A rainy night at Westmead

On Tuesday 19 August Sally and I ventured out on a cold rainy night to Westmead Hospital to take part in the Supper Meeting of the NMUMS NSW. Westmead had been my ‘home’ for over 20 years (on and off) – in fact it was my first Nurse Educator position and laid the foundation for my ongoing career in perioperative education. The hospital had only been open for two years when I arrived there in 1980 and even though I have been back there occasionally since leaving finally in 2005, this was the first time in several years. So I was a little nostalgic and also curious to see what changes had taken place. Couldn’t help having a sticky beak around a few corridors that were once so familiar!

Sally and I presented two papers – the first, which we co presented was on our experiences as expert reviewers and expert witness. Sally had been involved with reviewing two cases, one of which had appeared before the Professional Standards Committee and I had appeared as an Expert Witness in a Coronial Inquest. This presentation led to lots of discussion amongst the 20 attendees about supervision of ENs as both our experiences featured lack of supervision of ENs in different practice settings. We hope that the presentation has encouraged others to think of themselves as experts and to put their hand up to be an expert reviewer/witness. Certainly several of the attendees indicated that they had been involved in internal reviews or RCAs at their hospitals, so they are already acting in an expert capacity.

Sally then presented a paper on supervision and delegation and the implications for front-line managers. Sally took the audience through our professional regulatory framework, relevant definitions and with the use of actual case studies from the Health Care Complaints Commission, asked the audience to consider their own workplace and how they delegate, allocate and supervise the range of staff they manage. Again, the content prompted much discussion and we were rapidly running out of time towards the end of the evening.

The audience were very appreciative of our presentations and we ended the evening with a group photo which will appear on the website along with the presentations. We were both appreciative of the lovely wine and chocolates given as thank you gifts. So do take a look at the presentations on the Resources section.

Cheers   Menna