May 3, 2012

Australian nurse visits VUMC

Featured Image

Care partner Amber Allen and Wilma Traughber, MSN, RN, demonstrate Smooth Moves equipment with visiting nurse Ann Andrews, right. (Photo by Joe Howell)

Australian nurse visits VUMC

Senior Occupational Health Nurse Ann Andrews from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Australia visited Vanderbilt University Medical Center last week to learn from VUMC’s best practices for Occupational Health and Wellness.

“We are proud to be one of three Magnet hospitals in Australia, so I thought it would help us with ideas for our programs if I visited Vanderbilt, also a Magnet hospital,” said Andrews.

Sir Charles Gairdner hospital in Perth, in Western Australia, is a 620-bed hospital with a total staff of 6,500 and a nursing staff of 2,500.

There are two full-time occupational health nurses who work mostly on body substance exposure (needle stick), hand care (dermatitis) and exposure to chemicals, such as cleaning equipment.

Andrews spent all day on the VUMC campus touring places such as Vanderbilt Occupational Health, which she described as “fabulous,” seeing Smooth Moves patient handling system in action in the Neuro ICU and participating in meetings with Work/Life Connections-EAP, Vanderbilt University Hospital Safety and Vanderbilt Occupational Health nurses.

“It’s about being able to work safely,” said Andrews. “We want to be more proactive than reactive, and I am going take a lot of good ideas back with me.”

Occupational Health also recently played host to another Australian, Helen McArdle, M.D., director of Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service in the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania. She also was interested in Vanderbilt’s Occupational Health and Wellness programs and practices.