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PLS 2023 reports

PLS 2023 was held at the beautiful University of Notre Dame, in Freemantle. There were plenty of trade displays and time to engage and learn about products. Here are a few words, from one of the delegates, about some of the inspirational speakers that highlighted leadership.

Sandy Thompson emphasised how accreditation preparedness is vital for all facilities and gave insights into the requirements and responsibilities of accreditation using her many years of experience working with quality systems and assurance services. Preparedness is always working within the standards, and having systems for reporting, auditing and improving (taking action).

Michell Taylor, a former critical care nurse researcher, told us that 29 to 91 per cent of nurses are considering leaving the profession. Michelle likened nursing to the concept of VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, an idea introduced by the United States of America Army War College in the 1990s to describe the effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War ending. Michelle suggested using situational awareness, with either transformational or transactional leadership styles, to create a culture and provide consistency, motivation, inspiration and a shared vision to empower teams to succeed together.

Phyllis Davis AM gave the Judith Cornell Oration, entitled ‘I am a Nurse’ and shared her career experiences from being a hospital-trained nurse to leading teams in the United Arab Emirates. Her style of leadership is engaging and personal – visiting the cleaners with a packet of biscuits, turning up where least expected, arriving on the ward to learn and engaging with people as a person not as the boss. Phyllis’s leadership uses her natural ability to put people first – listening, leading and empowering others to excel and take the team forward.

Simone Ohlin spoke about ‘the little things’.  As a multi-generational workforce, with different expectations from leaders and managers, nursing requires a style of leadership and situational awareness that is flexible and ever evolving.

As well as providing the chance to hear from these inspiring leaders, the summit was a great way to meet up with old friends and make new ones in a relaxed environment.

Julz Eather

Member of ACORN Queensland Executive Committee

It is always hard to keep attendees engaged during the last session of the last day but, as the Fremantle weather deteriorated, this was the place to be inspired by some innovative ideas from the speakers from Notre Dame and Deakin universities.

The Notre Dame University team have included a perioperative nursing course in their undergraduate nursing core curriculum to meet future nursing requirements in the perioperative field.  They anticipate that this will attract more nursing students to the specialty of perioperative nursing.  Exposing nursing students to the perioperative environment in their undergraduate years will provide a future-focused approach to maintaining a robust perioperative nursing workforce for the future. It will also provide our workforce of new starters with foundations and knowledge that will increase safety for surgical patients.

Tarryn Armour from Deakin University discussed the development of an educational app that exposes novice nurses to perioperative and supports their clinical learning needs. The app aims to engage novice perioperative nurses to learn and enhance their skills in a safe environment that is different to the traditional classroom. Tarryn talked about the learning curves she met and the challenges she faced developing and testing the app during the pandemic. She also acknowledged that the app is still very much a work in progress. 

PLS 2023 was an opportunity to gain insight into the personal journeys and professional improvements in perioperative nursing from some talented, highly experienced and emerging leaders from across Australia. With the cooperation and collaboration inspired by our leaders, best practice perioperative nursing care should be secure for future generations.

Angela Hand

ACORN Queensland Vice President

The Perioperative Leadership Summit (PLS) was a valuable and enriching experience. Trade exhibitions and partnerships are integral to conferences in various fields, including perioperative nursing.  The PLS provided a unique opportunity for attendees to connect with colleagues and industry experts. It was a time to reunite with old friends and make new professional connections which can lead to collaborations and knowledge sharing.

The presence of trade partners is crucial for showcasing the latest technologies, products and services relevant to the perioperative environment. These companies are often at the forefront of their respective fields and play a vital role in advancing health care practices. Trade partners like Lateral Medical, Care Essentials, BD, Defries, Hilrom/Baxter, Ecolab, 3M, Stirling Fildes and Multigate bring the latest advancements in technology and equipment to the attention of perioperative professionals. Staying informed about these innovations is essential for improving patient care and safety. The presence of these companies demonstrates their commitment to supporting perioperative nurses and the health care community. Their participation reflects their dedication to providing nurses with the tools and resources needed to excel in their roles. Attendees learned about new products and techniques that can enhance patient care and surgical outcomes.

Trade partners often offer educational sessions or workshops as part of their presence at conferences. These sessions can help attendees gain a deeper understanding of the technologies and products being showcased. ACORN Queensland is fortunate to have some masterclasses being presented by our trade partners at our Minor Conference on 28 and 29 October in Brisbane.

Events like the Minor Conference provide a holistic experience that combines networking, education and exposure to cutting-edge technologies. They are an essential part of professional development for perioperative nurses and contribute to improving the quality of care in surgical settings.

We hope to see you at our Minor Conference in October. Come and learn and play.

Simone Ohlin

ACORN Queensland President