OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me
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Scooped by Emily Frankcombe
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P_Fatigue_prevention.pdf

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

As an Emergency Department Registered nurse working for a busy regional public hospital, my sister Sarah often suffers from fatigue relating to shift work and overtime. The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation website offers valuable support and suggestions for managing this fatigue which is a common hazard among all health professionals.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) has set guidelines regarding shift work and overtime which is focused around those whose employment requires them to work during the ‘typical sleep hours of 11pm – 7am’ (WHSQ, 2014). The WHSQ website also offers suggestions for preventing and managing related fatigue.

Sarah has her own strategies in place to assist her with fatigue management and this webpage will serve as a reminder to her to rest and recover after completing her shift work.

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My mum

My mum | OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me | Scoop.it

My mum is a primary school teacher and has been for over 30 years! She works for Education Queensland and currently teaches grade two students. My mum is my idol, and she constantly inspires me to be a better person.

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

My mum loves her job, teaching grade two's at a local primary school for Education Queensland, however after more than 30 years on the job she has almost had enough! My sisters and I often feel guilty that perhaps raising us three girls (full of attitude and sass) and working full time, with a husband who worked fly-in, fly-out, we should have cut our mum a little slack! I'm joking of course... we were perfect angels...

 

According to my mum, teaching in the 21st century is quite different to teaching in the early- mid 1980's. Her biggest fear is that educators are no longer treated as respectfully as they once were. She has had experiences with children who have been verbally and physically abusive, not to mention the parents! She also has experienced manual labour hazards whilst moving classrooms, working in older buildings with staircases and just generally carrying supplies and planning to and from her classrooms.

 

A common misconception that the public have about the teaching profession is that their work begins when the children arrive and ends when they leave. As the daughter of a teacher I know better! My mum works long hours, planning lessons and updating her classrooms, writing reports and working tirelessly to improve schooling conditions for children. She dedicates her life to educating children, and I truly believe that even after retirement she will continue this.

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My clever baby sister

My clever baby sister | OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me | Scoop.it

Lauren is a graduating OH&S student (August 2014) and full time employee for a drilling company west of Rockhampton. She is multiskilled, as she demonstrates in her ability to balance work, university and a colourful social life! Here she is pictured with my son Cody on a visit to her workplace. I have blanked out the company logo's as they do not wish to be identified.

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

As an Occupation Health and Safety graduate...

Lauren began working for a large and expanding drilling company in the first year of her university degree in a 'cadet' like position. It has not always been easy for her, as she struggled in the beginning with the balancing act that comes with full time work and study. She was often exhausted and run down, and she suffered emotionally as she missed important family and friend social interactions due to her commitments. These hazards have now passed as she has learnt good time management and also the ability to tell others when she is overworked.

 

Growing up I used to hear the phrase 'she wants to be just like you' a lot when it came to my baby sister, and now it seems the tables have turned as she receives her graduation certificate in the same degree that I have just started. Lauren is my inspiration, and my biggest support as I embark on a degree in OH&S with my own set of commitments. She encourages me as she knows (and often tells me!) that the career prospects for OH&S are massive.

 

Lauren's role with the drilling company is as an OH&S officer, and her time with this company will serve her well after her graduation. She has learnt the on-site practical elements of OH&S as well as the theoretical elements, and has combined them to develop an entirely new set of OH&S guidelines for the company. She developed these with the help of Government recommendations and legislative requirements to keep her fellow employees safe and productive.

 

Lauren's time with this drilling company has given her valuable experience and I am so proud of her. She really is very clever!

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My number one!

My number one! | OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me | Scoop.it

This is my beautiful son, Cody. Cody will turn 4 in September 2014 and is getting more clever every day! He attends swimming lessons once a week during school term, and has done since he was 6 months old. He is very confident and absolutely loves it!

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

As an Occupational Health and Safety graduate...

Whether you are a parent, have spent a large quantity of time with children or just have memories of your own childhood, everyone knows about the hazards involved with small children! When your occupation is exploring the world and experimenting with boundaries there are sure to be a few injuries occurring, not to mention childhood illnesses that come with toughening a new immune system! So far Cody has had only a handful of illnesses and (touch wood!) no emergency hospital visits, which I like to think is due to restrictions I put in place to keep him from serious harm.

 

I recently discussed with other OHS students my fear that I am overprotective, although I do try to allow him the freedom he needs to explore. It is all about identifying the hazards, considering the possible risks and then assessing and prioritizing those risks. As Cody grows and learns I have noticed that he has begun assessing hazards and risks himself, such as entering and exiting our car in a busy shopping centre carpark. He now hesitates, and decides for himself if it is safe to move away from our stationary vehicle, though he always looks to me for guidance.

 

On a weekly basis, Cody attends daycare and swimming lessons as part of his routine. The duty of care for Cody transfers from myself to his educators and instructors after I leave the premises, which was not an easy thing for me to do to begin with! Emotional mothering aside, there is also a great deal of paperwork that is included to ensure that myself and responsible persons within the care facilities have a full understanding and agreement of day to day AND emergency procedures. Duty of care imposes the responsibility of another person's wellbeing, which is frighteningly serious and as a mother is very difficult to 'hand-over'. A great deal of research went into choosing care facilities for Cody and I am happy to say that I trust his other carers 100%. He has such a wonderful time playing and learning with them too, which is at the end of the day, the most important part of being a child.  

 

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P_Fatigue_prevention.pdf

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

There is an overwhelming quantity of evidence (both scholarly papers and personal accounts) that links shift work and fatigue, which is of particular relevance to my sister Sarah in her work. Sarah is an Emergency Department nurse at a busy regional public hospital. When Sarah's roster is made available she may find herself working morning, afternoon or night shifts. Morning and afternoon shifts require only minor adjustments to her daily routine, however night shifts require Sarah to reverse the circadian rhythm that is natural to humans and become nocturnal. The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation webpage offers this set of recommendations regarding managing fatigue for nurses working shifts. Thankfully, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) also provide a set of guidelines regarding shift work that supports the rights of workers engaged in working during 'typical sleeping hours of 11pm-7am' (WHSQ, 2014). WHSQ also outlines the importance of rest times between shifts, which is extremely important when shifts are unexpectedly extended. Sarah has often found herself presented with the option to work 'overtime' and although the emphasis is on the word option, there is a certain expectation that nurses will work some overtime shifts.

 

Sarah is often fatigued after shift work and from completing overtime, however she already has in place several strategies to help her cope with the demands of her employment. The strategies outlined in this scooped topic will be beneficial even if they are simply a reminder to take a moment to rest.

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My Dad

My Dad | OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me | Scoop.it

My father has worked in many different industries, including banking, telecommunications, mining and owning his own business. He is a generous and loving family man whom my sisters and I adore!

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

My dad currently works for the same drilling company as my younger sister, though he has had many different occupations over his years. He has seen many hazards during work, and has suffered from a back injury as the result of manual handling not being well managed. This meant he was off work for nearly 6 months, unpaid, as his injury was aggravated outside of work (though it was on work property).

 

Manual handling has been the troublesome area for my dad during his working career, however he also has experienced stress and psychological hazards during his work for a large telecommunications company, and ergonomic hazards in banking.

 

My dad was raised in an era where work was not easy to come by, and he witnessed many workmates losing their jobs after making complaints regarding working conditions. This is extremely immoral (not to mention now illegal!) but was not uncommon practice, so he learnt to work in whatever conditions there were, or risk not having a pay cheque. The stories he has told me are alarming, but he inspires me to continue with my OH&S studies so that I can be better educated about safe working conditions and continue with making positive changes to health and safety regulations.

 

My dad, like all dads to their kids, is my hero.

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The caring, empathetic sister!

The caring, empathetic sister! | OHS Quest 2: Those closest to me | Scoop.it

This is my beautiful sister, Sarah, at her graduation day from Griffith University in Brisbane. Sarah has now completed her graduate nursing year and is a full time Registered Nurse with the Emergency Department at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Emily Frankcombe's insight:

As an Occupational Health and Safety graduate...

Working nurses face a number of occupational health and safety issues on a daily basis due to their demanding workloads and the sensitive nature of their jobs. They are often under enormous pressure and are trained to work in situations that involve the health and wellbeing of the general public. There are a number of employment situations that nurses work in, but the emergency department of a large district hospital means Sarah is faced with possibly the largest variety of health issues on a daily basis. Occupational hazards in Sarah's job can include psychological, physiological and environmental components as a bare minimum. Examples of these include long, stressful working hours (psychological), irrational patients (physiological) and disposing of hazardous wastes (environmental).

 

Nurses are also required to provide a specific duty of care to their patients, outlined by the organisations that they work for. There are many legislative guidelines as well, which is important for the protection of the patients as well as the nurses. Unfortunately the sensitive nature of the services that nurses provide means that there can sometimes be a necessary compromise if for example, a life is in danger. This can sometimes mean that the organisation and the nurses are subjected to investigation and law suits, which could be considered another hazard of their work.

 

Nursing is a complex job within itself, and the occupational hazards are vast. I completely adore and respect my sister, because I could never do the work she does! She makes my whole family extremely proud.

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