The following speech is given during the presentation ceremony of the graduates from the University of Wollongong in the degrees of Bachelor of Nursing (Conversion) and Master of Nursing on Sunday 15th August 2010.
Professor Patrick CROOKES, Ms Angela BROWN, Professor Janette CURTIS & Ms Nikki DAVIES, graduates, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for Dr Bill for the kind introduction of me!
Today, I am very glad again to give my graduation address to the graduates. Last time, the feedback on my speech was seemingly good!
This year, I would like to start with a story on a well-known company in Hong Kong before I talk on Quality. The company is a smart card company with a lot of customers. The customers, including me, rely on it to use the cards as real money for transactions undergone almost everywhere in Hong Kong. The convenience that it brings to Hong Kong makes it the theme of the Hong Kong Pavilion in the Shanghai World Expo, “Smart Cards, Smart City, Smart Life.” To our great dismay, the company sold the personal data of some customers to the third parties without the consent from the customers. It causes turbulence in society for a long time. Lately, the Chief Executive Officer decided to step down. People comment that the Chief Executive Officer is a scapegoat. What do you think?
Now, you are probably saying that I am going off too far way from my speech on Quality. No, not exactly; the story reflects the poor quality that the company performs. The painful experience of the company gives us a lot of negative teaching.
As nurses, we also handle personal data of our customers but we handle life and death – a matter far more serious than personal data. Nothing can replace life. 100% guarantee on our quality is our pledge to our customers. Quality assurance is a must and it cannot be compromised under all circumstances. From today onwards, review your practice to monitor the quality.
Now, try to imagine if you was a customer of your service. What would be your rating? Congratulations to you if you are satisfied with it! If not, review to see what should be the improvements, especially, identifying the possible malpractice.
Some time ago, a nurse of a hospital did not test the temperature of the water properly so that a baby was scalded. Do you think the nurse was also a scapegoat? In my opinion, scapegoat is an excuse! A nurse should be independent, accountable and autonomous. Moreover, supervision is needed to ensure everything is in order so that quality is ensured and there is no malpractice. I think most of you are supervisors; so, go back to examine your unit for the quality assurance.
Ladies and gentlemen, the hospitals in Hong Kong are being accredited by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Quality is the basis of acquiring the accreditation. With the accreditation, the public have confidence in our service and not to mention, the nurses are proud of their service and of the nursing profession. Today, the graduates receive the qualification awarded by a renowned university that they chose; I have total confidence in their quality contribution to nursing because of the prestigious award and the nurturing given by the university.
Dear relatives and friends of the graduates, you come here with bouquet of flowers today to witness their achievement. On top of your blessing to them, I appeal to you for your monitoring of their quality performance.
Dear graduates, today is rather a beginning than an end to your journey to life-long education, so, I appeal for your continuing education, so that you can keep abreast of the times.
Thank you for your patient listening and all the best to you!