Mastering Intensive Care 043 with Jo Stewart

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.


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.

People, organisations and resources mentioned in the episode:

Further reading and listening

Mastering Internsive Care 700

Mastering Intensive Care

with Andrew Davies

Dr Andrew Davies MBBS FRACP FCIC. Intensivist/researcher at Frankston Hospital, Melbourne. Aiming to bring my best self to work & life. | Mastering Intensive Care | New Normal project |

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