Kate Ryderhealth, non-fiction, guidebooks
Kate Ryder is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of clinical experience in both public and private hospitals in England and here in Australia, and in a range of different specialities. These range from emergency, intensive care, general medical, surgical and short-stay wards, oncology, rehabilitation, palliative care, occupational health and community nursing. Kate has also worked as a patient support officer and as a senior investigator with the Office of the Health Care Complaints Commission. At the Commission she investigated complaints which led to the de-registration of a number of registered health professionals, and the amendment and formulation of a number of hospital and State Government health policies and procedures. During her 10 years at the Commission, she also contributed to the establishment of the Patient Support Office, wrote case-histories for the Commission's annual reports and the Commission's Health Investigator journal, and addressed a number of community groups and gave media interviews about the work of the Patient Support Office and the Commission. While working as a nurse, Kate conducted a quantitative and qualitative research study into the reasons why patients leave the emergency department without being seen by a doctor. She undertook this research in the emergency department of St. Vincent's Public Hospital, Darlinghurst in 1996, as part of a Masters of Public Health (MPH) course at the University of New South Wales. This research later informed the Office of the Health Care Complaints Commission's position on the treatment of the mentally ill in emergency departments, which in part led to the establishment of Psychiatric Emergency Care Centres (PECC) units in emergency departments in New South Wales. More recently, Kate has been working casually as a registered nurse while also working as an advocate. She assisted the parents of a young Malay Chinese man whose death was the subject of a coronial investigation by the NSW Coroner's Office. The young man died in an acute psychiatric ward from acute bronchial pneumonia, secondary to multi-drug toxicity. The only drugs in his body were those prescribed by his treating doctors and administered by the nurses looking after him on the ward. In what appears to be an Australian if not a world first, his post-mortem blood was used for pharmacogenomic testing, the results of which were considered by the Coroner when establishing the cause of death.