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In recent news, scientists are seeking 20,000 Australians that have been treated for clinical depression to step forward and take part in what is being labelled 'The world's largest study into genetic factors around Australia'. The Australian Genetics of Depression study is taking a detailed look at the how and why of what leads our genetic structure to cause, or have a disposition toward, clinical depression. More often than not, the genetics of an individual are not taken into account when treating depression. This can lead to months of trialing different medications until a suitable anti-depressant is found. It is common for those starting on new medications to be left feeling tired, agitated or even feeling ill to the point of nausea and vomiting. Understanding the "genetic architecture" of depression will help to solve this problematic situation, says co-investigator and mental health campaigner Professor Prof Ian Hickie, AM from the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney. "In psychiatry we have really suffered because we've been stuck with clinical categories that don't predict very well the response to treatment," Prof Hickie told AAP. Clinical depression will affect one in seven Australians in their lifetime. It is a severe pathophysiological syndrome that changes the body's whole physiology. "It isn't a simple reaction to an unfortunate life event or difficult circumstance, so it's not transient period of low mood," said Prof Hickie. "The amount of disability and impairment and loss of employment and impact on family is very high right now, so that's really what we want to change through more effective treatments," he said. To volunteer for the Australian Genetics Study click through to here:  www.geneticsofdepression.org.au Source: https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/mental-health/37/news/aap/australians-treated-for-clinical-depression-take-part-in-the-worlds-largest-genetic-investigation/2453/
The sector was thrown into the spotlight this week after Newcastle-based NGO disability service, Lifestyle Solutions, was put under review by the NSW Ombudsman following revelations of deaths and alleged abuse and neglect of disabled people in its care. Judy Harper, member of the Board of Council of Intellectual Disability NSW, is advocating on behalf of many specialised disability services. The passion had arisen in Judy after Intensive care doctors at a NSW Hospital requested a 'Do Not Resuscitate' on her patient and friend, 48-year old Chris. Chris has struggled with Down syndrome for her entire life, and Judy was willing to put in her own fight to ensure that Chris could live. "I was furious, I had to keep fighting really hard for them to understand her condition," Ms Harper, Chris' legal guardian, says. It only became more apparent to the Doctors of Chris' exact condition when a specialist disability nurse associated with the NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care department spoke to them. "Hospitals are rarely equipped to adequately meet the needs of people with disabilities and this is where these specialist access services come in, especially in regional areas," the south coast resident told AAP. "We're also in big danger of losing all that expertise these clinicians gain having worked in the system for such a long time," she said. Ms Harper will be in attendance at the Forum to End Deadly Disability Discrimination at NSW Parliament on Friday. Also to be attended by Disability Services Minister Ray Williams and opposition spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis. The forum will be presented with UNSW research released earlier this year which found people with an intellectual disability were twice as likely to suffer a potentially avoidable death compared to the general population. After the researchers recoded deaths previously attributed to an individual’s disability to reveal the underlying cause of death, they found 38% of the deaths in adults with ID were potentially avoidable, compared to 17% in the comparison group. Sources: http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/people-intellectual-disability-are-twice-likely-die-preventable-death https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/patient-safety/45/news/aap/specialised-disability-services-at-risk-of-shutting-down/2448/
You may have seen in our latest newsletter that the ANMF (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation) is standing in unison with hospitality and retail workers who may be receiving government mandated pay cuts by eliminating or reducing penalty rates. In the article they claim that: Federal secretary Lee Thomas said the ANMF is now concerned its members in aged care and some other health settings would be at risk of losing their penalty rates. Thomas said: “Today its workers in hospitality, retail and fast food, but this has opened the door for attacks on workers in other sectors, including health. That article was from late February, well here is evidence that some of the latest effects of that move announced by Malcolm Turnbull have inspired private business to make their own moves. In this press release from the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), nurses working for Sonic Health Plus have seen their award slashed by 1/3 from  75% to 50%. As quoted from the release: In fresh EBA negotiations, Sonic Health Plus has this week proposed the nurses’ Sunday penalty rates are cut by at least a third. This is move seemingly inspired by the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision to cut Sunday penalty rates for 700,000 retail, hospitality and pharmacy workers. ACTU president Ged Kearney had this to say about the decision, “This is a sign of the times; the Fair Work Commission decision to cut penalty rates has emboldened employers and no Australian worker is safe unless the Government steps in now.” Everyone at Nursing Jobs will keep a close eye on how these cuts will continue    sources: https://www.agedcareinsite.com.au/2017/02/nursing-union-stands-in-solidarity-with-workers-facing-penalty-rate-cuts/ http://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2017/nurses-see-first-tranche-of-sunday-penalty-rate-cuts-thanks-to-emboldened-billion-dollar-healthcare-employer  
The guardian wrote an article the other day stating that only 11.6% of those practicing Nursing or Allied Health were male. This was compared with the 11.5% of nurses that were male almost a decade ago! Now this is a UK statistic however it is not a foreign issue. In Australia, only 10% of nurses are male according to the most recent census poll. That's only 25,000 of the roughly 250,000 Nurses practicing today. So why this disparate number between male and female nurses? Is there a social stigma still prevalent that is forcing the statistics to read that 90% of the workforce is female? Well the UK article seeks to answer this by critiquing media depictions of nurses. The common idea of what a nurse is supposed to look like often conjures up images of world war nurses in their clean white dresses with small white hats. It also conjures up ideas of the nurse with a stethoscope around her neck in blue or coloured scrubs. “It’s disappointing,” says Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, “because we’ve promoted nursing for men. I think it’s good to match the balance in the communities we’re working for. And also we don’t want to lose those people who would make fantastic nurses.” “When people think of a nurse perhaps they do think of a woman. Some of the details don’t help – the term matron is weird – but it’s about the job, and in my experience men take it in their stride and work with it.” says Janet. Dan Wicks (Pictured Above) tells of his experience as a Matron: When I was a ward manager, or sister, I did get some people saying: “Shouldn’t you be a brother?” But, actually, no one has ever commented on the fact that I’m a matron and a man. I’ve worked on shifts where it’s been predominantly male nurses, and a lot of the wards I’ve worked on have had a good balance of men and women.   to read more, find the original article here: https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2017/mar/01/why-so-few-male-nurses all quotes and images are the property of The Guardian and are shared for the express purpose of freedom of information and supporting nursing. 
Knowing how to develop your professional understanding is vital to being nurse. Going to seminars, reading journals and keeping current with updates in health practices is a common requirement for nursing professionals. That is why setting yourself up for change and the future is your first stepping stone to building a great foundation of development. Kate Birrell in her article ‘Shaping the Future’ in ACN’s The Hive magazine mentions how taking advantage of the ‘power of now’ is the best way to control your future. “When I look back at my career, being ready for the ‘now’  has been very important.”says Kate Taking a hold of the opportunities you are presented with now will help reveal where your future is situated. By applying yourself to learning and development courses you will be set for the future in your role. By taking advantage of the ones you are presented with rather than passing them by, you will be setting yourself up for further developments in your field when you find an opportunity that interests you presents itself. Rather than skipping the course, you would instead be filling in the missing link between your current understanding and the future. These conferences and events are also a fantastic way to build your support network. “… an important aspect of nursing leadership is to build your support networks.” says Kate Birrell For more information on how to take advantage of your professional development. http://nursingjobs.com.au/blog/
There is a new Nursing and Midwifery center currently in development, a first for South Australia. The center will focus on evidence based practice and highlight the importance of nursing practice. The federation's South Australian chief executive Elizabeth Dabars says nurses and midwives are major contributors to the health system and the wellbeing of patients. "The centre will pave the way for discoveries, advances and changes to better equip nurses and midwives to support not only South Australians, but potentially the profession and many people at a national and international level," Ms Dabars said.   To read more: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/02/08/04/05/sa-to-get-nursing-research-centre
"As an Indigenous teenager growing up in Darwin in the 1960s, the only expectation on me was to be a domestic servant, but I didn't want to do that," MaryAnn considers what life might have been like if it were not for her fascination with academia and her parents love and support.  Throughout Her life, MaryAnn Bin-Sallik had always wanted to pursue something more than ordinary. It was the start of a life-long love of academics and nursing that began when her parents sent her to the boarding school to study and eventually become a nurse for over 17 years.  Her love of academia continued on and MaryAnn tapped into that same passion of wanting more. Knowing that Her talents could help take others further, she realised her true passion when MaryAnn was able to graduate as the first Indigenous woman from Harvard University with a doctorate.  "It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, I always knew about Harvard because I learned about it at boarding school but knew in my mind that I couldn't get there … but I did". We congratulate MaryAnn Bin-Sallik on all her hard work and contributions to Australia as a nurse and as an academic. We are delighted to celebrate her Order of Australia award. read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-26/australia-day-territorians-named-on-honours-list/8213418
It's always a good day when the hard work of Australian health professionals is recognised. Whether it is serving to protect those that stand beside us or venture over seas to stop oncoming epidemics, these Australian's are surely deserving of more than just a medal, but our respect and thanks. "I'd been to Liberia a couple of times before Ebola, but Ebola stands out - it was just so big and so awful but one of the best missions I did," Ms Bowell reflected on her time helping those struggling with the deadly flesh eating virus. Radiation oncologist, Professor John Boyages has also been named Officer of the Order of Australia for his work with breast cancer patients. In 1989 the mastectomy rate was around 70-80 percent according to Professor Boyages. He is now happily reporting that the conservation is closer to 70-80% as instituting practical methodologies for improving detection and treatment across breast cancer patients.  for more information read through to:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-26/australia-day-nsw-honours-for-red-cross-ebola-nurse-bowell/8213560