Four years of study in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), featuring 80 weeks of clinical placements in HSE/South East Community Healthcare mental health services, was marked in five small ceremonies across the region this week for 50 graduates of WIT’s B.Sc. (Honours) in Psychiatric Nursing. Concluding their fourth year of the course and a 36 week continuous internship with HSE/South East Community Healthcare (SECH), 12 of the students were presented with their qualifications at the old church on the grounds of St. Otteran’s Hospital, Waterford. Similar occasions were hosted for 11 students at the Wexford Mental Health Services offices in Enniscorthy, 10 at St. Canice’s Hospital in Kilkenny, nine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Clonmel and eight at St. Dympna’s Hospital in Carlow.
Described as a “godsend” by the people who benefit from the service, the Community Intervention Team (CIT) in Kerry is a specialist nurse-led service which can allow people to avoid a hospital stay or leave hospital earlier than would have otherwise been possible. The team are proud that they continued to provide an interrupted service during Covid-19, and in fact saw an 88% increase in referrals during 2020, saving close to 1,000 hospital bed nights. The team, which began in 2012 and has grown constantly since then, holds daily clinics in Tralee, and provides home visits within 45kms of Tralee. Establishing satellite clinics in Dingle, Glenbeigh, Listowel and most recently Killarney has allowed the team to treat patients from an even wider area.
Jini Jacob and Sani George have been appointed as the first Renal Advanced Nurse Practitioner’s (ANP) at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore’s (MRHT) Renal Unit. Jini and Sani, both from India, started working in the Hospital in April 2006 and contributed to the development and expansion of renal services at the hospital over the last 15 years. In that time the Hospital has increased from a six station to a twenty nine station Haemodialysis Unit, providing acute dialysis treatment within the ICU/CCU and the Nephrology in-patient Medical ward and most recently has become the parent site for the contracted haemodialysis unit located in Portlaoise.
Galway patients are benefitting from swifter access to cardiac diagnostic tests and care following the introduction of heart failure diagnostics and care in the community in recent months. The development of the Community Cardiac Diagnostics Programme has meant that waiting lists have reduced from six months to six weeks as a result. Patients can now access services locally, avoiding the necessity for a visit to Galway University Hospital. Funded by Slaintcare, Galway University Hospitals is running this community-based service with Primary Care Centres in Tuam, Gort, Claremorris and Galway City, allowing patients to receive care closer to home in a Primary Care Centre. GPs can refer their patients with suspected Heart Failure directly to the service for tests and diagnosis. This makes it easier for patients to access routine care related to their heart condition.
Tallaght University Hospital recently held their annual Hero Awards where individual staff and teams are recognised for the incredible difference they have made to patients, their families and to their colleagues. Speaking at the event, Lucy Nugent, TUH Chief Executive said that the Covid 19 Pandemic had presented everyone, both professionally and personally with enormous challenges: “No one could ever have envisaged the changes we would have undergone in providing care to our patients or how our own lives would alter. Every single person working across the Hospital has had to adapt and this has been done with incredible spirit, compassion and dedication, always putting the patient and their families first. I would like to congratulate all of the award recipients and thank them for the incredible energy and commitment they bring to the Hospital.”
Like most people of her generation, 46-year-old Ruth O’Mahony became aware of cervical cancer when English personality Jade Goody was diagnosed with the disease. “I was a fan of Big Brother and I remember when she died in 2009. It resonated. At this stage I had two children – the youngest was nine. That story frightened me a lot, and I had it in mind I should have gone for screening at some point,” says Ruth. In the summer of 2009, with the national cervical cancer screening programme CervicalCheck still in its infancy, Ruth had her first screening test. Like many people too, Ruth can’t really remember if she was invited to attend, or if she was signed up by her GP, or whether she knew much about the cervical screening process back then. But she went along, put her trust in her practice nurse, and had the screening test.
We need to support our workforce who have experienced significant increases in demand, and have been doing 'more with less' over the last number of years.