Staff wellbeing program

Mrs Elizabeth Bradbury1
Clinical Nurse Manager, Melbourne Health, North Warrandyte

The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) is a state-wide trauma service seeing around 78,000 presentations annually. The ED management team recognises staff as our greatest asset and chose to invest in `Caring for the Carers’ by developing a wellbeing program which aligned strongly with our organisational vision to be `First In Care’ and to be an employer of choice.
The ED Leadership team worked in consultation with our the RMH Health & Wellbeing Coordinator to promote Compassion Fatigue workshops in 2017. The aim of these workshops was to increase staff education regarding psychological first aid, identify individual triggers and promote self-care strategies for staff. To compliment our wellbeing program we encouraged our nursing staff to join the MH peer support program, equipping and training this core group with skills to provide `real time’ support and care for clinical staff.
January 2018 marked the introduction of the Wellbeing Dog program which was trialled for 4 months at two days per week in our non-clinical space. The overwhelming response to this trial has now marked a Monday – Friday implementation with feedback from staff stating an increase in morale, reduction in stress and improved staff relationships.
Our ED Leadership Team is committed to the vision of being “First in Care” and an employer of choice. The introduction of our Wellbeing Program aims to promote mental health awareness, minimise the impact of OVA and trauma and implement staff support strategies. At RMH ED we fully acknowledge that these programs do not eliminate the volume, acuity and stress related to Emergency nursing, but we are very clear that we cannot achieve our vision without addressing the needs of the people that provide that care. We believe that we are getting a significant return on our most valuable assets through our innovative investments in wellbeing.

Liz Bradbury has over 30 years of emergency nursing experience. After completing her Post Graduate Emergency Nursing Certificate and a Diploma in Business, has progressed through CNS and ANUM roles and is currently the Clinical Nurse Manager in the Emergency Department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Liz has dedicated years building teams and supportive environments to enhance the professional growth and development of her staff.
Liz has long advocated for a greater focus on wellbeing for Emergency Department nursing staff to support mental health, address the impact of occupational violence and aggression (OVA) and identify enablers for longevity in the emergency nursing role.
Liz has been involved in promoting and supporting departmental wellbeing tools to minimize impact of emergency trauma, Occupational Violence and Aggression (OVA) and aims for RMH ED to be recognised as an Employer of Choice