Karys Fearon, a midwife at Gosford Private Hospital, has retired after 56 years of nursing/midwifery. Karys was born in 1941 and began nursing in 1958. Her story reads like episodes of ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘Love Child’! Karys worked many years beyond the usual retirement age and is now 73.
Her colleagues asked Karys to put together a story of her career as they thought many would be interested and inspired by her amazing life. Here is part one of her story (read part 2 here).
I first walked up the stone steps of the historical Nightingale Wing to Matron’s office on 17 March, 1958, embarking on a nursing career at Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street. I had no idea where this would lead me – the present was all I concentrated on all those 56 years ago!
For the first six weeks we were drilled in basic nursing skills in the Preliminary Training School, dressed in our stiffly starched uniforms, including the defining collar and cuffs of the profession. An evening each week on the wards gave us a vague idea of nursing 28 sick people in an open long ward, with four or five more, usually TB patients, on the open verandah.
A new report sheds light on the role of nurses in preventing the sexual assault of older women. The report – called Norma’s Project – documents 65 stories about sexual assault shared by older women, their family members and service providers. Today, we consider three types of assault uncovered in the research. It’s important that every nurse reads the Norma’s Project report because the silence around the sexual assault of older women creates a culture where it continues largely unchallenged.
Firstly, who is Norma?
Norma is 86. Since the death of her husband and son in 2002, she had been living independently at home with the support of her daughter and home support services. Norma was diagnosed with dementia in 2010. She was determined to remain in the family home although she did agree to occasional respite care at a residential aged care facility. One day, on return home from a respite stay, Norma was very distressed. She told her daughter she had been sexually assaulted by a staff member at the facility. The police and facility were notified, the complaint was investigated and the perpetrator identified. However, due to the absence of physical evidence, the lack of corroborating witnesses and Norma’s diagnosis of dementia, no further action was recommended or taken by the police or facility.
A painting by Norma.
Today’s post is about the Women Want to Know program on alcohol and pregnancy and the role of health professionals.
Did you know that 97 percent of Australian women have said they wanted to be asked about their alcohol use in pregnancy? Most women visit a health professional when they’re pregnant for advice on a range of topics, alcohol being one. These visits present the ideal opportunity to discuss alcohol consumption and reinforce that not drinking during pregnancy is the safest option.
However, some health workers are reluctant to discuss alcohol with pregnant women, concerned that the woman may feel uncomfortable. Or they’re unsure what advice to provide and where to refer if necessary. A new national campaign, Women Want to Know, aims to overcome these barriers by educating health professionals on the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy to ensure that women are fully informed. Continue reading
Listen below (click the red arrows) to podcasts from Professional Day at the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s annual conference, 30 July 2014. Speakers include Lisa Wilkinson and Jane Caro.
The Modern Face of Sexism
Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator. A regular on the Gruen Transfer, she also appears regularly across the media, including Sunrise, The Drum, Q&A, The Project, Daily Edition, Mornings on 9, Studio 10 and Today. She writes regular monthly columns for Mt (Management Today) Magazine, the Sun Herald’s Sunday Life and a weekly column in Crikey.
Lisa Wilkinson’s media career began as editor of the national young women’s magazine Dolly at the age of 21. Four years later she became the editor of the iconic Cleo magazine. Over the next decade, Lisa guided the magazine to new circulation highs, making it the No.1 selling women’s lifestyle magazine per capita in the world. Lisa is currently co-hosting the TODAY show on Channel 9.
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