Doctoral thesis

Australian civilian hospital nurses’ lived experience of an out-of-hospital environment following a disaster

Mass Gathering Health / Mass Gathering Medicine

Various publications and presentations relating to Mass Gathering and Major Event health

Disaster Health

Various publications and presentations relating to disaster health

28 August, 2013

Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships

Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

Introduction: To describe injury type and frequency, and the factors influencing these, in endurance mountain bike riders.

Method: This study used a cross-sectional retrospective audit of patient report forms, prospective meteorological information and race data over an eight-year period. The Australian twenty-four hour mountain bike championships is held annually in Canberra, Australia. All riders who presented to a first aid station for treatment during the race from 2000-2007, were included. Studied factors influencing injury were race time, ambient temperature and rider gender. Studied outcome measures were injury frequency, location, type and management.

Results: Of the 14,777 riders over the eight years, 596 required first aid treatment for injuries (4.03%), the majority for minor injuries to extremities. Only 0.25% of riders were referred to hospital, 0.06% by ambulance. The injury incidence was 8.4/1000 bike hours with a race-ending presentation (a patient referred to hospital) incidence of 0.5/1000 bike hours. Patient presentation rates were highest in the first eight hours of a race. Higher average temperatures per year were associated with a greater risk of injury. Females were more likely to be injured.

Conclusion: This mountain bike competition was safe with minor injuries to extremities predominating and low referral rates to hospital, as a result, first aid service organisations provided adequate clinical care at this event.

Taylor N, Ranse J. (2013). Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships, 2000 – 2007. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine. 10(1)a4:1-5

22 August, 2013

Social Media: Friend or Foe

I was invited by the Princess Alexandra Hospital to participate as a panel member of a lunchtime debate regarding social media. I was on the side of social media being a 'friend'.

My five minutes of the debate focused on three aspects of social media:
  • Social / personal social media, such as ‘what I had for breakfast’. In discussing social and personal aspects of social media, I highlighted that this is one way, but not the only way to use social media.
  • Professional communication and engagement, such as engaging at a conference, networking with like-minded people, and linking with professional organisations. I emphasised that this is of most benefit to health professions. It allows for the extension of our existing professional networks. Additionally, social media has significant benefits for health professionals attending (and not attending) conferences, as social media exists as an extension of the conference allowing for parallel conversations and sharing of information
  • Important information delivery and public messages, such as social media in disasters. This aspect was discussed in the context of comparing Cyclone Tracy in 1974 in which it took many hours before those outside Darwin Australia knew about the event, and the Christ Church Earthquake in New Zealand, 2011 in which we knew about the event in seconds - complete with images, video and messages from those trapped.  

Ranse J. (2013). Social media: Friend or Foe; debate panel member for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Symposium, Brisbane, Queensland, 22nd August.

21 August, 2013

Exploring staff willingness to attend work during a disaster: A study of nurses employed in four Australian emergency departments

Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

Background: Much of the literature about emergency nurses willingness to work during disasters has been from a non-Australian perspective. Despite the many recent disasters, little is known of Australian nurse’s willingness to participate in disaster response. This paper presents findings from a study that explored nurses willingness to attend work during a disaster and the factors that influenced this decision.

Methods: Data were collected consecutively using a combination of focus group and interview methods. Participants in this study, registered nurses from emergency departments, were recruited through convenience sampling from four hospitals in Australia. Participant narrative was electronically recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: The participants for both the focus groups and interviews compromised a mix of ages, genders and years of experience as emergency nurses from across four jurisdictions within Australia. Three major themes that influenced willingness emerged with a number of subthemes. Theme one reflected the uncertainty of the situation such as the type of disaster. The second theme surrounded the preparedness of the workplace, emergency nurse and colleagues, and the third theme considered personal and professional choice based on home and work circumstances and responsibilities.

Conclusions: The decision to attend work or not during a disaster, includes a number of complex personal, work-related and professional factors that can change, depending on the type of disaster, preparedness of the work environment and the emergency nurses’ personal responsibilities at that time.

Arbon P, Cusack, L, Ranse J, Shaban R, Considine J, Kako M, Woodman R, Mitchell B, Bahnisch L, Hammad K. (2013). Exploring staff willingness to attend work during a disaster: a study of nurses employed in four Australian emergency departments. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal.16(3):103-109 doi:10.1016/j.aenj.2013.05.004

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