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Bone and Joint Health Conference for Nurses

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000


Did you know that musculoskeletal and rheumatological conditions affecting the bones, muscles and joints are actually the most common chronic conditions in Australia? Attend this conference to find out:

  • Strengthening exercises to improve bone and joint health
  • What is it like to live with an inflammatory arthritis?
  • Why does the immune system attack itself?
  • Who gets osteoporosis and minimal trauma fractures?
  • Promoting resilience in patients
  • Inflammatory arthritis explained
  • All about GOUT
  • Medicines used to treat osteoarthritis and much, much more…

 Print Schedule

Day One



Michelle Graham

A Day in My Shoes - Living with Inflammatory Arthritis

Imagine waking up every morning with so many joints in your body stiff and sore. This introductory session tells the story directly from a woman who lives with a severe and chronic condition everyday of her life. It will demonstrate just how important it is for nurses to be knowledgeable about and promote bone and joint health. Hear from the patient's perspective and gain understanding of:

  • What is the daily impact of life with a rheumatological condition?
  • What went well during a recent encounter with a healthcare professional?
  • What could be changed to improve this interaction in the future?


Professor Ranjeny Thomas

Connecting the Dots - Secrets of the Immune System...

Novel insights are revealing more and more about the fascinating function of the immune system. How close are we to fully understanding exactly why certain immune cells such as dendritic cells behave the way they do? Almost like a flick of a switch, what causes the immune system to respond by attacking itself and why? This session reviews the basics of what we currently know about the role of the immune system in disease. As well, it aims to provide you with an update on some exciting research in the field of rheumatology and immunology. Discover:

  • What is known about the pathogenesis of diseases relating to the immune system?
  • Which cells are involved and why do they trigger disease?
  • Therapies of the future - could a vaccine one day prevent these diseases?
  • Other exciting developments in research



Kate Bell

Moving Muscles and Strengthening Skeletons - Active Approaches for All

There are a range of simple yet effective lifestyle approaches that can positively impact or even prevent musculoskeletal conditions. All nurses must be informed about these simple strategies so that health promotion can be provided to patients, particularly those who are identified as high risk. This practical session will discuss:

  • What is the role of exercise in improving bone and joint health?
  • A quick look at various safe approaches to physical activity to suit a range of people and conditions


Kate Bell

Brittle Bones - An Introduction to Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects nearly 1 million Australians. Decreased bone density causing weak, brittle and fragile bones can significantly increase the risk of bones breaking. It is often referred to as ‘the silent disease’ as many people who have this condition remain undetected until a serious injury such as a fracture occurs. As such, this session aims to inform you of the following:

  • Vitamin and mineral absorption and reabsorption explained
  • How bones lose minerals in osteoporosis
  • Early detection - is bone density testing the only means of assessment?
  • A look at special populations that are at higher risk of osteoporosis, e.g. older people and post-menopausal women
  • Overview of pharmacological treatments for osteoporosis



Kate Bell

Fragile Bones - Minimal Trauma Fractures in the Older Person

A minimal trauma fracture is a fracture that is usually linked to osteoporosis. There may be no obvious cause of the fracture but they can severely impact mobility, pain and activities of daily living, particularly in an older person. This session looks at this under-rated area of concern that has a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life if it is not addressed. Includes:

  • Why does osteoporosis lead to fractures?
  • Minor bumps causing major problems - how common?
  • Why are minimal trauma fractures often ‘invisible’?
  • Where are the ‘hot spots’?
  • What does the evidence suggest are the most effective methods of preventing minimal trauma fractures in older people?
  • Stopping the fracture cascade - preventing future fractures


Jane O'Brien

Broken Bones - Joint Replacement Surgery

Of the half a million hospitalisations relating to musculoskeletal and connective tissue disease in 2014-15, 65% involved surgery (AIHW, 2015). It is therefore likely that most nurses, not just those who work specifically in this area, will encounter patients who require or have previously had joint replacement surgery. As such, this session will look at the indications for common joint replacement surgeries and the fundamentals of post-operative nursing care. Includes:

  • Statistics on joint replacements in Australia - why are they rising?
  • Indications for the following joint replacement surgeries, an overview of each and evidence on how long the replacements are expected to last:
    • Hip
    • Knee
    • Shoulder
    • What are the causes of joint replacement revisions?
    • A brief look at post-operative nursing care principles for joint replacement surgeries and a discussion of early mobilisation



Jane O'Brien

Time to Get Moving - Nursing Role in Mobilisation Post Joint Surgery

The importance of mobilisation following any surgery, particularly joint surgery, cannot be underestimated. Moving should not be focused just on ‘the joint’ but for the whole person and their overall return to health. As well, nurses know the significance of mobilisation to prevent postoperative complications such as chest infections and DVT/PE. This practical session will look at the nursing role in ensuring patients don’t just move but mobilise patients following joint survey. It will consider the best available evidence that supports recovery and rehabilitation. Includes:

  • Why move? - A look at the evidence supporting early mobilisation for recovery
  • Moving safely - tips for nurses to assist patients to safely transfer post-operatively and reduce risk of falls
  • What to say to overcome obstacles to moving, e.g. reluctance and poor motivation
  • When not to move - are there exceptions?


Day Two



Dr Paul Kubler

Osteoarthritis - Wearing Australia Down?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative rheumatological disease that most commonly affects the hands, spine and major joints of the body such as the hips and knees. As the most common form of arthritis and with hospitalisations for this condition rising in Australia, nurses will need to understand this condition well if patient outcomes are to be achieved. This session will look at how debilitating symptoms such as stiffness, pain and limited joint movement develop and what the evidence tells us works best for managing this condition. Includes:

  • What is osteoarthritis and does it affect certain joints differently?
  • What are the main triggers and risk factors for development?
  • What process makes the joints become so stiff and sore?
  • How can we halt disease progression to prevent the need for joint replacements?
  • A look at the management of osteoarthritis


Debbie Rigby

Medicines Used to Treat Osteoarthritis

Managing pain as a symptom of osteoarthritis requires a broad approach. While non-pharmacological treatment options are vital and can be highly effective, many people will require additional treatment with medications. This session will ensure you are up-to-date on the appropriate use and pharmacological principles of the following medicines used to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis:

  • Paracetamol, including sustained release formulas
  • NSAIDs including COX-2 inhibitors
  • Opioids
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Complementary medicines



Linda Bradbury

Joints and Autoimmune Disease - Inflammatory Arthritis Explained

Inflammatory arthritis describes a group of conditions that affect the body’s immune system. These autoimmune diseases can cause a range of progressive disabilities affecting the joints primarily but also other tissues. This session begins to look at the three most common inflammatory arthritis conditions - rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Includes:

  • What are known to be the causes of these conditions and are they preventable?
  • Does early recognition prevent deterioration?
  • What are the characteristics and clinical features of these conditions?
  • Why and how do these conditions affect other body systems?
  • How do these conditions differ to osteoarthritis?


Linda Bradbury

Managing Inflammatory Arthritis

Due to inflammatory arthritis being a term that describes more than one condition it is very important for nurses to understand and be familiar with the best up to date treatments. This session follows on from the previous session and will cover:

  • Nursing management and considerations
  • Non-pharmacological approaches
  • Pharmacological approaches, e.g. Methotrexate and DMARDs
  • Role of the nurse within a multidisciplinary team when managing inflammatory arthritis



Debbie Rigby

All About GOUT

Gout is a chronic, progressive inflammatory form of arthritis caused by urate crystallisation. Gout and hyperuricaemia are a major health issue as they are associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, obesity and hypertension. For most people, lifestyle modifications are insufficient to control gout attacks. This session will discuss:

  • Causes and risk factors for gout
  • Which foods may trigger gout?
  • Medicines that nurses must be aware of that can cause gout
  • Treating gout - a review of acute and chronic treatments
  • Treat-to-target concept


Dean King

Promoting Resilience in Patients

When a person becomes a ‘patient’ there is a shift in the locus of control from person to practitioner. This can cause a profound sense of vulnerability at a time when a person is unwell. People respond to this situation in different ways. This session looks at the evidence for nurses to promote resilience in patient and includes:

  • What is resilience?
  • How can nurses encourage and build resilience in patients?
  • How does this relate to healing and patient satisfaction?



Dean King

The Nurse Health Coach and Chronic Disease

It is now obvious that conditions affecting the bones, joints and skeleton are likely to be chronic in nature and can cause significant impact on a person. Long term prevention and perseverance is the key to wellness and preventing disease progression. This poignant final session looks at how we as nurses can change our perspective of trying to 'get' people to take action and improve their own health. Instead it will refocus the priority towards understanding what a person may actually want and how we can meet their needs. It’s time to consider:

  • Why we really need to see the person not the disease
  • Moving from tradition biomedical models and pharmaceutical dependencies to a person-centred approach to chronic disease management
  • Understanding what matters to people and were we fit in helping people achieve their health goals


The Goal Need for Program

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW, 2015) musculoskeletal conditions affecting the bones, muscles and joints are the most common chronic conditions in Australia today. Over 6 million people have arthritis alone and nearly $6 billion was spent on these conditions in 2008-09. Furthermore, in 2014-15 there were over half a million hospitalisations related to musculoskeletal and connective tissue disease. Evidently, the prevalence, cost and impact on the person requires nurses working across many settings to receive updated formal education relating to these debilitating conditions if patient outcomes are to be satisfactory.

Purpose of Program

This conference will equip nurses with up-to-date education and skills to deliver a high quality of care for people with bone and joint conditions.

Your learning outcomes:

See beyond traditional disease models and use a person-centred approach to meeting the needs of people with chronic musculoskeletal conditions

Identify older people who may have risk factors for osteoporosis to prevent fracture cascade from occurring

Correlate the pathophysiology of a number of conditions to appraise the appropriateness of modern treatments

Implement evidence-based nursing strategies to reduce the incidence of poor outcomes relating to bone and joint disease


Dean King

Dean King

Dean King is a highly qualified healthcare professional with over 28 years of industry experience. He specialises in communication engagement ... Read More

Debbie Rigby

Debbie Rigby

Debbie Rigby is an advance practice pharmacist from Brisbane. Since graduation with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of ... Read More

Jane O'Brien

Jane O'Brien

Jane O'Brien is a Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 Orthopaedics at Lismore Base Hospital. Previously, Jane held the role as a ... Read More

Kate Bell

Kate Bell

Kate has worked in a major tertiary hospital in Queensland since 2007. Her work has centred on general orthopaedic nursing ... Read More

Kate Bell

Kate Bell

Kate Bell is the Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and Principal of Total Exercise Physiology. In 2007 Kate finished a Bachelor ... Read More

Paul Kubler

Paul Kubler

Dr Paul Kubler is the Director of Rheumatology at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital. He is a Retired Chair ... Read More

Ranjeny Thomas

Ranjeny Thomas

Professor Ranjeny Thomas is a graduate of the University of Western Australia. She received her MBBS in 1984, and then ... Read More

Michelle Graham

Michelle Graham

I live a full life with Psoriatic Arthritis. I am a mother, a quilter, a wife, a thinker and a ... Read More

Linda Bradbury

Linda Bradbury

Linda Bradbury is a Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner. Linda completed her general nurse training in London. After working in general medicine, ... Read More

Bone and Joint Health Conference for Nurses
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
12 hours
Start Date
End Date
12 hours
Price Details
$693.00 (two days)
Brisbane City QLD 4000
Brisbane Venue TBA, Brisbane,
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