Pacific perioperative nurses make an impact at ICN Congress, Singapore

Last month the Pacific were well represented by perioperative nurses from the Pacific at the International Council of Nursing Congress in Singapore. Natasha and Matilda from Samoa presented a paper and a poster at the event. They were ably supported by Mabel Taoi and other colleagues from Fiji and also Ruth Melville, the ACORN’s Ambassador to the Asia Pacific. The presence of the Pacific perioperative nurses at the prestigious ICN Congress where over 5000 nurses from all over the world were gathered, is another step on a wonderful journey they have all be travelling in the past 3 years or so.

So much has been achieved from the development of the Pacific Perioperative Practice Standards and Audit tools to the formation of their own professional association, Pacific Island Operating Room Nurses Association (PIORNA). Next year the inaugural PIORNA Conference will take place (stay tuned for details), which promises to be a great event.

In addition a number of Pacific perioperative nurses have been working as mentors, including Nerrie Raddie from Solomon Islands who visited Labasa, Fiji to mentor perioperative nurses in the use of the Standards and Audit tools.

Next week Sally and I set out on a trip to the Federated States of Micronesia and the island of Pohnpei to facilitate a workshop to assist the perioperative nurses in the northern Pacific implement the Standards and Audit tools. We will be joined by Heaven (Samoa) and Sarah (Fiji) to assist with the workshop, a great opportunity for both to hone their mentoring skills. Both have roles as mentors in the Pacific working with their perioperative nursing colleagues to assist with implementing the Standards and practice audits are being carried out. Sally has been instrumental in facilitating the mentoring program, having carried out some Pacific island ‘hopping’ last year to mentor individual perioperative nurses.

We are grateful to Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) for their support in making the trip to Pohnpei possible and to Mabel Taoi from Pacific Community for her work in organising the participants to attend the workshop.

We look forward to trip and meeting our perioperative nursing colleagues. Stay tuned for further news and photos. It will be nice to leave the Sydney winter chills behind for tropical sunshine.