13 - 14 May 2021

Newcastle Nurses' Conference

QRC: 4077
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Why Attend

This general nurses’ conference is an ideal way for you to update your knowledge about a range of nursing topics each year. Book your place at this upcoming conference and:

  • Keep up-to-date
  • 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…
Attending a conference requires planning and, often, the support of your organisation. See below and find out how you can gain support to attend this event.


8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction


Defeating the Crippling Effects of Chronic Illness

This session looks at ways that nurses can work with people who have long-term debilitating conditions. It includes:

  • What does the evidence reveal about the most common crippling effects of chronic illness?
  • How can nurses assist patients to live a quality life?
Rebecca Williams

Low Fat Versus Low Carb Diets

There are many different types of diets that people use. However, some appear to work better than others. Evidence suggests that the health benefits of some diets outweigh those of others. This session specifically looks at the relative merits of low fat versus low carbohydrate diets. It includes:

  • When is a low-fat diet indicated?
  • Which type of diet affects blood glucose levels?
  • Does the time of day when the food is ingested matter?
  • Which diet works best for cardiovascular disease?
10:30 Morning Tea

Dr Amanda Wisely

Complex Pain in Palliative Care

Pain is an unpleasant sensation at any stage of life; however, in palliative care, where complex pain is common, it is important to know how to manage pain that may change daily. This session will discuss complex pain in a palliative setting and includes:

  • How is complex pain different from other types of pain?
  • What are some examples of complex pain seen in palliative patients?
  • What can nurses do to manage complex pain in palliative patients?

Dressing the Infected Wound

Despite best efforts, some patients will experience wounds that deteriorate due to infection. Should the wound demonstrate dehiscence, drainage and devitalised tissue, the nursing team will need to be able to set appropriate objectives and select correct dressings to care for these wounds. This session includes:

  • A review of wound bed preparation and the role of debridement in nursing-derived wound care
  • An overview of antimicrobial dressings and their place in clinical practice
  • The possible adjunctive treatments for the infected wound
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Amy Lee Walker

Improving Medication Adherence

Medication adherence is important in healthcare, but some patients do not take their medication as required, causing issues in disease management. This session will discuss a method which is aimed at improving medication adherence. It discusses:

  • What are the results of medication non-adherence?
  • What is consumer engagement?
  • How can consumer engagement improve medication adherence?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Margaret Harris

Saints and Sinners: Healthcare Professionals and Addictions

The TV show Nurse Jackie showed us a healthcare professional with an addiction to prescription medication. Though people have complained about it, it highlights an issue that affects nurses and other healthcare professionals worldwide. This session will explore:

  • What are the reasons some healthcare professionals become addicted to prescription medication, alcohol and/or other drugs?
  • Are there any challenges faced by healthcare professionals who want to seek treatment for these addictions?
  • How can we help our colleagues who may be addicted to prescription medication, alcohol and/or other drugs?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Simone Dagg

Diabetes in Aged Care

Due to physiological changes as we age, diabetes has become a common chronic condition in older adults. As more and more information is discovered about diabetes, it is up to us, as healthcare professionals, to keep our older patients up-to-date. This session will discuss:

  • What are the latest updates on diabetes in older adults?
  • What are the current strategies for diabetes management in older adults?
  • How can older adults independently manage their diabetes?

Mandatory Reporting: Your Responsibility

There are several mandatory reporting requirements that affect all first responders. This session will encourage you to consider the implications of mandatory reporting for your role as a first responder. It includes:

  • What is mandatory reporting?
  • Do you know what your responsibilities are?
  • What should you do if you suspect abuse or neglect within the workplace, including for civilians, patients and colleagues?
10:45 Morning Tea

Margaret Harris

Alcohol and Other Drugs: An Update on Illicit Drug Use

The harm from substance misuse is well recognised in Australia. Drug choices, patterns of use and treatment options are changing. In this session, we will look at:

  • What is the current situation with regards to illicit drug use?
  • What are the new treatment options?
Gauri Godbole

Delirium: Myths and Facts

Delirium is an acute and severe change in mental state, and it is also a sign of deterioration. This session will discuss a condition that is commonly mistaken for other mental health symptoms. It includes:

  • The definition of Delirium
  • Types of delirium
  • Non-pharmacological and pharmacological management of delirium
  • Interdisciplinary roles
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Gauri Godbole

Navigating the Waves of Deprescribing

Medications are designed to treat, but sometimes they may cause harm instead. In these cases, deprescribing is utilised in order to safely reduce medications. This session includes:

  • Understanding deprescribing
  • Stakeholders in deprescribing
  • Methodologies in deprescribing
  • Enablers and barriers of deprescribing
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Michael Hazelton

An Introduction to Borderline Personality Disorder and Its Treatment

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most common of the personality disorders, affecting between 2% and 5% of Australians. BPD is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Those who live with it are regularly exposed to stigma and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, including from health professionals. This presentation will also include an outline of what nurses working in any area of healthcare can do to improve their skills and confidence in working with people with BPD. It includes:

  • The definition, symptoms, prevalence and prognosis of BPD
  • Evidence-based interventions for BPD
  • The lived experience of BPD
  • General principles for working effectively with a person living with BPD
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations


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To Be Determined

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Simone Dagg

Simone Dagg is a registered nurse with a Masters in International Health Service Management. During her 25 years of nursing, she has been involved in the development and provision of “HiTH” services, within the Hunter New England Local Health District. She has held her current position as the Nurse Unit Manager for GNC HITH service for the past 7 years and a member of the team for more than 10 years. Simone has been instrumental in the development and expansion of the service, providing clinical leadership across many roles, during this time.

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Gauri Godbole

Gauri Godbole is currently practicing as a clinical pharmacist in aged care and mental health at Gosford Hospital. She has experience in hospital pharmacy practice across Australia. Her practice interests include aspects of geriatric medicine, research, teaching and publications: for both consumer and healthcare professionals. Gauri is a regular presenter at patient education forums such as the stepping-on program for falls prevention on the central coast. She has presented in various seminars and conferences, nationally and internationally. Gauri is a member of many local and national committees such as the NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group, Night Sedation Guidelines committee. She is an active member of the national geriatric medicine specialty practice leadership committee for the Society of Hospital Pharmacists’ of Australia (SHPA), elected as co-chair of the committee in 2019. She was awarded SHPA, NSW branch Early Career Pharmacist Award in 2017, in recognition of her contribution to pharmacy practice. Gauri is a fellow of the SHPA. Recently, she gained her certification as a dementia practitioner. Gauri recently received her advancing practice pharmacist credential in geriatric medicine in 2019.

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Michael Hazelton

Mike Hazelton is a professor of mental health nursing at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has worked in different parts of Australia - New South, Western Australia and Tasmania - and has had extensive experience leading schools of nursing at the University of Tasmania, Curtin University, and the University of Newcastle. He is an honorary director of the Halla/Newcastle Centre for Problem-Based Learning, Cheju Halla University, Republic of Korea and was visiting professor in the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, between May and September 2010. Professor Hazelton’s clinical work as professor of mental health nursing has included involvement in various types of cognitive behaviour therapy. For instance, he participated as both an individual therapist and group skills therapist in the delivery of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for borderline personality disorder in the Centre for Psychotherapy, Hunter New England Area Health Service between 2005 and 2010. He was also involved in a program providing group-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for depression to clients referred by local general practitioners in the Newcastle/Hunter region in 2006 and 2009. Mike is also an accredited mental health first aid master trainer and has provided mental health first aid training to students, university staff, and community members since 2009. Many of Mike’s research publications and presentations reflect his ongoing commitment to clinical work and health professional education Professor Hazelton has a research background in both qualitative and quantitative methods, has published widely on mental health and mental health nursing, and has undertaken consultancies for various governments, both Commonwealth and state in Australia. Mike is a past editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing and is currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. To date he has supervised 16 PhD students to successful completion; been the recipient of a number of awards for mental health nursing research; and in 2003 was made a life member of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, the highest honour awarded by that professional organisation.

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Rebecca Williams

Rebecca Williams is a Newcastle-based accredited practising dietitian and research associate at the University of Newcastle. Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics in 2011 through the University of Newcastle and has submitted her PhD thesis in the area of obesity. Rebecca is the chair of Nutrition Society of Australia Newcastle Branch.

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Margaret Harris

Dr Margaret Harris has a PhD in clinical epidemiology and community medicine (exploring screening for colorectal cancer) and is a Fulbright alumna, who has over 20 years experience as a public health researcher and university lecturer. Her first degree was in nursing and she has worked clinically in hospitals, the community, and more recently in drug and alcohol clinical services. Her research interests are broad and have included cancer screening, healthy ageing and the health needs of vulnerable populations. Dr Harris loves to travel and is a passionate volunteer worker in the South Pacific.

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Amanda Wisely

Dr Amanda Wisely is currently the pain fellow at the Hunter Integrated Pain Service. She has completed palliative medicine training at Calvary Mater after a long postgraduate course via emergency and travel/volunteer medicine.

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AmyLee Walker

Amy Lee Walker completed her bachelor of biomedical science in 2006, followed by a Master of Pharmacy from the University of Newcastle in 2008. She is currently studying the Master of Health Administration at Flinders University. In 2011, she has attained certification with the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacists to expand her community service work with home medication reviews (HMRs) while working as a clinical pharmacist. She has worked as a child and adolescent mental health (nexus) and adult mental health rehabilitation pharmacist. Her experience includes being part of the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (ANZCP) panel for the review of international cardiometabolic monitoring guidelines. She then gained a novel role as CAHS specialist mental health pharmacist and worked in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, adhering to many challenges, and has since accepted rewards for addressing mental health and systems in the area. During that time, she has undertaken research looking at adherence and health literacy for Indigenous mental health consumers and has presented the results. At the moment, she is currently employed as a clinical pharmacist at the Calvary Mater Newcastle and is raising a beautiful baby. To balance pharmacy, she also works as a Pilates instructor at Total Body Pilates, which she finds very complementary.

Need for Program

Good patient care is directly related to the quality of the nursing care being provided. The healthcare environment is rapidly changing and all nurses are faced with the constant challenge of keeping their knowledge, skills and practice up-to-date. As well, the amount of new knowledge available is increasing. To achieve the desired patient outcomes, utilising informed, safe and competent nursing practice is vital. In addition, continuing professional development is a professional regulatory requirement.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to enable all nurses to remain up-to-date on a range of current professional and clinical practice topics.

Your learning outcomes

  • Identify behaviours that cause illness in people in order to plan care to prevent health deterioration
  • Optimise interprofessional collaboration with the intention of enhancing better patient outcomes
  • Apply new knowledge about a range of conditions to provide holistic care
  • Underpin patient outcomes with evidence-based practice, recognised standards and guidelines
13 - 14 May 2021

Newcastle Nurses' Conference

QRC: 4077
Newcastle Quality Hotel Noahs on the Beach
Newcastle, NSW, 2300
Price: $629.00