Staff profile - Natisha Sands

Staff image

AsPr Natisha Sands

Position: Assoc. Professor Nursing/Midwifery
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Nursing and Midwif.
Campus: Geelong Waterfront Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 78417 +61 3 522 78417
Email: natisha.sands@deakin.edu.au

Biography

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.


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.


Qualifications

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


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.


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


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

Academic

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


Student supervision

HIGHER DEGREE SUPERVSION 

2016 - current: Millar, R. PhD Nursing. Development and evaluation of a tool to assess forensic mental health nurses practice competencies.

2016 - current: Kumar, F. PhD Nursing. A co-produced care planning intervention to promote mental health consumer participation in recovery focused advanced care planning in the first six months of case management.

2014 - current: Marangu, E. PhD Nursing. Mental health care in Kenya: investigating strategies for capacity building in primary health care settings.

2016 –current: Alex Cameron. Nursing Honours. Patient experience of perioperative nursing care for cardiac ablation procedure

2015 -current: Melanie Henderson. Nursing Honours. Exploring the impact of perinatal anxiety on women’s experience of  labour, birth, and maternity care

2013: Campbell, L. Nursing Honours. Relationships between antenatal mental health, infant health outcomes, and health service utilisation in a population derived cohort. Deakin University.

2013: Williams, E. Nursing Honours. Mental health consumer perceptions of quality of life and mental health care. Deakin University.

2013: Waters, A. Nursing Honours. An investigation of handover between the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team and the Acute Psychiatric Unit. Deakin University.

2013: Hosking, J.  Masters (minor thesis). Recognising clinical deterioration in Emergency Department patients. Co-Supervisor. Deakin University.

2012: Millar, F. Masters (minor thesis). Cardio metabolic monitoring practices in an Adult Community Mental Health Service. Deakin University.

2011: Khumar, F. Nursing Honours. The categorisation of risk in in mental health triage. Deakin University.

2010: Koehne, K. PhD Nursing. The tendency to withhold a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder during adolescence and the subsequent impact on the care of adolescents. University of Melbourne.

2009: O'Halloran, C. Masters (minor thesis). The categorization of urgency by adult psychiatric triage clinicians undertaking telephone psychiatric triage for a child and adolescent mental health service. University of Melbourne.

2009: Millar, R. Masters (minor thesis). Communication of risk information at nursing handovers in an acute mental health inpatient setting  University of Melbourne.

2008: Needham, H. Masters (minor thesis). Investigating Post-Seclusion Debriefing as a Nursing Intervention. University of Melbourne.

2007 Gibbs, E. Masters (minor thesis). An evaluation of mental health triage from the carer’s perspective. University of Melbourne.

2007 Purves, D. Masters (minor thesis). Crisis and Triage Clinicians Attitudes toward  Individuals with a Diagnosis of Personality Disorder. University of Melbourne.


Conferences and seminars

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.

Awards

Awards and prizes

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


Research

Research 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.


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 


Research grants

GRANTS

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.  $ 29,744.24

Sands, N. 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.

Maude, P., Doherty, P., Kalkarni, J., Sands, N & Gerdtz, M.  (2006). Development of a quality outcome measurement network in the South East Region of Victoria. QUATRO Quality Through Outcomes Network. Commonwealth Dept of Health and Aging  $385,000.

CONSULTANCIES AND FUNDED PROJECTS

Sands, N & Elsom, SJ. (2010/2012). Identifying the core competencies of mental health triage: An observational study. The Alfred Hospital.

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 (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.


Publications

Publications

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Colgate, R., Haylor, H., & Prematunga, R. (2016). Development and inter-rater reliability of the UK Mental Health Triage Scale. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (Open Access) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/inm.12197/asset/inm12197.pdf?v=1&t=ip8rugl4&s=a2efe80cfd30531f87070ce35dd9255b0d615427

Tonso, M., Prematunga, R., Norris, S., Williams, L., Sands, N., & Elsom, S. (2016). Workplace Violence in Mental Health: A Victorian Mental Health Workforce Survey. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (In press).

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Keppich-Arnold, S., Henderson, K., & Thompson, P. (2016). Perceptions of crisis care in populations who self-referred to a telephone-based mental health triage service. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (Early view) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/inm.12177/

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Keppich-Arnold, S., Henderson, K., King, P., Bourke-Finn, K., & Brunning, D. (2015). Investigating the validity and usability of an interactive computer programme for assessing competence in telephone-based mental health triage. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Open Access: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/inm.12165/full

Williams, E., Sands, N., Elsom, S., & Prematunga, R. (2015). Mental Health Consumers’ Perceptions of Quality of Life and Mental Health Care. Nursing & Health Sciences, 17, 299-306.

Waters, A., Sands, N., Keppich???Arnold, S., & Henderson, K. (2015). Handover of patient information from the crisis assessment and treatment team to the inpatient psychiatric unit. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24, 193-202.

Hosking, J., Considine, J., & Sands, N. (2015). Re: Hosking. J., Considine, J., & Sands, N. Recognising clinical deterioration in emergency department patients. Australas Emerg Nurs J 2014; 17: 59-67. Australas Emerg Nurs J: AENJ, 18(1), 58.

Marangu, E., Sands, N., Rolley, J., Ndetei, D., & Mansouri, F. (2014). Mental healthcare in Kenya: exploring optimal conditions for capacity building: opinion paper. African Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, 6(1), 1-5.

Millar, F., Sands, N., & Elsom, S. (2014). Factors influencing cardiometabolic monitoring practices in an adult community mental health service. International journal of mental health nursing, 23(6), 479-489.

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Berk, M., Hosking, J., Prematunga, R. and Gerdtz, M. (2014). Investigating the predictive validity of an emergency department mental health triage tool. Nursing & Health Sciences. 16, 11–18.

Hosking, J., Considine, J., & Sands, N. (2014). Recognising clinical deterioration in emergency department patients. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 17(2), 59-67.

Elsom, S., Sands, N., Roper, C., Gerdtz, M. & Hoppner, C. (2013). A telephone survey of service-user experiences of a telephone-based mental health triage service. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (5):437-43.

Fiolet, Renee, Sands, Natisha and Nagle, Cate (2013) Intimate partner violence: are Australian nurses and midwives trained to provide care? Australian Nursing Journal,20, 10, p. 37.

Sands, N., Elsom, S., Gerdtz, M., Henderson, K., Keppich-Arnold, S., Droste, N., Wereta, Z.W. & Prematunga, R. (2013). Identifying the core competencies of mental health telephone triage. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(21-22):3203-16.

Sands N., Elsom S., Henderson K., Keppich-Arnold S. & Marangu E. (2013) Mental Health Telephone Triage: Managing psychiatric crisis and emergency. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 49, 65–72.


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