Murrumbidgee Local Health District celebrated International Nurses and Midwives Day at Narrandera last Thursday.
The MLHD offers awards for nurses, midwives and health workers in the various clusters around the Murrumbidgee district.
“Today was a celebration for the regional sites,” explained Nurse Manager of Clinical Practice and Development Rebecca Broadbent. “Our two base hospitals have individual awards ceremonies, so this was chance to celebrate the people at the rural centres.”
The awards were presented to nurses and midwives who represented an extremely broad cross-section of community health, midwifery, rehabilitation, aged care and palliative care. Some awards were presented to individuals, while others were presented to entire nursing teams.
When presenting the awards, Ms Broadbent occasionally read out the testimonies of family members describing the quality of care their loved ones had received from nursing staff. One testimony went into detail about the care the nursing team had put in for a dying parent, describing how the nurses would stay back after their shifts so the patients had a friendly face around, or would play music for patients on their phones on request.
“It’s the full spectrum, from birth to death and everything in between. There are lots of different clinical specialties, areas of practice.
“Rural nursing is a clinical specialty; it’s a unique skillset that you need to have to provide that rural, generalist care. You could have anyone walk in on that birth to death spectrum and need to provide a range of different clinical skills and interventions. So every different job has different challenges.
“It’s just nice to be able to celebrate nurses in their role, who come to work every day and try and provide excellent patient care. We like to provide the opportunity to say thank you.”
International Midwives Day is celebrated every year on May 5, while International Nurses Day falls on May 12.
According to Ms Broadbent, the Murrumbidgee services a 125,000 square kilometre area and employs 2,500 nurses.
“We have 31 facilities and 11 community outposts. So it is a very big organisation. I think that’s one of the challenges of being a rural nurse; being a part of a bigger team and a network, while trying to work in isolation and provide that quality of care,” Ms Broadbent said.
Regional Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards winners:
- Jennifer Lees RN/ RM, Tumut Hospital
- Allison Dennis, Nurse Manager, Adelong Batlow MPS
- Jane Turner, Nurse Manager, Gundagai MPS
- Amy Polsen, Graduate RN, Gundagai MPS
- The Lockhart MPS for their “Focus on Wellness”
- Fiona Simpson, RN, Moama Community Care
- Don Blundell RN, Cootamundra Community Care
- Lake Cargelligo MPS, Nursing Team Excellence
- Cherylee Mears EN, Boorowa MPS
- Samantha Alexander AIN, Boorowa MPS