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Mastering Intensive Care

May 12, 2019

On International Nurses Day, please listen to Jo Stewart, the Clinical Nurse Unit Manager at the ICU in which I work - Frankston Hospital.

On May 12th, the date that commemorates the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, we celebrate every single one of the many nurses who support and care for us when we are sick. Pretty much everyone on earth comes in contact with a nurse and, for us in intensive care, nurses are so important to all that we do.

Let me simply say thank you to the nurses of the world. You are the lifeblood of healthcare, and especially in hospitals. I have learnt from watching hundreds of you; about how to better care for a patient, about how to better communicate, and how to better support a critically unwell person and their loved ones.

If you read the cards that are sent to the ICUs when the patients and their families want to say thank you, you’ll see who they value the most. Our nurses are simply amazing.

On this episode I speak with Jo Stewart. Her role as Clinical Nurse Unit Manager allows her to offer training and support to the nurses of Frankston ICU as well as to work on quality and operational requirements of the unit. Jo is passionate about education and supporting novice nurses and brings experience from a variety of specialty ICU nursing areas such as Cardiothoracics (including ECMO), Neurosurgery, and Critical Care Liaison Nursing.

Jo completed her Masters in Intensive Care Nursing at The Alfred Hospital in 2007, worked in Vancouver, and then commenced working at Frankston Hospital as a Clinical Support and Development Nurse in ICU in 2011 whilst concurrently lecturing at Monash University for both Undergraduate and Post Graduate Nursing courses.

In the episode Jo speaks about:

  • How she got into ICU nursing and what she enjoys about it
  • Attracting and retaining ICU nurses
  • The various roles she has worked in throughout her career
  • Educating nurses
  • How Jo educates herself
  • Leading as a nurse unit manager
  • Creating the right culture as a leader
  • How she allocates her own time to different tasks
  • Interactions between doctors and nurses in the ICU
  • Principles of good communication
  • Her self-care practices
  • Encouraging wellness for the nursing workforce
  • Working better as a team
  • Some tips for the ICU doctors

Jo is extraordinarily passionate and enthusiastic about her role. She is very welcoming, always happy for a chat, and I thought she would make an excellent guest for the show.

Please enjoy listening to Jo Stewart.


Andrew Davies



About the Mastering Intensive Care podcast: The podcast is aimed to inspire and empower you to bring your best self to the intensive care unit, through conversations with thought-provoking guests. I hope you’ll glean insights to help you improve as a healthcare professional and as a human being so you can make the most valuable contribution to your patient’s lives.



Links to people, organisations and other resources mentioned:

Jo Stewart on Twitter: @JoStu82 

Frankston Hospital ICU website

BASIC for nurses

FOAM (free open-access medical education)

Insight Timer

Smiling Mind

1 Giant Mind

Mastering Intensive Care podcast: Episode 42 with Paul Young

Mastering Intensive Care page on Facebook

Mastering Intensive Care at Life In The Fast Lane

Andrew Davies on Twitter: @andrewdavies66 

Andrew Davies on Instagram: @andrewdavies66

Email Andrew Davies