Ward Clerks, Receptionists and Administrative Assistants' Conference
- : Brisbane City QLD 4000
You - as a ward clerk, receptionist or administrative assistant - are vital to the effective running of a unit in any healthcare setting. You have to deal with disgruntled people, know your legal boundaries and have exceptional communication skills. So isn’t it about time you were supported with education to help you perform what is becoming an ever more difficult job? Attend this conference and learn about:
- What can you legally say on the phone?
- What are the risks to you personally if you incorrectly label or file patient records?
- How to respond calmly to patient complaints
- Practical ways of de-escalating aggressive behaviour
- Where do you start and stop? - Knowing your boundaries
- Getting off the stress merry-go-round
8:30AM REGISTRATION FOR DAY ONE
Jane StanfieldHealthcare Is Changing – How Will This Affect You?
Major changes in health are underway. This will be affecting you now, but more so in the future. The patient is increasingly at the centre of care around which the interdisciplinary team moves. Effective coordination of this is critical. This may cause a rethink of the way work is done. As you hold an essential place in the health team, this introductory session will consider what these changes will look like and what it could mean to you in the future. It includes:
- What has changed in healthcare recently and what is on the horizon?
- Why is there now more of an emphasis on the patient?
- How will these changes affect you working within a healthcare setting?
Jane StanfieldCommunicating within an Interprofessional Team
It is well known that the best work gets done by teams. In hospitals and community settings, teams of interprofessionals work together to achieve patient outcomes. Although much “lip service” is paid to the success of teamwork – really effective teams are hard to find. This session will focus on a cornerstone of interprofessional collaboration – communication in teams. It includes:
- Why must you use a range of communication styles if you are to be really understood?
- The power within your mind — how can you improve your listening skills?
- Understanding others – where are they coming from?
10:30 MORNING TEA
Kathy AhernThe Art of Assertive Communication
We all have problems getting our point across at times. However, there are likely to be constant barriers that prevent your voice from being heard. These barriers can cause undue stress to you, as well as significantly affect a patient who may be quite unwell. This session will give you information about how to communicate assertively and not cross the line into aggressive behaviour. It will be highly interactive and discusses:
- How poor communication causes stress and confusion
- The art of speaking up – how to get the support that you need
- Tips for being to be assertive but not aggressive
- Why being assertive is the key to feeling valued
- Realistic scenarios to practice being assertive but not aggressive
Kathy AhernBoundaries – Where Should I Draw the Line?
In your workplace, boundaries are invisible lines that somehow you need to be aware of. If you step over them, you do so at your peril. Yet, a lack of clear, established boundaries can leave many feeling overwhelmed and lead to role confusion. This session will look at boundaries and why they are important. Questions to be answered include:
- Why is maintaining boundaries with patients, other staff, and members of the public so important?
- What are the consequences of breaching them?
- How do I know a boundary has been crossed?
- What are healthy boundaries versus unhealthy boundaries?
- How can you setup and maintain strong boundaries?
12:30PM LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Kathy AhernDe-escalating Aggression and Violence
Unfortunately, aggression and violence in the healthcare setting are increasing. Within the workplace, patients and residents may behave erratically as a result of their medical condition. You may be the first person that faces the stressed and aggressive person. In order to keep yourself safe, it is very important you are aware of the skills needed to de-escalate a situation and reduce a person's level of agitation or aggression. This session explores methods and insights that help to prevent workplace aggression, including:
- How can you deal with aggression?
- What strategies are useful to de-escalate aggression?
- Use of body language and language – what matters?
- How can you reduce potential harm to yourself or others?
- Who can you seek help from if exposed to danger?
- When might it be time to call a "code grey"?
Eleanor DickensPrivacy and Confidentiality – No Shades of Grey
There are legal boundaries concerning privacy and confidentiality in health care. Transgressing these boundaries may cause unnecessary exposure to risk. This session will inform you clearly about the law in regard to privacy and confidentiality. It will consider:
- An overview of the legal principles governing privacy and confidentiality
- What legal information you need to know about handling a patient's confidential information
- The legal scope of practice relating to these areas
3:00 AFTERNOON TEA
Eleanor DickensWhat Happens When Things Go Wrong? A Discussion of Legal Case Studies and Scenarios
Whilst the importance of respecting privacy standards and patient confidentiality is acknowledged, complex situations can arise that may leave you confused and unsure of your legal situation. This final session of day one will open up discussion by using a range of highly relatable case studies and scenarios to help you think through tricky situations. It includes:
- “To Say or Not to Say?” – What information can be given over the phone?
- Communication via technology e.g. emails – what can be sent?
- What to do if you suspect a patient has an incorrect label – do you change it? Is an incident report needed?
- What happens if paperwork goes missing? What if it’s confidential?
- Examples of workplace ethical dilemmas
- Does acting on your personal ethical decision-making threaten your job?
4:30 CLOSE OF DAY ONE OF CONFERENCE
9:00AM COMMENCEMENT OF DAY TWO
Andrew BlytheSafe Use of Language in the Workplace
The appropriate use of language is imperative in health care. It can shape, make, or break interactions with patients, colleagues, and members of the public. The sheer amount of communication expected of you means this is a prerequisite to your skill set. This session looks at the power of words and will consider:
- What is considered “safe” use of language in healthcare settings?
- How important is tone?
- What is inappropriate language and what must be avoided at all times?
- Multicultural considerations – the key elements for success?
Sean SmithDrama, Drama, Drama - Avoiding Workplace Gossip
Gossiping is bad news that creates a situation where no one wins. At some point perhaps even rumours or lies can be involved. Small comments and opinions can form a “mean girls” power trip and often leave many feeling isolated and unhappy. This session will discuss the importance of staying out of workplace drama and how to maintain and set high standards when you believe people are being gossips. Topics include:
- Why gossip?
- Is there such a thing as “good” gossip?
- If you are the target of hostility and workplace gossip what should you do?
- How can you easily remove yourself from gossip-like situations?
- How to not take home the stresses of workplace drama or issues – perhaps it is just their problem?
10:30 MORNING TEA
Sean SmithKeep Calm and...Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Constant stress is to be avoided for the sake of your health. Constant pressure can lead to blame and hostility and ultimately cause conflict between staff members. Learn to stop, survive, and thrive in a conflict driven situation. This session will highlight:
- How to not let things get under your skin
- Avoiding unnecessary conflict
- The key ingredients to resolving a conflictual situation
- How to develop your own mindset and keep calm
Sean SmithTime Management and Interruptions - Go Away!
The pressure is on to get more done and then some, but then there are those pesky emails that just keep on coming – and the incessant interruptions. This session looks at principles of time management and how not managing your time is not an option. It includes:
- Tips on managing a diary, how to prioritise and complete documentation
- What to do when people are always interrupting you
- How to say no!
12:30PM LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Sean Smith“Listen Up” – How to Deal with Complaints
No matter how good the provision of care or service, there will always be someone who is not satisfied. Conversely, if health care is under par, complaints are justified and will give a health provider an opportunity to address a problem of which they were not previously aware. In your position, you may be the first person to receive the complaint. How you respond at this early stage has important ramifications. This session arms you with insights into the appropriate management of complaints, including:
- First line response – what do you say and do initially?
- How to know when to offer support – should you apologise?
- Reading the signs – when do you listen? When do you speak?
- How do you remain calm – What’s the appropriate use of language?
- How do you follow up documentation and the other actions required?
Jane StanfieldDebriefing After Critical Incidents
Occasionally, you may be involved in a stressful or unexpectedly traumatic event whilst at work. This may not be easy to deal with and may require a critical incidence stress debriefing. This session will discuss what such a debrief entails and when it is effective. As well, these principles of debriefing after a crisis can be adapted to everyday small stresses to prevent them from building up into big ones! This session includes:
- How to prevent the critical incident causing undue stress
- When to know that you may need some debriefing support
- An opportunity to constructively de-brief as a group
3:15 AFTERNOON TEA
Jane StanfieldA Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop
Let's face it! Stress is stressful! Within busy healthcare settings, stress and job pressures can, unfortunately, be unavoidable. However, practical strategies can ensure “stressful” situations from stressing you out. Mindfulness is increasingly used as a powerful therapeutic intervention. It is a simple and effective way to deal with daily stressors. It may even add years to your life! This final session takes you through a mindful meditation workshop and includes:
- An explanation of mindfulness
- How to use mindfulness to lower stress in your work life
- How to become more focused at work
- Learn the power of correctly deep breathing
4:30 CLOSE OF CONFERENCE AND EVALUATIONS
The Goal Need for Program
The central role that Ward Clerks, Receptionists or Administrative Assistants have in ensuring a unit functions well is becoming more evident. It is also becoming more difficult. This is due to a range of complex reasons which include: the fast turn around of acutely unwell patients, the rapid turnover of staff; the constant changes to policies and procedures; and risk management practices. As well, the shift of focus towards patient centred care requires staff to work in inter-disciplinary teams which creates further issues. All of these changes result in a need for formal educational support that is ongoing. A conference that provides such support will fill an important gap in the knowledge and skills required to confidently perform this role.Purpose of Program
This conference provides wards clerks, reception staff and other administrative or clerical assistants working in healthcare settings, essential knowledge and skills to better perform the increasing duties and responsibilities required of the role.Your learning outcomes:
Communicate with ease during complex situations with patients, colleagues and members of the public
Develop clear personal and professional boundaries so that role confusion will be prevented
Work safely within the appropriate legal standards to minimise privacy and confidentiality breaches
Use a range of simple techniques to manage and prevent work related stressPresenters
Jane Stanfield is a health service improvement coach. She comes with 30 years’ experience in health care, half as a ...Read More
Kathy spent 30 years teaching and supervising research. Her areas of expertise include ethics, education, and mental health. ... Read More
Andrew Blythe is a writer and editor who has a Masters of Writing, Editing, and Publishing from the University of ... Read More
Sean Smith has had the privilege of working in healthcare for the past 31 years in more than a dozen ... Read More