-to-population ratios to [Read More…]

Robot revolution: why technology for older people must be designed with care and respect

robots for dementia care

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Nola Ries, University of Newcastle and Taro Sugihara, Okayama University Many countries around the world have ageing populations and a growing prevalence of dementia. Japan, in particular, is a “super-ageing” society, with a population getting older faster than anywhere else in the world [Read More…]

Australian Dental Association shares concerns about MBS Review

MBS Review Taskforce

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has raised some matters of concern around the MBS review taskforce, including intravenous sedation in dental procedures, private insurance, and dental services for special needs patients. The ADA recommends: Restriction of the rebate payment for sedation services when suitably trained and endorsed dentists were not able to provide the sedation [Read More…]

APA statement on physio role in acute ankle sprain management

physio role in acute ankle sprain

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has reacted to a suggestion by a recent study that there is no evidence to support a clinically important improvement in outcome with the addition of supervised physiotherapy to usual care for acute ankle sprain. Despite the findings of the study and some reports with similar suggestions, APA strongly asserts [Read More…]

Pharmacists’ responses to codeine upscheduling decision

prescription only codeine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that products containing codeine will be available only with a prescription from February 1, 2018. Pharmacists are largely disappointed with the decision. They say that this is not the answer to misuse issues and, that it creates a new problem for patients who genuinely need them. According to [Read More…]

Identifying and eliminating biofilm in chronic wounds

identifying and eliminating bioflim

Some sources claim that almost 80% of chronic wounds are colonised with biofilm. Biofilm has a significant tolerance to antibiotics and biocides while remaining protected from host immunity. While awareness of the presence and impact of wound biofilm has advanced enormously, understanding of its pathogenesis is yet to be clarified fully. The International Wound Infection [Read More…]

Feedback sought on Parliamentary inquiry into mental health services in the NDIS


As part of the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) scheme, the committee will inquire into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with a mental illness. This parliamentary inquiry has been welcomed by Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA). They are concerned about the needs [Read More…]

Staffing levels – the answer for the aged care crisis?


The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has released the National Aged Care Staffing and Skills Mix Project Report, which addresses the issue of reduced staffing levels and skills mix in Residential Aged Care. The project was undertaken as a result of the “monumental failure” of governments to establish evidence based staffing levels and skills [Read More…]

Almost half of nursing students and over a third of medical students not getting enough exercise


48% of nursing and 38% of medical students did not achieve recommended levels of physical activity, according to a questionnaire study from the UK . The study surveyed 193 nursing students and 168 medical students at a UK medical school over 12 months. Nursing students were less active than medical students. They perceived fewer benefits [Read More…]

U.S physicians prescribed particular brand-name medication after industry-sponsored meals


A study in the United States has found that physicians who received industry-sponsored meals tend to prescribe the brand-name medication that was being promoted. The study used industry payment data and Medicare prescribing records from 2013 which recently became publicly available in the United States. The most-prescribed brand-name medications in 4 drug classes are: rosuvastatin [Read More…]

Tackling antimicrobial resistance


The federal government has announced the implementation of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2015-2019. The strategy is developed under the Coalition Government’s new plan, in partnership with health professionals, research communities, veterinarians and agricultural industries. The implementation plan outlines specific focus areas for action to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance and ensure the [Read More…]

Is losing vision the worst possible health outcome? Research says perhaps it is……


A study in the US has revealed that for Americans, losing vision is equal to or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech, or a limb. However, although vision was a priority, many Americans were unaware of important eye diseases and their behavioral or familial risk factors. The study involved 2044 survey respondents in an online [Read More…]

Cosmetic procedure guidelines for medical practitioners and vaccination statement for nurses


Boards of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency have been cracking down on unsafe conduct from medical practitioners and nurses. Effective on 1 October 2016, the Medical Board of Australia imposed new cosmetic guidelines to ensure patient safety. These guidelines appliy to medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures. The new guidelines require: [Read More…]

Dental care for people with dementia


The Australian Dental Association and Alzheimer’s Australia has partnered to support dentists treating people living with dementia through a series of videos, Partnership in Practising Care. The series aim to educate dentists and their team on best practice care for people living with dementia, with emphasis on the importance of continuity of care, using preventative [Read More…]

Funding for preventative health initiatives reduced: Australia’s Health 2016 report


The Australia’s Health 2016 report has revealed that funding for prevention initiatives has reduced from 2.2% (2008) to 1.4%, contrary to the belief that prevention is better than cure. This goes against the expectation of 76% of Australians that investment in preventive health should be one of the top ten priorities. Public Health Association of [Read More…]

The rate of diabetes in patients presenting to emergency deparments


A team of researchers led by Dr Dr Tien-Ming Hng of Western Sydney Local Health District conducted a study to test whether targeted glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing of high-risk populations could enhance the detection of diabetes and prediabetes. The study was conducted in the Blacktown-Mt Druitt Hospital, which located in an area of high diabetes [Read More…]

A Transition to Practice Program for nurses in Primary Health Care – by APNA project manager Lisa Collison


“Recruitment and retention of nurses in the primary health care workforce will play an increasingly important role in ensuring our health care system can meet the complexities of ever increasing demands. There is a projected shortfall of primary health care nurses due to high exit rates and low numbers of workforce entrants. Although there is [Read More…]

ATARs for every nursing course in Australia

raining ATARS

For entry into a university nursing course commencing in 2016, the ATAR ranged from 50 to the mid-80s. When combined with another Bachelor’s degree such as midwifery or arts, the ATAR was as high as 99 for a double degree. The following tables show the ATAR / OP scores that were required to enter each [Read More…]

ATARs and OPs for every midwifery course in Australia

raining ATARS

As at September 2016, there are 7 accredited undergraduate midwifery courses in Australia and 3 postgraduate courses. For entry into a midwifery course commencing in 2016, the ATAR ranged from 60 to the high-90s. The following table shows the ATAR / OP scores that were required to enter each undergraduate course at the beginning of [Read More…]

Exhilarating! My week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – by Rebecca Irwin – medical student and NRHSN Chair

Rebecca Irwin RFDS week

The unique exhilarating experience of flying to remote communities and stations to provide health care is unparalleled by anything I have experienced thus far. I loved flying with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to remote locations, hopping from station to station, community to community, providing health care as we went. Occasionally we were diverted [Read More…]

Telemedicine: A Fundamental Addition to Contemporary Medical Curricula – by Christopher Lemon

Christopher Lemon

“Medicine and technology are intrinsically linked. Many advances in health have been contingent upon synonymous advances in technology. This has become particularly clear in recent times when considering the extent to which to technology has helped to substantially improve not only understandings of disease processes, but also the ways in which they can be managed. [Read More…]

A 44.4 year old clinician working 33.5 hours per week – Australia’s “average” nurse

nurses and midwives 2015 workforce data

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data on nursing and midwifery workforce says that in 2015, the total number of nurses and midwives registered in Australia was 360,008. Of these, 263,209 were registered as a registered nurse only, 59,429 were registered as an enrolled nurse only and 3,591 were registered as a midwife only. [Read More…]

Palliative care

Palliative care statistics Australia

In 5 years the Medicare Benefits Schedule payments for palliative medicine specialist services has increased by almost 80%, according to figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). In 2014-15, 13,000 patients received an MBS-subsidised palliative medicine specialist service, with around 71,500 of these services provided nationally at a cost of $5.3 [Read More…]

TGA AusPARs survey closes 31st July 2016

TGA AusPARs survey 2016

Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) users have been invited to participate in a survey conducted by Therapeutic Good Administrations (TGA). The TGA wants to know what the users think about the AusPARs for prescription medicines. Survey responses may be lodged without specific identifiers, i.e. email address and organisational affiliation are optional. The [Read More…]

Child Oral Health – a hidden crisis

child oral health

The British Dental Journal Team has said that woeful children’s dental decay statistics are making headlines in the UK, and have suggested that the quickest way to address this could be influencing their parents and carers. We asked the Australian Dental Association what factors are at play for children’s oral health closer to home and [Read More…]

Health industry voices its opinions as the #healthelection2016 looms

health funding around federal election

Health organisations around the country have been lobbying for a greater share of the health spending dollar in the lead up to the election tomorrow. Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, claims to have put patient outcomes at the centre of health reform in the Federal Budget released in May 2016, but many associations are [Read More…]

Skilled Occupations List submissions put workforce shortages and excesses in the spotlight

Skilled Occupation List 2016

The new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) comes into effect on 1st July 2016. There have been changes to the status of a number of health professions, and a large number have been flagged for consideration in 2017. Health professions being added to SOL from 1st July 2016: Orthotist or prosthetist Audiologist Health professions being removed [Read More…]

We’re frozen, there’s no provision for preventative health and it will be difficult for the poor to stay well – the aftermath from the 2016 Federal Health Budget

2016 health budget

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley has said that the 2016 federal budget puts patient outcomes at the centre of health reform, but there doesn’t seem to be much agreement from the health industry. One of the main reasons why the industry hasn’t supported the health budget is due to the freeze on the Medicare [Read More…]

61 recommendations for Choosing Wisely Australia

choosing wisely 61 recommendations

Sparking conversations between patients and clinicians about what care and management is truly necessary for specific conditions is the goal of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative. The campaign has released 61 recommendations of tests, treatments and procedures that may not be necessary and could cause harm to Australian patients as the global healthcare initiative continues [Read More…]

Nurses, are your interviewing mistakes killing your career prospects?

Nicole Nash-Arnold

We would like to acknowledge Nicole Nash-Arnold, founder of Nurse Manager HQ for allowing us to republish her LinkedIn post about mistakes made in interviews by nurses.  “Of the hundreds and hundreds of nursing interviews I’ve done, there are 5 top mistakes that nurses during interviews that kill their chances of securing that job. This [Read More…]

Crocodiles, culture and career – Danni-Lee Dean’s #GoRural trip to the Northern Territory

Danni-Lee Dean croc encounter

They say never smile at a crocodile, but try telling that to Danni-Lee Dean. The nursing and midwifery officer at the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) has been nursing a desire for a crocodilian encounter for some time. Her wish came true in Darwin recently when she got up close and personal with this [Read More…]

Aged care facility with a palliative care committee, dementia program and open heart program

SVL AT14 201

We did a callout looking for inspiring workplaces, and Scalabrini Village Chipping Norton manager Fiona Kendall answered, letting us know that there’s something pretty special happening at this aged care facility……. Q: The lead up to and death of a resident is obviously a very emotional time. What do you do for residents and families? [Read More…]

Risk analysis personal safety and politics of a double shooting – by Craig Hooper, Emergency Service Management consultant


“I never thought I would deliberately drive into a live fire zone. This was East Timor and just about a week before what has colloquially been called the “First Dili Riots”. There had been many Dili riots before 2002 but this was the first one since the fledging nation’s independence a few months earlier. But [Read More…]

Quadriplegic Barney Miller’s personal journey to walk again with exercise intervention

therapy after spinal cord injury

At the age of 20, northern NSW resident Barney Miller was a promising surfer who, after a car accident refused to believe what his doctor said. That his brain could not communicate with the rest of his body. Barney didn’t accept that as a quadriplegic and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest [Read More…]

Are you really listening? A view from the other side. By Gitte Backhausen – patient

Gitte Backhausen profile

Okay, so I know it’s practitioner month on My Health Career in May and that most of what we’re doing is sharing stories about the inspiring things health professionals are up to. When I got this article through from Gitte, I literally felt a bit sick in my stomach reading about everything she’d been through. [Read More…]

Is the future of healthcare here? Dr Andrew Lin, co-founder of CliniCloud talks connected devices

Clinicloud phone

You may have heard of CliniCloud, the health-tech startup who recently received $5 million in funding. Business partners Dr Hon Weng Chong and Dr Andrew Lin met at medical school, and both had a passion for technology and the benefits it could bring to healthcare. CliniCloud is at the stage of shipping its first product, [Read More…]

Antibacterial soap and regular soap: which one is more effective?

does antibacterial soap work

Antibacterial soap containing triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than regular soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions, as concluded by research from Korea published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The researchers aimed to examine the in vitro and in vivo bactericidal effect of triclosan (the most widely used antiseptic agent [Read More…]

Q&A with Cheryl Prescott – Nurse Educator – about the role of…. you guessed it….. nurse educators!!

nurse education simulation

We got really excited with Brisbane based nurse educator Cheryl Prescott said she’d answer a few questions about what she does at work. Cheryl got really excited too. Following are her answers to our questions!! Please outline what you spent your time on each day while you were at work last week.  At the end [Read More…]

Cannabis products made legal for Australian patients

legalisation of cannabis-derived substances for medicines

Australian parliament has passed the Turnbull Government’s historic legislation to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients, with the right procedures. Referred to as “missing piece”, cannabis now become a legal and reliable medication for the management of painful and chronic conditions. “This is an historic day for Australia and the many [Read More…]

Revised registration standards for 6 registered health professions

AHPRA revised registration standards published 2016

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has published revised registration standards for six registered health professions, these being medicine, medical radiation practice, nursing and midwifery, physiotherapy, podiatry, and psychology. The revised registration standards are for: Continuing professional development (CPD) Recency of practice Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements However, they do not apply to renewals of [Read More…]

The 10 commandments of patient-centred care

the ten commandments for patient-centred care

A team of UK researchers has transformed their paper, published in the British Journal of General Practice, into a website fully dedicated to covering the 10 commandments for patient-centred treatment. Although it is about general practice, the principles are similar for any health profession, particularly where the profession involves disgnostics, prescribing medications or giving medications [Read More…]

How to deal with bullying in nursing clinical placements

workplace bullying prevention

The Nurse Path founder Ian Miller says that bullying is the topic that comes up in his conversations both online and amongst other nurses more than any other. Laurie Bickhoff from Defining Nursing has also spoken of the infamous “eat our young” culture in nursing. So if you’re a nursing student embarking on your clinical [Read More…]

How can nurses increase their visibility – it might be a vital sign for a strong position in healthcare organizations

image of nursing profession

A discussion paper published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing on the image of nursing shows that the public is not always aware of the qualifications nurses need for their profession. As the result, their actual public image is diverse and incongruous, and tends to be influenced by nursing stereotypes. Ironically, this image may be [Read More…]

Over 40% of diabetics with a foot ulcer die within 5 years

diabetic foot ulcers mortality rate

A recently published UK study has confirmed long-believed association between diabetic foot ulcers and an increased risk of death. 414,523 people with diabetes enrolled in practices associated with The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom were analysed for this study to evaluate the effects of diabetic foot ulcers and the covariates on death. Among [Read More…]

Are robotic nurses really on the horizon?

nursing robots

Dan Popa, an electrical engineer and Associate Professor in the University of Texas at Arlington, is building an adaptive robotic nursing assistant (ARNA) after winning a $999,946 National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity grant titled “Adaptive Robotic Nursing Assistants for Physical Tasks in Hospital Environments.” The proposed robot is not designed to [Read More…]

GradStats from the turn of the century…. What are health graduates getting paid? What’s the employment rate?

GradStats 2015

While starting salaries for new graduates from university health degrees have increased significantly since 1999, the percentage of graduates going directly into a full time job has dropped, according to GradStats data. Employment rate The GradStats figures show that there is now a lower full time employment rate for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing (initial), rehabilitation, [Read More…]

$250 million for translating medical research into real benefits

Biomedical Translation Fund

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians. The Biomedical Translation Fund alongside the Medical Research Future Fund [Read More…]

New graduate nurses’ caring qualities declined after experiencing “workplace misfit”

do graduate nurses really care

Being caring, empathetic, knowledgeable and respectful are four qualities of nurses and are likely to be the attributes of students who decide to become a nurse. Yet, a new study showed that caring, as a central tenet of nursing, declined slightly on graduation. The Australian study by Leanne Cowin and Maree Johnson titled From student [Read More…]

Australian hospital statistics 2014-2015

emergency department report 2014-15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) has released Emergency department care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics, which reports on emergency department performances across the country. The most positive aspect highlighted in the report are that the majority of emergency department patients are seen on time for their urgency (triage) category. Here is a quick snapshot [Read More…]

Premature babies are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders

brain circuit abnormalities in premature babies

Babies born prematurely face a wide range of complications, and new research has suggested that this issue now includes a higher risk of developing neurological and psychiatric problems. The researchers found that some key brain networks linked to attention, communication and emotion were weaker in premature infants. This finding offers some explanation for why children [Read More…]

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s position statement on substitution of biosimilar medicines

substitution of biosimilar medicine

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released a position statement supporting the Australian Government’s policies that encourage the use of biosimilar medicines to contain the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). A biosimilar medicine is a version of an already registered biological medicine that has a demonstrable similarity in physicochemical, biological and immunological characteristics, [Read More…]

10 year road map for Closing the Gap

ten year road map to close the gap

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash has launched an Implementation Plan as a further commitment to Closing the Gap. The Implementation Plan is a ten-year road map: a strategy to better health for Indigenous children, Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults. The Coalition decided to adopt and build on the 10 year National Aboriginal and Torres Strait [Read More…]

Occupational therapy and driver assessment and rehabilitation

driver trained occupational therapists

Occupational Therapy Australia has released a position statement on driver assessment and training fitting within the advanced scope of occupational therapy practice. Assessing and rehabilitation or training of drivers with disabilities, age-related health declines or acquired impairments must be performed by driver assessor occupational therapists—OTs with post-graduate driver qualifications from an Occupational Therapy Australia recognised [Read More…]

Nurses and midwives “won’t be silenced”

nurses and midwives managing domestic violence

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling for nurses and midwives to be specifically trained in domestic violence. In partnership with the Luke Batty Foundation’s Never Alone campaign, the ANMF wants to explore ways of ensuring that education and training in domestic violence are given as part of undergraduate study and within the [Read More…]

16% decrease in notifications – AHPRA 2014-2015 statistics revealed

AHPRA annual report 2014 - 2015

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has published the 2014/ annual report. The annual report outlines and highlights AHPRA and the National Board’s activities in 2014/15, as follows:   1.   Improving performance and services 637,218 health practitioners are registered from 14 different professions representing overall growth of 2.9% 16% [Read More…]

Parents with drones vs qualified practitioners – who should be extracting kids’ teeth?

tooth extraction by drone

USA Today has reported that parents are pulling kid’s loose teeth out with drones. If the loose tooth becomes bothersome to the child, the parents are tying a string around it and attaching the string to a drone. So essential a remote-controlled drone has replaced the old tying the string to the doorknob routine. Looking [Read More…]

There is life after stroke

7 steps to stroke recovery video

Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia has released “7 Steps to Stroke Recovery” educational video to answer often asked questions about what’s next for stroke survivors. The video features stroke rehabilitation professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech pathologists. They give detailed and helpful suggestions for each step according to their expertise.   [Read More…]

Fund for registered nurses and midwives with a health impairment

fund for nurses and midwives with a health impairment

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) will fund a nationally consistent health support service for all registered nurses and midwives who are impaired or at risk of impairment. The service will also improve education and awareness about impairment among nurses and midwives. In making its decision to fund the service, the NMBA considered [Read More…]

The health industry responds to “Wasted” – the 4 Corners report on overdiagnosis and treatment in medicine

4 Corners Wasted health care system

Following the airing of the Four Corners report “Wasted” on 29th September, which featured commentary on the over diagnosis and over treatment of common health complaints including back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing, the conversation about inappropriate tests and procedures has gone well beyond the medical profession. “Wasted” implied that doctors are [Read More…]

A guide for nursing in general practice

role of nurses in general practice

Australian College of Nursing has developed an updated handbook titled Nursing in General Practice to reflect the ongoing development of roles of registered and enrolled nurses in general practice, as well as changes to the funding mechanisms available. The handbook covers 6 sections as outlined below: 1.   Nurses in General Practice Registered nurses (RNs) [Read More…]

Are graduate nurses’ workforce ready?

Are graduate nurses workforce ready

For those who are regular followers of our blog, you might have seen a comment that was made on one of our articles in August. It said: “I’ve read a fair bit of commentary stating that many new-grads just aren’t up-to the standards that health services expect of them. What are some of the common [Read More…]

Becoming a health practitioner – registering with AHPRA

AHPRA health practitioner registration fees

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has recommended that students who are about to graduate as health practitioners apply for registration 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. For many students, that is NOW!!! About to graduate as a health practitioner? Apply 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. More: http://t.co/TBvBlUJ0do — AHPRA (@AHPRA) September 4, 2015 [Read More…]

Researchers found the association between management following self-harm and suicide

suicide following self-harm

A UK study led by Professor Nav Kapur from University of Manchester found that psychiatric admission following self-harm was associated with the highest risks for both suicide and all-cause mortality. The study followed 38,415 adults who had self-harmed and presented to five emergency departments in Manchester, Oxford and Derby between 2000 and 2010. It found [Read More…]

Miss Colorado starts a #notjustanurse and #NursesShareYourStethoscopes movement

Miss Colorado nurse

The profession of nursing, people on social media and big business have rallied around Miss America contestant Kelley Johnson’s decision to give a monologue about being a nurse for her 2 minute talent segment. In the presentation, she gave a gut-wrenching insight about what it’s like to be a nurse, and shared the story of [Read More…]

4 areas of health sector change in the NAB Health in Focus Report

NAB Health in Focus report

A new Australian health ecosystem, new frontiers for practitioners & medical specialists, developments in the pharmacy sector and the future of aged care have featured in Health in Focus – Health Sector Insights which was released by the National Bank of Australia’s NAB Health recently. Here is a summary of the 4 areas: 1.   [Read More…]

ATARs for every nursing course in Australia

ATAR for nursing

For entry into a university nursing course commencing in 2015, the ATAR ranged from 50.35 to the mid-80s. When combined with another Bachelor’s degree such as midwifery or arts, the ATAR was as high as 98 for a double degree. The following tables show the ATAR / OP scores that were required to enter each [Read More…]

AHPRA welcomes report of 3 year independent review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which regulates 14 health professions in Australia


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency recently welcomed a report following an independent three-year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and the Health Ministers’ response to its recommendations. ‘Such positive and constructive feedback reflects the focus and commitment to improvement of everyone who works at AHPRA, all members of national, state and [Read More…]

Under-reporting of self-reported symptoms in post-concussed athletes

Athletes reporting of symptoms post-concussion

Athletes’ self-reported symptoms post-concussion related to sport are underreported, according to a study which was published in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport recently. Symptom reporting in concussed athletes was examined in two different testing environments. Athletic team trainers used the ImPACT Post-Concussion Scale to collect data on self-reported symptoms, which were compared to [Read More…]

Nursing graduate programs – should we be calling on aged care facilities, community nursing organisations and general practice to offer more positions?

Nursing graduate positions outside the hospital

It’s the time of year when nursing graduates are scrambling to be chosen for the limited number of graduate nursing program positions available in hospitals throughout Australia. But if you look at the statistics, while almost 64% of Australia’s nurses and midwives who are working as a clinician work in a hospital, this means that [Read More…]

Dietitians Association Australia raises diet of ATSI people as a key area in Closing the Gap – by Amanda Griffiths

will diet policy help Close the Gap

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is calling on the Federal Government to get serious about improving food and nutrition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The call comes after University of Newcastle researcher, Dr Mark Lock, recently exposed the failings of the Federal Government to address this crucial public health issue. Robyn Delbridge [Read More…]

Delay of medication availability in Australia

delay of new medicines in Australian market

A panel of 3 independent experts have found that although the Therapeutic Goods Administration is on average 90 days faster that world-leaders Europe in approving new medicines as safe, Australians are being forced to wait up to 15 months longer than the US and Europe to access the medicines because drug companies delay making them [Read More…]

457 overseas nurses get jobs over 3000 unemployed nursing graduates

nursing jobs filled with skilled migrants

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) appeared before a Senate inquiry on 19 June 2015 to address the current policy that allows employers to hire offshore nurses and midwives even though there are Australian workers available to fill the position. The high numbers of temporary migrant workers is impacting employment opportunities for highly-educated Australian [Read More…]

Burnout in health professionals – Q&A with Dan Martin, a psychologist who has worked in rehab with doctors, pharmacists and nurses

Burnout in health professionals

Q. Can you please give us an overview on your experience working with health practitioners requiring rehabilitation?  A. For several years I worked at a rehab program that specialised in treating doctors with addiction and mental health issues. We also had a nurses and pharmacists program. Having treated hundreds of healthcare professionals who weren’t able [Read More…]

Caring for you whilst caring for others – by RN Sue Rittmeyer

Safe Solutions Counselling and In-Home Care

“The impact of caring for others is gaining more discussion than in previous years. Once called the ‘burden’ of caring, which sadly comes with much stigma. Burnout, Stress, Vicarious Trauma, Carer Fatigue, and Poor Resilience are terms that are often heard. Ultimately, the name of the condition, or situation is irrelevant when you or a [Read More…]

Registered Nurse Jennifer Smith on recovering from burnout

Nurse Jennifer Smith after burnout recovery

“I have been nursing for 21 years and in the last 4 years I have enjoyed my work more than ever. I look forward to each day, even after my days off. I enjoy the contact and the connections I make with patients in my care, their family and my colleagues. It wasn’t always this [Read More…]

Catalyst statin broadcast proven to have impacted drug dispensing rates

catalyst did change statin use in Australia

It is estimated that more than 28,000 Australians ceased statin treatment after the airing of a Catalyst series in 2013, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. However, there was a return to the average levels of statin use after 18 weeks. The two-part Catalyst special edition, titled Heart of the [Read More…]

Allied health misses a guernsey in the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – by Amanda Griffiths

Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce

It’s been about a month since Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced the members of the Federal Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG). Although the PHCAG is made up of members from a number of health professions including physiotherapy, medicine and pharmacy, it is blatantly obvious [Read More…]

#WhyWeDoResearch campaign – by Cheryl Prescott and Claire Gibbs

Claire Gibbs and Abby Greaves

“The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was conceived and launched via Twitter by Claire Gibbs, Senior Clinical Research Nurse (@ClaireGibbsUK) and Abby Greaves, Research Administrator, (@JPUHResearch) at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014. Their intention was to use the hashtag #WhyWeDoResearch as a way to introduce core research team members to the public, [Read More…]

Over prescribed and under used: corticosteroid inhalers in Australia

use of asthma inhalers in Australia

The Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM) has reported that prescription respiratory medications are being over-prescribed and under-used in Australia. The report shows that in 2013, prescription respiratory medications were dispensed to over 2 million people (about 9% of the population) but most only used them occasionally. Professor Guy Marks, Director of ACAM said, [Read More…]

Revalidation of doctors

revalidation of doctors in Australia

The Medical Board of Australia has commissioned international research into revalidation of doctors to make sure doctors in Australia maintain the skills to provide safe and ethical care to patients throughout their working lives. The conversation about revalidation in Australia started in 2012. Evidence from Canada indicated that 1.5 per cent of medical practitioners were [Read More…]

Nurse leadership from the ward to the board makes a significant contribution to health care – by Debra Thoms – CEO Australian College of Nursing

Debra Thoms ACN

“Our health truly is our wealth, and the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) firmly believes that access to good health is the right of every single Australian, regardless of background or health status. However there are a number of major challenges currently facing the health care system such as caring for an ageing population increasingly [Read More…]

Nursing through death – by Bradley Winter RN

Brad Winter

Last week I helped one of my residents to die peacefully and painlessly. She was dying of late stage cancer, and it had been a few months since the cancer had overtaken her body’s ability to function normally. The cancer had certainly slowed her down over the months leading up to this, but now it [Read More…]

How phytoestrogens decrease symptoms of menopause – by Melanie McGrice AdvAPD

Melanie McGrice Headshot

Melanie McGrice (AdvAPD) is one of Australia’s best known dietitians. She is a highly respected author and health presenter on nutrition and dietary issues – and a lover of great food! Learn more about dietary recommendations for menopause or other health conditions or join her free nutrition and wellbeing network at www.melaniemcgrice.com.au   Did you [Read More…]

Call for health professionals to be more aware of signs of child sexual abuse surfaces during royal commission

child sexual abuse in institutions royal commission

The ABC has again reported on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They recently published revelations by psychologist Terence Kirkpatrick that he was sexually abused by a psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in 1967 when he had been referred to the clinic to be treated for what was [Read More…]

Advertising health services is about so much more than the AHPRA guidelines

advertising laws for health professionals

Health practitioners need to be aware that their advertising must comply not just with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines where appropriate, but also with national law. Consumer Law The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the authority who enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act covers areas including false [Read More…]

The health industry’s reaction to the 2015 Federal Budget

health industry federal budget

As usual, the federal government’s health budget has been a mixed bag for the industry. Professional bodies representing practitioners including podiatrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, nurses and medical students have all had something to say about the budget. Here’s a summary……   Building a Healthier Medicare The Government has announced that they [Read More…]

My rant following the most recent round of careers expos….

The dark side of career expos

I have just returned from a series of 4 careers expos in the New South Wales towns of Young, Forbes, Dubbo and Bathurst. Although this website was started especially for high school students considering a career in health and has lots of resources such as videos from real health practitioners and pathways information, there are [Read More…]

Non-medical prescribing in the UK

non medical prescribing

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that only “appropriate practitioners” can prescribe medicine in the UK. There are two categories of the said practitioners: Independent prescribers, who are healthcare professionals responsible for assessing patient and making clinical decisions about how to manage the patient condition and prescribing medication. They include doctors, dentists, [Read More…]

Google awarded patent for smart contact lens to measure blood glucose

Google smart contact lens for diabetics

United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Google Inc. for a “smart contact lens having an uneven embedded substrate and method of manufacture”. It has been reported that the smart contact lens patent could be used to monitor a wearer’s blood sugar level. Google believes that it is a less invasive [Read More…]

Midwives can help detect domestic violence – here’s how

detecting domestic violence

Kathleen Baird, Griffith University and Debra K. Creedy, Griffith University One in six Australian women experience physical or sexual violence by someone they know at some point in their adult life. More than half (54%) of women living with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy. Domestic violence at any stage of life results in poorer [Read More…]

Would you spend 30 hours a month with older folk to get free accommodation during uni?

Live in aged care facility during uni

According to a report in The Journal in Ireland, a nursing home in Deventer in the Netherlands is opening its doors for uni students to live with the elderly as housemates. Why would any young free uni students wish to live with the pensioners instead of partying with fellow college roommates? The rent is free. [Read More…]

Nursing Is Not A Back-Up Career – by RN Laurie Bickhoff

Laurie Bickhoff

Research has shown patient safety and the quality of patient care are closely linked with the education levels of the nursing workforce (Aiken et al., 2003). An integral part of nursing education is achieving a solid foundation of human biosciences and developing strong critical thinking skills (Shields et al., 2011). Yet, nursing continues to be [Read More…]

Pre-budget submission from DAA, ESSA and ADEA calls for no change to Medicare for diabetes care

Diabetes model of care Australia

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) are calling for no changes to be made to the current model of care for health services for patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. This has come following the suggestion from the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association [Read More…]

Reducing death of breast cancer through BreastScreen Australia

BreastScreen Australia data dictionary

The BreastScreen Australia data dictionary version 1.1 has been released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The document has been developed to meet the need for national consistency in the data collected for the BreastScreen Australia program. In 1991, BreastScreen Australia was introduced as a national screening program which aims to reduce [Read More…]

The difference between an enrolled nurse and a registered nurse – by Belynda Abbott

Belynda Abbott

The Enrolled Nurse is a valued and pertinent member of the healthcare workforce. According to the Health Workforce 2025 National projections (2012) Enrolled Nurses (EN) have a higher retention rate compared to that of Registered Nurses (RN) and it projects 4,189 ENs are required to graduate annually from 2015 in order to assist with the [Read More…]

Polio Australia: Improving Health Outcome for Australia’s Polio Survivors

Polio Australia

Many thanks to Mary-ann Liethof, National Program Manager of Polio Australia for contributing this valuable information for health professionals. Acute Polio Australia experienced waves of polio epidemics throughout the 20th century. However, with the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, polio was an uncommon infection in Australia by the early 1960s. According to the [Read More…]

Announcement of successful applicants for Primary Health Networks

Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced the successful applicants to run the 31 Primary Health Networks which will replace the 61 Medicare Locals from 1st July. In a statement from The Department of Health, the Primary Health Networks will “replace Labor’s flawed Medicare Local system of 61 fragmented regions, which were found by an [Read More…]

Male nutrition and how it can improve fertility – by Melanie McGrice AdvAPD

Melanie McGrice Headshot

Current reports indicate that fertility problems affect approximately 15% of Australian couples. There’s a lot of focus on women improving their diet and lifestyle but dad’s-to-be should aim to improve their diet just as much as their partners. Sub-optimal diets can contribute to low sperm outputs and/or sperm abnormalities. Three key dietary changes that men [Read More…]

Are surgeons really arrogant, or is it just that they aren’t “agreeable?”

personality traits of a surgeon

Surgeons do tend to get a bit of a bad rap when it comes to their personality traits. When we interviewed Mimi Le, who was at the time a final year med student, she described her first rotation with a surgeon who was “one of the most intimidating people” she had ever met in her [Read More…]

The power of a smile – oral health as a part of overall wellbeing

dental health and general health

In a TEDx video titled The Power of a Smile, Dr Steven Lin talks about the association between oral health and overall wellbeing. For instance, a simple act of regular flossing once a day can prevent gum disease. And it has been shown that gum disease linked to more serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, [Read More…]

Please don’t look at the latest Department of Employment projections and think it’s all rosy in the health industry

Department of Employment health industry projections

Once again the federal government’s industry employment projections data show that the Health Care and Social Assistance sector will be the leading provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market. However, just because the sector as a whole is performing well, do not interpret this to mean that all students who study degrees in [Read More…]

A gap in wound care research – by RN Brad Winter

Brad Winter

In the last couple of years, wound care has become a little passion of mine. I try not to be one of those over-excited nurses who become hyperactive at the thought of discussing their favourite subject, however, today, I allow myself to indulge a little and discuss some of my thoughts on wound care for [Read More…]

We need to take physical inactivity as seriously as smoking and alcohol abuse

take physical activity as seriously as smoking

Physical inactivity should be given equal priority to smoking and alcohol abuse, according to leading doctors at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 2012, the medical journal The Lancet has labelled a lack of physical inactivity as a “pandemic” which accounts for more than five million deaths around the world every [Read More…]

4 adults including a clinical nurse, 1 teenager and a fur baby to walk 1850km Canning Stock Route to stop stigma around mental illness

One Step at a Time Canning Stock Route

When I came across this hard-core group of 5 walkers (and Milly the fur baby) plus a support team who are preparing to walk the 1850km Canning Stock Route and fund raise in May in the name of stopping the stigma around mental illness, I couldn’t help but share their story. It’s up close, personal [Read More…]

The training program to become a specialist ear nurse – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

Polio resources for health professionals

polio resources for health professionals

Polio Australia has compiled a clinical practice resource module for health professionals as a broader information in support and health care for polio survivors, management of the Late Effects of Polio and/or Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). The module has drawn from polio specialist, polio survivors, and evidence-based literature. On the website, there are also other resources [Read More…]

Cardiologist in a truck becomes the Heart of Australia

Heart of Australia

The Heart of Australia is a 25 metre clinic on a truck that is the brainchild of Dr Rolf Gomes, a Brisbane cardiologist. He had been moved by his concern about the lack of cardiac care in rural and remote areas, and the difficulties undertaken by rural people to access adequate health service. Compared to [Read More…]

Ovarian cancer symptoms and prevention still misunderstood

Teal Ribbon Day ovarian cancer

Teal Ribbon Day is being held today in an effort to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. And with good reason. The statistics are pretty scary. Research says that: over a quarter of Australians know someone who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer only half of Australians know that ovarian cancer exhibits symptoms ovarian cancer has [Read More…]

Will physiotherapists be routinely using lung ultrasound for critical care in the future?

physiotherapists and lung ultrasound for critical care

A paper published in Physiotherapy Research International has looked at the physiotherapist’s respiratory assessment in critical care, and in particular, identifying parenchymal pulmonary pathology. The paper notes that the limited diagnostic of tools such as auscultation and chest X-ray might may not for allow the accurate differentiation between conditions such as lung collapse, consolidation and [Read More…]

Are plain cigarette packs really making a difference?

plain cigarette packaging study

On 1 December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce mandatory plain cigarette packaging. Cigarette manufacturers were required to produce plain cigarette packs with a large of coloured graphic health warnings (GHW). The purposes of the legislation are: Reducing the appeal of tobacco products to consumers Increasing the effectiveness of health [Read More…]

AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA drug testing for health practitioners

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim [Read More…]

Upskilling online made possible by Monash University

Monash Online courses for health professionals

The health industry is incredibly rewarding yet can be a mentally draining area to work in. Take it from Natasha Jennings of the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, who shared her typical day online at Health Victoria. Her exhausting day begins at 5am and she is seeing patients as soon as she steps into [Read More…]

What’s the best diet? Free public event in Brisbane run by Dietitian Connection

Dr Joanna McMillan

Dietitian Connection has put together a world-class program of speakers so that your patients / clients and any member of the public can go along and hear about what they should REALLY be eating. With the theme “What’s the best diet? Paleo? Gluten-free? Sugar-free?” the event is sure to do some major myth-busting about what [Read More…]

Rolling out multiple specialist ear clinics – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

$2,000 scholarship for stomal therapy, urology and continence nurses

Mitrofanoff scholarship 2015

Stomal therapy, urology and continence nurses are welcomed to apply for a $2,000 scholarship that will be offered by Mitrofanoff Support Australia. The scholarship is given to reward nurses who care for Mitrofanoff patients and to support further research on developing effective management for patients who have had the procedure done. Applications opening on February [Read More…]

Pharmacist disqualified for 30 years….

pharmacist disqualified for 30 years

A pharmacist, Mr Frank Balestra, has disqualified for 30 years by the The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia for professional misconduct of dispensing drugs for non-therapeutic reasons. At the tribunal hearing, Mr Balestra admitted that he has dispensed clomiphene, androgenic steroids, stimulants and human growth hormone to patients even though he knew the risks [Read More…]

Are your clients gluten free for the right reasons? by Sally Marchini APD

Sally Marchini dietitian

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 40 years ago and then coeliac disease 13 years ago. It was that second chronic disease diagnosis that inspired her to go to university to become a dietitian, both to benefit her own health and lead by example to help others to enjoy [Read More…]

ANMF calling 2014 graduate nurses and midwives to complete a questionnaire

ANMF 2014 graduate nurse and midwife questionnaire

The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling on newly graduated nurses and midwives to complete an online questionnaire by the 11th February 2015. It is to provide the ANMF with data to help with gaining employment opportunities for new graduates. The survey asks respondents for information as to whether they are currently employed, [Read More…]

The world of aged care nursing– by RN Brad Winter

registered nurse in aged care

“I work in a world of crocheted rugs, prunes for breakfast and jelly bean bingo. It is also a world of complex comorbid states, dementia in all forms and care of the dying. It is a world of these things, and so much more, the world of aged care. Specifically, I am a Registered Nurse [Read More…]

Too few exercise physiologists in Australian hospitals

Exercise physiologist workforce in hospitals

Less than 5% of Australian Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are employed in Australian hospitals, and industry body Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA) has called on the hospital sector to increase engagement with AEPs. ESSA released its Exercise Physiology Health Service & Workforce Planning Document 2014 in December, and following its release, ESSA is calling [Read More…]

Setting up specialist ear clinics from scratch – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

What do patients think about digital health? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 4

technology in health

This is the fourth and final post in my series from the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, following on from posts on wearables, disrupting the doctor visit, and how pharmacy can avoid its own Kodak moment. It was fantastic to see the program include a session on the patient perspective, as all too often [Read More…]

It has been confirmed: patient safety suffers when nurses are overworked

overworked nurses

Nursing is a soft target for budget reductions. This statement was made by Professor Linda Aiken, a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania, at the recent Queensland Nurses Union symposium in Brisbane. Prof Aiken was one of the investigators in a study which concluded that registered nurses in Europe working shifts of greater than or [Read More…]

Antibiotic resistance featured by….. an economist on TED!!!

antibiotic resistance

Over the past 70 years, antibiotics have been transformed from life-saving drugs into drugs “which have been used rather frivolously in some instances” according to Ramanan Laxminarayan an economist who is researching drug resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource. In this following video, he calls on every sector, patients and doctors [Read More…]

Becoming a Specialist Ear Nurse – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

What to do if you didn’t get into a grad nursing program

Brad Winter

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest article from Bradley Winter, a 2011 nursing graduate who now works in Aged Care in Brisbane. Brad initially wrote the article when he graduated, but 3 years down the track, 2014 grads are going through the same thing.  Brad’s blog Bed 15 will be up and [Read More…]

Becoming a medical writer

medical writing career

Medical writing is the term used for a field that can include journalists who specialize in writing in healthcare and medicine as well as doctors, nurses and other health professionals who go into the areas of writing and editing. Medical writing is a small profession, with the peak body, the Australasian Medical Writers Association having [Read More…]

Nurse disqualified until January 2018 after taking a patient’s credit card and making purchases totalling $1,552

nurse disqualified for stealing credit card

The South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal has reprimanded a nurse, cancelled her registration and disqualified her for applying for registration again until January 2018. Enrolled nurse Jayne Morley, who used to practice in the Adelaide hills initially had her registration suspended in November 2012 when the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia received a notification [Read More…]

#EZDrugID petition aims to reduce drug errors in Australia


Melbourne anaesthetist Nicholas Chrimes has launched a petition on change.org in an effort to reduce the risk of drug error and increase patient safety. The campaign, which has the social media hashtag #EZDrugID, was started on 9th December, and has had over 280 supporters sign the petition in the first 72 hours. Should ability to [Read More…]

ANMF National Graduate Nurse & Midwife Roundtable looking to secure jobs for graduates

ANMF graduate nurse roundtable 2014

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is bringing together nursing leaders and key industry stakeholders for roundtable discussions on securing employment opportunities for more than 3,000 Australian nursing and midwifery graduates unable to find jobs. Federal Secretary of the ANMF, Lee Thomas, has said that the ongoing lack of employment opportunities for graduates remains [Read More…]

AHPRA stats include more notifications of health professionals

AHPRA 2014 report

There was a 16% increase in notifications made about health practitioners in 2014, with more than 10,000 notifications (called “complaints” in Queensland). The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has released these details in its 2013/2014 annual report. Key statistics in the report include: 10,047 notifications were received in 2013/2014, up from 8,648 in 2012/2013 [Read More…]

Last-minute Victorian election promises include 24 hour pharmacies with night nurses

Victorian election health promises 2014

As Victorians go to the polls today, last-minute election promises have been in full swing in the lead up to the state government elections. Health is always one of the hot political topics, and the two major parties have not disappointed, both coming up with last-minute plans for the health system being released this week. [Read More…]

Why becoming a nurse purely to help people might be a bad idea

become a nurse

When you think of the “ideal” nurse, you might think of someone who is caring, nurturing and above all, wants to help people. But research carried out at the University of Akron and presented at the American Sociological Association conference suggests that nurses who have altruistic motives are more likely to report higher levels of [Read More…]

Aussie blokes under 35 who play footy – the likely patients in hospital due to sporting injuries

sports injuries causing hospitalisation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new report “Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-2012.” It is estimated that 36,000 people aged 15 and over spent a total of 79,000 days in hospital due to injury sustained while playing sport. According to the report, around one third of all sports injury hospitalisations [Read More…]

AHPRA seeking health practitioner members for 11 of its 14 boards

AHPRA national board applications

AHPRA is seeking to fill 102 practitioner and community member vacancies on 11 of its national boards. Professions which have board vacancies for health professionals are Chinese medicine, chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing & midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology. The functions of a national board include the registration of students and practitioners in [Read More…]

It takes a “special breed” to be an emergency department nurse!

emergency department nurse

The Emergency department (ED) is a highly stressful environment, so it requires specialized staff who are not only good at nursing, but also possess certain personalities so that they can cope with high-stress levels of working in the ED. The Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney has conducted a study of nurses’ personalities [Read More…]

#FOANed growing for free open access nursing education


If you’re a social media user, you may have seen the hashtag #FOANed being used recently. It’s a movement where nurses are posting Free Open Access Nursing education. We are lucky to have the drivers of this hashtag right here in our backyard in Australia. Three of the top contributors to #FOANed this week have [Read More…]

What type of nurse do you want to be? There are heaps of areas of specialization……

nursing specialization

Many people who are considering a career in nursing are unaware of the vast array of areas of specialization that exist in this profession. The Western Australia Health website lists clinical specialty areas of the nurses it employs. These are: Burns A burns nurse task including care for serious burns, rehabilitation, prevention and education. Cardiology [Read More…]

Nursing students’ perceptions of their clinical placements outside the hospital

Nursing clinical placements

The importance of health care delivery in clinical environments outside the hospital is increasing, and there are a growing number of nurses working in the community. While the most studies have targeted hospital as the placement setting for nursing students, less is known about the students’ perceptions if they are placed outside traditional hospital settings. [Read More…]

Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

Team UQ

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full [Read More…]

“Nurses helped me find meaning in my mum’s death”

Nursing meaning in mother's death

I came across a YouTube video recently, and couldn’t help but share it. Each health professional has a different life experience which draws them to becoming a health professional, but there was something that jumped out at me when I watched this video. The video is about Jennifer, a registered nurse from Canada, whose mother [Read More…]

Mental Health Services 2014 conference

Mental Health Services 2014 conference

The Mental Health Services annual conference is fast approaching. It will be held in Perth, with Tuesday 26th August marking the preconference day. The main conference will be running from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th August. The MHS Conference 2014 is the largest and longest running multidisciplinary mental health conference in Australia. It attracts over [Read More…]

Transition to Specialty Practice Programs – by RN Laurie, currently in a TSPP

Laurie Bickhoff

My Health Career would like to thank Laurie Bickhoff for writing this article! If you want more from Laurie, check out her blog Defining Nursing. “Graduate nurses will soon be approaching the mid-point of their first year of practice.  Some will be charging full steam ahead, leaping patients in a single bound.  Some will still [Read More…]

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme

In the 2014-2015 federal budget the government is providing an additional $22 million of funding to the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Programme. This funding is to ensure existing eligible organisations can maintain their client service levels and accept new patients and nurses. The programme is for services for patients with a severe mental illness, and [Read More…]

Pay and Conditions for Primary Care Nurses

nursing pay and conditions

For 10 years, the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association has conducted a survey to learn the hourly rates of primary care nurses (who often work in a medical centre) and total wage compensation they received as compared to previous years. In the 2013 survey, 1070 nurses responded to questions about their working conditions and [Read More…]

Would you have a “health check” in the aisle at Woolworths?

Woolworths 1

Woolworths is set to rollout “health checks” in its stores. The checks are to be carried out by pharmacy students, graduate pharmacists and nurses. So far it has been trialled in six stores in New South Wales and Queensland. And yes, we are talking about blood pressure and cholesterol checks in the aisle at your [Read More…]

Retired nurse calling for National Medal recognition for nurses

National Medal

G’day, My name is John Hibberd.  I am a retired nurse.  When I was working, I specialized in crisis negotiation and violence management.  At the top of my career, I was routinely managing remand and convicted murderers under conditions of “strictest security”, which meant that I was routinely swapping clients with police and prison guards.  [Read More…]

Tamsulosin and other alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists may cause eye surgery complications

alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists floppy iris

This week I went to a continuing education event for optometrists where one of the speakers, ophthalmologist Dr Joshua Hann showed images of complications encountered during cataract surgery due to the patient having a floppy iris. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. He mentioned that alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists were the cause, and [Read More…]

Australia’s first association for nursing students and new grads

Asanna logo

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest article from Carol Mudford. Carol is a nursing student at Charles Sturt University, and one of the Founding Co-Presidents of the new Australian Student and Novice Nurse Association (ASANNA membership is free). Carol is a member of the 2013 intake for the Emerging Nurse Leader Program, [Read More…]

Nursing grad jobs crisis in the media

Nursing grads job crisis media

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) recently put a call out to nursing graduates affected by the jobs crisis to speak to the media in an effort to raise awareness of the situation. The story was picked up by some media outlets, and appeared on Lateline and on www.news.com.au and on the blog working [Read More…]

headspace – why are young people presenting for mental health care?

youth mental health Australia

headspace is Australia’s national youth mental health foundation. It provides young Australians aged 12-25 with mental health, general health, education, employment, and alcohol and drug services. It is expected that there will be 90 headspace centres throughout Australia by 2015. A recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia provided statistics about 21,274 headspace clients [Read More…]

How much do you know about palliative care – really?

National Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care Australia is conducting the National Palliative Care Week between Sunday 25 May, 2014 and Saturday 31 May, 2014 to raise awareness about this growing sector of the health industry. The theme for this year is Palliative Care Everyone’s Business: Let’s Work Together. Palliative Care Australia is inviting everyone, from doctors to specialists, nurses [Read More…]

Thousands of 2014 nursing graduates predicted to miss out on jobs

Nursing graduate jobs

The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation has made a submission to the government regarding a review of 457 visas for nurses and midwives looking to come to Australia to work. As part of their submission, they obtained data from Health Workforce Australia, who said that while accurate and complete data is difficult to come by: [Read More…]

A mental health nurse in the general hospital – by Paul McNamara

Paul McNamara

Paul McNamara has extensive experience providing clinical and educative mental health support in general hospital and community clinical settings. He holds hospital-based, undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications, is Credentialed by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), and has been a Fellow of the ACMHN since 2007. Paul is a very active participant in health [Read More…]

International Nurses Day – coming soon!!

International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day will be celebrated around the world on 12th May.Itis a global celebration of nurses and their contribution to the health of society,and commemorates the birth of Florence Nightingale on 12 May 1820. The Graduate Nurses Network will be holding a rally in Sydney on 12th May this year to raise awareness about [Read More…]

Health Fusion Team Challenge registration open to uni students

Health industry report

University students studying a health degree in an Australian university are now able to register a team for the 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC). The HFTC is an award winning program aimed at educating students from different disciplines in the area of collaborative patient care. There are 4 basic steps to being involved in the [Read More…]

Advertising guidelines for health professionals changed… just waiting on official AHPRA documentation

AHPRA Action

AHPRA Action, a campaign led by Melbourne surgeon Dr Jill Tomlinson, to have the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services changed, has had some success, but is still looking for the guidelines document to be changed. The part of the guidelines in question is in section 6.2.3, where it states that: A practitioner must take [Read More…]

Lessons learned in my first year as a Registered Nurse – by Laurie Bickhoff


As my last shift in the graduate nurse transition to practice program approaches, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the last year.  It has certainly been challenging at times but also unbelievably rewarding.  There has been laughter and friendships formed.  There have been farewells and even tears shed.  Above all, and I think I [Read More…]

Virtual conference for midwives looking for presenters – ASAP


The International Day of the Midwife will be marked by the 6th annual Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) free online conference on 5th May 2014. The presentations will include the latest research or practice issues, informal discussions, panel discussions, meetings or story-telling. Expressions of interest to present at the VIDM in 2014 are [Read More…]

Want to fly to the Northern Territory to inspire the next generation of health practitioners?

NT Rural High School Visits

The Northern Territory Medicare Local is now taking applications for university health students to fly to the Northern Territory to connect with high school students to promote health careers. Participating uni students will have the opportunity to present workshops to high school students to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of health careers, and also share [Read More…]

Non-medical prescribing: the dispute continues

medicine prescribing rights

In Australia, medications are traditionally prescribed by medical practitioners such as general practitioners, dermatologists and paediatricians, as well as dentists. More recently, suitably qualified health professionals including nurse practitioners, optometrists and podiatrists have taken on the role of prescribing medications. In the past it has been up to the professional bodies to lobby for prescribing [Read More…]

My nursing clinical placement in Vietnam – by Natalie Sharp

Natalie Sharp ENL

My Health Career is excited to present a guest article by Emerging Nurse Leader Natalie Sharp about her placement in North Vietnam…. “I have just completed my Bachelor of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame in Perth, WA. Throughout high school I had always been interested in pursuing a career within the health industry [Read More…]

An emergency department nurse’s inside information about the ED

Mike Fox emergency nurse Mornington

Following is a guest blog by Peninsula Health grad nurse Mike Fox. Mike has a double degree from Monash University, Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Emergency Health Paramedic. Mike has obtained a full-time role in Frankston Hospital’s Emergency Department following the completion of his grad year. Peninsula Health has expanded the Mornington Centre, and are taking [Read More…]

The numbers in nursing

calculations in nursing

Throughout the course of the year, I have spoken to a number of nurses at careers events. A common theme has come up a few times now, so it’s something that I just can’t ignore!! I had to write an article about it!! As the title of this article implies, it’s to do with the [Read More…]

Needlestick injuries in nursing

Nursing needlestick injuries

While October was National Safe Work Australia month, the reality is that many health workers, including nurses are at risk of needlestick injuries all year round. According to the Alliance for Sharp Safety, sharps and needlestick injuries are known to affect at least 18,000 health care workers each year in Australia. Every needlestick or sharps [Read More…]

The Emerging Nurse Leader Program

Emerging Nurse Leaders ICN congress

It’s great to have another guest post from Laurie Bickhoff, who was chosen as one of five Emerging Nurse Leaders in 2012. You can check out Laurie’s profile here. In this post, Laurie gives details about the Emerging Nurse Leader Program. “The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) acknowledges the vital role nurse leaders have in [Read More…]

Cancer Nursing in Australia – Cancer Nurses Society of Australia 16th Winter Congress

Sandy at WC Opening (2)

My Health Career is very pleased to Sandy McKiernan is currently the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA) President and the Director Cancer Information & Support Services Cancer Council WA. Sandy has been a Cancer Nurse since 1992 working in both the public health sector and not for profit organisations and completed a Masters of [Read More…]

The jobs market for graduate nurses

nursing graduate employment

My Health Career has been following the 2012 nursing grad jobs crisis since news of it first broke in December 2012. As at December 2012, the numbers of graduate nurses who had been employed were 30% in Tasmania, 10% in Queensland, 50% in South Australia and 800 individuals in Victoria. You can read stories and [Read More…]

The Role of Mental Health Nurses

Mental health nurse Kim Ryan

My Health Career was lucky enough to have Adjunct Associate Professor Kim Ryan, CEO of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) write a post about mental health nursing. So let’s hand it over to Ms Ryan…. “I am the CEO of the ACMHN and a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™. I have worked in [Read More…]

Why I wanted to become a nurse


It is a treat to have a guest post from Laurie Bickhoff, who was chosen as one of five Emerging Nurse Leaders in 2012. You can check out Laurie’s profile here. In this post, Laurie answers the question “why did you want to be a nurse?” “One of the most common questions I am asked [Read More…]

Nursing – workforce retention and productivity study

Nursing retention and productivity

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) is currently in the process of assessing nursing retention and productivity in Australia. Their previously released report showed that unless action is taken, Australia is on track to have a shortage of 109,000 nurses by 2025. HWA has identified the retention and productivity of nurses as two of the significant factors [Read More…]

Honours for Australian Nurses

John Hibberd Honours for Australian Nurses

Following is a guest post from John Hibberd, a retired Psychiatric Nurse who is on a mission to ensure that nurses are eligible to receive equal recognition for their service when compared to other public servants. You can check out his website here: http://honours-for-nurses.webnode.com/ “G’day, Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your site. [Read More…]

Transition from Nursing to Businesswoman

Gail Timms

Here we have it folks…. a guest blog post from Gail Timms, who has a background in nursing. She has transitioned into the business world, running a wellness program. Here goes Gail’s story…. “Hi, I’m Gail Timms and have the privilege of nursing in the Community for more than 25 years. In that to time [Read More…]

Men in nursing

Nurse male by gcrairch

The Men in Nursing forum was held recently in Sydney, and over 40 men attended. And no, they didn’t spend the day basking in the glory of having a male nurse action figure…. (yup…. personally as an optometrist I’m just jealous that I’ve never seen an optometrist action figure…) there were a lot more serious [Read More…]

Nursing: a calling and a fantastic profession

Nursing - Brett Aimers St John

We are SO EXCITED about to have a superstar guest blogger on My Health Career!! Following is a post by Associate Professor Brett Aimers, Chief Nurse at St John Ambulance Australia. Brett is happy to answer questions you might have about a career in nursing, and can be contacted via email at chief.nurse@stjohn.org.au. “Now more [Read More…]

National Nursing Graduate Job Crisis

Nursing - grad crisis

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has released figures on new graduate employment – Tasmania 30%, Queensland 10% and South Australia 50%. There are also 800 nurse graduates without employment in Victoria. So yes, there is an apparent shortage of graduate nursing positions throughout Australia, even though Health Workforce Australia’s figures indicate that Australia will have [Read More…]

Nurse practitioners on the non-medical prescribing scene

Nursing - prescribing

Ooohh….aaahhhh….. our first nursing guest blog post!! Thanks goes to the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHC RIS) for allowing us to re-publish this article about what is happening right now in the area of nurse practitioner prescribing of medicines in Australia. The original article was published here: http://www.phcris.org.au/publications/researchroundup/issues/26.php. PHC RIS provides research [Read More…]

NSW state wide stop-work day for nurses

Nurses stop work

The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association has issued a media release outlining its plans to have a state-wide day of stop-work meetings co-ordinated by the Public Service Association of NSW on Monday 8th October. So what’s it all about? Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) nurses employed by the public health system in [Read More…]

Nursing ads on TV…. what the?!?!?!

Nursing Better Hands campaign

You might have seen the Australian Nursing Federation’s TV ad lately. If you haven’t, you can watch it here now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi7SQxXKI0Q&feature=youtu.be. So what’s it all about? Basically the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) is aiming to raise awareness about the valuable contribution nurses and midwives make in the health care system in Australia. It shows real-life [Read More…]

Nurses In the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony – didn’t see that one coming, did you?!?!

nurses pic

If you watched the Olympic opening ceremony, you couldn’t help but notice there were about 600 nurses featured in the sequence that paid tribute to the National Health Service (NHS). The word on the street is that all of the 300 beds featured in the ceremony were donated to hospitals in Tunisia. Here is a [Read More…]