Are you pumping too much iron? Well, it could mean you’re a gym junkie - or it might be that you have haemochromatosis. About 1 in 200 people of northern European origin have risk factors for haemochromatosis and people from Celtic origins are particularly susceptible - which is why haemochromatosis is often call the Celtic Curse.
Haemochromatosis is an inherited iron overload disorder that can cause fatigue, aching joints and mood swings. Absorbing too much iron over a long period can lead to serious liver and pancreatic damage, heart disease, macular degeneration and osteoporosis. But the good news is, it is treatable and as with many other chronic diseases, the earlier haemochromatosis is diagnosed, the better the treatment options.
This week is Haemochromatosis Awareness Week and to help inform and educate, we’ve posted this short animation developed by Haemochromatosis Australia explaining the symptoms, risks and treatment options:
This video is a fantastic resource for GPs and heath professionals when explaining haemochromatosis to newly diagnosed patients.
For more information and other resources including Clinical Guidelines and fact sheets go to Haemochromatosis Australia
@HaemAus on Twitter
Haemochromatosis Australia on Facebook
Did you know that famed American author Ernest Hemingway suffered from haemochromatosis? Read an article from Fighting Celtic Curse about Hemingway and his genetic disorder.
Reducing harm from substance misuse in Australia and New Zealand is in part dependent on having a skilled, effective and adaptable healthcare workforce. With an ageing population, the demand for workers in healthcare and social assistance is set to outstrip all other sectors. 1 But it’s not only the population that is ageing, the nursing workforce itself is aging. Half of all nurses right now are over 45 years.2 In 2014 many are already reaching retirement age and more still are working beyond the age of 65.
Speak Up with Social Media
This can only mean one thing - we need to engage with younger nurses and encourage them into this specialist field. How better to do this? Via social media of course!.
Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia, better known as DANA, is already engaging with the new generation of nurses through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. DANA made it their mission to embrace a media that may not be entirely natural to many of their current members, but recognises that increasingly we are turning to social media for health information, both personal and professional. Speaking a digital health language that highlights emerging trends, digital health technology, apps and wearables, keeps organisations like DANA on-trend in a rapidly changing healthcare system.
Speaking Up with Twitter
In a first for DANA, dedicated conference tweeters, e-GPS will be present and tweeting live from key sessions at this year’s DANA ‘Speak-Up’ Conference. Twitter is an integral part of conferencing these days and DANA will be sharing plenary sessions and substance misuse research in real-time to followers across multiple social media networks.
Follow @DANAnews1 and use the official conference hashtag #DANAConf2014 in all your posts.
The DANA Speak Up Conference
DANA believes that it’s time for nurses to speak up about what they do to reduce the harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; to speak up about how they make a difference and to speak up on important issues that fall within the sphere of expertise of drug and alcohol nurses.
At the 2014 DANA Conference we will be speaking up:
about the work of drug and alcohol nurses
about the important role nurses play in reducing the toll from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
for colleagues struggling with alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems
for those who cannot speak or who have no voice
to make the voice of nurses heard
There will also be special workshops about ‘Pain Management’ and ‘Nurses, the Media and Speaking Up’
Come along. Register now. The conference is being held at The Mecure Sydney from June 17-20th.
Making Your Voice Heard
You’re just a few steps away from joining the social media network and becoming a valuable voice in the DANA Twitter conversation.
1. Follow @DANAnews1
2. Start using the official conference hashtag #DANAConf2014
3. Register for the DANA Speak Up Conference
4. Speak Up using social media
Tell your followers about the conference
Share DANA’s Facebook and LinkedIn posts across your networks
Above all, encourage conversations about the amazing work nurses from all sectors are doing every day to reduce harm from substance misuse. The more young nurses and health professionals learn about this area of healthcare, the more likely we are to have a rich, varied and digitally advanced nursing workforce to go on caring for our communities into the future.
DANA looks forward to welcoming you to Sydney for the Speak Up conference 17-20 June 2014. Register at the DANA Conference Website
‘Speak your mind even if your voice shakes’ - Maggie Kuhn, Grey Panthers activitst
1. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) and Flinders University, Adelaide SA, 2013. http://nceta.flinders.edu.au/files/8813/7938/7565/Discussion_paper_Final.pdf
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003
3. Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May, 2014 http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/retirement-age-rise-to-70-by-2035-joe-hockey-announces-20140502-zr318.html
Are you on Facebook? Do you watch YouTube? What about Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram?
Given you are reading this post - it’s highly likely you found us via one/all of these social media platforms.
That’s why we’re in business - because health professionals and health consumers just like you are increasingly using social media for their health information and networking.
Everyone knows about Facebook and YouTube - (if you don’t you really need to Contact us)
But what about LinkedIn?
We call it Facebook for Professionals - but better! It’s just as easy to use, you can post your latest updates as often or as little as you like and you can build a valuable professional network (without the irritation of tagging or fluffy kitten photos).
With over 1.5 million health professionals already networking via LinkedIn, the benefits speak for themselves. In case they don’t, here are 5 reasons why health professionals should be LinkedIn:
1. You’re busy. Really busy. And your colleagues are busy. Not many health professionals have the time or energy to read up on emerging trends, research, policy or news and current affairs that affect health and its many disciplines. LinkedIn is a forum where health professionals are constantly posting updates to inform, engage and sometimes enrage. The key word here is engage. Engage with other health professionals, organisations, key opinion leaders, advocates, health consumers and policy makers in your own time, and at your own pace.
2. You can network with health professionals who have similar goals and experience. Unlike Facebook, this type of networking is not about parties, relationships or how many marshmallows one can stick up their nose. LinkedIn is serious business for professional people. LinkedIn members share research articles, conference highlights, health events, policy updates, opinion pieces, social commentary and tips and tricks including how to write a brilliant CV and find your perfect job. It’s all here, and all very professional.
3. By joining LinkedIn, you can form special interest groups. For example, nurses who work in the field of ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) have the opportunity of engaging with their national peak body, DANA - Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia. DANA regularly post on Facebook and Twitter and now they have started a LinkedIn profile where health professionals can connect and share ideas. But it’s not only health professionals with an interest in ATOD who can connect with DANA. Mental health nurses, non-government organisations and community programs with miniscule budgets for marketing their initiatives are free to form special interest groups and conduct forums, gathering opinion and experience from health professionals who work at the coalface.
4. Be prepared for the emergence of digital healthcare. The world of healthcare is changing rapidly and there is nowhere better to find out about digital health technology advances than via social media. As a health professional you will increasingly be expected to have an understanding of how digital health is progressing and what this means for the future of health care. Mobile health, wearable health technology, closed loop medication dispensing, virtual therapy and telehealth are all discussed on LinkedIn within specialist Digital Health groups who welcome new members. In our next post, we’ll share some of these groups and how to join.
5. Land your dream job. Of course, LinkedIn began its life primarily as a job seeking network for professionals. Apart from all the networking and educational opportunities, LinkedIn is the place where you can be seen in an entirely professional space with multiple career opportunities spread out before you. All you need to do is have a great LinkedIn profile with a current resume and cover letter easily uploadable from your desktop. LinkedIn is free to join however you can upgrade to the premium jobseekers profile which allows you to view other applicants, the salary range for the position and give the opportunity of connecting with the HR or job poster for more information.
LinkedIn? It’s more a question of why wouldn’t you.
Validate their experience, knowledge and expertise;
Distinguish themselves as drug and alcohol nurses;
Enhance their professional confidence;
Retain a strong professional identity as a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse;
Enhance career opportunities;
Provide for a consistent standard of practice; and
Contribute to better patient outcomes.
Darren Smyth is a Nurse Practitioner in Drug and Alcohol at NSW Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network. He recently became a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse (CDAN) and we talked about his experience with the credentialling process.
What has becoming a credentialled Drug and Alcohol nurse brought to your practice?
Along with five of my colleagues, I was credentialled in August, only a few months ago. Credentialling has not changed the way I practice. However, even though I am a Nurse Practitioner, being a CDAN specifically recognises the educational preparation and range of experience that I have gained in my career as a specialist drug and alcohol nurse.
An RN who has gained the required knowledge and skill base should consider applying to become credentialled. This is a peer review process and it recognises not just one’s educational achievements but the broad range of experience that is necessary to achieve a specialist standard in the field. It can also be useful to prospective employers to know that the drug and alcohol nurse they employ has achieved a recognised benchmark. Moreover there is a move across all health care disciplines to have their own credentialling process.
Once credentialled, the CDAN is recognisable as a specialist, one who is able to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles in the clinical area while providing a highly specialised standard of care and contributing to better patient outcomes.
Did you have to complete any post-graduate study in Drug and Alcohol nursing before becoming credentialled?
No, because I had already acquired a Masters of Nursing to meet the Nurse Practitioner requirements. But it’s not just about education. I was able to use my experience with multidisciplinary committees, management of clients with complex substance use issues and my experience in designing and implementing policy and procedure around Drug and Alcohol when I applied for credentialling. Also because I’ve been through the application process for my Nurse Practitioners award, I was prepared for the high standards expected when applying to become a CDAN.
For an RN who is interested in specialising in Drug and Alcohol nursing there are a number of post-graduate courses available online. The Australian College of Nursing offers a Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol. Courses are also available through Universities in each state and territory. Some of these organisations also provide scholarships from time to time.
But I would like to stress that becoming a CDAN is not just about education. A nurse’s entire drug and alcohol career experience is also taken into consideration.
What are the benefits of becoming Credentialled?
Credentialling is intended to enhance the quality of care that is provided to patients and consumers of Drug and Alcohol (D&A) services. Credentialling is designed to provide a standard of experience and professional preparation against which drug and alcohol nurses can benchmark their own experience and skills
In doing so, credentialling can also serve to promote career advancement and open up employment prospects. Importantly, credentialling allows D&A nurses to retain a strong sense of professional identity.
Moving forward, what are your hopes for credentialing in the area of D&A?
It’s early days for the DANA Pathways to Credentialling Program. At the moment we want as many nurses as possible to know about the Pathways Program so you will see DANA Credentialling Committee representatives at many nursing conferences across Australia speaking to groups of nurses about the benefits of credentialling.
Credentialling through DANA
Nurses who are credentialled through Drug and Alcohol Nurses Australasia (DANA) receive the award for 3 years. At the end of that time there is an opportunity to undergo a re-credentialing process.2
The Application Process
When nurses apply for credentialling as a CDAN, their submission is put before a peer review committee, the Credentialling Advisory Committee, where their educational preparation as well as their professional, clinical, and management practices are assessed.
Applicants need to demonstrate their educational preparation as well as their experience working at an advanced level. This may include, but is not necessarily limited to;
- Participation in multidisciplinary committees;
- Involvement in management of clients with complex substance use issues; and
- Experience in handling the ethical issues that arise from D&A nursing practice.
- Quality Improvement (QI) activities
- D&A Policy or Procedure development and implementation
- A detailed case study including a comprehensive D&A assessment.
- Evidence of an education project submission.
- A Personal Statement reflecting their professional journey 3
For more information about Drug and Alcohol Nursing Credentialling process go to:
DANA website www.danaonline.org and click on the ‘credentialling’ tab
D&A Nurses can Join DANA here - benefits of professional membership include:
A sense of professional identity
Professional development opportunities including scholarships, workshops and seminars
Access to D&A nursing information, resources and partnerships with other organisations.
@DANAnews1 on Twitter
Drug and Alcohol Nurses Australasia on Facebook
1. Coalition of National Nursing Organisations (CONNO) – National Nurse Credentialling Framework July 2011
2. DANA online Credentialling www.danaonline.org
3. DANA Online Credentialling Application Package and Guidelines September 2013 pdf
Specialist medical professionals need to set aside their concerns and embrace twitter and other social media platforms.
Research from The George Institute, University of Sydney, highlighted the potential of social media to connect consumers, health professionals and organisations.
The George Institute team presented their poster at the 60th Annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2012 and tweeted their findings.
e-GPS saw the original tweet, logged onto the CSANZ website, followed the conference, connected with the authors, and by posting this blog on Facebook and Twitter drove a wider conversation about their important research through social media.
The George team analysed nine Twitter accounts, including the British Heart Foundation, European Society of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Australian National Heart Foundation, and concluded that:
“Twitter can be used to enhance education, awareness and overall management of cardiovascular disease.”
The potential reach of Twitter is dependent of the number of ‘Followers’ - other Twitter users who have agreed to recieve messages or ‘tweets’. Reach occurs via retweets, (followers ‘Retweet’ your tweet to their followers, and so-on). As an example, The British Heart Foundation reached 71,753 followers via 50 recent tweets.
Consumer and health professional education delivered via direct links to journals and consumer articles were by far the main content of recent tweets sent by these organisations. Only a few tweets had a social focus, debunking the myth many in the medical profession believe about the shallow content of social media. e-GPS were instrumental in disseminating the study findings via Twitter and Facebook and we enabled valuable connections and networks beyond the scope of the conference delegates.
In chronic disease, optimal management involves partnership between the health consumer and the health professional. This partnership leads to collaborative treatment plans, greater adherence to treatment and improved general health.1