Armadale nurses line up for top awards

Armadale nurses line up for top awards

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Armadale Health Service had two winners from the five finalists, advanced skilled enrolled nurse Shona Fowler, clinical nurse Dennis Hammond, clinical midwife Belle Sexton, renal nurse practitioner Casey Light and clinical nurse specialist Elsie Joseph. Photograph – Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

Five staff from Armadale Health Service have been named finalists in the WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards run by the WA Health Service.

Clinical nurse educator Dennis Hammond and clinical nurse specialist in intravascular service Elsie Joseph have been shortlisted for the Excellence in Registered Nursing category.

Mr Hammond, who has worked in intensive care units for more than 30 years, is passing on his skills to others as an educator.

He dual role includes working in the ICU as well as training its staff.

“The background behind my nomination, I have a good ability and knowledge to teach people,” he said.

He has three new nurses training in the unit.

“It is really like an apprenticeship job, rather than classes it is almost like hands on training,” he said.

“Especially if you are looking at intensive care, you can have a component of classroom learning but really the skills development is at the bedside.

“Overall there are 35 registered nurses in the unit with various experience with three new staff with no intensive care experience but they do have nursing experience.

“Obviously with all of the staff, intensive care or critical care, it changes clinically quite quickly and so to keep everyone up to date I do clinical support for both senior and junior staff.”

Mr Hammond, who trained in New Zealand, said the unit had introduced dialysis for the critically ill patients at the end of last year.

Ms Joseph was nominated for setting up the intravascular service at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital five years ago.

She inserts peripherally inserted central catheters, or PICC lines, to patients who need long-term medications.

Five years ago patients faced long and inconvenient waiting times for PICC lines or had to be transferred to other hospitals.

“Now it means people can have the treatment on time,” she said.

“Before I started the service this wasn’t happening and they would have to go to Fremantle and sometimes they would have to wait for a week and it would cause a lot of problems.

“Now it can be done at the bedside.”

Ms Joseph said there had been a zero infection rate since she started the service and in 2014 she trained someone to fill in when she was on leave.

She performs about 100 a year at the hospital.

Ms Joseph, a nurse for 25 years after training in India and coming to Australia in 1991, was thrilled with her nomination.

“I take it as an appreciation for what I have done.”

Other finalists include Belle Sexton for excellence in midwifery, Shona Fowler for excellence in enrolled nursing and Casey Light for excellence in research.

Winners will be announced in May.