They’re the ones that come to you at your time of need and on Friday, May 11 they were celebrated.
In recognition of International Nurses and Midwives Day, staff from the Lower Mid North Coast sector gathered at Manning Hospital to celebrate achievements from the past year.
This year’s theme is ‘a voice to lead- health is a human right’ and was labelled by Lower Mid North Coast sector director of nursing and midwifery Sue Arber as appropriate.
“This topic gives us the opportunity to reflect on issues outside of our lives in Australia.
“Reflect on those countries that are in poverty and war.
“We know that good health depends on access to safe drinking water and good nutrition, adequate sanitation and education, and in many countries this is not simply available.
“Nurses are not only the voice and advocate for our patients but can be a voice to lead people-centred care, lead health system, influence health policy, planning and provision of care in our hospitals and community,” Ms Arber said.
She added that over the past 50 years, the role of the nurse has changed dramatically.
“Nurses and midwives had to be nun like, quiet, wear long dresses, scrub floors, clean bed pans and take their direction from doctors under all circumstances.
“They had to work seven days a week and had to apply for a day off from the matron.
“And if they got married, their career was over.
“We are looked upon as trusted, compassionate and caring people.
“Here in Australia, nurses are working harder than ever to meet the challenges and demands of healthcare as well as meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients every day to make a real difference in their lives,” Ms Arber said.
The outstanding nurse of the year was awarded to Jennifer Higgins.
She received the award for “excellent support to all health care professionals within the sector, when working as acting infection control and preventions nurse.”
The prestigious annual Veronica Peters Memorial Award for endorses enrolled nurse of the year went to Paige Law.
She was recognised for her promotion of patient safety, as a mentor for students and for being held in high regard by patients.
Karla MacTaggart was recognised as the educator of the year for her positive interactions with clients, carers and clinicians as well as her work in wound management.
Midwife of the year recipient Jane Wright was awarded for her work as an advocate for women centred care and safety.
Jane is the facilitator of a midwife led antenatal clinic at Forster Community Health each Friday.
A positive attitude and a professional approach resulted in Keerly-Ann Wardle being named outstanding new grad of the year.
All sectors of the hospital, such as emergency department, maternity and paediatrics, presented nurses with NUMs choice awards.
The most support ward award went to Manning Hospital’s level four (medical).
Outstanding senior leadership went to Darren Figallo for his communication skills and respect for all staff.
Several nurses were also recognised for their role as student mentors.
Other centres across the Lower Mid North Coast sector also recognised the achievements of their staff.
Wayne Lewis received the NUMs choice award for Wingham Rehabilitation Hospital, Roger Revill for Forster Community Health Generalist Care, Erin Marshall for Gloucester Community Hospital and Jennifer Beilby for Bulahdelah Community Hospital.