Student nurse: I was attacked by a patient

Second year nursing student Jacqui Austin* tells a troubling story. She writes: Maybe my situation is too dark for Nurse Uncut, but I want it to be shared. How many other students are getting treated like this? How many nurses are getting treated like this? The hospital I was learning in failed me, my university to some extent failed me and my profession failed me that day, week and the months that followed (from all the traumatic stress). [*This is a pseudonym.]

Here is her story.

While on placement, I was attacked by a patient. I was verbally and physically abused and assaulted.

stressnurseWhen I reported it to the hospital, I was discouraged and told I would not be supported going to the Police. No one sat down with me to tell me what the processes were and what my options and rights were. I was instead put into a room on my own and had to fill out lots of paperwork and incident reports as well as writing a letter to the NUM with details on what took place.

No counselling was offered until I chased this up on my return to the ward after the weekend.

I had to push to be moved onto another ward and didn’t even know I was entitled to this. Continue reading

Posted in: Nursing experiences, Violence, Nursing students, women
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Nurse Uncut readers survey 2016!

Nurse Uncut is on the cusp of change! We’re undergoing an exciting redesign and will soon be bringing you new writers…  We also want to keep bringing you the stories that matter – that make you laugh, cry or get angry on behalf of health care and the people who work in it.

So we want to hear from you, wherever you live and even if you rarely read the blog.

****Take our readers survey now.****

oxypasshoesThe survey should only take a few minutes to complete and at the end you can go into the draw* to win a pair of fantastic Oxypas caring footwear (your choice of style), especially made for people who are on their feet for hours each day.

(*For NSWNMA members only. We appreciate the input from all our readers, in Australia and internationally, but the prize – and the blog – come to you via the NSWNMA, so must go to members.)

****Take the survey now.****


Posted in: Nurse Uncut - General, Giveaways

Mental health nurse Margaret: 7 marathons in 7 days to protect children

Margaret Melkie is a Sydney mental health nurse taking a stand against child sexual assault. In a couple of months time she’ll attempt to run seven marathons in seven states in seven days to raise $10,000 for the Bravehearts 777.

The 38-year-old will cover almost 300 kilometres between June 27-July 3 across Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Kingscliff and the Gold Coast to raise funds and awareness to help national child protection advocate Bravehearts.

Scroll down for details of Margaret’s inaugural fundraising gala in Cronulla on Saturday May 28.

Margaret Melke

Photo credit: John Appleyard, Inner West Courier

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Posted in: Advocacy, Nursing - Mental Health, Community campaigns
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Mandatory notification – a cure worse than the illness?

Why is NSW law interpreted as requiring mandatory notification of all involuntary hospital admissions of nurses and doctors to their respective councils and to AHPRA, while the rest of Australia does not require this? In the latest Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), Dr Minh Le Cong outlines why he thinks this is a matter of concern for all health practitioners.

minh_le_cong official_0Dr Le Cong tells the tale of a nurse called SJ, who after a relationship break-up became increasingly depressed and sought help from several doctors and psychologists. Her depression worsened and she became suicidal. She stopped working as a nurse and was admitted to hospital where she tried to kill herself. After this, she became an involuntary patient and the treating psychiatrist told her he was obliged to notify the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

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Posted in: Nursing - Mental Health, Employment issues, Nurse health
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Vision statements: what are the challenges for aged care?

Twenty percent of NSW’s population will be over 65 in 2020 – already 13.8% are aged 65 years and over. It’s obvious that this ageing population presents us with a challenge – as a society in general, as nurses and on a personal level for many of us.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association has adopted a strategic plan for the next five years to guide us forward as we face many challenges to our professions. A key objective of the strategic plan is to promote a world class, well-funded, integrated health system. Over the following months, Nurse Uncut will seek your feedback on related issues. We want you to share your wisdom and experience. We begin with aged care.

After reading this article, let us know what you think about these questions:

  • old womanWhat do you see as the biggest challenges of caring for older people in their own homes?
  • What will be the main focus of care in aged care homes in the next five years?
  • How can aged care homes adapt to meet the changing needs of people requiring long term care?
  • What would be the best models to deliver care to people who choose to stay at home for longer?

Whether you’re a hospital nurse, aged care nurse or have a personal response, please leave your answers in Comments below.

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Posted in: Nursing - Aged Care
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