2019 was a year of many major initiatives – one of which was the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers. The first of its kind in Australia, it acknowledged the vital role nurses play in transforming our country’s health and aged care system. As we approach the second year of this prestigious award, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) looks back at last year’s winners and finalists to find how the Trailblazer Award has helped them continue their journey as an extraordinary nurse leader.
Delivering state-wide, equitable health care services
Linda Campbell MACN was selected as a Trailblazer finalist for leading Perth’s Sir Charles Gardner Hospital’s Patient Blood Management (PBM) Program. The program aims to decrease the risk of blood transfusion by optimising haemoglobin (Hb) and iron stores prior to elective surgery involving significant blood loss.
Under Linda’s leadership, the program has improved the safety and experience of elective joint replacement patients and positively contributed to the health economy.
“Our blood transfusion rates have dropped from 26% to 5% annually, saving blood for patients who desperately need it. We also estimate the program has saved 1.2 million dollars from the State’s annual health budget,” she says.
The PBM program is state-wide and works with General Practitioners (GPs) in rural and remote areas to deliver equitable health care to all areas of Western Australia.
“Our recent audits show that we are reaching 99 and 100% of patients in rural and remote areas of Western Australia who need the service,” she says.
“Patients love that they get personal advice from a hospital one hundred and sometimes thousands of kilometres away. They have my phone number and can ask me questions about PBM and other incidental questions about their surgery.”
Reflecting on the Trailblazer Awards
Linda has used the time since her selection as a Trailblazer Finalist to further develop relationships in the nursing and the broader health care sector. She has been invited to participate in three GP study days this year and has presented at several conferences and ACN Western Australian Region Events.
“I feel like the Trailblazer Award has given me the confidence and authority to be a leader,” she says.
“It is fantastic for nurses to be recognised, we are the frontline workers who identify medical issues and action them in innovative ways.”
“2020 is the Year of the Nurse & Midwife and it is time we stand up and celebrate our achievements and this should be recognised publicly. We are consistently rated the most trusted profession, if we start talking people will listen.”
Linda was nominated for the Trailblazer Award by her manager, who asked her to put together a few dot points about the PBM project. She encourages nurses to look around their organization at the exceptional work their colleagues are undertaking.
“This award gives nurses the opportunity to not only showcases their success but also their organisational values. My project wouldn’t have been a success without the support of my organisation. Nurses in our hospital are really proud; they are doing great work; whether that is by the bedside in research or being involved in other projects.”
Do you know someone who deserves to be nominated for the 2020 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers? Nominations are now open. The Health Minister will announce the winner of the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers at the ACN National Nursing Forum Gala Dinner on 20 August 2020. Nominations will close on 31 March 2020.
To submit a nomination, click here.