Healthcare workers focus on alcohol and drugs

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A two-day series of workshops being held by the University of Adelaide is providing new skills to nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers in dealing with drug and alcohol-related health problems.

The event, organised by the University's Discipline of Nursing, has drawn 150 delegates including many nurses and health workers from urban, rural and remote South Australia, as well as interstate.

The workshops - which also involve a number of key speakers across the two days - are being held today and tomorrow (20-21 August) at the Grand Chifley Hotel, South Terrace, Adelaide.

"This event has been developed in direct response to nurses, midwives and Aboriginal health workers telling us that they need the skills to better understand and respond to people with alcohol, tobacco or other drug-related health problems," says Charlotte de Crespigny, Professor of Drug and Alcohol Nursing at the University of Adelaide.

"For nurses, midwives and Aboriginal workers to make a difference, they require the necessary additional skills and confidence to assess, intervene, treat and refer patients with such problems, wherever they present. This is a unique opportunity to provide these workers with new skills that are underpinned by best evidence for practice. It is hoped that in this way they will feel confident and able to apply their learning to an important aspect of health care.

"We feel strongly that nurses, midwives and Aboriginal health workers deserve dedicated opportunities to meet, get to know each other and share stories, and learn from one another's experience and practice.

"There is a diverse range of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workshop presenters who bring significant knowledge and experience to the program. Their areas of practice include nursing, midwifery, medicine, Aboriginal health, psychology, social work, specialist mental health and drugs and alcohol," Professor de Crespigny says.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Jenny Beutel (Chief Nurse of South Australia)
  • Keith Evans (Executive Director, Drug and Alcohol Services SA)
  • Coralie Ober (Research Fellow, University of Queensland)
  • Katy Try (President, Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia)
  • Professor Alison Kitson (Professor of Nursing and Head of Discipline, Discipline of Nursing,
    University of Adelaide)
  • Dr Lynette Cusack (Flinders University, School of Nursing and Midwifery)

"This event is a direct result of the work of the SA Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Nursing and Midwifery Action Group and Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA), which have been instrumental in facilitating professional development events such as this nationally and internationally," Professor de Crespigny says.

The event has been sponsored by: Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA); the University of Adelaide, Discipline of Nursing; Drug and Alcohol Services SA (DASSA); Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AERF); Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Treatment and Indigenous Programs Section; and Reckitt Benckiser.


Contact Details

Professor Charlotte de Crespigny
School of Nursing
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: 0434 019 403

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762