CQUniversity Australia

Engaging Indigenous people within Higher Ed

CQUniversity's Office of Indigenous Engagement recently hosted a visit from the Oodgeroo Unit of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), at Rockhampton Campus.

Professor Anita Lee Hong, Director of the Oodgeroo Unit, and Lone Pearce, Project Officer, met with Office of Indigenous Engagement staff to discuss employment issues and best practice models for engaging Indigenous people within the higher education sector, including governance matters.

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Early warning systems in hospitals 'could have weak points' 

The 'track and trigger' system that Australian nurses use to recognise and respond to rapid patient deterioration could have some weak points...

That's according to CQUniversity Masters Research student Andrea Reid, who has explored nurses' experience with early warning systems within acute care hospitals.

PhotoID:14976, Andrea Reid - Photo courtesy Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
Andrea Reid - Photo courtesy Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Her study results will inform policy makers and educators when developing strategies to facilitate the early recognition and escalation of the deteriorating ward patient.

"The findings from this study suggest there are a series of points where the process can fail on the way to getting the patient seen," Ms Reid says.

"Participants identified contextual factors impacting on their practice as: education and training, knowledge and experience, and working conditions and environment.

"These factors impacted on their decision making and ultimately effective communication for successful escalation to get the patient seen in time."

Ms Reid's thesis is in final review before submission to examiners. She is employed as a Nurse Educator at the Rockhampton Hospital and has been nursing for 22 years.

Track and trigger systems rely on periodic measurement of patients' vital signs (tracking), with a predetermined calling or response criteria (trigger) when a certain threshold is reached.

Physiological track and trigger systems (single parameter, multiple parameter, aggregate weighted scoring and combination) have been developed throughout the world and there are now a large number and wide variety of track and trigger (TTS) systems in place, with many variations having been made by each hospital facility.

"Given the success of these track and trigger systems is largely depending on the role of the nurse, exploration of the nurses' understanding of these early warning systems is important," Ms Reid says.

"A purposive sample of 14 registered nurses from across Australia agreed to share their experience by participating in individual interviews.

"Participants reported that while they understood the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS/EWS) system is a tool to communicate severity of illness, results to date show participants' main aim when using this tool is to get the patient seen and keep the patient safe.