Future Care

World-leading research in nursing and midwifery

Welcome to Future-Care, a magazine highlighting research undertaken in the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SoNM) at Western Sydney University. As Dean of the SoNM, I am very proud to share with you a snapshot of the world-leading nursing and midwifery research undertaken by our team and their local, national and international collaborators.  

The vision of the SoNM is to advance research in nursing and midwifery that improves the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities in Western Sydney and beyond. To realise this, SoNM researchers work in partnership with state and federal governments; local health districts; private health services; non-government and community organisations and professional bodies, to pursue research activities in line with local and national health priorities. This productive research is complemented by high-quality training for our growing number of higher degree students and support for our early career researchers. 

In this issue, we discuss how interventions such as a nurse home-visiting programme and midwifery initiated oral health improve the health and wellbeing of mothers, as well as developmental outcomes in children. These programmes, together with novel research on the impact of birth on the immune system and
world-first strategies such as the Mother’s Day Letters Initiative demonstrate the school’s leadership in research into maternal health and early childhood. Our community-based research is also reflected in the Men’s Sheds special programmes that support adult men with developmental disabilities. 

To address health concerns in older Australians, our researchers are investigating the link between frailty and heart disease and examining the role delirium plays in the recovery of critical care patients. 

Many people admitted to hospital need to have an intravenous catheter inserted, but leading international research has found that many are inappropriately or poorly inserted. This has led to the development of a course at Western for nurses on how to best place and take care of intravenous lines. Meanwhile, research by our Education and Workforce Research group tests interventions to improve student literacy to ensure graduates are work-ready. 

Much of our research is conducted in partnership with local health districts and through our three industry-based research centres. In these centres our researchers are working alongside clinicians to turn their work experiences into research projects with impact.

We are delighted to share these stories arising from the excellent work conducted by researchers in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. 

Professor Deborah Hatcher
Dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery