11h 15m CPDConference

Cairns Nurses' Conference

2 Days – Learn Locally with Ausmed

Cairns Nurses' Conference


12 - 13 Dec 2019
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort,
122 Lake Street

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Why Attend

Ausmed believes it is essential that nurses living in the Cairns 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 Cairns every December. 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

Sue de Muelenaere

Essential Physical Assessment Skills

Nurses are essential in the early detection of clinical triggers that may suggest a patient is deteriorating or has already become acutely unwell. Appropriate and timely assessment is known to reduce morbidity and mortality, thus improving patient outcomes. This session reviews important assessment considerations, including:

  • Why do we assess our patients?
  • Vitally important “vital signs” – why some clinical cues are neglected
  • Top tips for quick recognition of acute deterioration
  • Review of key principles of assessment, including documentation and national standards
10:15 Morning Tea

Sue de Muelenaere

Asleep or Unconscious? Assessing Neurological Deterioration

The ability to recognise subtle changes in a person’s neurological state will enable you to detect signs of deterioration early. The purpose of this session is to take you through the basics of a neurological assessment, including a simplified approach to using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Topics covered include:

  • What is a GCS include and what does this tell you?
  • What else other than a person’s GCS should be assessed, e.g. limb strength?
  • What are the common signs and symptoms associated with neurological decline and what may they indicate?
  • How do you document and report changes?
Sue de Muelenaere

Fluid and Electrolyte Balance

Failure to recognise and appropriately treat fluid and electrolyte imbalances can have fatal consequences. Knowledge and understanding of the normal physiological processes are essential for accurate patient assessment. This session will refresh your knowledge and assist you in getting up to speed with the different types of fluids and their uses. Topics include:

  • What are the normal physiological processes of fluid balance?
  • What is hypovolaemic shock? How would you recognise it and what might the causes be?
  • What intravenous fluids should be used and when?
  • How to recognise electrolyte disturbances early
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Pippa Travers-Mason

The Judicious Use of Opioids – Implications for Nursing Practice

Opioids are commonly prescribed medication for pain management in a range of settings, frequently as a PRN. Yet their potential for harm and misuse is ever-present. It is essential that these medicines are fully understood so that they are appropriately used and nurses can confidently feel safe administering them. This session offers an in-depth review of opioid medications and includes:

  • The different types of opioids used today
  • How opioids work to alleviate pain
  • Management of opioid-induced side effects, e.g. constipation, falls etc.
  • Dosing considerations in the elderly
  • Identifying tolerance, preventing dependency, and assessing for toxicity
  • Identifying drug diversion and other inappropriate behaviours
2:45 Afternoon Tea

Pippa Travers-Mason

When Less is More? Recognising the Unnecessary Use of Medicines

The adverse effects of medication are a constant concern for healthcare professionals. Knowing the potential risks of a medication can significantly prevent injury or harm, such as falls. This session will look at the adverse effects of medications, the need for deprescribing, and how to prevent unnecessary harm. It includes:

  • What are some of the common adverse effects of medicines?
  • How can you reduce the risk of harm associated with medicines?
  • Why is it important to be aware of adverse effects?
4:00 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


Welcome Back and Review

Jane Jordan

Rehabilitation for Elderly Populations

Older adults are at high risk for injuries or illnesses, and because of that, they have an equally high chance of ending up in rehabilitation services. This session will discuss:

  • What can cause an older adult to require rehabilitation services?
  • What challenges do older adults face in rehabilitation?
  • Are there options for rehabilitation in the community?
Jane Jordan

Seeing the Person, Not the Disease - The Role of Dementia Care Mapping

Dementia Care Mapping is not a new concept but a useful assessment tool for the measurement of well-being in adults living with dementia. Based on respect for personhood, it is instrumental in developing person-centred care. This session focuses on practical aspects of Dementia Care Mapping and how it can guide practice. Includes:

  • What are the indicators for use and expected quality outcomes?
  • How is the data collected and interpreted?
  • Practical uses and benefits – immediate, short term, long term
  • Educating staff about person-centred values and action
10:45 Morning Tea


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?

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?
12:45 Lunch and Networking

Sue de Muelenaere

Recognising “Red Flags” of Clinical Deterioration

There is a huge potential for patients across any clinical setting to become rapidly unwell. Recent system changes have been rolled out to encourage better management of clinical deterioration. Your ability to recognise and respond to changes in a patient’s condition early is a high priority if an acute illness is to be averted. This session looks at:

  • What clues or changes in clinical observations may indicate a patient is becoming unwell?
  • What immediate assessment should be undertaken when you suspect a patient is deteriorating?
  • How should these changes in observations be documented?
  • When should you escalate incidents?
2:30 Afternoon Tea

Sue de Muelenaere

Shifting the pH – Acid-Base Balance

A deviation from acid-base balance homeostasis can severely affect any organ in the human body. In this interactive and practical session, you will develop a better understanding of this complex topic. It includes:

  • The importance and physiology of acid-base balance
  • Arterial blood gas analysis
  • Case studies for practice interpretation and management options
4:30 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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To Be Determined

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Sue de Muelenaere

Sue de Muelenaere is a registered nurse with more than 20 years’ experience as a nurse educator. Sue completed a five-year bachelor of nursing degree in South Africa, which included training in psychiatric and community nursing and midwifery. Since then, Sue has worked extensively in the intensive care environment, during which she has presented various courses, including an honour’s degree, a diploma in intensive care, and various short cardiac and ECG courses. Sue also holds an honour’s degree in advanced nursing science (intensive care nursing) and diplomas in nursing education and nursing administration. She was the education manager in a specialised heart hospital where she was responsible for the education of all hospital staff, including non-nursing staff members. Sue is passionate about teaching. She maintains a special interest in all aspects of nursing the critically-ill patient. Read More

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Pippa Travers-Mason

Pippa Travers-Mason began her career as a clinical pharmacist in Sydney before completing her first masters in public health, and a subsequent masters in education. She resides in Cairns and divides her time between a clinical role as an accredited consultant pharmacist with the community-controlled health service at Yarrabah, and as a clinical services specialist (teaching role) for NPS MedicineWise, which takes her to primary care clinics around the far north to update GPs on best practice in the quality use of medicines and diagnostics. She also provides coaching and support to Aboriginal students completing bachelor and higher degrees through Deakin University. She has a passion for bridging the evidence-practice gaps by massaging the multitude of evidence-based guidelines into practical, simple solutions for clinicians and their patients. Read More

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Jane Jordan

Jane Jordan is the Nurse Unit Manager of the Older Persons Evaluation Rehabilitation and Assessment Ward in Cairns hospital. Before this role, Jane was the first Clinical Nurse Consultant for Dementia and Delirium for the Cairns and Hinterland District. She has over 30 years’ experience as a nurse in Australia, the UK and Papua New Guinea, and has worked in a variety of nursing fields. Her passion has always remained with the care of the elderly which led her to specialise in caring for the cognitively impaired. Jane advocates a person-centred approach to comprehensive dementia care and challenges the traditional medical model focus on processes, schedules and staff organizational needs to achieve the best outcomes for her patients. Read More


12 - 13 Dec 2019


Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
122 Lake Street
Cairns QLD,4870


$610.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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