Work has been full steam ahead on the rostering project over the start of 2023.
The project’s initial survey was distributed to staff on nominated wards at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Western Health and Echuca Regional Health. The overall response rate has been excellent, with Echuca in particular delivering a 100 per cent response rate.
Assistant Secretary Paul Gilbert and myself, together with health service and Safer Care Victoria representatives, have also visited each of the participating workplaces to speak with members, both in person and during online forums. On every ward, and from every member we spoke with, we have received keen interest and fantastic feedback. The interest is so strong that we’re even receiving feedback from wards not participating in the project.
Paul, myself, Assistant Secretary Madeleine Harradence and Acting Assistant Secretary Nicole Allan also attended the Branch’s recent Job Rep and HSR forums across Victoria, where we spoke with Reps about the work that’s been happening. They were as equally excited as the project participants.
We’ve been heartened, but unsurprised, by this interest – unsurprised because the ambitions of this project have the potential to drastically improve our nursing and midwifery workforce’s retention and satisfaction rates.
It’s a bold ambition but one that we at the Branch are firmly behind, which is why we’re fast-tracking this work. We are currently nearing completion of phase 2 of the project, with the final part of this stage due to be conducted between 20 April and 17 May. This stage will see external facilitators conducting focus groups that will seek feedback from registered nurses, enrolled nurses, midwives, roster managers, and N/MUMs.
Meeting students and grads
Speaking of attending events, on Saturday 1 April Paul, myself, Nicole and many Branch staff attended the ACN Nursing & Health Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This was the first in-person expo in three years, and it was wonderful to be able to engage again with nursing and midwifery students in person, to talk with them about the incredible career they were pursuing and to reassure them (and some nervous parents) that the ANMF will be with them on their journey from the very start.
In the previous issue of On the Record, we put out the call for members to submit their pandemic stories for publication in a new book and website documenting how nurses, midwives and carers looked after the Victorian community during this once-in-a-century event.
The response has been terrific. We’ve had members submit poems, photographs and essays. We’ve had interest and enquiries from all over the state. We’ve been moved and heartbroken and inspired by what we’ve read.
Interest has been so strong, in fact, that we’ve kept the submission portal open. To ensure the book provides as comprehensive a picture as possible, we’re especially keen to encourage more stories from practice nurses, nurse practitioners, school nurses, and from members working in the mental health and aged care fields.
International Day of the Midwife /International Nurses Day
International Day of the Midwife (5 May) and International Nurses Day (12 May) are fast approaching. Over the coming weeks, the Branch will be sending out commemorative posters to Job Reps to distribute at their workplaces. On behalf of the Branch, I want to thank ANMF student member Hollie Bolton for her fabulous design of the posters.
In addition to studying to become an RN, Hollie is a brilliant artist and a member of the Workers Art Collective (she was also one of our 2023 summer interns). We are so grateful to her for the time and talent she has given to this project.
I hope that your workplace takes the time and effort to doing something special for nurses and midwives on these two important days in our annual calendar.