Today’s guest blogger is Enrolled Nurse Pia Buckingham, who has been nursing for 24 years. During that time Pia has worked in aged care, group homes for the intellectually disabled, home and community nursing. For the past 15 years she has worked in operating theatres, including 12 years at Nepean Hospital, now as a scrub and scout nurse. Pia completed a Perioperative Practice Instrument Nurse course in 2006 and in 2009 was awarded an Advanced Diploma in Perioperative Nursing.
In November 2011 I was privileged to be a member of the Aussi Bangla Smile team that travelled to Bangladesh to perform facial surgery on children and a few adults from remote villages. The team consisted of two surgeons, two anaesthetists, three scrub and scout nurses and three anaesthetic nurses. (The Aussi Bangla Smile Project involves a voluntary surgical team under the umbrella of Rotary International. The project carries out cleft lip/palate, burn contracture and birth defect corrective plastic surgeries in remote regions of Bangladesh.)
The 2011 team in Bangladesh. Pia is fourth from right.
Today Ann-Marie remembers back to her first job in a nursing home as a 15 year old.
1965: I had just finished Junior (year 10) high school and entered the workforce. When I think back, what I remember most is the Vietnam War, which was on our TV sets every night as we ate dinner. All the young men were either in National Service or protesting the conscription call-up. The slogan that most epitomised the time was ‘All the way with LBJ’. As a teenager, the 1960s meant miniskirts, bikinis, ‘pot’ and the Pill promoting the fantasy of sexual freedom. Everyone owned a transistor radio and Beatlemania was at its height. Sputnik had heralded the space race and for the West this meant massive educational and social change to surpass Soviet ingenuity.
My first job hardly reflected this image of the ‘60s, for I entered the nursing workforce with all its rituals and tradition. At just 15, I was not old enough to start my general training, so I got a job as an assistant nurse in a convalescent home with some 30 residents, most of whom were demented women.
The vote to endorse the 2014 claim for the NSWNMA Public Health System award finished last week and branches once again voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing the campaign for ratios which began so strongly and successfully in 2010.
In a short video below, Brett Holmes discusses the 2014 claim, which includes a reduction in the consecutive shifts a nurse can be rostered on for to a maximum of six. He also talks about the ongoing court battle with the O’Farrell government over paying the full 2013 wage increase (including superannuation) to NSW’s nurses and midwives.
The Federal Government has appointed an expert panel to review current regulations on Australian employers accessing skilled labour from offshore, including nurses and midwives.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation will be making a submission to the panel, focusing in particular on the high numbers of new nursing and midwifery graduates who have been finding it difficult to get work.
The ANMF wants to hear from recent graduates about their experiences.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is a branch of the federal nursing and midwifery union, which has now become one of the largest unions in Australia.
The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has grown to almost 233,000 members, cementing its place as one of the largest and most influential unions in the country.
The milestone was marked with a cake when state and territory secretaries met in Melbourne in March.
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas prepares to cut the cake in celebration with the ANMF Executive – from left: Brett Holmes of NSW, Trish Fowler Western Australia, (front) Jenny Miragaya ACT, Sally-Anne Jones ANMF Vice-President, Lee Thomas, Coral Levett ANMF President, (back) Beth Mohle Queensland, (front) Lisa Fitzpatrick Victoria and Shirel Romoa Northern Territory.