Lymphoedema – the need for a public clinic

Lymphoedema is a chronic and debilitating condition that doesn’t discriminate by socio-economic status. But not everyone can get access to diagnosis and treatment.

At a Sydney Alliance meeting in Chatswood last week, GP Dr Debbie Geyer from the Lymphoedema Support Group of NSW spoke about how people with this condition are struggling in northern Sydney and the need for a local public lymphoedema clinic. Debbie’s introduction to the issues was followed by a personal story by Carol Walker, also of the Lymphoedema Support Group, and a nursing perspective from Catherine Brennan, a community nurse.

Their focus is on their local northern Sydney district. If you live elsewhere and also have a lymphoedema story, please share in the comments.

Debbie: I work as a GP on the lower north shore and have lymphoedema.
My condition led me to get involved with the Lymphoedema Support Group of NSW and then with the Northern Suburbs Cancer Action Network.

LynneSavilleWilloughbycouncillornursing lecturerDr YvonneMcMasterPush forPalliativeCareLizHingChairCancerActionNetworkNorthernSuburbsandCancerCouncilNSW)ElaineKelly RNCatherine BrennanRNCarolWalkerDebbieGeyerLymphoedemaAlliance

At the Chatswood Sydney Alliance assembly, from left: LynneSaville, Willoughby councillor and nursing lecturer, Dr Yvonne McMaster, Push for Palliative Care, Liz Hing, Chair of Cancer Action Network Northern Suburbs and of Cancer Council NSW, Elaine Kelly RN, Catherine Brennan RN, Carol Walker, Dr Debbie Geyer, Lymphoedema Alliance.

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Posted in: Advocacy, Nursing experiences
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Stevie’s EN diary: Ebola – in PPE we trust…

In this diary entry, new grad EN Stevie wants to talk about Ebola.

Let’s talk about Ebola, because quite frankly I don’t think we are talking about it enough. And if you can’t detect the sarcasm dripping all over that sentence, then perhaps you should think about reading a different blog post about Ebola. If you’re not on duty, you could play an Ebola drinking game whilst reading this blog post about Ebola.

The tea room chatter has lately been all about Ebola. Would you work with a patient with Ebola? The answer for me, without having to think about it, is yes. With the right training and PPE, yes. Unquestioningly, yes. Why? Because I am a nurse. It is my job. I don’t think you should get to pick or choose who you work with. I work with patients with HIV and Hep C. I work with patients from the local prison. I would work with a patient with Ebola. I use the appropriate PPE. Each patient is a cesspit of germs. In PPE I trust.

calm ppe

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Posted in: Nursing experiences, Stevie's new grad EN diary
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ANZAC Girls – a Nurse Uncut contest

We’re about to enter the home stretch towards the end of the year and the days are getting hotter. We reckon that’s worth celebrating with a DVD giveaway! And this is a very special DVD, courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment.

We have five copies of ANZAC Girls to give to five lucky Nurse Uncut readers*. Apart from the six episodes, each DVD includes special features such as the making of ANZAC Girls, the casting and main characters, costume design, make-up and hair, the men of the series and cast interviews.


The ANZAC girls (based on real women): Grace Wilson, Olive Haines, Alice Ross-King, Elsie Cook, Hilda Steele.

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Posted in: Competitions, nursing history, Videos
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Say no-way to a Medicare co-pay

Coral Levett, President of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, writes about the ongoing threat to Medicare – which had its seeds long before the May Budget measures were announced.

Many of you will have been involved in the public rallies held over recent months to show opposition to the Abbott Government’s plan to introduce a range of co-payments for medical services, including GP visits.

The ANMF has feared attacks on our universal health system for some considerable time (well before the May Budget was handed down). This is because we have been watching the slow erosion of our public hospitals and other traditionally managed public health services throughout a number of Australian states.


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Posted in: Advocacy

Why privatisation is relevant to nurses and midwives

Last week, ex-policeman and provocateur Tim Priest wrote an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph, in which he accused the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association of being unconcerned about violence in the hospital system, instead being too busy with its anti-privatisation advertising campaign.

Below is the full reply made by Brett Holmes of the NSWNMA – an edited version was published as a letter in the Telegraph on Saturday.

To accuse the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association of being uninterested in the safety of patients and of the dedicated nursing staff in emergency departments is drawing a long bow, even for Tim Priest (Nurses’ union should take truth pill, 16 Oct).

If Mr Priest had practiced what he preached in relation to fact checking, he would be aware the NSWNMA has long held the view – and indeed is still campaigning for – the introduction of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in the state’s emergency departments. Ratios are a vital element of ensuring safe patient care and safety for nursing staff.

ED ratio

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Posted in: Advocacy, Health funding, NSWNMA, Violence
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