Joondalup celebrates International Nurses Day
May 12, 2017
Nurse Carol Pilcher is making a huge difference to how older people are cared for and will be celebrating International Nurses Day this Friday with the other 1656 nurses who work at Joondalup Health Campus (JHC).
Carol has been the Bed Manager at JHC since 2006, when she was appointed to develop what was then a newly formed role, but it’s the work she has done with residential aged care facilities for which she’s become best known.
After attending a GP forum many years ago Carol identified an enormous opportunity to improve communication between the acute care and aged care facilities.
She implemented a simple yet innovative process that has fundamentally changed the way hospitals and aged care facilities work together.
JHC’s Director of Clinical Services Ben Irish said Carol works closely with Carol Douglas, a nurse practitioner from the Residential Care Line, to runs workshops for people working in residential aged care to educate them in areas of health care that can minimise unnecessary hospitalisations.
“The first session was held during a breakfast workshop session at the Joondalup Health Campus eight year ago for just 15 staff,” he said.
“Today this has grown to a full day workshop three times a year. At the last workshop there were more than a hundred attendees. The two Carols put hours and hours of work into preparing for the day and what is taught during these workshops is absolutely invaluable.”
Topics have covered everything from wound management to incontinence to prevention of falls.
Carol also developed a ‘Residential Aged Care Facility Book’ that provides hospital staff with information about each facility to improve discharge and intern communication between health sectors.
Importantly, she worked together with the Residential Care Line and aged care facilities to create a special orange communication envelope with a checklist on the front that can be used for transferring patients into hospital and discharging them back to the facility.
The envelope contains all their relevant medical information and this helps improve continuity of care.
Her initiative on improving communication between JHC and the residential aged care facilities has resulted in smoother transitions for patients going from hospital back to their community facility – and from their community facility into hospital.
Mr Irish said it has enormous benefit for elderly people living in the community in aged care facilities as it improves the continuity of their care.
“Her work has highlighted that bridging the gap between health care professionals can profoundly enhance patient outcomes,” he said.
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.
Nurses at JHC make up more than 50 per cent of the hospital’s total workforce and last financial year they cared for nearly 75,000 people as inpatients, looked after nearly 100,000 people who presented to the Emergency Department and helped in theatres with more than 30,000 operations.
The hospital put on free coffee and cupcakes for all nurses to help celebrate this special day.