Faces of Peninsula Health – Q&A with Andy Macey

Clinical Nurse Educator Andy Macey’s role allows him to find opportunities to engage in learning for colleagues in the Intensive Care Stream. Photo taken before COVID-19.

Name: Andy Macey

Job Title: Clinical Nurse Educator (ICU)

Postgraduate stream: Intensive Care Stream

Institution studied with: University of Southhampton

Andy began nursing in the UK during the late 1990s where he trained at the University of Southampton. He worked in respiratory medicine and high dependency units before immigrating to Australia in 2003. Andy soon made a move to ICU at the Alfred hospital where he completed a PG certificate in intensive care nursing and was provided opportunities to work in leadership and educational roles.

Andy has worked at Peninsula Health ICU across several tenures as a CCRN, CNS, clinical educator, critical care liaison nurse, and associate nurse unit manager. In between he has held positions in the corporate sector as a clinical applications specialist for a major med-tech and in the university sector as an academic at the University of Melbourne (UoM). While at UoM Andy was the curriculum development coordinator for a new post graduate ICU nursing course.

In line with Andy’s passion for education he completed a Master’s degree in Education in 2018 and is currently completing a PhD in public health with a focus on critical care service delivery and capacity development in low-income health systems. Andy’s other research interests are related to work integrated learning, peer learning, and feedback.

Q: What does an average day look like?

A: Varied, challenging, and rewarding!

Education in the ICU has several looks. Much of the best learning happens at the bedside or during procedures where the relevancy of the topics are immediately obvious and applicable. The learner in ICU is absolutely motivated to learn in order to develop their own practice and to deliver the best care possible to our critically ill patients. Our role as educators is to find the opportunities to engage in learning for our colleagues, and make these explicit.

Encouraging refection in practice through questioning and discussion at the bedside is a simple but powerful tool. A good amount of my day is, therefore, dedicated to education at the bedside. That said, our team is constantly involved in developing online content which allows for self-directed learning for all of the ICU staff. Engaging in collaborative projects with our medical and allied health teams, running traditional study days, participating in simulation, and facilitating tutorials are other activities that might fill my day!

Q: What attracted you to this role?

A: I’m an education geek, I’m also an ICU geek (especially all things mechanical ventilation). Being an ICU educator is an obvious choice for me! I love working with beginning and experienced practitioners to assist them to develop professionally. I also really enjoy still having direct involvement in patient care and clinical decision making.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working with learners?

A: As an educator, ICU is an amazing space to work in. Developing practitioners in ICU are the ideal learners and ICU is the ideal environment to facilitate learning in. The opportunities to engage with learners across so many different situations keeps everything exciting and fresh. Having the chance to work with a really diverse group who are genuinely motivated to learn is amazing!

Q: What does the new “learning hub” mean to you?

A: To me, the learning hub is a community of practice. A cohesive unit of dedicated educators with skills across a myriad of clinical and non-clinical activities. It is a supportive environment where we can facilitate best learning outcomes for our colleagues. The learning hub provides us opportunities to develop ourselves as educators through peer support and the use of best evidence in education and clinical practice. Ultimately, we can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our community.

For more information on our 2021 Postgraduate Nurse Programs go to our Postgraduate Studies page. Applications open in August.