11h 15m CPDConference

Night-Shift Nursing Conference

Two Days for All Nurses and Midwives

Night-Shift Nursing Conference - Melbourne 2020


12 - 13 Mar 2020
Oaks On Collins ,
480 Collins St

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Why Attend

Nurses who work at night – even occasionally – function in a different zone to those who work day shifts. Attend this conference and discover new ways of thinking about night shift nursing. It includes:

  • A clinical update for night-shift nurses
  • Deteriorating patients at night
  • Specific policies for agency nurses
  • Improving shift-to-shift communication
  • Mandatory reporting, difficult conversations and much more...

cover image


Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Geoff Ahern

Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders

Humans are diurnal, which may explain why the night shift is harder on us than the day shift. It’s even harder when we develop a disorder because of the night shift. This session will look into circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, specifically the shiftwork type – a disorder that may affect shiftworkers. It includes:

  • What are the symptoms of the shiftwork type circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders?
  • How can shiftworkers prevent this from occurring?
  • What are the treatments available for this disorder?
  • Is there a link between shiftwork type circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder, depression and anxiety?
Skye Coote

When Things Go Bump in the Night: Hidden Brain Injuries

We tend to ignore small head bumps, thinking they can’t possibly be serious, but what if we don’t realise that these seemingly harmless instances can become potentially fatal? This session will look at the insidious dangers of a seemingly light injury. It includes:

  • What kinds of head injuries may present without typical signs and symptoms?
  • How do some subdural haematomas go undetected?
  • What can nurses do for a patient with a suspected hidden brain injury?
11:00 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

Night-Shift and Over-the-Counter or Prescription Drugs for Sleeping

For many health professionals, working regular night shifts is expected as a part of your normal rostering. As we've already explored, this disruption to your normal circadian rhythm can be problematic by itself, let alone if you can't sleep well during the day. This session will explore:

  • The role of over-the-counter and prescription medication to assist with sleep
  • Alternatives to pharmaceutical medications
  • Managing "sleep hygiene" as a shiftworker
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Amy Benn

Should We Let Them Sleep? Night-Shift Nursing Rounds

Nursing rounds decrease adverse events by nature, but during the night shift, they can also disrupt our patient and resident’s sleep, taking away rest that can help them recover. This session will discuss nursing care rounds during the night shift, including:

  • What are the benefits and downsides of a night-shift nursing round?
  • Is it okay for routine vital signs to be reduced when the patient is sleeping?
  • What are the ways that we can have purposeful and timely nursing rounds?
Amy Benn

Communicating When You Are Tired – The Role of the Clinical Handover

Giving and receiving clinical handover is a vital aspect of any shift. Continuity of care, accountability of practice and patient safety all depend on acute information being carried over from one shift to another. Yet, something happens to our brains when we are tired and sometimes handover may not be at the usual high standard. This session looks at:

  • What contribution does competent documentation make to nursing care?
  • How can night nurses document care in a timely manner and avoid omissions of important information?
  • How can you avoid “alert fatigue” or “checkbox syndrome” when documenting clinical pathways?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jenny Gowan

Pain Management – Preventing Opioid Toxicity at Night

How often do you consider the dangers associated with prescribed medications for pain? Opioids are commonly prescribed in a range of settings. Yet, their potential for harm, misuse and even deliberate self-poisoning is ever present. It is essential that these medicines are fully understood so that nurses can confidently feel safe administering them and so that they are appropriately used not abused. This session includes the most common types of analgesics that may be prescribed for managing pain. Discuss:

  • How do opioids work to alleviate pain?
  • How do you manage opioid-induced side effects and potential for misuse?
  • What types of drugs commonly used at night could potentially interact with opioids?
  • How do you identify tolerance, prevent dependency and assess for toxicity?
4:45 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Catherine Symes

NursesToo: Sexual Harassment and Assault

Sexual harassment and assault can happen in any work setting, including in healthcare. The #MeToo movement highlighted issues that have been prevalent since the time of Florence Nightingale. This session includes:

  • Why is sexual harassment and assault still an issue in healthcare?
  • In what way can nurses deal with sexual assault in the workplace?
  • What can you do in terms of reporting and documenting?
  • Why are debriefing and counselling important in cases of sexual harassment and assault?
Kristen Adams

Optimising Health When You Work Night Duty

Maintaining optimal health while working night duty is a challenge. Ensuring adequate nutrition and sleep may reduce any negative effects on your wellbeing as well as promote patient safety. This session discusses a range of considerations, including:

  • How does eating out of sync with your circadian rhythm impact your overall health and risk of chronic disease?
  • How does caffeine in energy drinks and coffee impact your quality of sleep?
  • Which nutrition tips can help you optimise health while on night shift?
  • What ways are there to combat vitamin D deficiency?
11:00 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

De-Escalating Aggression and Violence

Unfortunately, aggression and violence in the healthcare setting are increasing. Within the workplace, patients and residents may behave erratically as a result of their medical condition. You may be the first person that faces the stressed and aggressive person. In order to keep yourself safe, it is important you are aware of the skills needed to de-escalate a situation and reduce a person’s level of agitation or aggression. This session explores methods and insights that help to prevent workplace aggression. It includes:

  • How to identify subtle changes in behaviour that may be a warning sign of aggression
  • Role-playing the following verbal communication strategies to defuse violence:
    • Words
    • Tone
    • Pitch
    • Pacing
  • Respond calmly with a trauma-informed approach
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Tony King

Essential Physical Assessment Skills – Tips for Night Shift

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:

  • Assessing patients at night
  • Vitally important “vital signs” – why some clinical cues are neglected
  • An overview of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality healthcare Standard 9
  • Top tips for quick recognition of acute deterioration at night
  • Assessing consciousness in a sleepy patient
  • Assessing perfusion
Sally Double

Diabetes at Night: The Highs and Lows

Diabetes at night - is it different from diabetes by day? ‘Nil by Mouth’ considerations; nocturnal incontinence; or falls due to poor eyesight may all affect a patient’s blood glucose level (BGL) during the night. This session considers:

  • Do BGLs change during the night?
  • When and how is it best to monitor a patient’s BGL throughout a shift?
  • How can we manage glucose variability during the night?
  • What can we do to prevent and manage diabetes emergencies at night?
  • What are the considerations for fasting in hospital, including for religious or cultural reasons?
  • Should nurses with diabetes work night duty?

There will be a 30-minute break for afternoon tea at 3.15

4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Nurses who work at night are exposed to different environmental conditions and their subsequent risks compared to those nurses on day shifts. For example, the resources available are limited by comparison, patients are generally sleeping, which can confuse clinical symptoms, and nurses may be affected by changes to their circadian rhythms. This means clinical assessment and decision-making, as well as the ability to be assertive, are critical skills if safe and appropriate care is to be provided. In addition, continuing professional development is a professional regulatory requirement.

Purpose of Program

This conference offers nurses who work regular or occasional night shifts education that relates specifically to their context of practice.

Your learning outcomes:

Identify the extended professional accountabilities that may exist as a result of working on a night shift
Explain the typical signs and symptoms of rapid patient deterioration and the role of the night nurse in such circumstances
Attune yourself to a patient who is fearful in the night and engage in a therapeutic use of self
Be confident in providing holistic care to patients with a range of clinical conditions within the context of night shift nursing


educator avatar

Kristen Adams

Kristen Adams is an accredited practising dietitian who works as a grade 2 dietitian and general manager for Peninsula Physical Health and Nutrition (PPN), a private practice dietetics company based predominately on the Mornington Peninsula. Having previously worked at the Austin Hospital, Kristen has a strong interest in clinical nutrition and is now based at Peninsula Private Hospital. She is also located at numerous private practice clinics, working in conjunction with the Victoria Diabetes and Endocrine Network, Peninsula Sports Medicine Group and Melbourne Bariatrics. Kristen is a firm believer in the motto 'practice what you preach'. She endeavours to inspire her clients to achieve their personal health and nutritional goals while providing them with the necessary support along the way. Her specialist areas include weight loss, diabetes management, food intolerances, gastrointestinal disorders and sports nutrition. Read More

educator avatar

Skye Coote

Skye Coote is a stroke nurse consultant at a Melbourne metropolitan hospital. She has an extensive background in critical care nursing and holds a master’s degree in nursing. She has won international awards for stroke nursing and is currently is co-chair of the Australian Stroke Nurses Education Network. She has a passion for improving patient outcomes post stroke, stroke research, and improving stroke education and knowledge for both nurses and the community. Read More

educator avatar

Sally Double

Sally Double is a registered nurse with postgraduate qualifications in diabetes education. Sally works with many healthcare teams and practitioners to develop an individualised care plan approach for people managing diabetes. Sally has extensive experience in supporting individuals with type 1 diabetes, including type 1 and exercise, insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring technologies, Gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Sally also offers education sessions to upskill staff working in schools, early learning centres and aged care facilities caring for children and adults with diabetes. Read More

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Jenny Gowan

Jenny Gowan, a practising pharmacist, is a teaching associate at Monash University, Melbourne and a clinical associate of RMIT University. She is a member of the PSA Branch committee, the Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines – Respiratory version 5, an editorial board member of AUS-DI, SHPA "Don’t Rush to Crush", the Guidelines Committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook (AAH) and the writing group for the RACGP ‘Medical Care of older persons in RACF’ (Silver book). Jenny is an accredited consultant pharmacist who conducts her own company, which focuses on medication reviews in the home and aged care facilities, plus education, writing, training and consultation. Jenny works regularly in community pharmacy plus sessions in a GP clinic at a community health centre. She has published over 400 educational articles. Jenny has presented talks at many Australian and international conferences to GPs, nurse practitioners, nurses, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. In 2013, she was awarded the Australian Pharmacist of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and, in 2016, the AACP-MIMs Australian Consultant Pharmacist of the Year. Read More

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Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working with people in a mental health crisis in the ED setting and working proactively to educate other health professionals and the community about how to better understand mental health problems, as well as substance use and addiction. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience in emergency and trauma, rural nursing, alcohol and other drug counselling, and psychiatric nursing across both the public and private sectors. He holds a masters of health science (mental health and addiction). Geoff is particularly fascinated by the impact that exercise, nutrition, community, meaning and purpose, and practices like yoga have on a person’s mental health, as well as living a simple life of reflection, contentment and wonderment. Read More

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Amy Benn

Amy Benn is an Intensive Care Clinical Nurse Specialist. With 10 years of industry experience across sub-acute care, medical, surgical and critical care. Amy followed her passion for teaching and worked in an academic setting and clinical support role before pursuing post-graduate research in the field of nurse and midwife wellbeing. Amy is the founder and editor of Wholeheart Magazine, a leading online hub for the Health and Wellness of Nurses and Health Professionals. Providing inspiration, advice and guidance to overcoming obstacles such as; sleep, stress, shift-work and self-care. Read More

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Catherine Symes

Catherine’s clinical nursing career has spanned over 35 years across multiple clinical areas. Initially, Associate Charge Nurse of the Coronary Care Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, she also gained extensive experience in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit at the busy Epworth, Richmond, and many critical care areas throughout Melbourne and Geelong. Catherine completed a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University in 2012 and worked in personal injury law, family law, community legal centres, and refugee immigration clinics, victims of crime, sexual assault clinic and The Coroners Court of Victoria. Catherine is currently an honorary member of the Monash University, Human Research Ethics Committee.  Read More

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Tony King

Tony King is a registered nurse and clinical educator in a large metropolitan intensive care unit. He adopts a realistic and practical approach to the challenges facing the modern clinician. Tony is passionate about developing all healthcare professionals, recognising we all have knowledge and strengths that positively contribute to a patient's journey. Read More


12 - 13 Mar 2020


Oaks On Collins
480 Collins St
Melbourne VIC,3000


$629.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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