District recognises valuable contribution of nurses and midwives
Ivanka Komusanac describes 2020 as a year of change.
“The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly altered the nature of the work many nurses and midwives do and the way patient care is delivered,” she said.
As the Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services, Ivanka oversees more than 5000 nurses and midwives who work at Sydney Local Health District.
The World Health Organisation declared 2020 The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The District has held a virtual Nursing and Midwifery Symposium to recognise and celebrate the valued contribution nurses and midwives make to patient care.
“I’ve been amazed and inspired most days to hear the stories about how staff have worked together to tackle each challenge that came their way, and to encourage each other to keep going in the hardest of times,” Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District’s Chief Executive, said.
During COVID-19, staff have been deployed to screen passengers at Sydney Airport, on cruise ships, at train stations, in boarding houses and residential aged care facilities.
They’ve run hospital, pop-up and drive-through COVID-19 Clinics and have been seconded to expanded Intensive Care Units, COVID-19 wards and to Special Health Accommodation.
Staff have upskilled and retrained to ensure the safety of each other and patients. And, they’ve embraced technology with rpavirtual redefining the way acute care can be delivered.
“It’s been a great opportunity for all of us to serve our country in a way that we could have never expected to be able to do,” Kim Pearce, who has been nursing for the past 40 years, said.
For graduate nurse Kelly Delvin, caring for an elderly patient when COVID-19 restrictions prevented family visits at the hospital was a rewarding experience.
“We stepped in as her family. We were able to comfort her… because her family couldn’t be there,” she said.
While COVID-19 has dominated 2020, nurses and midwives have also continued to provide care for patients who rely on the District's expertise and help every day of the year.
"As we reflect on the past 12 months, I also want to recognise the vital contribution of those who have maintained the delivery of high quality health care for all of the other patients in our District," Ivanka said.
During the Symposium, Danielle Ritz Shala was named as the winner of the Best Novice Researcher Award. She examined nursing documentation in the District’s eMR to improve current practices and patient care.
For Ivanka, it’s been a challenging but enriching year, with teams now working to plan for mass vaccinations to protect the community from COVID-19.
“2020 has underscored the essential role nurses and midwives play in providing care to all of our patients and their loved ones,” she said.
To view images of the Symposium, please click here