At the latest Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards, Yvonne Cartwright and Andrea Wilson won the award for Patient Experience. The award recognised their team effort in providing exemplary patient-centred care in helping an Indigenous man get back to country for end-of-life care.
They were nominated by Dr Kim Jeffs, Karen Bryant and Sandra Brown, who said Yvonne and Andrea coordinated a remarkable effort of advocacy and coordination that took many hours and resulted in an extremely important outcome for the patient, since connection to country was very important to him.
“Yvonne and Andrea approached the challenge with enthusiasm and optimism, something that clearly rubbed off on the other people involved in making this possible. They spent many hours working on the transfer, including their own time. I am extremely proud to have worked alongside these amazing women and believe they are very worthy candidates to receive this award,” Dr Jeffs said.
Karen Bryant added, “I am nominating these same two members as they went over and above to identify and meet the cultural needs of an Aboriginal patient who was born on Northern Territory country. Once his direction was confirmed, these two ladies coordinated, emailed, telephoned and liaised with two states and a Territory of Australia, engaged with multiple organisations, programs and hospitals to streamline a smooth transition to the country,” she said.
Andrea has been at Northern Health for four years, and works mostly with older people and enjoys hearing their stories.
“People have often lived incredibly colourful and interesting lives, and knowing about someone’s background can give you a whole new respect for the patient you are meeting and what their health means to them,” she said.
When describing the case they won the award for, she said the particular scenario relied on a huge portion of good will from a large number of people to be able to help the gentleman involved.
“Most of this work was entirely outside the scope of what a hospital is able to usually provide and was made possible by a large number of people working together and going the extra mile. This award to me meant that those times we all go outside our comfort zone, or work above and beyond to make things happen for a patient are worth it,” she said.
Her team member, Yvonne Cartwright, has been at Northern Health for 19 years and has spent the last 11 years in the Residential Care Intervention Program in the Elderly (RECIPE) program.
“I very much enjoy the diversity of the role including using my knowledge and skills to assist staff and families who are often struggling to care for residents in their care, and relatives who are struggling emotionally,” she said.
For Yvonne, the award is a lovely opportunity to showcase the variety of work of staff in her team and illustrates what can be achieved when we engage others in the health care sector to help us to achieve specific patient first wishes.
“Sometimes, we just need to ask,” she said.
In the future, Yvonne would like to continue working collaboratively with her colleagues and she plans to continue in her current role, while Andrea is hoping to return to Hobart and practise geriatric medicine there, whilst taking with her everything she learnt from the RECIPE team.
“The RECIPE team itself provides excellent support to a large number of nursing home residents and I only see this service growing,” she said.
Featured Image (left to right): Tim Bond from Maxxia with Andrea Wilson and Yvonne Cartwright