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Work of Women's Refuge highlighted at conference.

Work of Women's Refuge highlighted at conference TWENTY REGISTERED obstetric nurses (RONs) attended their conference and reunion in Masterton last month, organised by the Wairarapa branch of the NZNO section. Delegates were treated to some excellent presentations.

The conference was opened by former manager of the Wairarapa District Health Board (DHB)'s women and child health services, Beryl McCormick, and then the DHB's chief executive David Meads.

The clinical presentations started with Masterton registered acupuncturist John Kennedy describing his work with women and babies in the perinatal period. Delegates were fascinated by the talk. Kennedy stressed that people should seek a registered acupuncturist, rather that going to a health professional who had simply undertaken a "weekend course in acupuncture".

Levels of family violence are high in the Wairarapa area and four speakers described how they work together with nurses, doctors and the police to identify family violence and deal with the issues. Masterton Hospital social worker Min Grace is responsible for the education of hospital staff about family violence. She said some health professionals had difficulty accepting that the violent behaviour of the abusive partner was unacceptable. "Some of them seem to want to take care of the abuser, which, in these circumstances, is not the issue," she said.

Women's Refuge workers Raelene Pirika and Lin Buckley described how they work in partnership and how Women's Refuge works very closely with the police, who respond immediately if requested. The women talked about the level of fear in doing the kind of work they do. "You do get used to being afraid and threatened to some extent, but the fear is always part of it," said Pirika.

Presenting with Pirikia and Buckley was Stopping Violence Services representative Jeremy Logan. He works with abusive men in groups, or as individuals. Most have been ordered to see him by the court. Logan was adamant that no form of violence was ever acceptable. He pointed out that the violent outbursts at rugby and other sporting occasions usually received high coverage by the media and this was setting a poor example.

Director of nursing at Wairarapa DHB Helen Pocknall, and NZNO professional nursing adviser Faith Roberts both covered aspects of the Health Practitioners' Competence Assurance Act and the discussion documents from Nursing Council. The RONs present were adamant their training fitted better within the nurse scope of practice, as outlined by Nursing Council, rather than in the second-level scope. They were glad to hear this had been made clear in NZNO's submission to Nursing Council on the scopes of practice.

Other speakers included local obstetricians talking about diagnostic screening in pregnancy and abnormal uterine bleeding. Controversial local MP Georgina Beyer closed the conference with a very entertaining speech.

Next year's conference will be in Greymouth in April.
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Title Annotation:college/section news; Twenty Registered obstetric nurses
Author:Roberts, Faith
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Previous Article:Positive theme for gerontology conference.
Next Article:Practice nurse negotiations to begin.

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