22 - 23 Mar 2021

Night-Shift Nursing Conference - Adelaide 2021

QRC: 4239
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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...


8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Linda Starr

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, and you may be the first person that faces this stressed and aggressive person. In order to keep yourself safe, it is important that you are aware of the skills needed to de-escalate a situation and reduce a person’s level of agitation and 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
  • How to respond calmly with a trauma-informed approach
Peter Hayball

The Truth About Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and other dietary supplements are often promoted as an additional strategy for wellbeing, especially for those who work the night shift. They are used widely by many as agents to enhance mood and performance, decrease stress and improve sleep. But what are their pharmacological properties, and are they even safe and effective? This session will update you on the correct therapeutic uses of a range of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. It includes:

  • What are the benefits of fish oils?
  • When is vitamin D indicated?
  • How do you know what is a reliable product?
  • Clarifying the correct use of a range of vitamins and minerals, including:
    • Zinc
    • Magnesium
    • Calcium; and
    • Glucosamine
10:45 Morning Tea

Michelle Whitehead

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?
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Linda Starr

Obtaining Consent Over Night – The Right Time?

Ascertaining a person’s legal capacity when they may be cognitively impaired can be challenging at night, especially if they are a new admission. At a time when consent is needed for an emergency situation or routine procedure, how can nurses best obtain consent from a person with impaired cognition - or should they? Topics include:

  • What is consent?
  • What constitutes legal capacity to make decisions in health care along the drowsy to unconscious continuum?
  • What can you do when consent has been withheld?
  • Decision making and the substance-induced impaired patient
Linda Starr

Creating Healthy Relationships between Day Staff and Night Staff

Collaboration and teamwork are cornerstones of happy, healthy workplaces, as well as providing the ultimate foundation for exceptional patient outcomes. However, the complexities of the nursing workforce, including shiftwork, can cause divides between members of the profession. This session will examine some of the key ingredients required for successful professional relationships and looks at how workplace harmony can be created. Discover how you can break down barriers at your workplace. It includes:

  • The anatomy of a healthy workplace culture
  • Your role in creating a positive culture
  • How this improves patient outcomes
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Claire Dunbar

Shift Work Based Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disturbance

Humans are diurnal, which may explain why the night shift is harder on us than the day shift. This is explained by changes in our internal biological body clock, which controls our circadian rhythm. It’s even harder when we develop a circadian delay because of the night shift. This session will look into circadian rhythm-generated problems, specifically the shiftwork type, and how this may affect shiftworkers. It includes:

  • What are the circadian rhythm and the internal body clock and how do they influence the night shift?
  • How can shiftworkers alleviate the symptoms of delayed/advanced circadian rhythms?
  • What are the current options available to manage these symptoms?
4:45 Close of Day One of Conference

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


Welcome Back and Introduction to Day Two

Linda Starr

Making Ethical Decisions When You’re Tired

Fatigue should not be thought of as a high-powered enemy of effective decision-making. Inevitably, clinicians who are fatigued will still have to make decisions. However, in healthcare these decisions may be ethically charged. When in a state of fatigue, does our ability to make the tough ethical decisions change? This session investigates the link between fatigue, ethics and clinical decision-making. It includes:

  • How does ethical decision-making occur?
  • What changes if we are tired?
  • How do you maintain a focus on moral decision-making?
Linda Starr

Documenting Patient Health Records

The night shift can become the paperwork shift, but issues such as click fatigue and simple tiredness can lead to missed care or errors. This session will explain the following:

  • How can patient health record issues become dangerous?
  • What is click/alert fatigue, and how is it detrimental to documentation?
  • Is it okay to document when you’re tired?
  • How can health professionals improve patient health records?
11:00 Morning Tea

Tracey Markham and Sarah Zisos

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?
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Linda Starr

Your Mandatory Obligations in the Workplace

The regulation of practice aims to mitigate a range of risks by providing a framework for safe, legal, professional, ethical and accountable practice. What happens when a person’s behaviour falls outside of this? What if we believe that public protection is placed in doubt because of the pathological behaviours of a health professional? This session discusses:

  • What happens when no one listens to your concerns?
  • What are the ethical and legal responsibilities when someone’s behaviour becomes grossly unacceptable?
  • When does bad behaviour become notifiable conduct under the National Regulation Law?
  • What steps should you take in reporting bad behaviour?
  • What should you do when no one in the workplace listens to your concerns?
  • What protections exist for those who are reporting professional misconduct?
Jayne Lehmann

Shiftwork and Diabetes

It’s no mystery that shiftwork may potentially cause health issues. However, some studies have linked shiftwork, especially irregular shiftwork, to an added risk of diabetes. This session will explore:

  • How can shiftwork affect the chances of developing diabetes?
  • Is there a way that shiftworkers can mitigate the risk of developing diabetes?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jayne Lehmann

Clear Fluids Only and Nil by Mouth – Diabetes and Fasting

A common aspect of working at night is preparing patients for theatre the next morning. This generally requires a degree of fasting. In people with diabetes, fasting can often disrupt what may be normally well-controlled blood glucose levels. The potential for hypoglycemia is increased, which can often cause patient anxiety. This session will update your knowledge of best practice in caring for a person with diabetes who is fasting. It includes:

  • Considerations for fasting in hospital
  • Differences between nil by mouth and clear fluids
  • Ramadan and other cultural or religious reasons for fasting in people with diabetes
  • Management of hypoglycemia in a fasting patient with diabetes
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations


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Tracey Markham

Tracey Markham’s nursing career spans over 20 years, across a diverse range of roles and practise settings, including acute hospital, detention centre, drug court and prison health. Having always had a love of crime, law and mystery, Tracey completed a certificate of forensic nursing at Flinders University in 2003. By the end of the course, Tracey was the sole graduate as at this point in time forensic nursing was in its infancy. Having developed a real passion in this field, Tracey persisted and looked for a niche where she could practice ‘anything forensic’. She saw a new job opportunity of being a crisis worker at Yarrow Place, supporting women and men who had been sexually assaulted. As a nurse with passion and a feminist point of view, Tracey thought she could do more and worked tirelessly to create the role of sexual assault nurse examiner within Yarrow Place. Tracey has been in this role since 2014 and in this time has seen over two hundred women and men, providing them with a forensic service and medical care. Tracey also provides clinical leadership, education and support to county nurses who conduct forensic medical examinations in Whyalla, Mt Gambier and the Riverland. Tracey has completed postgraduate qualifications in mental health, management and sexual health, and also the USA-based Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Training Program through Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Eager to learn and push the role of forensic nursing, she has completed studying her Masters in Nurse Practitioner through Flinders University and is the first interpersonal violence forensic examiner nation-wide.

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Sarah Zisos

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Michelle Whitehead

Michelle Whitehead has worked as a nurse educator for 15 years and is passionate about building the capability of nurses in all aspects of nursing care. She has ventured in and out of stroke and neurological nursing throughout her 24 years of nursing and maintains her clinical skills as one of the Nurse Consultants and currently as acting A/NUM in acute stroke at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. In the role of Nurse Consultant for Stroke, she is part of the "Code Stroke" team who manage and treat acute stroke presentations in line with the statewide acute stroke pathways. Michelle is an active member of the South Australian Practice Development Network (SAPDN) and is excited to be part of the growth of Practice Development in South Australia. Michelle has a Master of Nursing (Advanced Practice), Graduate Diploma in Nursing Education, Graduate Certificate in Neuroscience Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in High Dependency.

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Jayne Lehmann

Jayne Lehmann is a popular presenter who draws on 32 years of working with people with diabetes. Multiskilled as an author, blogger, clinician, educator, influencer, innovator, mentor and researcher, Jayne has a broad base of experience from which to draw when presenting. Her work with people with diabetes and intellectual disability over the past eight years has resulted in the introduction of new services, strategies, resources and education programs for people with intellectual disability and their support worker. She was the 2017 CDE of the Year in SA and was awarded honorary life membership of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association in 2018 for her outstanding and innovative contribution in both the diabetes and disability sectors.

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Peter Hayball

Dr Peter Hayball is the principal pharmacist for the South Australian Ambulance Service where his chief role is to assist paramedics of all levels to use the best available medicines in a safe and efficacious fashion. This is done by assisting across the complete medication cycle from selection for pre-hospital use, distribution, storage and use of medicines for patients of the service. Peter plays an active role in educating paramedics on pharmacology, pharmacotherapeutics and related topics, such as recreational drug abuse, toxicology and toxinology. He serves on a range of governance and therapeutic expert advice committees internally and externally, including external bodies such as SA Police, SA Forensics, SA Health and St Johns Ambulance.

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To Be Determined

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Claire Dunbar

Claire Dunbar was awarded her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Flinders University in 2018, receiving the Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation in her third year of study. Her honours project explored the effects of nocturnal noise exposure on the sleep macrostructure supervised by Professor Leon Lack. Claire began her PhD with the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health in 2019 after being award the Hospital Research Foundation PhD Scholarship under the guidance of leading sleep health experts in the field of obstructive sleep apnoea, insomnia and circadian timing: Professor Peter Catcheside, Dr Andrew Vakulin, Dr Gorica Micic and Professor Leon Lack. Her PhD is focused on the sleep disruption characteristics of low-frequency nocturnal noise exposure on brain electroencephalography assessed using power spectral analysis. Claire has worked in the sleep field on various projects, including a project by the Co-operative Research Centre for alertness, safety and productivity designed to develop novel diagnostic tools for insomnia, a National Health and Medical Research Council grant-funded project aimed at identifying markers of alertness failure during driving for individuals with obstructive sleep apnoea, and validation of a device to administer a 24-hour treatment for insomnia in the home environment. Claire has a strong interest in the rural health sector. Originating from a rural area herself, she values the need for improved accessibility to sleep health education and services for individuals in rural and remote communities. Claire’s primary motivation is to disseminate research effectively to the wider community and provide high quality sleep health education.

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Linda Starr

Dr Linda Starr has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in general, mental health nursing, law, education and a PhD in legal issues in elder abuse. Linda has extensive experience as an RN in metropolitan and rural locations, in general nursing, mental health, forensic health, aged care and management. She has held senior positions in academia, including the dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Linda has publications in health law and forensic health issues. Linda is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University and a consultant educator in health law and ethics for nurses, midwives and carers. She is chair of the SA Board of Nursing and Midwifery, fellow of the College of Nursing Australia, foundation president of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association, member on the School of Health Academic Advisory Board for Open Colleges and the international member on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Nursing.

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
22 - 23 Mar 2021

Night-Shift Nursing Conference - Adelaide 2021

QRC: 4239
The Lakes Resort Hotel Adelaide
West Lakes, SA, 5021
Price: $629.00