A clinical nurse consultant with a medical emergency team, a midwife from Calvary Hospital and a quality improvement clinical nursing team at the Canberra Hospital were the winners of this year’s ACT Nursing and Midwifery Awards for 2018.
Midwife of the Year Amelia Druhan is a registered midwife at Calvary Hospital and successfully established an antenatal parent education clinic for women with diverse cultural and linguistic needs and vulnerabilities to improve their birthing and transition to parenthood experiences.
Ms Druhan told ABC radio that she believes she has the best job in the world.
“I think midwifery is the best job in the world because our business is growing families,” she said.
“What midwives do, more than anything, is to create a space for women to be able to do what they can do naturally.
“I often reflect on the fact that women never forget the birth of their babies. Just recently I met a woman in her 90s, who when she found out that I was a midwife, shared with me her birth stories like they were just yesterday. So it is a real privilege to be a part of something that is so important and so transformative for women.”
Nurse of the Year Joanne Lindbeck is a clinical nurse consultant working in the medical emergency team at the Canberra Hospital. As an advocate for patients, Joanne is regarded for her kind and gentle approach with patients and their families distressed by a critical event.
Ms Lindbeck spoke on ABC Radio about the struggles of having to ‘turn off’ for self-preservation and to have the resilience to keep handling distressing situations.
“I suspect to the observer it may appear that you have disconnected, which is really a preservation to enable you to do the job,” she said.
“At no point do you disconnect or turn off. I think with experience you learn to deal with it differently and process it differently.”
The Team of the Year was awarded to the Quality Improvement & Research Nursing Team from the Canberra Hospital for their excellence in quality improvement and research practice. The nursing team leads the development of an education model to support and empower staff contribution to quality improvement and clinical research projects across the neonatal intensive and special care units.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said nurses and midwives are the backbone of ACT health services and care for patients day and night, helping people in their time of need.
“These awards are a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work our nurses and midwives do, and with International Nurses Day this Saturday 12 May, I would like to thank Canberra’s nurses and midwives for the important work they do.
“Our health system would not work without them,” she said.
Ms Fitzharris said the nursing and midwifery workforce increased by 3 per cent last year, compared to 2.3 per cent for the whole of Australia.
“We are keeping pace with the increasing demands of the growing and ageing population,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“The graduate midwifery program recruited 15 new staff in 2018, which was a 50 per cent increase from the 2017 intake, and we are bringing new senior nurses on-board with 13 new nursing clinical coordinator positions filled at the Canberra Hospital in the last 12 months.
“We are privileged to have an excellent nursing and midwifery sector in the ACT who play a critical role keeping Canberrans healthy and well,” Minister Fitzharris said.