A FAMILY centred care practitioner for children’s heart theatres at the Freeman Hospital has won the Health Care Assistant of the Year award at the annual RCNi Nurse Awards hosted by national TV presenter Kate Garraway.
Lisa was nominated after being recognised for launching an initiative to help support children who need open heart surgery.
Lisa Morgan, an experienced health care professional at the Freeman Hospital, developed a new role and initiative with her management team in 2018 to provide additional support for patients and families during the time they go to theatre for open heart surgery, whilst also reducing fear and anxiety of going to theatre.
Lisa said: “I am absolutely thrilled that I have won this award, it means the world to me and I’m proud to be representing the children and families who have needed support during incredibly difficult times.
“Handing your child over to a team of strangers can be the most vulnerable and daunting time as a parent, so developing this care practitioner role has enabled us as a team to show the care and compassion we have for our patients and their families.
“I have trained all of our scrub and support staff, anaesthetic, recovery and porter teams in the importance of family centred care to our patients and how they can help the patients’ journey too. This is a whole team approach which has received 100 percent positive feedback from our patients and families which is incredible.”
Part of the initiative involves a teddy bear named ‘Baggins Bear’ which is funded by the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF). When Lisa meets each patient with their families to talk them through the procedure and answer any questions, she gives the patient their own ‘Baggins Bear’ and a book which Lisa has created herself. This can also be translated into any language to help engage with all families.
Lisa added: “Baggins is an important part of our service which is funded by CHUF and it’s a lovely keepsake for the children to take home with them. Visiting the family on PICU after surgery is also very important to continue the relationship; for the patient this may be a once in a lifetime operation, or the first of many to come, so this connection is vital to continue our care and legacy in the future.”
Lisa won the Health Care Assistant of the Year award because of the impact this initiative has had on patients and families, and the positive change it has had in the nursing practice.
Lisa continued: “I was, and still am, so passionate to make a change for the better and with the support and belief from my team it has enabled me to flourish at work and inspire a team. I have been asked to develop this role further at the RVI in the future so this is another amazing achievement in itself.”
The annual RCNi Nurse Awards 2019 celebrated the outstanding achievements of 80 inspiring finalists across 16 categories. Held at the Park Plaza in Westminster, London, the evening was hosted by TV presenter Kate Garraway with guest speakers including RCN ambassador and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.
Children's Heart Unit Fund - CHUF
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