Disgruntled patients and ‘delicate’ situations steal nursing film limelight

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has acknowledged the unique creativity of many nursing and midwifery members this week, as part of a combined 2015 Short Story and Poetry Competition and a Short Film Festival.

Samantha Clutsom, a registered nurse from Illawong in southern Sydney, won the attention of judges with her comical claymation, The Hairbrush, about an emergency department nurse who finds her patience being tested by one disgruntled patient, while managing another delicate situation. The Hairbrush received the $5000 first prize awarded by major sponsors, First State Super.

Lane Cove registered nurse, Meg Collins, claimed second prize for The Shift, which explores the development of the nursing profession from its subservient foundation in the 1900s to the advanced contribution of nurses in 2015. The Shift was awarded $2000, jointly sponsored by Undersiege Media & Marketing and Paykel Media.

Third prize of $1000 from NSWNMA was awarded to Bondi registered nurse, Ciara Rafferty, for #OMGHIV – a STIgma, a focus on past and present attitudes towards HIV and the implications of these attitudes within the health care system and broader community.

The $1000 Maureen Puhlmann Encouragement Award was shared between two entries that received identical marks. Josephine Poole, a clinical nurse specialist in Bankstown, was recognised for Once Upon a Time in Bankstown, responding to the demonisation of immigrants in South West Sydney. While western Sydney midwife, Christine Girdham, was awarded for In His Arms, looking at the real challenges when starting a family.

All short film entrants were commended for their high quality artistic flair by the independent judges Patrick McInerney (RPA, Border Security, MKR), Devris Hasan (cinematographer, producer, NIDA) and Enzo Tedeschi (screenwriter, producer).

This year’s Short Story and Poetry Competition also generated plenty of interest and equal levels of originality and imagination, according to judges Nicole Dalby (Senior Drama and English Teacher) and Tegan Bennett Daylight (fiction writer and English lecturer, CSU).

South Coogee registered nurse, Trish Lowe, claimed first prize of $2000, sponsored by First State Super, for her short story Breaking the Silence, on the intensity of midwifery and being present during the delivery of a newborn.

The two runners-up prizes of $500 were won by Hinton registered nurse, Kathleen Wurth, for Christmas Eve, a short story about devastating loss, and Presence by clinical nurse specialist Linda O’Malley of Jannali, about the impact of nurses connecting with patients.

The Readers’ Choice Award of $500 sponsored by NSWNMA went to Tweed Heads enrolled nurse, Rebecca King, for her insightful poem A Day in Emergency. The $500 Special Award sponsored by First State Super was won by clinical nurse consultant Margaret Whitton for her poem Among 15 Wounded Men, about the Australian Army Nursing Service during WWI.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, congratulated all prize winners and commended the high levels of writing and creative filmmaking.

“Nurses and midwives witness many raw emotions first-hand throughout their professional careers and both these competitions offer the opportunity to harness those emotions as well as demonstrate our sense of humor,” Mr Holmes said.

“It’s a great way to encourage our members to share their experiences from the workplace and to assist others in a light-hearted way to learn from their colleagues and peers.”

The NSWNMA held the 2015 Short Story and Poetry Competition and the Short Film Festival as part of its celebrations during nurses week, honouring International Midwives Day (5 May) and International Nurses Day (12 May).

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