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  • Nevertheless there is always stress!

    Happy spring everyone!! It is difficult to believe that this time last year I was anxiously awaiting the day I would find out my destiny…aka if and where I would be accepted into a graduate nurse program. I remember how nervous I was. I was getting ready, driving and waiting to go into my interviews, especially Peninsula Health!

    I am sure many of you can agree that when you want something so bad, like I wanted a graduate year at Peninsula Health you start to think and stress about just about every possible thing that could get between you and achieving that main goal. I know for me I thought about all the possible reasons I may not get a position from what I was wearing to the fact I just missed out on a HD on my last assignment (which I probably cried about at the time), rather than focusing on ...

  • Deadlines are hard

    During uni, this is how an assignment works: A few weeks where you kind of research a topic, a few days where you write it up, and then a quick final check before you submit it. There was even a case of a friend I studied with, who shall remain anonymous, who started a 3000 word essay on the morning that it was due.

    Now, I used to think that I was relatively well organised in my uni days. Then I started work, where a deadline means that you need it done a few days - if not weeks - in advance. With things being reviewed at least ten times before they are submitted, be it for a conference or for ethics. The pressure!

    I have (more than once) asked other, more senior pharmacists to review applications that I have planned on putting forward at the last minute. It isn’t the greatest ...

  • Healthcare Isn’t Like Cooking

    So, you’ve broken your leg.

    Now what? How on earth do we know what to do about it?

    The aim for each and every patient is to provide them with the treatment that will give them the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, health care isn’t like cooking; there is no set recipe you can follow. Taking ‘A’ and adding ‘B’ does not always wind up with a successfully healed patient!

    To determine the best management plan for any particular presenting problem many different pieces of information need to be taken into account. It can be a little like piecing together the bits of a puzzle. No two people are exactly the same. That being said, there are certain management principles that are applied to common situations, but we first need to determine if they will be suitable in each individual situation. One of the things I quite enjoy about my work is that it ...

  • The great discussion of baby feeding

    Since this week was world breastfeeding week, I thought it was a great time to discuss the age old topic of baby feeding. But this message isn’t about the pros and cons of breast vs bottle. Rather, I want to look at breastfeeding in a more personal way. I am going to start by stepping back into my own history and role as a mother. As a girl growing up, I only had the opportunity to see breastfeeding a handful of times – once when I had gone to meet a new baby for a family I babysat, then in my late teens I saw my aunt breastfeed her daughters at a couple of Christmas functions. So to me breastfeeding was not the social norm. I was the first of my family and friends to have a baby. It has been nearly 12 years since I gave birth to my ...

  • Taking on the challenge

    So, I survived my transition down to intensive care…..just!! After having been forced out of my comfort zone in so many ways!

    Firstly, I will point out that ICU differs from the wards in just about every single way possible. There is no big handover of all 30 patients, in intensive care handover is an extensive process which occurs at the bedside of your patient(s) and covers all body systems. The patient care process is extremely holistic you really care for the patient in every way possible, from assessment, medication, nutrition, hydration, excretion, personal care, repositioning…the list goes on… and for those patients who are intubated we even take over their airway and breathing and then it becomes our role to care for that airway!

    It is a completely different world in the ICU. For those who have never been down to ICU, let me paint you a bit of a picture:

    There ...

  • Finding the balance: ward time vs study

    Finally, I’m back! Actually, I’m on holidays, so forgive me if I seem a little distant – I’m letting my mind wander from the hospital world to… a different hospital world. I’m working at another Melbourne hospital for these three weeks, so really, I never escape.

    When I got back from The Alfred, things were relaxed at first, with the lovely later mornings that are often a feature of medical specialties (Oncology, Haematology, Neurology and Endocrinology), but then descended into a complicated balance between spending time on the wards and studying. We had one written exam to complete Semester 1, which is much better than most uni students, but I think we have a propensity to sweat the small stuff.

    These recent rotations have sometimes been more difficult to throw ourselves into. Without opportunities like surgery to go and see, we can find it easy to take an extended lunch or study ...

  • Switching up roles…

    So since my last blog things have been pretty busy. I had an exciting 2 weeks off work where I had my tonsils out (which for anyone who has ever had to experience the excruciatingly painful recovery associated with a tonsillectomy will completely sympathise with me). It was actually a weird and daunting experience and being on the other side of things was quite surreal. For me having never been a patient before, I was so scared at the prospect of having surgery and to be honest, I think being a nurse made it worse (sometimes ignorance really is bliss). For weeks up on 4GS I had been caring for patient’s pre and post operatively and it almost seems quite ironic that as a nurse I had been giving advice and reassurance to patients who anxiously waited to be next on the theatre list or who complained of pain post ...

  • Not “just a normal day”

    Hi, back to a bit more chit-chat about the comings and goings of being a midwife in the busy Frankston maternity unit!  Today I’d like to discuss how privileged our ‘job’ is, and how lucky we are to be a part of this period of people’s lives. It’s funny, when I was growing up I thought that everyone loved to see pregnant bellies, tiny babies and hear all of the accompanying stories. I loved that tiny little glimpse of breastfeeding I caught here and there with aunts or family friends. It fascinated me, yet I felt embarrassed to be this aware of the incredible beauty of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and babies. Of course, I now understand that this was the beginning of a calling for me, and after speaking to many of my colleagues, I am realising that many of us have come to this profession with the same deep ...

  • Do you wear your pyjamas to work?

    Whilst catching up with a friend over coffee, she tells me her 4 year-old daughter has something she would like to ask me. Little Abbie looked up at me shyly and proceeded to ask “Do you wear your pyjamas to work?”

    I hate to think what my expression looked like at that moment, but I’m guessing it showed my absolute bafflement. My friend laughed and went on to explain where this query had originated. Little Abbie had sustained an injury two days prior that necessitated a trip to the emergency department. During her time in the ED, she was seen by a doctor, several nurses and a radiographer, all dressed in scrubs of various colours, which to her 4 year-old eyes appeared like pyjamas! So when her mum told her that Jacqui worked in that place also, she was very keen to find out if I, too, got to wear my ...

  • Evidence-based care

    Hi, in case you have forgotten me after such a long break between blogs, my name is Kylie and I am a midwife at Frankston Hospital! I have had a very busy start to my year this year, mixed in with 4 weeks of annual leave, so I really have let the ball drop with my blogging, but hopefully I am back on track and ready to fill you in on more midwifey type goss!

    Today I want to talk about 2 things that are very important in all aspects of health care and (in my midwifery opinion) none more so than in maternity care. Firstly care, advice, education etc should all be based around evidence-based care, and second is the right of the woman (or consumer in other areas) in collaboration with her partner and health care providers to make an informed decision about her choice of care. And now ...