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Sepsis, Rashes and Superbugs

  • : Melbourne VIC 3000



Sepsis, rashes and superbugs are topics of concern to all people. Informed nurses are key to ensuring best patient outcomes. This conference will explore exciting topics and clinical updates relevant to contemporary nursing practice. Includes:

  • The wonderful world of the immune system explained
  • Sepsis - how and why early detection is essential
  • How to describe infectious rashes in adults and children
  • How infections can exacerbate chronic illnesses such as COPD and diabetes
  • Tips on preventing bloodstream and surgical site infections
  • Flesh eating bacteria - managing necrotising fasciitis
  • Revealing the secret role of the secret gut
  • The bugs of the future and much, much more…

Schedule Day One



Carol Rosevear

First Thing's First - How to Keep Yourself Safe

The need to maintain personal safety is ever-present where infections are concerned. Not only do we need to stay safe ourselves but we have a duty to ensure that our patients, in any setting, are cared for in a way that minimises their risk of infection. What do you need to know to stay safe and protect yourself from harm? This brief introductory session reviews contemporary protective practices for nurses. Includes:

  • Which infections are nurses most susceptible to and how can we prevent these?
  • What are the current, required bio-safety measures and what’s changed?
  • Where are the weak points in the chain of infection?


Carol Rosevear

To Screen or Not to Screen?

Infection can be admitted into healthcare facilities in many ways. What are your signals for further testing? This session will highlight the importance of screening for infections to improve patients outcomes. Includes:

  • How does screening differ from surveillance?
  • How are people screened across the lifespan and are certain populations more vulnerable?
  • Correct procedure for screening methods, e.g. taking swabs
  • Infectious diseases - what needs to be on your radar?



Dr. Susanne Heinzel

The Wonderful World 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 behave the way they do? Almost like a flick of a switch - what causes the immune system to respond to a pathogen? This session explains:

  • How does the immune system fights infections?
  • How do vaccines work?
  • How we can harvest its power and specificity to combat cancer?


Joanne Reading

Surviving SEPSIS - The Importance of Early Recognition

Sepsis is a potentially fatal condition caused by a whole-of-body inflammatory response to severe infection. Did you know that sepsis is one of the leading causes of death, globally? Preventing mortality related to sepsis begins with early detection and timely interventions. This session uses case scenarios to explain the pathophysiological mechanisms by which sepsis develops. It will look at how you can detect the early warning signs of sepsis annd assist you in understanding the evidence-based management of this potentially fatal condition, across a range of clinical settings. Includes:

  • What is the definition of sepsis?
  • What is the relationship between infection and sepsis?
  • Early recognition - what are the clinical signs? E.g. an increasing SOFA score
  • Why is timely intervention so important?
  • In a suspected or a known case of sepsis, what are the main nursing management priorities across a range of clinical settings?



Leanne Boase

Papule or Pustule? Common Rashes and Assessment tips

Rashes at any age can be challenging to assess. This session will take a look at common causes of rash in adults and children, including some diagnoses not to be missed. Even if you aren't sure what is causing the rash, knowing how to describe and document the rash can aid considerably in diagnosis and monitoring. This interactive session will develop your ability to describe rashes and consider differential diagnoses.

  • Assessment of rashes
  • Terminology - how to identify and describe the characteristics of a rash
  • How to accurately document a rash
  • Common causes of rash in adults, and when to be concerned
  • Common childhood presentations involving rash


Leanne Boase

Common Skin Conditions, Diagnosis and Management

Not all rashes are contagious, however many are caused by organisms. Many rashes are misdiagnosed, and therefore treatment is ineffective. The role of patient education is paramount to ensure treatment is effective. Topics for discussion include:

  • Viral skin infections
  • Viral exanthems
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Fungal and yeast infections
  • Parasitic rashes
  • Eczema and Dermatitis



Gerry Silk

Fever - Friend or Foe?

Fever or pyrexia, a raised body temperature, has long been associated with the immune system. Infectious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria are often accompanied by a fever. What does a fever indicate and should nurses be concerned about a high temperature? This session considers:

  • What are the effects of fever?
  • Is a fever always related to an infectious process?
  • Up until when is a fever beneficial?
  • How should fevers be managed in children and adults?
  • What about febrile convulsions?


Day Two



Joanne Reading

Preventing Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections - CLASBIs

Central Venous Access Devices (CVADs) are essential in many acute care settings. As well, their use in the community is also becoming more frequent. A serious, preventable complication associated with central lines includes infection. Central line associated blood stream infections (CLASBIs) are the most common hospital-acquired infection in Australia. This type of infection may lead to sepsis and seriously compromise the health of an individual. This session reviews key considerations relating to the safe management of CVADs and prevention of CLASBIs. Includes:

  • What are central venous access devices (CVCs) and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs)?
  • How can CLASBIs be prevented?
  • Practical approaches to safe management principles for preventing infections, e.g. blood sampling, flushing, medication/fluid administration, dressing and line changes
  • Guidelines to take back to your workplace to promote best-practice, ensuring policies and procured are up-to-date


Joanne Reading

Pathology Interpretation of Infections Made Easy

Once an infection is suspected, pathology plays an important role in diagnosis and treatment. It is crucial that nurses understand the relevance as to why certain blood tests are ordered. As well, a basic understanding of how to interpret these results is likely to improve patient outcomes. This session will discuss relevant case studies to consider the following:

  • What are the markers of infection and how does pathology show this?
  • Interpreting results - WCC, Neutrophils, CRP etc. - what’s normal and what’s not?
  • Lab results that indicate an infection may be improving - what to look for and how often?



Dr. Jenny Gowan

'Not Another Infection’ - Considerations for People with Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases such as COPD, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are known to significantly impact on a person's health. Not only can they leave a person vulnerable to recurrent infections, they can impact the ability to recover from an infection. The prevalence of community and hospital acquired infections pose a great threat to these patients. As such, all nurses are familiar with the following considerations relating to ‘high risk’ patients:

  • What makes a person with a chronic disease more susceptible to infections?
  • Do common infections such as UTIs, chest infections, thrush and tinea affect people with chronic diseases differently?
  • How can these infections exacerbate chronic diseases?
  • Are medicines to treat infections prescribed differently?
  • When and which vaccinations are most beneficial?
  • What should nurses in a range of settings be monitoring to improve outcomes for this group of people?


Associate Professor Louis Roller

Surviving SUPERBUGS - Infections in a World Without Antibiotics

There is a realistic possibility that in the near future, certain types of bacteria will be more than capable of protecting themselves against antibiotics. When this happens, who will protect us? Could this lead to a diabolical disaster - an infection of pandemic proportions? Whilst this often conjures up images of rare or exotic bugs, in a world without antibiotics, could it be common bugs resistant to antibiotics that cause the most havoc? This session will consider the unthinkable:

  • What are the emerging pathogens of most concern to humankind?
  • What causes antibiotic resistance?
  • How can nurses prevent antibiotic resistance?
  • Could these superbugs cause a pandemic?
  • How would we respond to this type of outbreak?
  • Are there alternatives to antibiotics?
  • WANTED - the perfect antibiotic…



Jan Rice

Preventing Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

Surgical site infections are common and costly health care associated infections (HAIs). Patient morbidity, mortality and length of stay in hospital are all affected by SSIs. This session looks at SSI prevention and includes:

  • What are the risk factors for SSIs?
  • What are the usual causative organisms?
  • What signs may indicate an infection is present?
  • How do I assess a wound to determine if a SSI is present?
  • Goals of care, dressing selection and management of surgical site infections
  • Managing the different surgical preferences for wound products


Jan Rice

‘Flesh Eating Bacteria’ - Managing Necrotising Fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is an infectious condition that can affect skin, fat and even muscle tissue. While it is relatively rare, it can be fatal and affect a person greatly if it's not identified and treated correctly. Major complications of this bacteria can include loss of limbs. This session looks at:

  • What is necrotising fasciitis?
  • What types of bacteria can cause this condition?
  • Are some people more susceptible to this condition?
  • How is the condition best managed?
  • Dressings used in this condition and tips and tricks for difficult to dress areas



Dr. Paul Bertrand

The Secret Gut - Unlocking the Key to Infections?

The gut microbiome, a collection of trillions of mostly bacterial microorganisms, is increasingly being recognised as an integral part of the body. More is being revealed about this forgotten organ, particularly in relation to the interplay between the gut and immune health. For instance, is an increase in the use of antibiotics having a negative impact on the balance of the microbiome? This fascinating session will look at what we know about the microbiome. Includes:

  • How is the gut microbiome connected to health?
  • What role does it play in immune and infections?
  • What causes dysbiosis - an imbalance of good and bad bacteria - are these changes related to antibiotic use?
  • Practical ways of restoring and maintaining a healthy microbiome


The Goal Need for Program

Sepsis is associated with morbidity and mortality and every nurse will be familiar with the decline associated with this condition. The rapidly changing characteristics of infective organisms underlying sepsis combined with antibiotic resistance further compounds the risks faced by vulnerable people. Rashes may be associated with an infectious pathogen and sepsis but this is not always the case. The ability to identify symptoms and those at risk, as well as quickly assessing and managing sepsis are essential skills that all nurses must have to avert unnecessary patient harms.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this nurses’ conference is to provide current evidenced knowledge about sepsis and rashes including prevention, identification, and management of people with these conditions.

Your learning outcomes:

Patients with a suspected infection will be identified early and appropriate nursing care will be implemented

Prevent sepsis and reduce harm to patients through evidence-based care of common conditions, invasive lines and correct use of personal protective equipment

A patient’s rash will be identified early and any association with sepsis followed through

Antimicrobial stewardship will be applied to avoid the misuse of antibiotics


Joanne Reading

Joanne Reading

Joanne Reading is a clinical educator within the 42 bed ICU at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which also services critically ... Read More

Carol Rosevear

Carol Rosevear

Carol Rosevear is a registered nurse with extensive experience in Infection Control and in managing operating rooms and day procedure ... Read More

Leanne Boase

Leanne Boase

Leanne Boase is a Nurse Practitioner with a background in critical care and paediatrics, she currently practices across four GP ...Read More

Jenny Gowan

Jenny Gowan

Jenny, a practicing pharmacist, is a Teaching Associate at Monash University, Melbourne. She is a member of the PSA Branch ... Read More

Louis Roller

Louis Roller

Associate Professor Louis Roller, PhC, BPharm, BSc, MSc, PhD, DipEd, FPS, FACPP has been an academic at the Faculty of ... Read More

Jan Rice

Jan Rice

Jan Rice is a Registered Nurse with many years experience in surgical nursing. Jan is a member of the Venous ... Read More

Paul Bertrand

Paul Bertrand

Dr. Paul Bertrand completed his PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology at Michigan State University (US). He has worked in ... Read More

Gerry Silk

Gerry Silk

Gerry has many years of paediatric nursing experience, including 16 years in the Emergency Department of the Royal Children's Hospital ... Read More

Susanne Heinzel

Susanne Heinzel

Dr. Heinzel is a senior research scientist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and ... Read More

Sepsis, Rashes and Superbugs
Speciality Classification
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Provider Type
12 hours
Start Date
End Date
12 hours
Price Details
$693.00 (two days)
Melbourne VIC 3000
Oaks on Market, 60 Market St
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