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Facing virtual reality

Social media buttonsNZNO is running a series of professional medico-legal forums around the country in October to help NZNO members deal with new virtual realities in their practice.

The digital world is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives and being able to navigate the implications on our practice and careers is essential.

We’re seeing an increase in issues associated with social media, unauthorised electronic records access and technology use such as mobile phones for clinical communications. And there’s also the issue of patients and visitors using digital media, for example recording nursing staff and midwives, often without their knowledge or consent.

So these forums are designed to raise awareness of the professional issues and explore strategies to manage the risks and opportunities the digital world brings.

It is aimed at nurses and midwives, but anyone working in health care can attend.

Medico-legal forums are a great opportunity for members of the health team to have focussed education about topics that are current issue in their practice. They’re also a chance to network with others and discuss and reflect on issues that affect everyday practice.

The forum sessions are presented by NZNO professional nursing and legal advisers and cost $140 for NZNO members and $175 for others. It is 8 hours of professional development and a certificate for your portfolio will be provided. You may be able to access your PDRP entitlement to attend the forum.

Facing virtual reality forums will be held in Auckland, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Nelson and Dunedin. For more information on a location near you and to register check out Places are limited so get in quickly!


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Midwives: changing the world one family at a time

Midwives day 2014On International day of the Midwife, a midwife and NZNO member talks about her profession.

Last Friday, while traversing the corridors of the tertiary hospital where I work, I met a fellow midwife whom I’ve known for more than 20 years, though our paths seldom cross these days.

While she’s been self-employed for decades, providing care for women whose pregnancies are, for the most part, categorised as “low-risk”, I am a DHB employee, working with women whose experience of pregnancy and birth is radically affected by medical complications.

The rhythms of our day-to-day practice differ markedly, but at the heart of both is a commitment to offering skilled support to women through one of the most profound experiences of their lives. We each acknowledge the vital part the other plays, two among a variety of roles, all of equal value, which constitute midwifery as a whole.

Our meeting reminded me of how much this solidarity of purpose means to me; it is a saving grace when the pressures of working within the increasingly stressed and under-resourced public health system feel overwhelming and unsustainable.

My friend and I made the most of the opportunity to “vent” about how governments, hospital administrations and statutory bodies often make our work harder through ill-conceived laws, policies and regulations.  When we parted company I felt fortified, and I hope that she did too.  I consoled myself with the thought that while governments and their institutions come and go, the things that really matter survive and flourish in spite of them.

On International Midwives’ Day what’s on my mind is that women need midwives, and midwives need each other – that does not change. Let’s look after each other.