A nurse whose research has been adopted by the Western Isles Hospital is amongst 100 graduates at the University of Stirling’s Highlands and Islands Graduation ceremony today.
Olivia Hall developed a system to record patient information of expected admissions during her placement at the busy Accident & Emergency department in Stornoway.
Her Data Capture Form was adapted from a government-funded project in Australia and saw critical patient information such as the signs and symptoms and expected time of arrival recorded following the forward call from paramedics.
The form is now completed for all A&E admissions at the Hospital and anecdotal evidence suggests patients are receiving more accurate and timely treatment.
“Emergency Departments are chaotic and complex environments which present many challenges for effective communication,” said Hall, who continues to work at the Western Isles Hospital.
“When I arrived there was no structured tool for recording information of an expected admission to the emergency department and it can be nerve-wracking trying to remember every detail of a paramedic’s call, with any omissions potentially critical.
“The quality information recorded allowed the trauma team to better prepare for the patient. The appropriate professionals were alerted promptly and were present in the emergency department waiting for the patient.
“It also promotes good record keeping which is an essential part of communication between health professionals and provides evidence of care for investigations and legal cases.”
Hall, originally from Pettigo in Ireland, is now aiming to join the Royal Air Force as a nurse and looks back fondly on her experience studying with the University of Stirling.
She added: “I still have an enormous grin when I see each form completed and in the patient’s notes when they are admitted onto the ward.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Western Isles Campus. I owe a massive thanks to the Emergency Department staff, in particular the manager and my mentor. I cannot praise all the University staff, hospital staff, patients and mentors enough for their encouragement, enthusiasm, patience and support throughout my studies.”
Agnes Munro, Emergency Department Manager at Western Isles Hospital said: “What Olivia came up with was one of those things we couldn’t see for looking and it has made such a huge impact. We rely heavily on the pre-hospital information as our paramedics carry out much of our out of hours care and having this as part of their patient information is a vital record. Students from the University of Stirling receive 12 and a half hours a day of practical training and I make sure they gain all the skills required as it’s important to put the patient first and learn everything, not say that’s the job of the doctor.”
The graduation ceremony at Inverness Cathedral recognises graduates from Nursing and from a wide range of other qualifications including in Mental Health Professional Practice, Child Welfare and Aquaculture.
The ceremonies also sees the conferment of two honorary degrees. Professor Faith Gibson OBE presented with Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to social work and dementia care.
Professor Gibson was instrumental in establishing a Dementia Services Development Centre in Northern Ireland and also founded the Reminiscence Network of Northern Ireland, internationally recognised for its role in enhancing the lives of older people through communication and relationship building.
Also collecting Doctor of the University is Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow OBE, acknowledging his incredible humanitarian work and the value of education in tackling child poverty. MacFarlane-Barrow, originally an Argyll salmon farmer, set-up an international relief charity now known as Mary’s Meals, which provides one meal every school day to chronically hungry children in developing countries.
The final Autumn Graduation ceremony takes place on the central Stirling campus on Friday 21 November.