It has been a busy few weeks for us! Whilst I was piling on layers of warm clothes during my recent holiday Canada, Sally was coping with the heat and humidity of the Pacific!
As part of our ongoing work with our Pacific perioperative nursing colleagues, Sally has been undertaking visits to Tonga, Solomon Islands and now Fiji. Our project in the Pacific has involved collaborating with our local colleagues to develop perioperative nursing standards and workplace audit tools. Sally’s visits were aimed at supporting our local ‘champions’ in carrying out audits and mentoring them to develop these skills in their staff. The staff carried out audits, interpreted the results and discussed how they would manage any changes in practice highlighted by the audit results. It was a very positive experience and the enthusiasm of the nurses a real highlight.
The mentoring program has included nurses travelling from other countries to work under Sally’s guidance to become mentors to the local perioperative nurses eg Shalvin from Fiji accompanied Sally to Tonga and this week Natasha from Samoa is in Lautoka. The plan is to ‘train’ selected mentors to be able to carry on the mentorship role within the Pacific.
We are about to complete the development of a second bundle of perioperative standards featuring patient safety (sharps safety, positioning, handover – to name a few) and audit tools. Sally is currently in Lautoka, Fiji facilitating a workshop attended by a perioperative nurses from around the Pacific island countries, at which the draft standards will be finalised. She will also be continuing her mentoring of local perioperative nurses.
Earlier this month we were thrilled that two of the Pacific team – Nerrie from Solomon Is and Heaven from Samoa presented a paper on the project at the South Pacific Nurses Forum in Cook Islands. This is a very prestigious conference, attended by clinicians, academics and educators from around the Pacific. So it was great opportunity to showcase the work of the perioperative nurses in the Pacific.
Reviewing audit results in Honiara
Pacific Island Operating Room Nurses Association (PIORNA)
The other topic on the agenda at the Lautoka workshop is to finalise plans to form PIORNA. This will be a fantastic achievement in uniting the perioperative nurses across 14 Pacific island countries into a formal professional organisation. There has been great enthusiasm for this project over the past couple of years and we hope the final steps are about to be taken. Ruth Melville, immediate Past President of International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN) and now ACORN Ambassador to Asia Pacific will hold a teleconference during the workshop to assist with the final formalities and support the group as they take this historic step which will see them join IFPN. What an achievement that will be!