2014 Award Recipients

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2 Professional Nursing Awards 2014 Award Recipients Top left to bottom right: Carla Shapiro RN, Karen Amos RN, Geriatric Day Hospital Seven Oaks General Hospital, Dr. Donna Martin RN, Dennis St. Laurent RN, Lisa Merrill RN, Sue Roberts RN

3 Award of Excellence Nursing Education Dr. Donna Martin RN Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba It would be an understatement to say that Dr. Donna Martin values education. After completing two certificate nursing courses pertaining to critical care, Dr. Martin pursued and completed her undergraduate nursing degree, masters in nursing and PhD in nursing. Currently, Donna teaches in the four-year baccalaureate nursing program, the baccalaureate program for registered nurses and the graduate nursing programs at the University of Manitoba. When pursuing her PhD in nursing, Dr. Martin s doctoral dissertation centered around the quality of the educational experiences of Aboriginal nursing students, and her interest in this area is strong today. Intrigued by differences between Aboriginal and nonaboriginal culture, Dr. Martin wanted to find a way to recruit and retain more aboriginal RNs. To do this, she initiated a transition year program that involved more resources and a lighter course load to assist students as they transitioned to student life and an urban campus. At the end of this transition year, a significantly higher amount of the students decided to continue pursuing a career in nursing compared to years prior. Dr. Martin strives to see her students succeed. All graduate nurses under her advisement have successfully achieved bursaries, scholarships or graduate research awards. Dr. Martin s commitment to her students and colleagues has not gone unnoticed. She s quick to make sure every student feels valued and inspires students to seek knowledge. Dr. Martin has been described as motivational, skilled in the art of storytelling and an exceptional teacher. Her students say she has revitalized the faculty and continues to reinvent the ways nursing education is shared. Dr. Martin s goal to chase knowledge and researchbased evidence make her a positive role model for her students and a dedicated life-long learner in the nursing field. Award of Excellence Nursing Education Carla Shapiro RN Senior Instructor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba In Carla s 37 years as a registered nurse, she has spent the last 21 years as a nurse educator at the University of Manitoba. Carla s promotion to the highest level of rank in the instructor category is credited to her excellence and innovation in teaching. Prior to working at the University of Manitoba, Carla worked in nursing positions of ambulatory care, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care. She completed her Master s degree in 1991 and investigated judgments of pain and intensity in term and pre-term newborns as part of the graduate program. At the time, there was very little research about assessing pain in neonates. Carla s innovative research was published in three different publications and created understanding about how nurses assess the pain of newborns. Over the years, colleagues have invited Carla to present to classes on child health, illness and ethical issues in nursing practice. Carla has a knack for making complex concepts easy for students to understand. When Carla teaches, she s able to create a bridge between the classroom and clinical practice and make the information she s sharing meaningful and relevant. In order to develop course content that is engaging, Carla goes the extra mile by being involved in several research studies. Through this, her commitment to her course curriculum is evident. Along with a colleague, Carla was one of the first in the University of Manitoba s faculty of nursing to design and deliver a law and ethics in nursing practice online course for the baccalaureate program for registered nurses. She has also designed and taught courses using live video conference to the University College of the North in Thompson and The Pas. Above all, Carla values the connection she has with her students. In her time as a nurse educator, Carla has won three teaching awards at the University of Manitoba, including favourite faculty member. She has also been a two-time winner of the outstanding teacher award for the faculty of nursing. Carla s students appreciate her keen advice and approachability, and often keep in touch with her after graduation to keep her in the loop of where they are in their nursing careers. These meaningful connections with students make a difference in nursing education.

4 Award of Excellence Clinical Nursing Practice Karen Amos RN Nurse Clinician, Children s Hospital Karen s passion for children began at an early age when she underwent surgery as a young girl. That experience led her on the path of nursing, with a goal to provide the best possible care to each child and family facing surgery at Children s Hospital. Karen is responsible for coordinating the pre-operation process and educating patients and families coming in for surgery. Working hard to achieve goals that help children, Karen has made the pediatric preadmission clinic at Children s Hospital a centre of excellence. She has transformed this clinic from a small, crowded area into a warm, welcoming, beautiful space with ample waiting areas and clinic rooms. Award of Excellence Clinical Nursing Practice Lisa Merrill RN Clinical Nurse Specialist, Health Sciences Centre Lisa Merrill will tell you that when you discover the career you re meant for, it can change your life. Prior to her 24 years in nursing, Lisa wasn t even aware that she wanted to be a nurse. Her mom was the one who applied to nursing for her, and it s interesting how this motherdaughter event reflects the work Lisa does today. Lisa has spent her entire nursing career in maternal newborn care, working with critically ill infants and supporting their families in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her current passion focuses on improving the care of pregnant inner-city women and their families, mothers with substance use issues and newborns experiencing withdrawal. Going to the hospital can be a frightening experience for children, but the pediatric preadmit clinic is a happy place with laughter and appropriate concern. There are patients who need to be re-assessed several times before surgery, and Karen develops a rapport with these children and families that makes them feel welcome. Karen has implemented two important programs in the clinic. The first is the Telehealth program which has allowed patients in remote communities to connect with Karen and her staff. Many children in northern communities are unhealthy when they arrive in Winnipeg, which means their surgery is cancelled. Travelling a fair distance to hear this news is disappointing and stressful for families, to say the least. Through video technology, a physician is able to use the Telehealth stethoscope to examine the child and interview the parent to judge if the patient is fit for surgery. This program helps use resources effectively and cuts down on surgery cancellations. The second is the autism program. In order to create a smooth surgical journey for children with autism and their families, Karen developed a care plan that starts at home and progresses until children leave the hospital. Karen has received many thank you letters from parents expressing their gratitude that such a program exists. Karen is compassionate, knowledgeable, honest and has a great sense of humour. She truly goes the extra mile to create positive experiences for children and their families. It s not uncommon for children to ask Karen to accompany them to the OR because they feel safe with her. For her master s thesis, Lisa conducted research in inner-city neighbourhoods to identify barriers to prenatal care and investigated drug use during pregnancy. She uses the knowledge she gained in her research in her work on a daily basis. Lisa has been a key player in ensuring marginalized pregnant women are cared for. She advocates and works toward equal access to health services. Lisa has worked with street outreach workers to collaborate on how to connect women to prenatal care resources. She helps make access to care easier by providing incentives for pregnant women. This includes providing women with a passport of their record of care and an ultrasound of their baby, meal tickets to ensure women can receive a meal when they attend appointments and bus tickets to ensure they have a way of getting to their appointments. Lisa s calm, respectful and genuine approach creates positive and trusting relationships with pregnant women. Because of this, she has improved attendance for prenatal appointments, improved care of women by collaborating with community agencies (including child protection agencies) and is improving access to community agencies to support these women and their families. Through her efforts and advocacy, she promotes access to essential medical care to ensure both mother and baby are healthy. Lisa delivers exceptional patient and family-centered care, actively pursues educational opportunities and works to educate staff and families on the impact of substance use on newborns and their families. Above all, Lisa is grateful for the opportunity to be there for families. Along with her successes, Lisa says there s still work to do, and is happy to feel like she s just getting started. 023 NURSELINK SUMMER 2014

5 Nursing Excellence Nursing Administration Dennis St. Laurent RN Manager of Patient Care, Deer Lodge Centre Dennis St. Laurent is compassionate and patient-focused in all he does. The elderly patients he cares for are often met with a calm demeanor and supportive approach. Dennis values the importance of lifelong learning and is certified in rehabilitation nursing, palliative care and nursing unit administration. Dennis believes practice environments should be positive and of high quality, and strives to achieve this sort of culture every day. His deep knowledge and understanding of geriatric syndromes contributes to his success in programs he works to implement. Dennis leadership with the interdisciplinary team on his unit led to the creation of a new process for patients who are discharged to personal care. Implemented for six months so far, this change has already helped reduce elderly patients length of stay by 30% and has improved access for those who need rehabilitation. Dennis actively develops new policies and programs for internationally educated nurses. The partnership he created between Red River College and Deer Lodge Centre has built a solid framework to set up new nurses for success after graduation. Above all, Dennis is committed to patient safety. He is a certified critical incident investigator and participates in critical incident reviews to investigate and recommend practice changes. His efforts help ensure the safety of future patients. He has guided his team through innovative approaches to learning, including the creation of a falls prevention video, which uses humour to engage staff. He also develops specific education and training with his staff to ensure they deliver competent nursing services within their full scope of practice. Dennis also represents Manitoba as a director on the board for the Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. His proactive approach and respect for his patients make the elderly lucky to have him as their care provider. Lifetime Achievement Award Sue Roberts RN (Retired) Founder, Manitoba Neonatal Transport Team, Children s Hospital, Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg Many babies wouldn t be here today without Sue Roberts leadership. Working in the hospital, babies often arrived in Winnipeg in poor health condition due to lack of equipment or expertise to stabilize them. Sue noticed a need for a new system. She began to work with Manitoba Health and other neonatal care providers and the Manitoba Neonatal Transport Team was born. The team program treats newborns up to six weeks old, including premature newborns or newborns with respiratory distress. Around for 35 years now, it began as a ground program that transported babies within a 100 mile radius of Winnipeg to the city or met patients at the airport if there was a transfer. The program soon took flight and by 1986 plane travel covered all parts of Manitoba where aircrafts could land. Flight travel later expanded into Northwest Ontario and Nunavut. Sue remembers how the ring of the transport phone kicks off a detailed process. This involves gathering patient information, giving basic stabilization advice, organizing ground or air ambulance and rounding up the transport team, incubator, oxygen tanks and other equipment. Sue and her team of 12 nursing staff faced any task with compassion and determination. Manitoba s often challenging weather would leave the team unaware if they d be met with a baby on a boat, hovercraft or the back of a pickup truck on a cold, January day. Regardless of the conditions, the goal was always the same: to safely transport babies to a place of care where they could later be returned to their families as healthy, thriving children. Although Sue is now retired, this team program is still alive and thriving today. Sue s peers commend her vision and dedication, and many people across North America have consulted her to learn more about how the program is run. Sue s leadership and influence have given a newfound sense of hope to babies who need it most.

6 Interdisciplinary Health-Care Team Award Geriatric Day Hospital, Seven Oaks General Hospital The first things you notice when you walk through the door into the Geriatric Day Hospital at Seven Oaks General Hospital are the smiles. A testament to the positive impact this team has had on their patients, these smiles tell stories of transformation through care. And while their patients could share their stories of how they have overcome challenges, this interdisciplinary health-care team could likely do the same. Not too long ago they came together to make a big change and ultimately revamp the way they provided care. With a collective goal of improving patient outcomes, every team member jumped on board to find ways to improve their care processes. The geriatric day hospital team is made up of registered nurses, a physician, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, recreational therapists, clerks and support staff. Working in an inter-professional, collaborative manner for more than 25 years, this team provides care, assessment and rehabilitation to the elderly. Always thinking of the patient experience first, the team meets once a week to review all patient referrals, set goals and establish ways to monitor the client s progress during their time in the geriatric rehabilitation program. This team sees any road block or tricky situation as a challenge and an opportunity to put their heads together and come up with a solution. The geriatric day hospital provides transportation services to attend the program. To assess how clients experience transportation on the way to the program, an occupational therapist once went on a ride along to assess all factors involved in the process. This is just one example of how the team truly considers the client experience. This team focuses on quality in rehabilitating their clients. A past example of this includes how nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy team members worked together to development a falls prevention program. This collaborative approach helps the team stay united and strong. Over 3,000 clients visit the day hospital every year, and the goal is the same for each client: to achieve their highest level of wellness. Together, this team provides quality service for clients and their families with their knowledge, respect and creativity. 025 NURSELINK SUMMER 2014

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