Staff support

Aggression Management Program

Austin Health take’s a proactive role in managing aggression by:

  •      Aggression Management and Prevention Training

The one day course covers information on:

  •      Duty of Care to aggressive patients
  •      Respond Grey
  •      Emergency Response Teams (ERT)
  •      Rights of workers to a safe environment
  •      Self control and defence mechanisms
  •      Escalation of aggression and personal responses


Initial Incident Management

Respond Grey Codes 1 & 2 (Patient / Visitor Aggression)

In the event of an aggressive incident where the incident is beyond local resources and a response team is needed to assist, dial 7777.  Request a respond grey, secure the area and  stand by to assist the response team. As a new member of staff you will receive training regarding  Aggression Management.


Post-Incident Management for General Staff

Austin Health has arranged for ITIM to provide support to staff that have
experienced distressing work related incidents, such as: serious injury, physical or psychological threat and / or verbal abuse

Services offered:

  •      ITIM will provide defusing and debriefing services to staff affected by critical incidents. Services are available 24 hours per  day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Employees should contact their Department Manager, Nurse Unit Manager or Line Manager in hours or After Hours Site Manager if you need this service.

Medical Emergency Team (MET)

Winner of Victorian Public Healthcare Award—2005
Excellence in Safety of Care

After widespread consultation over a period of 12 months and with the support of the Victorian DHS, Austin Health introduced a MET at the Austin Hospital for a trial period of 3 months beginning on August 15, 2000.  Due to the benefits of the trial period noted such as a marked decrease in the number of Code Blue calls (some 70% reduction), the new system has continued.

Staff can activate the call for the MET by phoning ‘7777’ as they would for any emergency, using one or more of the criteria below.

Criteria for activation of the MET:

  •      A member of staff is very worried about the patient
  •      Acute change in heart rate to < 40 or > 130 beats per minute
  •      Acute change in systolic blood pressure to < 90mmHg
  •      Acute change in respiratory rate to < 8 or > 30 breaths per minute
  •      Acute change in oxygen saturation < 90% despite high flow oxygen
  •      Acute change in conscious state
  •      Acute change in urine output to < 50 mls over 4 hours

The MET responds in a manner similar to the cardiac arrest team.  In the case of a MET call one of the senior ICU doctors and one of the senior ICU nursing staff attend the call.

The MET has been seen to be a great initiative by Austin Health and staff feel reassured that should they require assistance they can obtain it promptly.

No Needlestick Program

Winner of Work Safe Victoria Awards 2002

Austin Health has taken a leading role in providing a safer working environment by being the first Public Hospital in the Southern Hemisphere to introduce the Acuvance Safety Cannula hospital wide. Combined with the introduction of the Clave IV Needleless System the risk of needle-stick injuries, along with the associated psychological trauma, is minimised.

The impact of these two innovative products, the Acuvance Safety Cannula and the Clave Intravenous Needleless System, ensures Austin Health has a safer working environment for both staff and patients.

A comprehensive education and training program requiring competency assessment of staff in their use of the Safety Cannula and IV Needleless Port system for clinical staff clearly demonstrates corporate commitment to making Austin Health a safer environment for staff and patients, by actively supporting and funding the initiative.

De-Bug Infection Protection Program

Winner of Victorian Public Healthcare Award—2005
Ministers Award

In 2003, the Austin began a pilot project aimed at reducing the rates of MRSA clinical isolates and bacteremias. The project was a culture change program and also involved the development and introduction of an alcohol/chlorhexidine
hand rub called ‘DeBug’.

DeBug has three components:

  •      Alcohol - which provides a rapid kill of bacteria
  •      Chlorhexidine – which has a longer-term residual effect
  •      Emollient – to counteract any drying effect

All staff are expected to use DeBug before and after every patient contact. To ensure that staff have knowledge about hand hygiene and understand the principles behind using DeBug – an online learning package was created. All staff are expected to complete this package on induction and every 2 years. This can either be accessed via the Infection Control intranet site or by visiting the Debug Infection Prevention website.

Rates of MRSA clinical isolates are now significantly lower statistically and at least 53 MRSA bacteremias have been prevented as a result of this project.

In addition, an alcohol impregnated wipe (Prowipe) has been introduced and staff are expected to clean all shared equipment used in between each patient.

Nursing Education Fund (NEF)

The purpose of the NEF is to facilitate the professional development of nurses by providing financial support for fund members to participate in relevant educational activities.

Educational activities

For the purpose of the fund, educational activities will be defined as:

  •      Conferences
  •      Workshops
  •      Seminars
  •      Symposiums

Nurses can contribute to the NEF by completing a Payroll Deduction Form which are available from the Ambulatory & Nursing Services Department and also Austin Health Intranet.

Rates of contribution are optional. Staff who wish to vary their level of contributions, are required to submit another Payroll Deduction Form.

Staff wishing to cease contributions, are required to notify the payroll department in writing.

All Division 1, 2 & 3 Registered nurses contributing to the NEF are eligible for funding. Applications are made in writing using the Study / Conference Leave Application form  accompanied by a copy of the relevant program.

Applications should reach the NEF Committee Secretary six weeks in advance of the date of the educational activity.

The NEF Committee reviews all applications and grants final approval.

NB. All new NEF members are required to fulfil a waiting period of six months prior to having access to financial assistance.

Patient Manual Handling Program - No Lift

As part of hospital orientation the theory and an overview of the Patient manual handling system is taught.

Once commenced in a ward / department practical training is given from one of the trainers in the area.

What did Austin Health do?

The O’Shea No Lift system has been implemented into all clinical areas across Austin Health. The O’Shea system has a good record and reflects best practice in patient movement.

How is the “No Lift” system implemented?

The system utilises the “train the trainer” model, staff from the clinical areas are trained to conduct training sessions, and with support, undertake the staff training for that area.