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QEII Hospital registered nurse in Theatre Recovery, Jenny Cogar said her philosophy on nursing is to look after people the way you would want your grandparents looked after.
It’s a simple mantra but it continues to stand the test of time given Jenny was awarded the Compassion Award as part of this year’s QEII International Nurses Day Awards.
After 20 years in the QEII Recovery Unit, multitudes of patients who have experienced the healing hands and warmth of Jenny’s ministrations, and the countless nursing students who have learned her ways, Jenny said understanding everyone’s perspective is key to having compassion.
“Recovery is a unique space for patients coming through as they often don't remember anything about their time here,” she said. “This is where understanding the perspective of every patient is really important and where you can make a real impact on their time in hospital.”
“Recovery is about providing holistic care. The patient might be in pain, they feel sick, their bed's a mess when they come out of theatre.”
She said while the role in recovery is to clinically recover patients from their anaesthetic, the reward in this type of work is in restoring the interruption of surgery to normal and getting each patient on their journey towards home.
“Recovery feels like the silent part of the patient experience but you can literally see the difference that you make - if you can provide really holistic and successful care for someone in recovery, you can get their pain under control, their medications in order, and they leave the hospital for home a lot sooner,” Jenny said.
Jenny’s approach to nursing students is to ask them to remember where they came from and how scary things seem in an unfamiliar place so that they can all develop understanding and compassion.
“This approach is really important to me to culture new nurses into the profession through a good experience in places like Recovery which are less visible in the organisation so it may be scary for them.
“We want them back. They are the next generation of care providers, so I want my experience and my compassionate approach to make an impact on the direction of their careers.”