Ivana Hrvatin and Gareth Hunt
The inaugural Board Chair Inspire Medal was jointly awarded to Ivana Hrvatin and Gareth Hunt, two of our Sunshine ICU Nursing staff, for the inspirational support they provided to a family grieving the death of their son under tragic circumstances.
Congratulations to Ivana and Gareth for winning what is now our highest honour for those who have exemplified Western Health’s values.
Board Chair The Hon Bronwyn Pike presents the inaugural Inspire Medal to Ivana Hrvatin and Gareth Hunt.
We also congratulate the finalists for the Inspire Medal: Joyce Dalde and Jade Palmer, whose inspirational contribution to supporting staff and patients was also acknowledged.
Ivana Hrvatin and Gareth Hunt
Registered Nurses – ICU – Sunshine Hospital
Ivana and Gareth provided the care for a young male patient who had attempted suicide. He and his family were present in the ICU for four days. Ivana and Gareth handled an exceedingly difficult family dynamic with grace and compassion, gently guiding the family through the shock of the first day, the initial realisation that the patient wasn’t going to survive, the visit from his two young children, and finally, the last day of his life, when his breathing tube was removed, and he underwent the procedures for organ donation. Gareth and Ivana worked tirelessly, giving exemplary nursing care, but also holding a very fragile family situation with respect and compassion. I listened as Gareth very gently, clearly, and appropriately explained the processes for organ donation, and watched as Ivana tenderly cared for the patient’s traumatised mother, making sure that there were opportunities, for her to spend time alone with her son. Sensibly, both nurses also addressed their own feelings around the situation, how sad it was, how much energy had been required, and how necessary for them to implement practical self-care measures afterwards. It was, frankly, something of a masterclass in understanding that sometimes, in order to give the best care possible, one has to wade in to the situation perhaps a little bit more deeply than is comfortable. These two nurses did this, carefully and respectfully, and, I believe, made some of the most painful hours that family will ever endure, as comfortable as possible under such circumstances.
ED ACE Clinician/ Social Worker – ACE Team, Emergency Department and Community Services
Jade has long been recognised within his immediate team ACE, and the wider emergency department as a clinical expert regarding vulnerable patients. Frequently described as a team player, he has been a champion for a positive work environment, often asking two simple questions of his colleagues “Are you okay? and what can I do to help you?” I do not think a week goes by without receiving some form of positive feedback about Jade. The sources are endless too, patients, family members, fellow team members, other colleagues, and external service providers.
For example, a patient’s daughter had the following to say: “…thank you for the care you showed my mother a few Saturday nights ago at Footscray Hospital. Your concern and your humour were just what the doctor ordered.” Jade demonstrates enormous empathy and understanding in his interactions with his patients, particularly those who are very stressed for which he demonstrates a special talent.
He is always very professional and respectful in all of his interactions with both colleagues and patients. Jade is also very compassionate and supportive of his team. A great example to illustrate this is when one of his colleagues was dealing with a verbally abusive patient. Jade ensured that he stood in close proximity to his colleague to make sure that they were safe and that the situation could be monitored and controlled.
Jade demonstrated excellence when he co-presented at the Emergency Department (ED) Registrar Teaching about Drug Culture and how to engage with patients about substance abuse. The presentation was so well received, an invitation has been extended to present as part of the ED Registrar Regional Teaching. He has assisted to train other staff members about Family Violence, and supported the “Safe Spaces” project auditing over 20,000 ED presentations. In addition, he has also commenced a Quality Improvement Project, focusing on the Role of ACE in bereavement support in Emergency and how clinicians are up-skilled in the trans-disciplinary model to provide this assistance. Jade is a true credit to his profession.
Nurse Unit Manager – 3F
A valued member of nursing staff from 3F at Sunshine Hospital was involved in a horrific car accident in which tragically she lost both of her children. She was treated in the Intensive Care Unit for four weeks and recovered in the Trauma Ward. Joyce had to break the tragic news about the accident to her staff on the ward and she did this in a respectful and sensitive nature.
The staff on 3F went through some very upsetting and challenging times as they came to terms with the tragedy of a close work colleague losing her children and also the thought that she may not survive. Under Joyce’s exceptional leadership I am pleased to say that the staff on 3F were supported and comforted by each other, and in the midst of grieving they were able to offer each other the strength to move forward from this traumatic incident.
Joyce led her team to participate in a ‘sharing the love’ lunch. The staff all cooked delicious dishes and hosted staff from across Western Health in their lounge. The attendance was fantastic, with staff giving generously to support this Western Health nurse and her husband raising $3230. Throughout this whole turbulent time Joyce showed compassion to her staff on the ward, visited the nurse in hospital on several occasions whilst she was an inpatient in the ICU and sat with her during her darkest hours when she found out that both her children had died in the accident. She also supported her husband and close friends until their immediate family arrived from India.
Joyce was highly accountable throughout this difficult and traumatic time, ensuring that her staff were supported through EAP debriefing and additional staff meetings as necessary. Joyce ensured that her ward ran safely even if staff were taking time out to grieve or if they needed extra time off from work. This was carried out with extreme professionalism and with no risk to patient safety.
Everything Joyce has carried out has demonstrated ‘excellence’ with high standards of work and working well with others. The sharing lunch initiative, together with the amazing ongoing support given by her team towards their colleague really shows what the Western Health culture is all about.