According to Vicki Malamatinas, “Being one of the first Plastic Nurse Practitioners in the state is exciting and a wonderful opportunity in providing specialised care.”
To Vicki, this is a dream come true.
“I get to work within this specialty, which I have been passionate about for as long as I have been at Northern Health – 17 years. I have always loved plastic and reconstructive surgery.”
“It had its challenges at the beginning, as I had to develop my own pathway in terms of setting up the role and scope of practice, as there wasn’t another Nurse Practitioner in this specialty to obtain guidance from.”
Vicki has been busy in this role for two years and has seen and reviewed over 200 patients that required plastic surgery intervention.
Vicki works alongside the Plastic and Hand Surgery Unit, to deliver advanced practice with a specialised scope that includes assessment, diagnostic and clinical decision-making, and procedural based skills. As a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Nurse Practitioner, Vicki provides high quality and skilled care to patients requiring plastic surgery intervention.
“I have been fortunate to be trained in providing specialised care to patients that require plastic surgery intervention, as well as taught to perform certain procedures that can be done independently, and assisting in theatre or our procedure room,” Vicki said.
Vicki’s day starts off with rounds on Ward 19 with the team. Once that is complete, she heads off to the clinic to see patients, which usually includes post-discharge and newly referred patients. This can range from skin lesions that require biopsy or surgery to post op wounds.
“We also have a Burns Clinic where I see newly referred patients for assessment and management,” Vicki said.
Amanda Paleologos, Acting Director of Operations Surgical Inpatient Wards, said it was an incredible achievement for Vicki to be one of Victoria’s first Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Nurse Practitioners.
“This is truly an indication of her dedication to the nursing profession and her patients. She is an asset to the team here at Northern Health and supports nursing and medical staff alike in the treatment and care of complex patients,” she said.
Linda Romano, Divisional Director Nursing, Surgical Services and Access, says Vicki has played a critical role in helping ease the strain on the Emergency Department, and her work in setting up the Plastic Procedure Room was “pivotal in saving theatre time for critical cases.”
Rodrigo Teixeira, Head of Unit for Plastic and Hand Surgery, in congratulating Vicki for her achievement and for her work in setting up the procedure room, said it marked the “team work and collaboration, aiming for excellence of care in the Plastic and Hand Surgery Unit at Northern Hospital.”
Dennis Gyomber, Divisional Director Surgery, says, “It is a fantastic achievement by Vicki, to have become the first and only Plastics and Reconstructive Nurse Practitioner in the state. It also demonstrates the drive and innovation of the Plastic Surgical Unit and the Division of Surgical Nursing Services, to advance and improve the delivery of plastic surgical care to our community.”
“Vicki will not only play her part in improving plastic surgical care, but I believe she will become a role model for others to become Nurse Practitioners.”