Gippsland Nurses' Conference

2 Days – Learn Locally with Ausmed


Every year Ausmed Education holds a nurses’ conference specifically designed for your location and aimed at assisting you to get rapidly up-to-date on current nursing topics. Attend this local nurses’ conference to gain a broad range of clinical and professional updates relevant to your practice. Take time out and network with like-minded colleagues. Find out:

  • What are some of the health priorities that you need to know about?
  • What nursing interventions make a difference, especially to those with chronic conditions?
  • Why is evidence so important to the way you practice?
  • What is the latest information about a range of current treatments?

Gippsland Nurses' Conference 2019
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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Geoff Ahern

The Mental Health Journey: From an Acute Episode to Diagnosis to, for Some People, Long-Term Mental Illness

Mental illness can be complex and, at times, unpredictable. Its prevalence and level of severity depend on an individual’s past experiences and genetic makeup, as well as access to treatment, support, and education. This session will look into acute and long-term mental illness and how they differ. Topics include:

  • Why so such stigma, shame, and embarrassment around mental illness versus physical illness?
  • How should we view recovery?
  • Why is “hope for recovery” so important for every person living with a mental illness?
  • What is the difference between acute and long-term mental illness?
  • How prevalent is acute versus long-term mental illness?
  • What constitutes “treatment” for a person with a long-term mental illness?
10:30 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

Why Not All Wounds Are Visible – A Trauma-Informed Approach

The origins of trauma-informed care stem from a large study that investigated the correlation between adverse childhood events (ACE) and long-term health problems later in life. Understanding the impact of adverse childhood events and cumulative stressors later in life is essential if we are to create a safe environment that promotes resilience and enables healing for older adults. This session explores:

  • How do adverse childhood events increase the risk of long-term health complications?
  • What are the effects of chronic stress and trauma in older adults?
  • What is the role of trauma-informed care?
  • How can nurses incorporate a trauma-informed approach to their care of older adults?
Geoff Ahern

More than Just “Stressed” – Understanding Anxiety

Often, a degree of anxiety is beneficial to keep us safe and motivated. At one point or another, most of us are likely to experience some level of anxiety. However, when consumed by it, it can quickly become debilitating and life-altering. This session will review these common mental health conditions. Topics include:

  • What is stress and how is it beneficial?
  • How does anxiety differ from stress?
  • Anxiety vs anxiety disorder – what are the key differences?
  • How can you manage stress and normal anxiety?
  • What treatments exist for anxiety disorders?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Kelly Abbott

The Toxicology Detective

What causes a substance to become toxic? Why is it that innocuous substances can suddenly pose a threat to health? This session highlights the key principles of toxicology, providing essential foundations for the modern management of “The Poisoned Patient”. Topics include:

  • What substances become poisons and why?
  • How do toxins affect the body?
  • How are toxidromes useful?
  • Which antidotes are used and why?
  • Are there new ways to remove toxins?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Kelly Abbott

Ceasing Complacency – Why Medication Safety Matters

Being busy is often the number one thing on a nurses mind. We are known for planning and prioritising our time to get things done. However, recognising when our behaviours may switch from routine to complacency is essential. In fact, it’s most pertinent when we consider our routine for medication administration to ensure errors are avoided. This session will go back to basics on medication safety to ensure you leave feeling confident about your own practice. It includes a discussion of recent case studies resulting in harm or injury due to medication safety and looks at:

  • Why do medication errors occur?
  • How can you prevent being interrupted?
  • Where can you go to obtain up-to-date information on medicines?
  • How can you improve medication administration safety and documentation?
4:15 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


Welcome and Review

Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Complications of Diabetes – What is Going On?

In this session, the current theories regarding the causative factors that lead to diabetes complications will be examined and discussed. Topics include:

  • What are the fundamental changes that occur at the cellular level that lead to chronic damage with diabetes?
  • Is there a difference in the microvascular and macrovascular disease development?
  • What monitoring is required long-term regarding the development of complications?
  • What is the psychological impact of diabetes complications on the person with diabetes?
Catherine Wallace-Wilkinson

Diabetes Care Emergencies: Hypoglycaemic and Hyperglycaemic Episodes

Diabetes emergencies can occur for a range of reasons. They can cause a great deal of anxiety and may be life-threatening. Experiencing an emergency in relation to diabetes can be very traumatic for a person and prevention is ideal. In this session, you will learn about the current best practice nursing care for common diabetes-related emergencies. It includes:

  • Early identification and management of diabetes emergencies
  • When to be concerned about hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia – the nursing actions required for each
  • Protocols to limit the occurrence of diabetes emergencies in the hospital setting
  • Prevention of diabetes-related emergencies in the community setting
10:45 Morning Tea

Marianne Cullen

Bringing Wounds to Light

Staying up-to-date with wound prevention and management, to help reduce the impact of chronic wounds, is constantly identified as a priority of care for older adults. This session will look at managing the wound by combining the latest standards with best practice. It includes:

  • Latest wound management standards
  • Latest research influencing wound dressings and treatments
  • Selecting and using wound dressings and treatments
  • Specialised options for difficult situations
Marianne Cullen

“War On Wounds” – Wounds That Won’t Heal

Chronic wounds are often debilitating and can severely impact a person’s quality of life. Chronic wounds that linger can be challenging and frustrating, particularly for the patient. This session will look at the evidence for managing a chronic wound when difficult healing circumstances exist. Topics include:

  • What makes a wound chronic?
  • What influences the healing of a chronic wound?
  • What can be done to optimise the healing of a chronic wound?
  • What are the important dressing considerations for a chronic wound?
12:45 Lunch and Networking

Geoff Ahern

Linking Food and Mood

Fascinating research is challenging the paradigm that poor mental health can cause a poor diet. It is acknowledged that changes in mental health -– such as stress or anxiety – can affect our dietary behaviours (hello comfort eating on night duty!). However, we are now beginning to also understand how better quality diets can improve a person’s mental health and perhaps even prevent mental health conditions. With nutrition widely accepted as a key aspect of personal and professional wellbeing, it’s time to look at the relationship between nutrition and mental health. This session includes:

  • What’s the connection between the brain, addiction studies, and what we eat?
  • Diet and depression – is there a link?
  • How about stress, sugar, and saturated fat?
  • What are some simple approaches to introducing better nutrition and more activity into your routine?
2:45 Afternoon Tea

Geoff Ahern

Substance Use, Misuse, and Addiction

For many of us, what we think we know about substance use and addiction is quite possibly wrong. It’s not your fault, however. The “war on drugs” we’ve been fighting for over 100 years, now combined with media coverage, means we often only hear one side of the story. This session will look at:

  • Problematic media coverage of substance use
  • Unconscious biases in us towards people with substance use problems
  • The truth about addiction
  • Australian substance use statistics
  • Take time to listen – Why everyone’s personal story and journey guides the treatment you offer
  • How to help a person with a substance use problem and why compassion, empathy, and kindness are the key to recovery
4:00 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Engaging in CPD is essential for all health professionals to maintain, improve, and broaden their knowledge, skills, and practice. CPD assists health professionals to stay up-to-date with changes in clinical practice and emerging new evidence in order to enhance their patient outcomes. It is also a professional registration requirement. There is a need for formal CPD to be provided directly to regional Australian nurses, midwives, and other health professionals who may not otherwise be able to access engaging and effective continuing education.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of Ausmed’s local nurses’ conferences is to provide health professionals who work in regional Australia with current knowledge about a range of professional and clinical practice topics that will improve the provision of holistic care.

Your learning outcomes:

People with health risks will receive preventative care and education to avoid illness
Better patient outcomes will be achieved through the application of up-to-date knowledge related to specific interventions
Interprofessional collaboration will be optimised to enhance patient outcomes
Patient outcomes will be underpinned by evidence-based practice, recognised standards, and guidelines


Gippsland Nurses' Conference



Gippsland Nurses' Conference
11 Hours | 15 Mins



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