Australia’s remote health workers equipped with Ebola fighting skills

07 January 2015

It’s an established fact that clinicians who practice in the specialty of remote and isolated health in Australia, have the skills, knowledge and aptitude that International Humanitarian Organisations are looking for when recruiting their volunteers.

In a media release issued by CRANAPlus, a membership based advocate for health professionals working in the remote sector of Australia, it is explained how humanitarians in remote health and International developments share a drive to pursue social justice, a desire for equity, a dedication to the principles of comprehensive primary health care and a preparedness to work in challenging, isolated, resource poor environments.

Unsurprisingly, Australian remote health workers are at the forefront in battling the current Ebola crisis. Kim Izon, a nurse from Darwin in the Northern Territory and a volunteer in the fight against Ebola, talks about how she feels her certain skill set would be most useful and how her passion to help communities that may not be as well off in terms of monetary, health or location will make a big difference.

To learn more about Regional, Rural and Remote Nursing opportunities contact Belmore Nurses Bureau on 1300 884 686

Social media: treading carefully when it comes to sharing exciting news about your job versus breach of confidentiality

07 January 2015

Just over a week ago a midwife went on facebook to post about the birth of a baby in Waikato hospital New Zealand, saying it’s possibly the biggest in the country ever born, at 6.8kgs. The nurse in question named the baby and his exact weight, sparking a discussion about patient confidentiality.

Waikato District Health Board communications director Mary Anne Gill said the hospital did not have consent to comment about a baby of that weight and the midwife in question has since deleted her post.

Nurses who share the highs and lows of their chosen profession often do so without realising they’re breaching their patient’s confidentiality and so awareness of guidelines and policy is essential.

In relation to this recent breach of confidentiality in Waikato hospital, the midwifery council said all midwives have a code of ethics and are guided by the health information privacy code and Privacy Act itself.The New Zealand College of Midwives Code of Ethics states that confidential information should be shared with others only with the informed consent of the woman, unless otherwise permitted or required by law.

When it comes to Australia, AHPRAdeveloped and published the Nursing and Midwifery social media policy, which states that when using social media, health practitioners should remember that the National Law, their National Board’s code of ethics and professional conduct (the Code of conduct) and the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (the Advertising guidelines) apply.

Complying with confidentiality and privacy obligations involves not discussing patients or posting pictures of procedures, case studies, patients, or sensitive material which may enable patients to be identified without having obtained consent in appropriate situations

It goes on to say how posting unauthorised photographs of patients in any medium is a breach of the patient’s privacy and confidentiality, including on a personal Facebook site or group even if the privacy settings are set at the highest setting.

So next time you’re tempted to post something patient related that is exciting, interesting or shocking on facebook, twitter or any social media medium, think again.