Nurse Uncut is thrilled to introduce the first instalment of a new grad diary by Finn Blackburn. Throughout 2014, Finn will record the ins and outs, ups and downs of her first year as a Registered Nurse. Today, just before commencing her new grad program, Finn takes her own vital signs.
She’d love to hear from other nurses, especially those of you who are sharing the new grad experience this year, so please comment. You can always use a pseudonym!
Look out for Finn’s next blog post soon on Nurse Uncut.
My name is Finn Blackburn and I will be a new graduate nurse this year.
There’s a large group of mainly female nurses who are heading for retirement age – but women on average retire with far less superannuation than men. In this article, originally published on Women’s Agenda, Richard Denniss of the Australia Institute thinktank points out that “a hypothetical nurse who took time [out of her career] to care for her children and parents would have around $538,000 less” than a male worker on retirement.
The average Australian woman would need to work an extra 25 years to match men’s superannuation.
The solution, he argues, is not to make women feel they can increase their super by making wise decisions. Instead, the solution is to increase the aged pension.
The gap between the retirement incomes of men and women will never be solved by information campaigns, decision-making tools or new websites.
Today’s post is by Dr Linda Samera of the NSW North Coast. A severe case of Sjogren’s Syndrome means Dr Samera has to travel to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney every month for treatment.
The closure of the cheap and wheelchair-friendly accommodation where she used to stay has prompted Dr Samera to start a petition on GetUp. She wants to put pressure on the state government to provide country patients with affordable accommodation when they have to come to the city for treatment.
For years, she and her husband Rod stayed at Blue Gum Lodge in Sydney – ‘for country people only’. But the Lodge has closed, leaving the Sameras with nowhere to stay. Here is Linda’s story.
I have an autoimmune disease that requires me to travel more than 500km to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital every month where I spend one week receiving medical treatment.
Dr Linda Samera – ready to travel.
Today’s post is the second of two [read part one here] marking the 2014 Sydney Mardi Gras.
Paul van Reyk tells the story of nurses on the frontline of the ‘AIDS crisis’ during the 1980s in Ward 17 South at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst. It tells of the intensity, camaraderie and rollercoaster of nursing young people with the new and unknown – and lethal – condition that was AIDS in the 1980s.
The story continues…
The nursing was constant and physically exhausting. Everyone remembers the cryptosporidium diarrhoea, not shit so much as brown water, sometimes 10 and 12 litres of it a day from a single patient. How thin and frail people were – young men who should have weighed 75 kilos down to 35 kilos, for whom lying in bed was agony, who needed to be turned regularly to ease the discomfort, each turn in itself causing excruciating pain. Changing clothing and bed linen sopping from night sweats five and six times a night. The dementia and screaming from those with cryptoccal meningitis or cerebral toxoplasmosis.
On other units you might take patient observations twice a day; here you might be taking them hourly. When the hospital introduced its Patient Assessment Intervention Score system to track nursing workload, the figures for the ward were off the chart, says ex-NUM Bill Paterson.
Panels from the Australian AIDS Quilt.
Tomorrow the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, destroyed by a November 2011 fire in which 11 residents were killed, will be re-opened.
Michelle Rowland is the local MP and she spoke in the NSW Parliament on Monday 24 Feberuary about the fire and its aftermath, including the new rule making sprinklers compulsory in aged care facilities.
Michelle Rowland (Greenway, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications):
I rise to update the House on the redevelopment of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, located in my electorate, which, as members would remember, burnt down in November 2011, tragically taking the lives of 11 innocent people. Victims died in the fire and others died afterwards from complications related to the fire.
Michelle Rowland MP.
This was a truly horrifying event for a close-knit community. These were innocent victims – elderly people who had survived wars, the Depression, disease and the passage of time itself – whose lives were ripped away by an event none of them deserved or could have foreseen.