11h 15m CPDConference

Bendigo Nurses' Conference

2 Days – Learn Locally with Ausmed

Bendigo Nurses' Conference 2019


21 - 22 Oct 2019
Comfort Inn Julie-Anna Bendigo,
268/276 Napier St

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Why Attend

Ausmed believes it is essential that nurses living in the Bendigo region have access to effective and engaging CPD on an annual basis. We look forward to receiving your support to ensure that this Local Nurses’ Conference is brought to Bendigo every October. Book your place at this year’s event and:

  • Gain new knowledge for contemporary practice
  • Network, share experiences, and connect with like-minded colleagues
  • Help meet your CPD requirements
  • Enrich your professional practice and personal growth
  • Improve health outcomes specific to your local community and much, much more…
We recognise that attending a conference requires planning and the support of your organisation. See below to find out how you can gain support to attend this event.

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Geoff Ahern

The Mental Health Journey – Acute Episode to Diagnosis to, for Some, 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, genetic makeup, access to treatment, and support and education. This session will look into acute and long-term mental illness and how they differ. Topics include:

  • 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?
10:30 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

Food and Mood – Is There a Link?

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, depression, and anxiety – is there a link?
  • How about stress, sugar, and saturated fat?
  • What are some simple approaches to introducing better nutrition into your routine?
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 clients. 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 adults?
  • What is the role of trauma-informed care?
  • How can nurses incorporate a trauma-informed approach to their care of older adults?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Colin Dorn

Older People and Medicines

As people age, their ability to metabolise medicines changes. As many older adults take multiple medicines, it is essential that their effect on one another be understood by those administering them. In this session, you will consider how you can avoid the problems that may arise, and why medication review in older people is essential. It includes a note on distractions at the drug trolley and explores:

  • Metabolism and medicines – how do we change?
  • Medication delivery mechanisms – does one size fit all?
  • What are the dangers of crushing medicines – are there other options?
  • What are the top ten interactions to watch for?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Colin Dorn

The Clinical Nurse Detective – Methotrexate Toxicity

The potential for harm with any medication is a constant concern, regardless of the administered drug. Methotrexate raises particular interest due to its potential to cause adverse outcomes. This session will look at methotrexate toxicity and a relevant case study regarding medication safety. This includes:

  • What are the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate?
  • What adverse reactions can occur?
  • How does toxicity present?
  • Can toxicity be reversed?
4:15 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


Welcome and Review

Louise Holland

Asking the Hard Questions - Sexually Transmitted Illnesses

Talking about sexual health histories with your patient may be hard, and the topic of sexually transmitted illnesses may be even harder to broach. This session will discuss the following:

  • Is it important to know if your patients have a sexually transmitted illness (STI) if you are not a sexual health professional?
  • Are there new forms of STIs that nurses should be aware of?
  • What are the possible and less commonly known illnesses that may arise from undetected STIs?
  • How can we help promote vaccinations against STIs?
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
10:45 Morning Tea

Michelle Gray

Motivation and Diabetes

The diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming. The copious amounts of information regarding the disease, the complications, and the medications can make motivation a difficult area of discussion. This session includes:

  • How to initiate best-practice approaches to lifestyle changes?
  • How to engage patients in education and motivation?
  • How to improve self-management of diabetes?
Michelle Gray

Nutrition, Healthy Eating, and Diabetes – It's All About Balance

Eating well, being active, and reducing weight is a balancing act – find out about the latest evidence and strategies for your patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes. This session includes practical examples and case studies that will highlight more difficult and challenging situations. Discuss:

  • What are the latest nutritional guidelines for patients diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Are there any practical, workable strategies for educating patients with diabetes and promoting their need to lose weight? Does knowledge lead to behavioural change?
  • Weight control – pills, shakes, diets, medication, and surgery – does anything work?
12:45 Lunch and Networking

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 we manage stress and normal anxiety?
2:45 Afternoon Tea

Geoff Ahern

Going Home Happy – Not Taking “It” Personally

Too often people in the workplace experience negative emotions as a result of incivility. This, clearly, can be destructive and lead to disengaged workplaces where no one benefits. Establishing and maintaining clear personal boundaries has proven to be an effective strategy for dealing with unpredictable and unstable behaviours of others, including other staff. This session highlights:

  • How can personal boundaries protect you?
  • How can you build and maintain boundaries you are comfortable with?
  • What do you do when your boundaries are challenged?
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


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Colin Dorn

Colin Dorn always wanted to be a doctor when he was growing up, leading him to develop a strong inte... Read More

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Louise Holland

Louise Holland has worked in the private and public health sector for the last 35 years as a registe... Read More

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Michelle Gray

Michelle Gray has been a nurse for 23 years and has worked in both hospital and community settings. ... Read More

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Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working ... Read More


21 - 22 Oct 2019


Comfort Inn Julie-Anna Bendigo
268/276 Napier St
Bendigo  VIC,3550


$610.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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