AsPr Natisha Sands

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Assoc. Professor Nursing/Midwifery

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Nursing and Midwif.

Campus

Geelong Waterfront Campus

Qualifications

Bachelor of Nursing, Deakin University, 1995
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Ballarat, 2003

Contact

natisha.sands@deakin.edu.au
+61 3 522 78417

Biography

Natisha Sands has been a mental health nurse since 1986, and completed her training at the Eastern and Metropolitan School of Nursing, Royal Park Hospital, Melbourne. Natisha worked in a wide variety of clinical roles before completing a PhD in 2003 that involved a state-wide investigation of mental health triage nursing in Victoria. Since completing her doctoral studies Natisha has been committed to acting on the recommendations of her study, in particular developing curricular to expand the mental health triage theoretical knowledge base, developing evidence-based frameworks for practice, and clinical education programs to support clinicians in improving the quality and consistency of mental health triage.  Natisha's research program investigates mental health triage clinical practice, triage service delivery, mental health in the emergency department, competency assessment, consumer perspectives, and risk assessment.

Read more on Natisha's profile

Biography summary

Natisha Sands RPN BN (Hons) PhD.  Natisha's research program investigates mental health triage clinical practice, triage service delivery, mental health in the emergency department, competency assessment, consumer perspectives, and risk assessment.

Career highlights

MENTAL HEALTH TRIAGE EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Mental Health Triage Education Program  is a cross disciplinary clinical education program that provides an evidenced-based framework for conducting mental health triage assessment.

Since 2007 the program has been delivered to more than 1500 clinicians across Australia, including  Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and New South Wales.

In 2008 the program won the University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor's Knowledge Transfer Excellence Award, High Commendation.

Research interests

Natisha has led a focused program of research in Mental Health Triage and emergency mental health care since 2003. Areas of research include:

  • mental health triage practice
  • models for mental triage service delivery
  • mental health in the emergency department
  • risk assessment
  • mental health triage competency assessment 
  • tele mental health triage 
  • emergency mental health care 
  • Handover in psychiatric settings 
  • decision-making 

Affiliations

HONORARY APPOINTMENTS

2009 - 2016 Centre for Psychiatric Nursing, University of Melbourne
Honorary Principal Research Fellow

2014 - 2016  Barwon Health
Honorary Principal Research Fellow

2015 - 2016  Alfred Health
Honorary Principal Research Fellow

Teaching interests

UNIVERSITY TEACHING

Natisha has a wide range of experience and expertise in university curriculum design, development, administration and teaching for formal award courses and subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Natisha uses a broad range of student-centered teaching and learning methods and technologies. Following is a summary of Natisha's teaching areas:

Bachelor of Nursing
Understanding Research Evidence
Mental Health Nursing
Nursing theory
Culture and health
Assessment in mental health and Illness
Communication in health

Post Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing
Master of Advanced Nursing Practice
Evidence for practice (research methods)
Consumer perspectives and participation
Mental health triage and emergency psychiatry
Mental health assessment/diagnosis/intervention
Foundations in Mental Health Nursing
Community mental health nursing

Knowledge areas

  • Mental Health Nursing 
  • Mental Health Triage 
  • Emergency Department mental health
  • Risk assessment 
  • Emergency mental health care
  • Violence in healthcare settings
  • Mental health promotion
  • Handover in psychiatric settings

Conferences

KEYNOTES AND INVITED ADDRESSES

Sands, N., & Elsom, S. (2015). Keynote Address: The UK Mental Health Triage Scale Project. Presented at Bridgend Psychiatry Symposium, Princess of Wales Hospital, Cardiff,  Wales. March 2015.

Sands, N. (2015). Keynote Address: International Nurses Day The use of film to research, record and teach nursing. Barwon Health.

Sands, N. (2015). Invited Speaker: Safety & Quality in Emergency Mental Health Care: What Have We Learnt? Emergency Department Management  Conference, Sydney.

Sands, N., & Elsom, S. (2010). Keynote Address: Mental health triage: evidence, practice and future directions. Presented at All Wales Mental Health Leadership Forum, Princess of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, Wales. 3 November 2010.

Sands, N., & Elsom, S. (2010). Keynote Address: Mental health triage: A model for improving access and outcomes in mental health services. Presented at Consultant Psychiatrists Wales Network Meeting, Swansea,  Wales. 4 November 2010.

Sands, N. (2009). Invited Speaker: Victorian Dual Diagnosis Annual Conference, Melbourne. Assessing the risk of associated with mental illness and substance use.

Sands, N. (2012). Invited Speaker: Victorian Department of Health State-wide Mental Health Triage Forum.

Sands, N. (2009). Invited Speaker: Assessing the risk of violence in aged populations. Aged and Community Care Conference, Victoria.

Sands, N. (2008). Invited Speaker: Australian Practice Nurses Association Conference.

Sands, N. (2006). Invited Speaker: Australian Practice Nurses Association Conference.

RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Sands, N. Elsom, S., Colgate, R. & Haylor, H. (2015). Development and testing of the UK Mental Health Triage Scale: leading change on an international scale. 41st Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. International Mental Health Nursing Conference. Brisbane.

Sands, N. (2015). In full focus: Using film to record, research, and teach mental health nursing. 41st Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. International Mental Health Nursing Conference. Brisbane.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (2015).  Mental Health Nursing: This is our story (documentary). 41st Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. International Mental Health Nursing Conference. Brisbane.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (2014). Telephone-based mental health triage: What do consumers in crisis say they want?  40th Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. International Mental Health Nursing Conference. Melbourne.

Sands, N & Vokoun, J. (2014). Round the bend: A history of psychiatric nursing in Victoria, Australia (documentary). 40th Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. International Mental Health Nursing Conference. Melbourne.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (2013). An interactive computer program for assessing competency in telephone-based Mental Health Triage. 14th  Victorian Collaborative Psychiatric Nursing Conference, Centre for Psychiatric Nursing, The University of Melbourne.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (2013). Promoting consumer collaboration in  telephone based mental health triage. A pilot study. Australian College of Mental Health  Nurses 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference.

Sands, N. (2012). Mental health telephone triage: defining a competency framework for practice, in NPNR 2012: International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research, Royal College of Nursing, Oxford, UK.

Sands, N & Vokoun, J. (2012). Round the bend: a history of psychiatric nursing in Victoria  (film documentary) NPNR 2012: International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research, Royal College of Nursing, Oxford, UK.

Professional activities

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES 

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Reviewer, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
  • Reviewer, Australasian Emergency Nurses Journal
  • Reviewer, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
  • Reviewer, Archives of Psychiatric Nursing
  • Expert Panel, Nurses Board of Victoria, Nurse Practitioner 2008
  • Curriculum Reviewer, Nurses Board of Victoria, 2007
  • Conference organiser: National Mental Health Triage Forum, University of Melbourne 2006; Victorian Mental Health Triage Forum, Alfred Health 2004.
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nursing

Nursing Registration: NMW0001071337

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Code Grey Online Violence Prevention Program (2014) Deakin University

Mental Health Tele Triage Competency Assessment Tool (2013) Deakin University

Mental Health Triage and Emergency Psychiatry (2012) Post Graduate Unit, Deakin University

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice, Mental Health. University of Melbourne. (2007). Curriculum accreditation Nurses Board Victoria.

Mental Health Triage and Intake Practice (2007) University of Melbourne, Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Nursing subject

Mental Health Triage Education Program. (2007) University of Melbourne

Mental Health Triage Clinical Education Program (2005) The Alfred Hospital

Complex Therapies: Managing Dementia in Home and Community Settings (2003) Distance Education Program, Royal District Nursing Service

Advanced Communication in Home Based Care (2003). Distance Education Program, Royal District Nursing Service

Legalities and ethics of healthcare practice for vocational trainees (1998). Modules 1 -5. Care Skills Australia

Healthcare industry policy for vocational trainees (1999) Modules 1 -5. Care Skills Australia

CREATIVE WORKS

2012     Sands, N. & Vokoun, J.  (Documentary film)  Round the bend: A history of psychiatric nursing in Victoria

2015     Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (Documentary film) Mental Health Nursing: This is our story.

SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP

In the course of my career I have lead teaching and research teams, clinical teams, and have served on numerous committees, steering groups and panels in my leadership role. Examples not listed below include 2 faculty ethics advisory groups (6 years), and post graduate and undergraduate course monitoring committees. Below is a summary of my current portfolio:

  • Campus Leader, School of Nursing and Midwifery Waterfront Geelong
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery Executive Committee
  • Quality and Patient Safety Research Centre Committee
  • Student Research and Research Training Committee
  • Teaching and Learning Committee
  • Academic Programs Committee
  • Unit Chair Leadership Network
  • Chair, Mental Health and Illness
  • Barwon Health Consumer Centred Care Committee
  • Eastern Health Reducing Restrictive Interventions Committee

Awards

2014 - Vice Chancellor’s Values Award, Deakin University

2014 - Philippa Moore Publication Prize, College of Emergency Nursing

2012 - KB Smith Nursing Publication Award, Alfred Health

2009 - Vice Chancellor’s Knowledge Transfer Excellence Award, Commendation, University of Melbourne

2003 - Excellence in Health Research, Commendation, Ballarat Health Awards

2002 - Publication Award, University of Ballarat

2001 - Stan Alchin Presenters Award. Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses 27th Annual International Conference, Melbourne

1999 - Australian Post Graduate Award

Projects

GRANTS

Sands, N., Considine, J., Elsom, S., Keppich-Arnold, S., Corbett, R & Berk, M. (2014). Identifying predictors for clinical deterioration in telephone-based mental health triage. Deakin University Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research. $23,905.

Considine, J., Sands, N., Berry, D., Johnson, R. (2014). Vital signs As Predictors for Aggression in hospital patients (VAPA). Deakin University Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research. $21,000.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. (2012). An interactive computer program for assessing competency in telephone-based mental health triage: A pilot study. Telematics Trust Grant. $28,500.

Sands, N., Forbes, H., Brown, R. & Mielnik, L. (2012). The Mental Health and Wellbeing Portal. HEPPP Deakin Grant. $29,744.

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Gerdtz, M., Hosking, J. & Berk, M. (2010). Validating the clinical descriptors of the Australasian Triage Scale, mental health triage sub-scale. Clinical Care and Quality Risk Management Centre, Deakin University. $20,000.

Sands, N., Gerdtz, M. & Elsom, S. (2007). Developing Clinical Guidelines for violence risk assessment in mental health triage. Mona Menzies Post Doctoral Grant. Nurses Board of Victoria. $50,000.

FUNDED PROJECTS AND CONSULTANCIES

Hamilton, B., Fletcher, J., Elsom, S., Roper, C., Sands, S. & McKenna, B. (2014-16). Evaluation of the Victorian Safewards Trial. Victorian Department of Health.

Sands, N. (2015). Consultation to Brisbane Metro South, Queensland Health: Implementation of centralised mental health telephone triage.

Tonsu, M., Prematunga, R. K., Norris, S., Williams, L., Healey, P., Sands, N. & Elsom, S. J. (2014). Workplace violence in Mental Health. Health and Community Services Union.

Sands, N. (2014). Expert Witness, Coroners Court Victoria.

Sands, N. & Elsom, S. J. (2012). Identifying the core competencies of mental health triage: An observational study. The Alfred Hospital.

Sands, N. (2011). Consultation to Gold Coast CMHS Queensland Health: Implementation of centralised mental health telephone triage.

Sands, N., Gerdtz, M. & Elsom, S. (2009). Evaluation of Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Triage Service. Latrobe Regional health service.

Sands, N. & Gerdtz, M. (2008). Evaluation of the Department of Human Services Victoria Draft Area Mental Health Triage Scale. Department of Human Services Victoria.

Sands, N. (2008). Expert Witness, Coroners Court Victoria.

Sands, N. (2007). Consultation to National Health Call Centre on the development of competencies for call-centre mental health triage. Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

Gerdtz, M., Considine, J., Sands, N., Crellin, D. & Stewart, C. (2006).  Emergency Department Triage Education Kit. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging.

Sands, N. (2004). Consultation to Health and Community Services Union on educational/training needs of mental health triage nursing workforce. Health and Community Services Union.

Sands, N. (2004). Consultation to Health and Community Services Union on the proposed introduction of tele-triage call centres in Victorian mental health services. Health and Community Services Union.

COMMERCIALISATION

Sands, N. & Eslom, S. (2016). The Mental Health Tele Triage Competency Assessment Tool (MHTT-CAT) Deakin University and University of Melbourne.

Sands, N. (2007). The Mental Health Triage Education Program.  University of Melbourne.

Publications

Filter by

2016

Investigating the validity and usability of an interactive computer programme for assessing competence in telephone-based mental health triage

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, Sandra Keppich-Arnold, Kathryn Henderson, Peter King, Karen Bourke-Finn

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 80-86, International journal of mental health nursing, London, Eng., C1

journal

Perceptions of crisis care in populations who self-referred to a telephone-based mental health triage service

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, Sandra Keppich-Arnold, Kathryn Henderson, Phillipa Thomas

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 136-143, International journal of mental health nursing, London, Eng., C1

journal
2015

Mental health consumers' perceptions of quality of life and mental health care

Emily D. Williams, A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, Roshani K Prematunga

(2015), Vol. 17, pp. 299-306, Nursing and health sciences, North Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal

Handover of patient information from the crisis assessment and treatment team to the inpatient psychiatric unit.

Ms Amanda Waters, A/Prof Natisha Sands, Sandra Keppich-Arnold

(2015), Vol. 24, pp. 193-202, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Richmond, Vic, C1

journal
2014

Investigating the predictive validity of an emergency department mental health triage tool

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, Prof Michael Berk, Ms Jennifer Hosking, Roshani K Prematunga, A/Prof Marie F Gerdtz

(2014), Vol. 16, pp. 11-18, Nursing and health sciences, Milton, Qld., C1

journal

Recognising clinical deterioration in emergency department patients

Ms Jennifer Hosking, Prof Julie Considine, A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2014), Vol. 17, pp. 59-67, Australasian emergency nursing journal, London, England, C1

journal

Mental health care in Kenya: exploring optimal conditions for capacity building

Mr Elijah Marangu, A/Prof Natisha Sands, Dr John Rolley, Prof David Ndetei, Prof Fethi Mansouri

(2014), Vol. 6, pp. 1-5, African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, Pretoria, South Africa, C1

journal

Factors influencing cardiometabolic monitoring practices in an adult community mental health service

Freyja Millar, A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom

(2014), Vol. 23, pp. 479-489, International journal of mental health nursing, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal
2013

Mental health telephone triage : managing psychiatric crisis and emergency

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, Mr Elijah Marangu, Sandra Keppich-Arnold, Kathryn Henderson

(2013), Vol. 49, pp. 65-72, Perspectives in psychiatric care, Hoboken, N. J., C1

journal

He did what? Well that wasn't handed over! Communicating risk in mental health

R. Millar, A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2013), Vol. 20, pp. 345-354, Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, London, Eng., C1

journal

Telephone survey of service-user experiences of a telephone-based mental health triage service

Stephen j Elsom, A/Prof Natisha Sands, cath roper, Cayte Hoppner, A/Prof Marie F Gerdtz

(2013), Vol. 22, pp. 437-443, International journal of mental health nursing, London, England, C1

journal

Working around a contested diagnosis : borderline personality disorder in adolescence

Kristy Koehne, Bridget Hamilton, A/Prof Natisha Sands, C Humphreys

(2013), Vol. 17, pp. 37-56, Health: an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, London, Eng., C1

journal
2012

Identifying the core competencies of mental health telephone triage

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, A/Prof Marie F Gerdtz, Kathryn Henderson, Sandra Keppich-Arnold, Mr Nicolas Tom Droste, Roshani K Prematunga, Zewdu W. Wereta

(2012), pp. 1-14, Journal of clinical nursing, Oxford, England, C1

journal

Mental health-related risk factors for violence : using the evidence to guide mental health triage decision making

A/Prof Natisha Sands, Stephen j Elsom, A/Prof Marie F Gerdtz, Mr Damien Khaw

(2012), Vol. 19, pp. 690-701, Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, Oxford, England, C1

journal

Round the bend : a history of psychiatric nursing in Victoria

A/Prof Natisha Sands, John Vokoun

(2012), Melbourne, Vic., J1-1

works
2010

Post seclusion debriefing : a core nursing intervention

Heather Needham, A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2010), Vol. 46, pp. 221-233, Perspectives in psychiatric care, Hoboken, N.J., C1-1

journal
2009

Crisis and triage clinicians' attitudes toward working with people with personality disorder

Deborah Purves, A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2009), Vol. 45, pp. 208-215, Perspectives in psychiatric care, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal

Round the bend : a brief history of mental health nursing in Victoria, Australia 1848 to 1950's

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2009), Vol. 30, pp. 364-371, Issues in mental health nursing, London, England, C1-1

journal

An exploration of clinical decision-making in mental health triage

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2009), Vol. 23, pp. 298-308, Archives of psychiatric nursing, Maryland Heights, MO, C1-1

journal

Factors influencing consistency of triage using the Australasian triage scale : implications for guideline development

A/Prof Marie F Gerdtz, Matthew Chu, Marnie Collins, Prof Julie Considine, Dianne Crellin, A/Prof Natisha Sands, Carmel Stewart, Wendy E. Pollock

(2009), Vol. 21, pp. 277-285, Emergency medicine Australasia, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal

Mental health

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2009), pp. 329-350, General practice nursing, North Ryde, N.S.W., B1-1

chapter
2008

Borderline personality disorder - an overview for emergency clinicians

Kristy Koehne, A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2008), Vol. 11, pp. 173-177, Australasian emergency nursing journal, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal
2007

An ABC approach to assessing the risk of violence at triage

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2007), Vol. 10, pp. 107-109, Australasian emergency nursing journal, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal

Assessing the risk of suicide at triage

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2007), Vol. 10, pp. 161-163, Australasian emergency nursing journal, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal

Mental health triage : towards a model for nursing practice

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2007), Vol. 14, pp. 243-249, Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, New York, N. Y., C1-1

journal
2004

Mental health triage nursing : an Australian perspective

A/Prof Natisha Sands

(2004), Vol. 11, pp. 150-155, Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, New York, N. Y., C1-1

journal