Speakers Corner – Liz Crowe [Interview]


As it gets closer to our inaugural Don’t Forget The Bubbles conference in Brisbane later this year we thought it about time we showcased some of the amazing and inspiring speakers we have lined up for you.  Coming from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences we hope that they will help us all become better at looking after unwell children and better at looking after each other.

Liz Crowe is an Advanced Clinician Social Worker who has worked extensively for 20 years with individuals, families and children impacted by grief, loss, trauma, crisis and bereavement. Liz is also well known for her sharp wit and excellent speaking skills. You can enjoy one of Liz’s very humorous but on point talk from the SMACC conference 2014 on “Swearing Your Way Out of a Crisis” here. For more of Liz’s great insights into surviving life, death and dealing with grief, check out her book “The Little book of Loss & Grief (you can read while you cry)”. Liz is currently undertaking a PhD with The University of Queensland on resilience and  Staff Wellbeing in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. She kindly sat down to share a little more about herself in an exclusive interview with the DFTB team…

1) What is a little known fact about you?

If I could have any superpower it would be speed. I hate wasting time. I wanted to have a little gym in my car for when the traffic was bad to work on my biceps. No one thought this was a good idea 😞

2) What does FOAMed and more specifically DFTB mean to you?

FOAMed is a fantastic free platform for people on health to share and obtain knowledge wherever they are in the world. Hopefully it’s a safe space for people to learn and grow and receive support. Having a passion for paediatrics DFTB is one of the very few paediatric based FOAMed platforms. It’s a fantastic site that is holistic in its knowledge provision.

3) Tell us about a “career defining” moment that you can recall?

That’s difficult…I can honestly say there have been so many.

There have definitely been times when I have been exhausted by the sadness of my role and something so intimate and life changing occurs that makes me remember why I stay.  It’s not just the big cases either…it’s also the other moments – such as when a grandmother of a child knits you bedsocks to say thank you!

4) Who inspires you in your clinical practice and why?

There isn’t a single member of our PICU team that does not inspire me. The doctors, nurses, Quyen our pharmacist, Tina our AIN. It takes a village to raise a child it also takes a village to save a child. In terms of grief work Dr Judith Murray was important early in my career, Dr Sue Wilson (psychiatrist) Angela Tonge (SW) and Dr Carl Horsley an intensivist in NZ all influence my current conical work around Resilience and Teams

5) What is your proudest achievement or most memorable encounter with a patient?

I don’t mean to sound like a ‘tool’ but everyday I work in either PICU or ED or any part of the hospital clinically I am moved and impacted by an event or someone. Parents allowing you to share the death of the child with them is an exceptionally humbling invitation and not one I will ever take for granted.

6) Anything you’d like to tease us about your talk/topic?

I think we are teaching children and society not to cope with the normal ups and downs of life…. Do you agree?

Liz Crowe has a blog here and you can follow her on Twitter @LizCrowe2.

If you haven’t yet checked it out, you can find the programme for DFTB17 here.

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Grace is an SRMO at Sydney Children's Hospital. She loves innovative medical education and paediatrics. She is on the organising committee for the DFTB17 and SMACC conference. Grace is a former internal director of the AMSJ. She enjoys board games, cooking and cheesy jokes.