Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Reflections of 2009

Another year is coming to a close... in fact it is the last day of the has been a very busy year....I often forget how busy the year was... until I look back at my diary and see all the entries and everything I have done and wonder how the hell I fit it all in and remain sane.... when I review my blog for the year I have 53 entries as compared with 57 last year..and my viewer rate has increased but my viewer comments have declined...I am not sure how to interpret these say that I blog out of interest and to widen the scope of information for women. An objective for next year will be to blog more often and tempt more reader comments....any tips on how to do this are welcome...

Highlights this year... making Isabella's christening gown, Ian's 60th birthday in Malaysia & getting a par, Ben & Peta's wedding - Bali, presenting at the Adelaide ACM Conference, then having a Midnight snack at McDonald's with Heather...getting the house to myself (daughter moved out)....more romantic time with my husband...getting an iphone...
Low points: Ian not being well....damaging my iphone....not having enough time to myself....

Work has been challenging but exciting and next year proves to be even more so challenging with a new project a foot the 'iportfolio'. This will mean engaging the nursing & midwifery students to move to an electronic portfolio and the introduction of a new curriculum, so lots of work ahead. I am also looking at the Second Life birth unit in more depth so as to engage the midwifery students, I am hoping to get some help from Sarah Stewart who is the expert in this area.
I hope to continue working one day a week clinically, however with my teaching commitments sometimes this is difficult and I really do not want to eat into my weekends.

Big changes for our profession in 2010 with National Registration and Accreditation Scheme -National Registration due in July and also MBS & PBS changes later in the year is very important for all Nurses and Midwives.... I will be keeping this blog up to date on all these issues....definitely watch this space

The biggest decision I have to make is whether or not to continue with my PhD which has been on hold this year... whilst I completed the Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Teaching which I have now done.....yeah.... I ask myself do I want to keep studying and strangely when I don't study I get withdrawals I crave more knowledge and get bored from not studying....but do I have the devotion of a three year lonely road of a PhD? I am not sure.... will have to ponder on this further..... so watch this space....

On a personal level, the three eldest grandchildren are at Kindy, pre-school and school this year where do the years go..... it will be no surprise to find that we may be expecting to be grandparents again for the 8th time. Dylan will be going to have his tonsils out in January.... so that will be traumatic....thankfully only for a short period. As for my husband I am hoping that we both win the battle of the bulge this year and work hard at losing weight and reaping the results of lowering our blood pressure and being lots more physical exercise in 2010....

For me 2010 is already looking busy and travel plans are being made.... with in the first 6 months.... it will be Sydney, Singapore, a friends wedding in Margaret River, and Alice Springs ACM Breathing New Life into Maternity Care 2010.... and of course my major highlight is saving for the ICM 29th Triennial Congress Durban, South Africa 19 - 23 June 2011, so I am hoping not to do to much travelling in 2010 and not to spend too much money this year....

"How to weigh yourself and get the most accurate result. I can't believe I have been doing it wrong all these years".

Ref picture:

My Key Aims: Be more healthy... walk 5 out of 7 days for 30 mins. Find some quiet time each day: laugh every day, and eat smaller portions...... the rest I will make up as I go.....Enjoy & be thankful in 2010.... Be Happy and Safe.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Christmas 2009

Christmas is always very special for me....I just love a child my experiences were mixed and really depended on what sort of report card I got as to how good my presents were. I remember clearly the year I found out the Father Christmas was not real. It was my own curiosity that got me and ever since then I always secretly wished Santa was real.

Now I go all out to enjoy Christmas and ensure that my family and especially the grandchildren enjoy Christmas..... no expense spared. I hired a Santa suit for the first year we had grandchildren and when I saw what a hit that was I bought the suit because I knew we would be using it for the years to come... this has been the third year Ian has put on the Santa suit... I must say I think he is finally resigned himself to the task... and I get my wish come true that Santa really does exist.

Dylan sent nanna to the naughty spot for kissing Santa Claus.....

I usually start by buying the grand kids toys in the July sale and lay by them for the next 6 months (easy storage) and pick them up Christmas week... and then get the wrapping done...because life is so busy the Christmas cake usually doesn't get done until a few weeks before and baked the week before... it still tastes good.

The menu gets sorted a week before Christmas and the turkey & ham ordered at that time.... I usually change the side dishes each year.... our Christmas is usually in the late afternoon early evening allowing the children to visit the in laws in the morning or lunch time.... This year we did discuss having Christmas somewhere else at one of the children's houses... but I really enjoy the whole ordeal and while I am young enough and able I want to continue the tradition....there will come a time when we wont be able to do it then it will go to the children to organise but not for a few years yet......God willing.

I am one to those obligatory Catholics the Easter and Christmas ones.the twice a year jobies.. that just can't give up those days... as they are so entrenched into my Psyche I cannot go without my fix of Christmas Carols. Speaking of Christmas Carols I usually like to go with my daughters and grandchildren so that they too can get a spiritual sense of Christmas by attending the Carols.

It is so much fun having all the family together... usually this is the time when somebody gets upset with somebody but no we had a brilliant time everyone had one thing in mind enjoying the moment..... and it was tremendous.... a ball was had by all.
There was presents galore... I do think the the children get too many toys... I think we will have to come up with an idea to buy the children not just toys but maybe some practical things for the year such as clothes, shoes, etc....the back garden looked like a toy shop... I am sure all the kids were delighted....

As for me my report card must of been good because I did very well with presents...books, DVDs, chocolates, jewellery, photo frames.... yes I have been spoilt... I have started reading Ian Smiths memoir - Bitter Harvest (Zimbabwe and the Aftermath of its Independence......very interesting...

We have entertained almost everyday since Christmas... having pool parties using up all the leftover food with all the kids and several of the grandchildren have had sleepovers... I think it is time for us to have a rest.... just the two of us now...before the New Year...... I need time to contemplate what my goals are for the coming year....and whether to proceed with my PhD.........

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Challenging clinical shift..... a reflection

On first appearances the board looked OK...(and what is the board? has every ones name on in the ward so you know the occupancy & whats what at a glance)... it always seems OK when its not completely full. However we all know looks can be deceiving and the acuity of the patient load is not measured by just bed occupancy. Its always good to work with a great team.... because as we know this makes life much easier... and we were all run off our feet. There were three Cesarean sections that afternoon... one after the other... of which I had two... here's an ethical question for you? should women be able to choose to have an elective Cesarean Section (C/S) at 38 weeks? it was an uneventful pregnancy... and at birth the baby is diagnosed with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome is a common breathing problem in premature infants. Did you know that babies have 12 times higher chance of developing RDS from an elective C/S @ 38 weeks... I wonder if the woman knew this fact before making her decision?

After birth, newborns with mild respiratory distress syndrome may require only supplemental oxygen. Newborns with severe respiratory distress syndrome may require oxygen delivered by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)—a technique that allows newborns to breathe on their own while being given slightly pressurized oxygen or air given through prongs placed in both nostrils). In newborns with severe respiratory distress syndrome, a tube (endotracheal tube) may need to be passed into the windpipe (intubation), and the newborns breathing may need to be supported with mechanical ventilation. This would also mean the baby would need to be transferred to a teritary hospital that can provide the staff and care for the infant. This baby was intubated and transferred by the NETS team.... I then spent time reassuring the mother that all would be well, fortunately she was going to bottle feed which therefore meant she did not have to express her milk and send it to the baby hospital. Later in the evening she told me that the baby was doing well and may only be intubated for 24 hours.

My other challenge was looking after a profoundly deaf woman who was not well after the birth... she also had a multitude of complex social problems... I was walking past the room to the loud cries of a baby, walked in to find the mother fast asleep and the screaming baby...this really bought home to me some of the issues confronting both the mother and baby... I picked up the baby and settled it back to sleep.... later I watched dad (who is also profoundly deaf) change the babies nappy.... he was vigorously wiping the baby's bottom and the baby was screaming... not once did he look up to watch the baby... I realised how much education was required.... and spent considerable amount of time talking slowly and clearly so that he could lip read my advice... however you could only do short periods at a time... he appeared to get bored with it all.... they are a young couple whose parents provide a lot of support and help which this also creates a problem. There are baby monitors for deaf mothers... that alert the mother & father to the crying baby... and of course it is important to be constantly looking at the babies face for its expressions...

Family dynamics are always intriguing, we as midwives get to observe them and this can be fascinating. Mother - daughter, mother - son, and then there's the in-law relationship. When there is a disability this then also puts added strain on the relationships...... due to the autonomy of the client and the need to be autonomous... as a parent they have to learn to allow them to make their own decisions... this happens in all relationships.... this one was particularly difficult on all counts....

It was interesting for me... usually when you are in a room there is the noise from the telly or people talking... however this room was silent especially when the baby was sleeping... I was kneeling to empty the catheter bag... it was quiet in the room...the IVAC started to alarm... but my hands were full so I couldn't turn off the alarm.... it was a piecing noise nobody in the room heard must have been going for a few minutes when another midwife entered the room to see what the problem was... she was surprised to see me there and said "can you not hear that alarm?" I laughed and said my hands are full.. couldn't turn it off and I was amazed that the sound was so annoying could not be heard by anyone in the room but me....this experience gave me a small insight into what there life might be like... one I would not want. Fortunately for this young woman she was breastfeeding like a dream.. she had a good milk supply and enjoyed feeding.....I was confident that the baby would not go hungry and at least its crying would be for other reasons... other than being hungry, a small consolation. As you can imagine I could spend my whole shift just with this couple providing them with care and education but alas I have four other clients to share my time with.

On entering another room, I was amazed to see the woman, baby and partner all huddled in the bed together...the partner was almost lying on top of the baby... I said good afternoon and suggested that it was not a good idea for them all to be lying in this small bed and almost covering the newborn baby.....the partner was upset and said "I'm not sure its my baby..." to which I responded... well whoever baby it is, it is not good to all be sleeping almost on top of the baby... the mother responded by saying... he's joking... it is his baby" at this point I wondered why did I come to work today..... as my shift was turning into a shambles.... a baby with RDS, two day 1 cesarean sections, a deaf couple and a man who didn't know if this was his baby... and I wondered how the rest of the shift would go as I had only met half my patients.....

A bell was ringing..... then a man shouted in pain.... I thought what the hell is that? a few people gathered in the corridor... we are used to women yelling but not a man.... I entered the room to find a man doubled over in pain.... now I really wondered what am I doing here....after making a quick assessment and asking a few questions, it turns out he had injured himself a few days ago and had not been to the doctors and the pain just got worse...his wife had just had a baby yesterday... so as we are a maternity hospital we packed him off in an ambulance.....lesson to men... if you have injured yourself and have pain go to the doctors, it will only get worse if not treated... and if you don't want to go to the doctors, don't visit your wife in hospital.....and complain of the pain you have....

My other cesarean mother had so many visitors I could not get into provide the care required with all the visitors who did not want to go and the mother did not want them to go..... this baby was not ready to breastfeed and they both needed lots of time and education........

could my shift get worse.....with breastfeeding issues...IV antibiotics, complex family issues.....pain relief requests...resiting IV cannula....just the normal run of the mill... everyone running around busy.... it must be the first time I have been late off finishing because I have to write up my client reports..... I must be slipping or I was so busy I just never got on top of was a matter of doing what was most important first.....but the bells kept on ringing.... could of done with another pair of hands.....

Its funny I always tell my students.... you must make sure you document contemporaneously...which I did at the bedside but not in the progress notes... for me this was the shift from hell...everyone was of late.... it goes to show you that if your client acuity is high you will fall behind in managing your load. It will just take one client to have breastfeeding issues or a complex social problem and you are out of whack....

What would I do differently next time.... probably keep more up to date with my client progress notes.... I could have made time to update each one as I dealt with their issues rather than at the end of the shift... ask the visitors to leave after an hour....and not engage with the complex social issues....easier said than done... profoundly deaf people need a lot of one on one time for communication purposes... I would re-organise the work loads... however there just was not enough staff... so much for the governments 3% cuts.... it comes off at ground level.... just not good enough....

Yes I had a double scotch when I got home........

Friday, December 18, 2009

Besotted with Grief

Today I attended the funeral of a 27 year old colleague who was a former graduate of mine with whom I had developed a professional relationship with over a period of time. I feel extremely saddened and completely perplexed by the whole ordeal. There were family, friends, acquaintances and work mates present and there was not a dry eye in the place.....everyone enmeshed within their own feelings of grief & saddness.

Her father gave his eulogy starting with "No parent should see there children die first" How true is this? as a mother & step mother of 6 children and 7 grandchildren I pray to see them grow up healthy, independent, happy and able to contribute to society in a meaningful way.... I certainly want to die before them and God forbid I should have to do what this man had to do today...

As a parent you raise your children and hopefully give them the tools and skills to deal with the issues of life, you get them through the teenage years with all the trials and tribulations , the tears, tantrums, laughter & joys and then they are deemed adults..... now they make their own life decisions with maybe your guidance or not.... then you step back and watch... this at times can be very painful.... because you cannot stop the mistakes they make..... just as my mother could not stop me... it was my lessons to learn. You can only be there as the shoulder of support. However this does not stop it from hurting or being painful.... because you love them so dearly you want their life to be perfect or less painful.

Such a young life gone....for what.... for making the wrong choice at the time....her father went on to say " as you lay on the foot of my bed sharing your day talking to me... then kissing me on the forehead as you left for work....I had no idea that I would never see you again". His pain was palpable.... it broke my heart... I tried to put myself in his shoes just for a moment and the pain was too much.....How tragic... as a parent you do your best... but sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees.... her mother had passed away a year ago and.........Grief can be so debilitating and depression can be so desperate & bleak that you are unable to make the right is so hard to know why things happen and we may never know the answers.... but hopefully some lessons will be learned.

For me as a parent I pray never to have to bury my children or grandchildren and that when it is my time to die that my children will accept my passing and celebrate the life I lived and move on with their own lives finding comfort in their strenghs and resilience, knowing that i will always be in their hearts.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote that "you will not grow if everything is perfect. But pain is a gift with its own purpose".

Life is a responsibility...hopefully we make choices based on what is in our hearts as the right thing to is full of choices we just have to know which one to make.........

I am thankful for the lovely companionship of a dear friend after the service.... sitting in the coffee shop.....dissecting the funeral, chewing the fat.... solving the worlds problems... laughing, crying...laughing.... and finally I don't feel so bad that my office is complete chaos and I have not managed to clean it up....after she described her sewing room...I was laughing so much I felt better...I think my office is not too bad..... thank you my friend.....friendships are so important...

Depression is a serious illness, it is not just about low moods, or just feeling sad or stressed....that happens to us some of the time... it is about not being able to function as you used to....not being able to sleep at night....increased drugs or alcohol.. a complete list can be found on the Beyondblue site...if you know someone who may need some help guide them to seek some help even if it is taking the first step of looking at the site and doing the Interactive Depression checklist... its simple and they can do it themselves... then guide them to seek help. Depression is no different to having a serious heart condition, diabetes or hypertension.... it needs treatment... so that people are enabled to make the right choices.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The blogfrog..... looks good

Hi All,

thought I might try the increase my readers / traffic... all you have to do is sign up: all you have to do as readers is to link your blog to mine, or sign up for TheBlogFrog. Just follow the instructions on the widget.... it is fun...

The other resource I have just discovered is Diigo.... can't believe I have not seen this before... for me who is always surfing the net and finding interesting articles and storing them on my hard I have a resource library, you can highlight, make notes.....and save them all in your library. I can build and then share with my friends and students... just brilliant..
Have fun.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A woman.......

A friend sent me this email.... I thought I would share it.... it rings so true...remember the old saying "many a true thing is said in jest" well this is it...

"Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile,she'll give you her heart.
If you tickle her fancy she will give you an orgasm.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her a bit of crap, be ready to receive a ton of sh*t."

I just love it...... enjoy life it is too short....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sudden Death...... unexpected death.... when it happens to someone you know...

Death is final... yes we all know this, but when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly it rocks you to your core.... I am shocked, saddened, devastated that a young soul is lost in such tragic circumstances... a former graduate midwife of mine passed away yesterday....I just can't believe it, taken in the prime of her life.. the first I heard was on 'Facebook'..... this raises the question for me, is this appropriate?

I have to say all the comments were dignified and professional.... however not 24hrs had passed.... for me this was to short a period of time... it is not a criticism but an observation... that with this new medium of communication that is instantaneous...and very public.... sometimes we do not have time to contemplate... its there in your 'face'. I wondered if all her family and friends knew before seeing it on Facebook? I am sure her direct family would know but as for all your friends that's a different story....

Death is always hard to understand... but a sudden death is very painful, it seems are constantly questioning, wondering, thinking, reliving and speculating is there anything that could of been done to prevent it... but alas there are no answers.. it is time to unite and support each other and be thankful for the life you have...Communication is very important in these situtations to stop speculation and rummors... but that also needs time... time for investigating and reflecting.... This time of year makes it worse... Christmas, a time for celebration and families...

The loss of this beautiful talented young women's life has made me think how grateful I am for the life I have and my wonderful family, friends and work colleagues... it is a time to reflect......

"Rest in Peace Hayley"

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaching Nursing Ethics & Law – Singapore

It is great when you are passionate about your job/work because you give it 110% and it is so satisfying. I consider myself so fortunate to be able to go to Singapore every year to teach post-graduate nursing students an ethical and law unit. However in doing so I appreciate the enormous cultural diversity that Singapore has to offer and learn something new about myself, each trip. This year I was particularly tired and needed some time to recharge my battery. I know that seems a contradiction of terms, 12 hours of intensive teaching and time to recharge.... well it is about spending time doing what you love and doing what you want to do.... without fear or recrimination...... not having to please anyone except’s about finding a balance.

Strangely as a mother, you are always a mother you are never considered ‘anything else’ as you have roles and responsibilities within society. I find when I go away...... I can be ‘whoever I want’ time for ‘me’ without having to be anyone else. Don’t get me wrong.... I am enormously proud of being a wife, mother, nanna, and miss my family immensely when I am away, but miss being able to express me as ‘me’. I think that men get the better deal..... Because even if they are a father, it does not change how they are viewed within society.....they seem to be considered the superior sex and why because they are a man.....They seem to be able to do whatever, and it does not matter if they are a father or not.... they are just ‘men’. I am sure as hell going to come back as a ‘man’ in my next life.

I love the life style of Singapore.... it’s a vibrant clean city, with a low crime rate, taxis are like getting into a freezer and the people are polite. The choice of shopping is enormous and the shopping hours are extended late into the night.... as opposed to Perth’s draconian shopping hours & choices.

Singapore is a mix of an old colonial world (The Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling at extortionate prices but it has to be done, of course not a Singapore fling) and a modern city with a great MRT (underground rail system)...... the contrast is staggering at times and it’s such a romantic city, I can imagine a clandestine liaison happening, something straight out of a Barbara Cartland book... Singapore at Christmas time is beautiful..... Ian and I spent a pre Christmas here a few years ago... and this time it was even more beautiful... the city is lit up like a Christmas tree.

There are many, many temples, of which this trip I only visited one the ‘Buddha Tooth Relic’ Temple...... it has to be one of my favourite temples....spending time quietly sitting, watching, reflecting and admiring the exquisite beauty.
China Town is another favourite, with its bargains, massages and outdoor eating....

The Intercontinental Hotel is sheer indulgence..the staff are excellent... one more mix of old and new world Singapore...... having room service, is just sheer luxury..... And I love it.... Breakfast in the Olive Tree Restaurant with Mr Wong cooking your eggs just how you want them..... Watching business people wheeling and dealing over meals.... it really is a different world. I have to say the only thing I really dislike is the Humidity...... I don’t know why I put make up and blow dry my hair in the mornings because as soon as I step outside it’s like my internal body temperature turns on a tap and I am dripping wet...... not a good look.

My favourite shopping centre has to be Takashimaya and the Kinokuniya bookshop.... I also found the Harrods store in basement 2 of the Takashimaya Fantastic..... Ian will be disappointed..... Major purchases this trip....... pearls magnificent pearls...... couple of books both work and silk dressing gowns. and a couple of electronic gadgets..... Not much really.

I get great satisfaction from teaching.... however the proof will be in the pudding when the assignments are ready for marking. Most of the students are enthusiastic, try very hard, and they work hard, I do admire the fact that they work full time and then come in for their classes after work or on the weekend for the lectures. I had a good uptake of students considering it is not compulsory for them to attend. It is challenging teaching professional issues, (ethics) in Singapore; there are several issues to be mindful of... namely different values and morals. Also fundamentally the attitude is ‘doctor knows best’ and nursing is viewed as a subservient role..... My aim is to empower the nurses to be evidenced based and not to be afraid to stand up for what they believe is right, to advocate for the patient together with empowering patients and not be paternalistic in their care. I managed to also visit a couple of hospitals this trip.... watch for the next blog....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finally the assignments are finished..... visual learning...

Thank God the assignments are finished..... for the Graduate Certificate in I feel legitimate to teach... I keep saying this is the last course i am doing...but alas it never seems to be the case. The problem is, I think I have become a course junkie.... very sad... surprisingly, I do have a life... I just want to squeeze so much into it... and the goal post keeps moving..I finish a course and then have about a year off, I begin to think something is missing from my life....emm... let me see... not stressing enough, ah do another course... and then I examine where I might go next, you guessed it, another course rears its head and i think wow, would love to do that... and the cycle starts all over again. It does keep me on my toes for my students... as they appreciate I know how it is to meet dead lines... and I have heard every excuse under the sun... you know I never use them.....I just wonder if they are all true....I will give anyone a good deal, just don't take me for a ride... then there's no deal....

I have to say this has been the most challenging unit.. drawing is not something I am good at... i like the way it states in the unit outline..."you do not have to be good at drawing when doing this unit". Strange, then it comes to the assignments and you have to produce diagrams and illustrations and if you can't draw they look crap... therefore to me that equates to poor marks. However I was pleased with myself as I learnt more about power-point, you can actually trace pictures... a fantastic tool.. you can then change a photo into a diagram and it looks half decent.. then colour it as you like.. its great.

Muffin sits in my office keeping me company when I am working on my computer

I am just glad it is over for now... I just have to finish my marking and then prepare for next semester, changing unit outlines, setting new assignments and getting students to do more online blogging... so i am going to be challenged and am looking forward to engaging the students more online.

Next month its time for Singapore again... more students and new challenges... its a great life.... bring it exciting can't this space... I will have to do some cooking for my lovely husband, so he doesn't have to worry about cooking whilst I'm away.... lets see what would he like... em might do a lasagna... that will last a couple of days... maybe the kids will ask him over for dinner, or he may go up the hill to visit his mates.... I'm sure he will have fun, without me nagging him to get some outside job completed... he might even surprise me and get the brick paving done!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Run off my feet..... Midwife shortage........

Over the span of my career I have usually changed my jobs every 3 to 5 years, for me this has been a good career choice because I feel it has allowed me to be broaden my views. I also believe that it is important to move outside my comfort zone to continue to grow and give the best possible care by experiencing different ways of doing things.

Clinical work is the same where ever you go, babies are born... what is different are the people, both the consumer and the staff, the institutional polices and the paper work. Once you find your feet in terms of seeing how the institution works and the people within it you can then concentrate on the job at hand.

It is interesting when you begin somewhere new or different, it is important to just watch and say nothing........I usually spend the first few days observing, making notes so I remember simple things like how to page for someone, therefore not having to continually be asking the same question. I have also learned to bite my tongue so as not to step on any toes or upset anyone, this has taken me many years to master (this is only because things are done differently to what you are use to). The other thing I have learned over time is you don’t mention “this is how we do it at.............” yes you guessed it, the response would be if it is so good there go back. I suspect this is the same for everyone and every job, not just synonymous with midwifery & nursing.

What is so disconcerting is the shortage of midwives and the requirement or expectation to do more than is normally required because there is just not enough staff. This can be from pushing beds to highly skilled midwifery tasks and no one to take over when you finish your shift....because everyone is so busy. The problem is that no one is willing to say “no” I won’t do it” and why is that? Because the client/patient is the one that ends up having to wait or is disadvantaged. My argument is put it in writing, put what occurred in writing... and send it to management.... copied to the CEO.... however staff are also reluctant to do this.....and why is that?... because this to takes time and effort..... Whilst we as midwives and nurses have this attitude nothing will change and the expectation will remain the same. This will then lead to work dissatisfaction, resignations and burnout.

The other observation I have made over the years is the concept of “this is how we do it here, it’s worked for as long as I have been here, so there is no point changing”. There have been selected staff that always have this attitude... and you will find these staff have been in the institution for a long time. Change is always a difficult concept for some people and this can make work life difficult. This is not intended as a criticism, rather an observation.

So much work and not enough time or staff.... the good intentions of some staff in doing everything for clients when they ring the bell, an example would be.. "pouring a glass of water or filling a jug of water" where the client should be encouraged to get out of bed and do it themseleves, can create more work when you are very busy. But those good intentions are paternalistic and disempowering. However these attitudes can in themselves create more work for midwives & nurses... also clients equally becoming disempowered just by being in a hospital. Women who have had a normal vaginal delivery.....who by being in hospital gain a ‘sick’ mentallity and lose a sense of their power by expecting the staff to do everything for them.... ring the bell to fill the jug up with water... or to pour a glass of water.... where as if they were at home day 2, they would be getting it themselves... these women should be at home.... birth is a normal process.....(Yes if these women have had a caesarean section and are day 1, then the midwife will be filling the jug of water and pouring the glass of water). If we had more midwives we could send low risk women home within 6 or 12hrs supported with midwifery care at home, a community base service surely this would advantage everyone.... being at home has to be better than in a hospital.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A comical view of Mother Nature

A mothers lament to her son!

Insanity streak by Tony Lopes

I read this comic and thought I would share it..a different take on mother nature.. I'm sure my sons would agree with did make me smile...and I thought how many other mothers could relate to this...... isn't life wonderful....

Thought I would have a facelift, what do you think?

I felt it was time for a change... from time to time we all need a change, well at least I do.... that says something about me I guess.... so decided to change the look of my blog..... what do you think? do you like the new look? let me know what you think or should I go back to the original look?

As I come to the end of each year as busy as it is I am often reflecting on the year... a bit early still to be doing that... but I have noticed that I have not been blogging as much this year.... and I wonder if that is a sign of being busy or if blogging takes so much more time.... maybe I should be blogging more of the everyday things...but sometimes I find that mundane.....I guess you have to watch this space.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Should health professionals who have a criminal record be allowed to continue working in the profession?

This story again highlights the importance of the trust placed with health professionals, doctors, nurses, midwives, dentist etc.... the list is extensive.

This is a particularly personal story as I worked with this doctor many many years ago and remember his colleague for being a sexual deviant... but not so much him... it does make one think... for how long do these crimes go undetected before you can conclusively convict these in this case. As for his colleague he was stuck off the medical register for his sexual misconduct for two years and then went back to work with restrictions.... my question is should this be allowed?

More and more doctors are misplacing or abusing the public trust, whether it is Medicare fraud to sexual assault... this latest story of Dr John Cooper 61 who has been found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a 24year old woman. Two years ago this doctor made a house call.... to ask the woman a favour.... I wonder what favour he needed to ask on a Sunday that required him to inject her with a drug with the intention of assaulting her.... it is truly a sad day...

Remember as Nurses and Midwives you are the clients advocate and we are compelled to report any misconduct by our health colleagues and that includes doctors.... as per ANMC Code of Ethics.... and with the new National Registration legislation... this will also be a requirement... so these issues can not stay behind closed doors.

Frustration with modern technology:

Anyone who knows me also knows that I like my gadgets, PDA,ipod touch latest mobile phone, laptops and notebooks, ipods … always go away with my acer aspire one laptop…. Etc.

Three months ago it was time to change my phone… and I couldn't wait to get the new Apple iphone…. I researched it… the pros and cons…. But fell in love with the phone…. The capacity to hold lots of information in the palm of your hand from music, games, legislation and the Internet….. Brilliant. So I made a decision not to continue with my paper based diary…. Because with previous PDA’s I have always maintained both…. Just in case. In my iphone I would enter an appointment, allow for an hour notification before it was due….. Great for me, because I would never be late for the appointments.

Well you have guessed it….. After three months of learning how to use the iphone and its applications…. Facebook…. Shazzam (a program that names the song on the radio if you missed the title…. Excellent), I even had an obstetric wheel on it…… it really is an excellent piece of technology…… however I had not mastered the complete backing up system….. I had my iphone in my bag… with a bottle of Pepsi and the lid was not tightly attached….. and managed to get some water damage to my phone……. Disaster! It was the smallest amount… as I realised within 5 mins what had happened……
For me this was disastrous…. The diary part was not synced to my outlook…. I have managed to save all the applications and music because that was saved to itunes…. But the diary and notes …. I think I have lost…. Never mind the contract with Telstra that still has to be paid….three months into the contract….. so there are huge financial implications as well……

I have managed to find a mobile phone repair place that is looking at my phone and I will not know until the end of the week whether it can be saved.

The lesson learned… apart from not putting drinks next to your phone…. Is to back up all information…. And I have bought a paper diary again…I have to say in all the years of using a paper diary i never lost it, and in three months I have lost an enormous amount of information in just minutes..... I will get another iphone if the old one is unrepairable…. As it is a fantastic piece of technology….. it was my poor use that contributed to the loss of the information….

Backup backup and backup……

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Life is very busy; too much work to get done.

My feet have not hit the ground since being home. I have been back from holidays for 12 days and now feel like it is time for another holiday….my university marking (150 papers) is almost completed, my personal study: Visual learning is way behind….and I am trying to catch up… I never realised how difficult this unit would be… One of the assignments is to look at a floor plan of a house … that someone else has chosen, so you don’t see the finished product and you have to draw the house around the plan. For me this is very difficult as I am not a visual person in that sense…. I don’t seem able to look at a floor plan and then imagine what the outside of the house is supposed to look like…. So I will have fun doing that one…. The second issue with this unit is working out the computer programs so that I can create and alter images…. So really this is not only a education unit but a computer one as well… as you are learning several skills.
Also there is the family to see..... keeping up with the kids and the grandkids, friends etc.... we managed to catch up with friends from the country which was good and I also managed to start a new clinical position one day a week, which will keep me grounded and realistic with my expecations of the students I teach and aware of changes at the coalface.

Attended “The Magic of Midwifery”… on Friday 13th it was an excellent study day….. The education team did a phenomenal job on organising this day… when you have such a successful day you have second thoughts about resigning from the committee and continuing…. On the other hand it is good to go out on a high note. For me it is time to move on and contribute in some other way to the College by doing something else and allowing fresh blood into the education team and a new stream of thinking.
There are several key components for organising these conference / educational days, initially you do need topics that will attract midwives to attend, and this can often be difficult because the needs and wants of midwives within the State are varied, you have public, private sector and independent (private practice) midwives all with different needs. Also considering the costs involved, because if it is too expensive they will not attend. Secondly it is choosing presenters that will be inspirational, because I think midwives attend these days not only for education but to be inspired and network. Work places can be stressful and the load on a midwife can be mammoth therefore it is essential from time to time to refocus and remember why you became a midwife and be motivated to be ‘with woman’ with like minded people.

The aspect I enjoy most about the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) study days, conferences etc is the networking the collegiality and they are never at the same venue. There is always the ability to network; discuss different models of care; debrief cases; and discuss different ways of approaching issues. …… You always learn something new and strike up new friendships and partnerships…. It’s just a fantastic forum of like minded people. So next time there is a conference or study day…. Go…. Experience it and utilise the experience by networking……. Share the learning experiences.

Often my husband feels I am having an affair with my computer, off course it would have to be a virtual one…… (Wonder if that happens in second life?) Just kidding! ... As I spend so much time on it….. Working…. Emailing…. Studying…. Blogging….. Writing memoirs…to think we use to use pen and paper…… how times have changed….that seems so tiresome now…..some times just browsing or surfing the net…. But I get so caught up and passionate about midwifery I can be browsing for hours on end.

After this conference my new soap box discussion topic will be memberships to Professional Colleges….. And why are they important for professional bodies…… so watch this space. Do you think they are important?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Highlights of the Bali holiday:

Sam after the wedding, playing with the fangipani carpet!

On asking Ian what was the highlight of the Bali holiday he said “spending quality romantic time with me” oh sweet….then the wedding, playing golf and spending time with the family. For me it was getting away & spending time with Ian, of course the wedding otherwise we all would not be here, sleeping in till mid-day or more. I have to say shopping, especially at the markets, (I missed being able to browse without the pressure to buy especially with the lovely materials) although I did not buy much except for DVD’s and enjoying the grandchildren away from their home environment.

Highlight for Jasmine was coming to Bali and the Waterbomb park (she really is a dare devil, she has no concept of fear) and for Dylan was the flight on the airplane. Seeing nanna and swimming in her hotel pool & the monkeys, also Waterbomb Park – the kids had a ball, they were very good considering they were all out of routines….. No seat belts in the taxis, different foods etc….

Rice Paddies:

Tanah Lot Temple:

Sightseeing highlights:
Ubud was lovely: The Rice paddies: Kintamani Volcano, Temples…Ubud, Goa Lawah (Bat cave), Pura Uluwatu & Tanah Lot.

Pura Uluvatu Temple

The sunset at Jimbaran Bay; driving & walking through the local villages and seeing real life. The monkeys and natural wild life…..
Shopping centers: Bali Galleria (very expensive), Matahari (reasonable), Bali Centro (Kutu), great bakeries; in door markets, & DVD shops; the markets…. However I got really tired of bartering…. I really did enjoy walking through the Nusa Dua markets; (they are smaller & the people less aggressive) and I have decided I am a soft touch…..

Food: the food was varied….some very different and western food was available however by the end of two weeks I am over eating out and am dying to prepare & cook my own food… I have missed eating salads because I was worried about getting Bali belly….

I was disappointed I missed supporting my woman through her labor and the birth of ‘Jack’… I hated the humidity of Bali…. And my clothes and hair constantly damp with perspiration; ….The kids could be tiring especially when they were hot and tired….

Kutu beach:

I didn’t enjoy Kuta beach, in fact I was not impressed with many of the beaches…. You just can’t beat Cottesloe beach WA. … I was extremely disappointed with the WiFi service of the Nusa Dua Novotel….. For a top hotel it was a poor service. Travelling makes you grateful for the life you have. I am thankful every day for my blessed life & family.

Overall it was a great family holiday…The Balinese people are very friendly and welcoming…………I am already starting to think about work as I have so much to do when I get home tomorrow, even peaked at my work email and a couple of reports. I don’t know what I would do without my phone and laptop…..sad I know. Would I come back to Bali…..? Well, I will keep an open mind…. because one of my mottos in life is “never to say never”, because you just NEVER know what tomorrow will bring, but it is not on my list of the top 10 places…………. Ciao from Bali.

Women making the offerings for the Temples:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Wedding - Ubud Bali

Peta and mum having a special treat

Excitement is in the air….the Bride, her bridesmaids, flower girl, mother and mother-in-law…. What a powerful combination of women all here to help celebrate Peta’s wedding to Ben. There is lots of laughter, anticipation, emotions are everywhere….. Three Balinese women are preparing all the women, makeup, hair, champagne is flowing freely…. Of course with the obligatory water to keep us hydrated in the humidity of Bali.

The pool had floating candles down the centre: and there were a hundred candles on the stairs leading to the pool area:

The last minute fixes….glue for shoes, cotton for dresses, hairspray and lippie: wouldn’t you know it the air-conditioner decides not to work or is on overload and not working properly… time to get an industrial fan to keep all the women cool… in more ways than one and it worked a treat….

Months of planning for Peta and the families (saving and working extra hours) have culminated to this moment….the anticipation is great….the stress of making sure things will come together on the day have finally come to fruition. Invites, music, wedding dress, flights, bookings, reception, food, drinks, legalities, the list is endless….. The bridesmaid dresses have been a tale to the end…. Starting with the first design/color not being available, to the dresses being completed and not to everyone’s satisfaction…then choosing a dress two days before leaving off the shop floor rack… another issue was two of the bridesmaids are from interstate… however with internet shopping this was not a problem…. however last minute stitching was required on the day…. All makes for added excitement and the all out effort to make it a brilliant day that the bride would enjoy and be stress free………………my personal opinion is that there is always a degree of pre wedding jitters… otherwise you would not be normal…….after all it is an enormous rite of passage as a promise of a new generation looms upon us…………. And lives that are forever changed, not to mention new families for everyone. The next generation begins…………….

a Frangipani carpet:

The setting was so romantic…. Ubud Bali the Alila Hotel was perfect………Peta walked down an isle of frangipani flowers with her proud father escorting her, led by 6 bridesmaids… to be greeted by her loving husband to be Ben and his 6 groomsmen, and waiting guests. The day threatened to rain… however held off until very late into the night…… was humid however we were saved by a cool breeze According to Balinese law you have a religious ceremony first followed by the government one, all very special. The service was delightful… and very emotional. There was lots of kissing by the couple egged on by the guests… it truly was delightful. Peta’s gown was exquisite she was absolutely beautiful………………… a very proud day for all the parents.

The reception was fantastic… a great menu…food was delicious, drinks superb company divine…candles everywhere…………what more can I say a romantic evening was had by all. It was time for family and friends to congratulate the happy couple and spend time together…eating, drinking, listening to music and dancing.

The children had three baby sitters, which allowed their parents to enjoy the evening without having to constantly worry about the kids…as for Ian and I it was a very proud day…we also missed the family that for whatever reason could not make the wedding and passed on their good wishes to the couple… speeches were short, sweet and poignant…… and finally if there is a pool that usually means someone gets in it…. For this wedding it was me… after a long day it was fitting after all the formality of the day was over… time to change and have a swim… for a couple of others it was in clothes and all…A fitting end to a perfect day.

Congratulations Peta & Ben and wishing a long and happy life together with many children to keep you company in your old age.

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