Recognizing Nurses, Midwives for their Professionalism, Innovation and Care in their Work [Interview][Transcript]

Narelle_Place_HESTA_Nursing_AwardsGuest: Narelle Place
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Narelle graduated from a Bachelor of Nursing in 2013 from Federation University in Ballarat (formally University of Ballarat) and has spent her first two years of nursing in the Oncology department of Barwon Health. Narelle was named ‘Outstanding Graduate’ in the HESTA Nursing Awards in 2015 for her work in optimising the medication labelling process on intravenous medication, improving pain management for patients with a naso-gastric tube and her ongoing excellence in advocating for the needs of her patients. For her win, Narelle received $5000 to further her education and is currently completing her Graduate Certificate in Cancer and Haematology Nursing at the University of Sydney.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we welcome Narelle Place as she shares her inspiring story in winning last year’s Outstanding Graduate Award for the HESTA Nursing Awards. She has been recognised for ongoing advocacy for patients and for improving procedures requiring sedation while undergoing cancer treatments. Narelle enjoys the continuity of patients in the oncology department and feels this kind of work is unique as she’s able to stay with her patients across the course of their treatment. Nominations are welcome for an individual or team who has made a real difference to the lives of patients or to the quality of a service. Nominations can come from a variety of people in the field including patients, carers, colleagues and Australian nursing workers themselves.


Health Professional Radio – HESTA Nursing Awards

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Narelle Place. Now Narelle is a nurse at Barwon Health in Victoria, Australia and joins me today to talk about her experiences with the HESTA Nursing Awards. Narelle welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Narelle Place: Thank you for having me.

W: Now I understand that you won last year’s Outstanding Graduate Award for the HESTA Nursing Awards?

N: Yeah, I did, yup.

W: And Narelle tell us a little bit about what the experience has been like with that and whether you’d encourage others to do the same thing.

N: Oh the experience has been pretty amazing. I never thought that I would win it, even to be a finalist I’ve got to go to Queensland for the final dinner. It was pretty awesome and then ended up winning it. Since then it’s been great. I’ve went back to the university to study postgrad in hematology in cancer nursing which I probably would not have thought about doing, had I have not have won, so that pushed me in that direction. And yeah definitely encourage others to nominate because it changes, you really improve your career path and just try to do more because now people expect more I guess.

W: Now Narelle you’re a nurse in the oncology department of Barwon Health?

N: Yes, yeah.

W: And has oncology, is that something you’re intending to go into or have you just fallen into it? Or has it become the passion in your life? Tell us a little bit about your work.

N: I probably didn’t intend to do it. As a student I did a rotation in oncology in Ballarat which has been an hour from Geelong and really enjoyed it. So when it came to picking rotation from my grade year I put it down as a top choice, and then got a physician in my grad year in oncology hematology at Barwon Health and really loved it. So I decided to stay, so I think so far that had been my career path.

W: What appeals to you about Oncology Nursing compared with other stuff in nursing?

N: The continuity of like getting to meet patients like firsthand, like they’re regulars you know the patient they come back for treatment every month or so you really get to know them from when they get diagnosed to hopefully when they become cured and in remission so it’s great to have that ongoing checks with the patients throughout the whole care.

W: Yeah, that’s a very interesting point. I once upon a time Florence Nightingale and I went with nurses in the field like that, it’s been many decades since I’ve nursed. But recently I was back visiting some hospitals and one of the things I noticed had changed, and surprisingly lots of things haven’t changed. But one of the things that I had noticed changed is it the patients now tend to be admitted sicker and they stay for a shorter time, and they get discharged sicker. In my days of nursing the rule was always what we call the brand the patient who we’re convalescing on the brand or in they were of course very low care in terms the nursing. But these days that high turnover doesn’t give you the opportunity to get to know patients the way I can see that oncology would. That’s interesting that you see that as a really important feature.

N: Yeah, I agree like now that there’s more access to community care patients definitely are sicker when they come in to hospital and which makes us a lot busier but I enjoy that fast phase of the patient care. But yeah getting to know the patient, that’s a good aspect as I think.

W: Now Narelle I understand the HESTA Nursing Awards are open now for 2016 with nominations closing on the 11th of March. You’d encourage people to nominate obviously the $10,000 of a prize was nice, but also the recognition I imagine.

N: Yeah 100%. If you know anyone, go out there and nominate them because it totally changes, not really your life but like I’ve been able to travel, spend a bit of money and yeah go back to university. So definitely nominate anyone that you know that’s doing really well in graduate area or Nurse of the Year or Team Innovation of the Year, it’s definitely worth it.

W: And nominations are available at the HESTA Nursing Awards website, that’s Narelle congratulations on your graduate study and congratulations on you winning the HESTA Award for 2015.

N: Thank you very much.

W: And thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. I understand it’s a busy, busy life as a nurse.

N: Oh you got to be able to balance it with life and work, that’s not too bad.

W: This is true. You’ve been listening to my conversation with Narelle Place, who is from Barwon Health and was the winner of the 2015 HESTA Nursing Awards. If you’ve missed my conversation, the good news is a transcript of this conversation is available on our website at or you can also here the interview again as an MP3 audio archive both on YouTube and on SoundCloud. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio, my name is Wayne Bucklar. Thanks for being with us today.

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