Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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

Thank God the assignments are finished..... for the Graduate Certificate in Education...now 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 work...like 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 on....so exciting can't wait....watch 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 this.....it 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 doctors.....as 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:

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