A nurse who works to improve care for patients with cleft and craniofacial conditions, a midwife dedicated to delivering culturally safe maternity care, and an ovarian cancer support network – these were the winners of the latest HESTA Nursing & Midwifery Awards.
Monash Health nurse Tania Green was crowned the 2020 Nurse of the Year in the awards, announced this year via video broadcast due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Green looks after more than 500 patients as the clinical nurse coordinator for Monash Health’s Cleft and Craniofacial Unit and HESTA said she has been instrumental in improving awareness of the treatment and care required for cleft-affected babies.
Among her efforts highlighted by the award’s organisers was the development of protocols for Monash Health that have increased the education and confidence of staff involved in the care of these patients. She was also instrumental in setting up antenatal consultations for parents expecting a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
“Tania is incredibly committed to her work and her patients,” HESTA said. “She frequently goes above and beyond to ensure families get the care and support they need, from providing comfort to anxious parents as they wait for their child to come out of theatre, to travelling across the state in her own time to educate other healthcare professionals and ensure they are up-to-date on best-practice care.”
The second award of the night, Midwife of the Year, went to Cassandra Nest. The Ngunnawal woman led the way building a culturally safe midwifery workforce at Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH).
Nest was instrumental in setting up GCUH’s Waijungbah Jarjums Service, a which provides care and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, delivered by First Peoples midwives and nurses.
“The impact of Cassandra’s work to improve First Peoples’ health is far reaching,” HESTA said. “Since Cassandra joined GCUH in 2017, the number of First Peoples’ women and babies accessing GCUH maternity services has increased from three to 57, with the number of First Peoples’ midwives at GCUH increasing from one to five.”
In an earlier interview with Nursing Review, Nest said First Peoples midwives were integral to implementing culturally safe maternity care for First Peoples women and families, as they intrinsically understand our holistic view of health and the complex family and community dynamics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Meanwhile, Ovarian Cancer Australia took out the Outstanding Organisation category for its support for women affected by cancer.
The group provides specialised services and resources for different stages of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and its six specialist cancer nurses play a vital role in the organisation’s work.
HESTA chief exectuvie Debby Blakey said this year’s winners all exemplified the reasons why 2020 was named International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
“The sector has faced unprecedented challenges this year – first with devastating bushfires and storms, and now with the coronavirus outbreak – and never has the critical role health workers play in caring for Australians been more apparent,” Blakey said.
Each winner will received $10,000 to be put towards education or professional development.Do you have an idea for a story?
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