Monday, February 8, 2010

Spitting the dummy!

We have all had to do it.... orientation, corporation day, induction day....whatever you want to call it... what does it mean? it means spending 0800hrs to 1600hrs learning all about the organisation, and why? because they care about you? think again.... it has to do with Safety & Duty of Care of the organisation to ensure its employee's have a working knowledge of the corporation's vision, mission statement and expectations of the organisation.... Why the hell do they have to be so boring? there has to be a better way! I have to remember to be politically correct even though it is very difficult when you are spitting the dummy.

The corporate day.... I think it is good for new graduates or new health professionals, however for old hands like me it is down right time consuming, (I think certain aspects can be e-learning packages, eg, manual handling, emergency procedures, waste management, human resources) especially when as a Midwife you are not acknowledged....We did 11 sessions between 1000 - 1230 all on corporate was a conveyor belt of people...

I think it is a sad reflection on our health professionals that the Health Dept has issued a Operational Directive: Hand Hygiene in Western Australian Hospitals - what is the world coming to....I remember years ago the rules were simple, no wrist watches, jewelery, false nails....we didn't have was a name badge and every one washed their hands...except for some of the doctors... we all wore uniforms, bare arms from the elbows down and sensible closed in a days its almost anything goes....there was something to be said for the old fashioned matron.....So now with the new hand hygiene... its back to the old days.... Best session for me was the 'infection control'.

I have myself been responsible for conducting orientation programs, first and foremost was to get to know your audience. I have always acknowledged my nursing colleagues who were often in the minority and now I understand how it must feel if they were not acknowledged. I was amazed that there was not one mention about midwives..... There was a welcome to all the nurses and what a wonderful profession nursing is... and not that I disagree with this...There was a voice from the audience.... "I am a midwife".... there was silence from the audience... and the speaker laughed and said "yes... that must be a midwife"... "I know we have one midwife in the audience do we have any more?".... and another midwife raised her hand.... nothing further was said....

It is this culture that has to change... we now have a Nurses and Midwives Board and a Nurses and Midwives Act 2006...also from July 2010 we will have the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, it is time for hospital management who employ midwives to acknowledge we exist.... because there are many midwives that are not nurses, we will soon be having the Bachelor of Science (Midwifery) graduating and they need to feel part of the team, as important as nurses. Every slide in the orientation presentation referred to nursing and did not mention midwifery or midwives. Even when discussing Basic Life Support and pregnant women there was no mention of a midwife.

It is time to acknowledge we are two separate professions who complement each other.....There are some nurses who believe that midwifery is an extension of nursing and this is not the case.... You do not have to be a nurse to be a midwife.....

Needless to say I have written several letters to the appropriate organisations to try and rectify this issue...REMEMBER IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE FOLLOW UP WITH A LETTER put it in writing.

I am expecting that future orientations will acknowledge Midwives and Midwifery and the slides will be changed accordingly.

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