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Research talks to empower patients and parents

A stay in hospital is supposed to put you on the path back to good health, but a University of the Sunshine Coast Professor of Nursing believes that time on the ward can result in further complications.

Professor Marianne Wallis will present ‘Drips, drains and wounds – how can nurses stop hospitals hurting people’ as part of a free community lecture series, Research@USC, on Tuesday 14 July.

“Almost all patients who enter a hospital have either a surgical wound, an intravenous drip or are at risk of a pressure injury,” Professor Wallis said.

“All of these things compromise skin integrity and can allow bacteria into the body to cause infection, tissue loss and even death.”

Professor Wallis will outline the results of recent trials carried out by USC nursing academics aimed at getting patients home as quickly as possible and staying out of hospital.

“One particular study focused on ward patients with low mobility, and we looked at ways to get them to actively participate in their own care to prevent pressure injuries,” she said.

“The steps put in place were seemingly simple, such as encouraging them to move when possible, take care of their skin and eat well in hospital, but the results were really positive.”

USC Professor of Nursing Jeanine Young will deliver a second presentation at the event. Her talk, ‘Safe to Breathe: Safe Sleep Advice to Safe Sleep Action’, will focus on safe sleeping guidelines for babies.

Professor Young will highlight the key policy developments from safe sleep research undertaken in Queensland over the past 15 years.

“It’s imperative that there’s an understanding about why babies are more vulnerable to having airways compromised and why safe sleep is so important,” she said.

“Our advice needs to be evidence-based, but also transferable in a way that’s practical, acceptable and valuable at 2am in the morning when trying to settle a baby.”

Professor Young will also outline the results of an Australian-first trial of the Pēpi-pod Program aimed at reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infant mortality, a study being undertaken in collaboration with New Zealand’s Change for Our Children organisation.

“This program is all about valuing and maintaining the cultural values of keeping babies close, but also ensuring the baby has a safe place to sleep,” she said.

The Nursing and Midwifery Research@USC lecture will be held from 5.30-7.30pm on Tuesday 14 July 2015, at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium. To register email or phone 5459 4529.

Research@USC is a series of free and informative talks designed for the Sunshine Coast community. Each event comprises presentations by two speakers, question and answer time, and the opportunity to meet researchers and enjoy light refreshments.

— Megan Woodward

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