Nurse Uncut goes to conference…

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Stand by for a social media blast coming your way from the NSWNA’s 67th annual conference, being held this week at Rosehill Racecourse in western Sydney. We will have an information stand in the exhibition hall  – if you’re attending either the Professional Day and/or conference, please drop by and say hello.

We’ll be blogging, Facebooking (on the NSWNA page) and Tweeting on a special conference hashtag (also from the NSW Nurses account): #NSWNAconf12.

Don’t understand what hashtags are? This is your chance to find out!

[Basically, if you put that hashtag onto every Tweet you make about the conference, they all get pooled in one place that can be read by attendees, followers and journalists – so it becomes a big conversation. You can download a Twitter app on your smart phone for free.]

Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions will be a guest speaker.

Taking the lead: Organising for safe patient care is the theme of this year’s conference.  Discussion will continue on the implementation of the new minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, which were secured last year for most NSW public hospitals.

A key issue for this year’s conference is the use of ‘special’ nurses to deal with patients in general wards who require individual monitoring and attention for extended periods. At the moment nurse staffing arrangements are not fully covering patients who require this special attention and nurses from the existing roster are usually left to cope with the situation.

There are motions before the conference seeking additional nurses when these situations arise. Each roster should actually provide one extra nurse for each patient requiring special attention. This and other staffing issues will be raised with the State Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, when she addresses conference on Thursday morning.

Another key issue is the NSW Government’s workers compensation changes. Aged care funding will again be a major topic and the Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, will address the conference on Thursday afternoon.

Another issue to be discussed is the excessively high cost of housing in parts of NSW, especially in parts of Sydney, and the impact this has on key service workers such as nurses and midwives.

Tomorrow’s Professional Day will have a heavy emphasis on the international campaign to protect and improve the quality of patient care, against the relentless push to cut costs and reduce taxation and government revenues available for health and aged care.

So stay tuned for our conference reports and photos!

Image credit: www.una.ab.ca

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