Sydney Nursing School students "buy some time"!

Fob watch for Timor Leste

Enterprising Master of Nursing students at the Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney, held a lucrative cake bake on Wednesday 14 October 2009 to buy some time for nurses and doctors in Timor Leste (East Timor).

More than $550 was raised to buy much needed watches to enable nurses and doctors to monitor their patients’ vital signs in the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department at Dili National Hospital of Guido Valdares.

In June 2009 Sydney Medical School together with the then Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery travelled to Timor Leste to deliver the first of two planned 3-day workshops on initial assessment and management of the shocked patient and particularly emphasised the importance of Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

According Dr Andrea Marshall of the Sydney Nursing School, “When we went to Dili to work with the East Timorese nurses and doctors we found that they were lacking basic but incredibly important facilities, including watches which would help them monitor their patients’ vital signs.

“When we returned to Australia we decided to introduce the Buy Some Time campaign to raise money to purchase the watches for them. Thanks to the help of our nursing students who, with some additional donations from the Sydney Nursing School, have raised $850.

“The money raised will allow us to buy 95 watches. This means all participants from the two Critical Care Development workshops held in 2009 and future workshop participants (outside Dili) will be able to use these watches to accurately take vital signs of their patients.

“The Timorese people are incredibly grateful for the help that they receive. I know they will be thrilled with this contribution from the Sydney Nursing School.

“Our nursing students have shown incredible initiative in finding ways to help their colleagues in situations less fortunate to their own,” said Dr Marshall.

Dr Andrea Marshall is part of a multidisciplinary team that has been funded for the project "Working with the Timorese Health System to Develop a Systematic, Practical and Team Oriented Critical Care Education Program for Health Professionals".

The aims of this initiative are to develop and implement a three part evidence-based practical skills program focused on critical care education and formulate an ongoing development plan for wider critical care skills training (and a critical care curriculum) in Timor Leste.

The program is in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Institute of Health Sciences, Dili National Hospital, regional hospitals, community health services and other bodies involved in critical care training and education in Timor Leste. The Critical Care Training Program has been funded through the AusAID Public Sector Linkages Program and University of Sydney’s International Program Development Fund.