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Life Support

Hospital ‘wardies’. They deserve our respect.

I recieved an email today from an emergency department nurse in Tasmania asking for a story a wrote a while back about the importance of hospital orderlies. It is probably even more relevent in these days of COVID-19 than ever before. Here it is…… In some hospitals they may be called orderlies or porters.In Australia […]

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Life Support

Coronavirus and facemasks

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread with uncertainty, many people traveling in high risk areas are wearing some form of facemask as a primary means of protection. You can track the latest status of the virus here) The problem is that most people are not wearing them properly, do not understand the importance of […]

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Life Support

How well do you think you wash your hands? I’ll bet that you are rubbish.

Washing our hands is, um….hands down the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease and infections. From gastroenteritis to coronavirus, stopping the spread of these infections in our communities is quite literally all in our hands. As a retired nurse with 35 years of clinical experience, one thing I tend to notice is […]

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Life Support

Beware the Deathcap Mushroom.

There is something compelling about the idea of picking your own mushrooms. Walking eyes-down amongst smells of wet wildflower or forests of birdcall. Laughing with friends or family. Perhaps a small cane basket to collect them. Perhaps a soft checkered tea towel to cover them. A wistful yearning to reconnect with the earth and with […]

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Life Support

Could you save the life of a Wiggle?

The Wiggles are a children’s musical group that formed back in the 1990s. Recently they reformed for a series of performances for their (now grown up) fans to raise money for the current bushfire relief appeal. Yesterday, Greg Page (the yellow Wiggle) collapsed on stage at the end of the show and suffered a cardiac […]

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Life Support

Build an ADMIT KIT for unexpected hospital admissions when travelling

You never know when an unexpected medical problem will interrupt your trip with a hospital visit. Here is a list of useful items to take with you. Even better, if you (or a family member) are about to go to hospital, or you frequently require admission, why not make an admit kit. A small pre-packed […]

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Life Support

What happens to William after he dies in hospital?

William is a 68 year old man who has just died in hospital.He could be your friend. He could be your spouse. He could be a close family member.This is the story of what will happen to William next. Immediately after William has died. William’s death might be expected: he has been receiving palliative care, […]

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Life Support

Emergency department overcrowding. Why is my bed in a corridor?

Every day, all over Australia patients that have been treated in Emergency Departments (ED’s) and need admitting to hospital are moved out into ED corridors because there are no ward beds available.  Nationally, emergency department waiting times are steadily rising. A recent report (pdf) released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that for […]

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Life Support

What the heck is going on in this Emergency Department?

How come I have been waiting to be seen in the Emergency Department for 2 hours, and that lady walks in and goes straight through? That is just not fair. Everybody understands what a queue is. And it seems like a fair and reasonable way to be seen. After all, it works for banks, and […]