International Society of Travel Medicine
E-mail: ISTM@ISTM.org
Skypename: istm.office
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)

Nursing

Steering Council:

Chair: Heather Connor, Canada

Heather ConnorI graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. Upon graduating I worked in a hospital in a Cardiology/ Cardiac Care Unit for a couple of years before moving on to a job in community health.

My initial involvement with travel medicine/health was in preparing to work overseas on a medical project in Africa. I was part of a medical team that worked in the North Eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo participating in areas of community health, hospital care and teaching. During the one year spent in the D.R.C., I was struck by the morbidity and mortality burden of malaria.

Upon returning to Canada, my husband (family physician) and I established a travel health/medicine centre in our community of Cobourg, Ontario. I joined ISTM in 1999 and obtained the C.T.H. in 2007. Within a couple years I extended our services to include a mobile service which prepared groups of college and university students travelling abroad for education or volunteer work. I also established travel health services at a second location in Lindsay, Ontario.

Chair-Elect: Caroline Nash, Australia

Caroline Nash Caroline Nash, Chair- Elect (Australia) is a Clinical Manager for Aspen Medical, an Australian-owned global provider of healthcare solutions. She has postgraduate qualifications in Public Health, Tropical Medicine, Infection Prevention and Control, Travel Medicine and Immunisation practice. Caroline has undertaken a number of overseas deployments to the Pacific region and to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak. She has studied tropical medicine internationally and has a special interest in Rabies, having co-authored a Rabies awareness brochure for travellers.

Caroline is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (FACTM) and a Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine (FFTM). Caroline is passionate about educating travellers and health professionals about all aspects of travel medicine. Caroline was elected on to the steering committee of the ISTM Nurses Professional Group (NPG) in 2016. Her aim as a member of the leadership council is to strengthen the network of nurses within the NPG and ISTM and to welcome new members to the group. She would also like to provide support to nurses that are new to the field of Travel Medicine.

Ruth Anderson, Australia

Ruth AndersonRuth Anderson completed her nursing training in Brisbane, Australia in the 1970s and then went on to work in an ICU setting, before heading to Europe where she cared for children as a nanny. Following this she spent two-and-a half years working as a resort nurse at Club Mediterranée villages in New Caledonia, Egypt and Mexico, and then 18 years as a long haul flight attendant with Qantas Airways where she was often involved in day-to-day health issues and medical emergencies on board the aircraft. Looking for a complete change in direction, she moved into the travel health field, working part-time in a call centre for Travelvax, giving general advice to the travelling general public, and also providing nurse-led travel consultations at a Sydney general practice. Her role in Travelvax is now in business development which involves visiting travel agents, training of nurses, writing/ updating company resources, health alerts and articles for their website. She joined the ISTM in 2007, the same year she completed the CTH exam, and became a member of the steering council of the Nurse Professional Group in 2015.

Outside of work hours, her interests include travel (of course!), as well as attending French conversation classes, growing vegetables, cooking and walking a very large boxer dog.

Catherine Keil, Australia

Catherine KeilCatherine Keil is an Australian/British Nurse Practitioner specialising in travel health and immunisations. She completed a BSc Honours degree in Geography in 1995 from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, with an interest in Medical Geography. She went on to complete a Nursing Diploma in 1998 from Kingston University/St George’s Medical School, London, UK, which involved an exchange program to Uganda. After travelling and working in Africa, South East Asia and Central America she became a practice nurse based in London. She specialised in travel health which led her to working for Emirates Airline in Dubai for 10 years where she was instrumental in setting up a travel health clinic for the crew and families. In 2006 she completed the Diploma in Travel Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, UK, and in 2014 completed the ISTM Certificate in Travel Health. After moving to Australia, she completed a Masters in Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) from Flinders University, Adelaide in 2017 and now works as an Endorsed Nurse Practitioner in Travel Health and Immunisations. When not consulting, Catherine keeps herself busy with travel health writing, family, photography and sport.

Lisa Lynch Jones, United States of America

Lisa Lynch JonesI have worked in a busy International Travel and Infectious Disease Clinic since 2006 and still find it to be a fascinating and stimulating subspecialty. I sat for and passed the ISTM certification exam in 2007. Global health and infectious disease are moving targets. The need for continued learning and research never ends. Previously, I worked in psychiatric research, public health, HIV prevention and immigrant health before joining Park Nicollet. I served Internationally and domestically as a Peace Corps volunteer. I love to teach and am passionate about health prevention.

Jutarmas Olanwijitwong, Thailand

Jutarmas OlanwijitwongI am a Research Nurse in the Travel Medicine Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. I received my Bachelor of Nursing Sciences from Assumption University in Thailand in 2009 and received my Masters of Science in Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University in Thailand in 2016. I received ISTM's Certificate in Travel Health in 2016.

In addition to ISTM membership, I am also a member of the Thailand Nursing Council, Thai Society of Travel Medicine, and the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society. My research interests include: Risk of tropical diseases among foreign travellers to Southeast Asia, Malaria and Dengue infection among foreign travellers, and Fever caused in foreign travellers.

Danielle Peel, Australia

Danielle PeelI am a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Primary Care & Travel medicine. I am a co-owner of my own clinic, in Sydney Australia. I have a love of travel and look forward to exploring more of the wonderful destinations in the world. I have worked in Travel medicine since 2001 and joined the ISTM in 2003. I completed the CTH in 2014 in Vietnam and was awarded the MASTA medal for the student with the highest-grade point average for the Certificate of Travel Medicine at James Cook University. I have recently started working in a nurse practitioner capacity with NSW justice health, providing healthcare to a high risk and under-screened population, additionally I am a tutor for the School of Nursing at James Cook University in the Master of Nursing course. I am happy to mentor and work with nurses who also share a passion for travel medicine.

Lisa Scotland, New Zealand

Lisa ScotlandKia Ora, I am Lisa Scotland, a Travel Nurse Specialist based in Palmerston North New Zealand. I have a special interest in Women’s Health and Sexual Health and this often coincides with my travel consultations. I am a Director of Worldwise Travellers Health and Vaccination Centre in Palmerston North and Whanganui, New Zealand. I have specialised in Travel Medicine for the last 18 years.

I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to many parts of the world for both work and pleasure and this has only increased my passion for travel and Travel Medicine.

I attend as many overseas conferences as I can to expand my knowledge furthermore, I sat and passed the Certificate in Travel Medicine Exams at the ISTM conference in 2017. In 2018 I attended the Northern European Travel Conference in Stockholm and the ACTM Conference in Brisbane.

I am an authorised Yellow Fever Vaccinator through the New Zealand Ministry of Health, initially I was one of three nurses on a pilot scheme in 2016, I was actively involved in the consultation and advisory process with the New Zealand Ministry of Health for nurses to become Yellow Fever Vaccinators. Following this in August 2017 policies were put in place for this to begin.

My focus is to provide travellers with knowledge to enable them to make informed choices and enjoy their travel as much as possible.

I enjoy passing on my knowledge to people within the industry, nurses, doctors, businesses and the general public so they can inform and advise our travellers appropriately.

I am a member of the New Zealand Society of Travel Medicine, an active member of the Worldwise Group of Travel Medicine Specialists in New Zealand. In 2018 I was awarded a Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Tropical Medicine. I am a current council member of the ISTM Nurse Professional group.

In 2015 I was co-author involved in the writing of the ‘The Practical Compendium of Immunisations for International Travel’ Chapter 10 The Last-Minute Traveller.

Nursing has a pivotal role in Travel Medicine in the teaching, education and providing advice for our travellers. Although challenging at times, it is a rewarding career with a diverse scope of practice.

Welcome to the Nursing Professional Group (NPG) page on the ISTM Website. The NPG Council views this site as one of several ways to communicate with ISTM nurses on a regular and ongoing basis. We want this website to be relevant to your professional needs and interests-in both travel health nursing and ISTM.

The Nursing Professional Group Nurses are on the frontline as travel medicine practice expands worldwide. This group aims to provide leadership on all aspects of travel health in the global nursing community. We provide support to ISTM nurse members and take a strategic lead in the professional development of the nursing practice in travel health medicine. Current and new nurse members of the ISTM automatically become members of the NPG.


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NPG Charter

The overall aim of the Nurse Professional Group of ISTM is to provide leadership on all aspects of travel health in the global nursing community, to show commitment and support to ISTM nurse members, and to take a strategic lead in the professional development of nursing practice in travel health medicine.


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Goals of NPG Membership

The Nurses Professional Group (NPG) represents nursing within ISTM and provides opportunities for international networking and professional development. Our NPG Goals are:

  • Represent the interests of nurses within the ISTM, first and foremost
  • Demonstrate the value of nurses in travel medicine while encouraging collaboration with all other health care professionals in the field
  • Recognize the outstanding leadership among ISTM nurses through an established awards program
  • Advocate for the continued integration of nurses within the activities of the ISTM, such as conferences, educational needs and research
  • Promote nurse membership in the ISTM and seek global representation of nurse members
  • Collaborate with other international nursing groups for the professional advancement of travel medicine nursing


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Current Nursing Research

The NPG Steering Counsel is committed to supporting nurses who participate in research in the field of Travel Health/Medicine. The below article demonstrates the work of Jutramas Olanwijitwong, currently a member of the steering council . If any NPG members have research they would like us to share please submit it to Heather Connor.

Thailand: Jutramas Olanwijitwong

My name is Jutramas Olanwijitwong (Nueng). I am currently working at the Thai Travel Clinic in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Bangkok Thailand. I obtained by Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing (Magna Cum Laude) at Assumption University in Thailand. I later went on to obtain a Master’s Degree of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University, graduating in 2015.

The Thai Travel Clinic where I work provides comprehensive medical care for both Thai and foreign travellers. Our services include pre and post travel counselling, recommendation of travel vaccines, malaria protection and prophylaxis, as well as diagnoses and treatment of tropical diseases. As a registered nurse, part of my job is to provide general health screening, counselling, nursing care and also communications through emails to both Thai and foreign travellers. Our team is also always trying to improve and develop new tools to help enhance the quality of care we give our travellers.

As part of a university hospital, education and research are other important roles of our clinic. In this capacity I also work with the research investigation team. Many nurses think of research as being very hard to do - like a bitter pill to swallow! I also thought this because I had never participated in a research project and didn’t understand the process. Therefore, I tried to learn by reading many books and websites, but it wasn’t until my boss gave me the opportunity to participate in his research that I gained an understanding.

My first participating research “Risk of Possible Exposure to Rabies Among Travellers from Developed Countries, in SE Asia” was accepted to present at CISTM12 in Boston, USA in 2011. I was mainly involved in data collection which was taken from foreign travellers around the world who were visiting South East Asia. From this study I learned a lot about data collection and difficulties that can arise especially dealing with different cultures.

One year later I had been involved with two more studies as co-investigator; one was accepted at APTHSCP in Singapore and another was accepted to publish in The Southeast Asian Journal of Travel Medicine and Public Health.

Currently I have five publications, two of which are in the Journal of Travel Medicine (JTM):

In my opinion, research is not as hard as one might think but to understand it you must try! All  published research can be found on pubmed.com.