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QEII welcomes first ever CNC for Geriatrics

17 June 2024

Clinical Nurse Consultant Stimi Thomas has staked her claim in QEII Hospital’s history books after being appointed QEII’s first ever CNC for Geriatrics in February. 

Implemented as part of the 2023 QEII Elderly and Frail Older Persons Continuum of Care Project, the new role encompasses a number of functions including specialised nursing support to the BeST (Behaviour Support Team) and ComPASS (Complex Patients Advisory Support Service) teams, two new services that enhance care pathways and complex discharge planning for long-stay patients and those with complex behaviours. 

Bringing a wealth of nursing experience and a fondness for complex case management to the role, Stimi’s fateful journey to QEII has placed her well within her element. 

Paving her early career path in critical care and acute care nursing, Stimi took every opportunity to expand her psychogeriatric care knowledge at Metro North while steadily working her way up the nursing ranks. 

In 2020, the call to Geriatric care led Stimi to Redcliffe Hospital’s Acute Geriatric and Delirium and Dementia Ward, where she spent four years growing her proficiency in managing delirium, dementia and other cognitive impairments as a Clinical Nurse (CN), as well as taking on several leadership secondments. 

Ready to take the next step in her career, Stimi says it was a budding passion for advancing Geriatric care that drew her to QEII, where she shares her time and expertise between clinical support, patient advocacy and nurse education work. 

“Due to many factors patients, can experience cognitive impairment and that can make communication difficult. They can also experience behavioural issues as a symptom of their condition, which is often misinterpreted as being part of their personality,” Stimi explained.

“Coming into this role, I wanted to endorse more in-depth training for our nurses, so they know how to communicate with these patients and better manage those behavioural symptoms. Having a deeper understanding of these conditions empowers our nurses to take a more confident and compassionate approach, and have more open and inclusive conversations with patient families, so we can ultimately make the best decisions for our patients.” 

While she balances a busy roster between inpatient clinical reviews, Stimi says her time with patients is still the highlight of each day. 

“I love the little chats and interactions I have with patients and their families. That’s when I get to do my assessment and build some rapport with them. All of that helps me start to develop a plan for them, and advocate for the patient’s best interests.

“It can be hard for families to understand the course of action or the process their loved one is going through in hospital. I’ve always wanted to be a support person for them because we’re all ageing and we all want to feel supported when the time comes,” she said. 

Levelling up her skillset in her free time, Stimi adds a Master of Nursing degree to her 2024 roster, as she embarks on her next goal to become a qualified Nurse Practitioner. 

With the support of her team at QEII, Stimi says she looks forward to a long and inspired career in Geriatrics.

“QEII is a really nurturing environment. From my colleagues to the Director of Nursing, everyone is very supportive, and I feel really lucky that I found my ideal job in an ideal place like QEII. I look forward to working here for a long time.” 

Congratulations and all the best on this new appointment, Stimi.

Last updated 17 June 2024
Last reviewed 17 June 2024

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