Carnegie nurse wins Nurse of the Year at prestigious national awards

Carnegie nurse, Cathy Carrasco, and a champion for elevating the role of nurses, has been named Nurse of the Year for her leadership and inspiration in the field of primary health care nursing at the 2018 APNA (Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association) Nurse Awards.

Each year, a number of outstanding nurses in primary health care are selected from across Australia and recognised for their contribution.

Winner of the Nurse of the year award category, Cathy said it was important that the public learnt more about the role of primary care nurses in their community.

“The more highly trained, more autonomous we are in working to the full scope of our profession, the better the health outcomes for our patients,” she said.

“Being able to complete diabetes cycles of care, deliver iron infusions or suturing wounds for example, require consistent professional development through attending workshops, courses and conferences,” explains Cathy.

“These are vital in providing immense value to our patients as we work hand in hand with doctors, providing additional consultation time for further education, assessment or treatment when   needed.”

With the entire team at Carnegie Medical Centre focused on excellent health outcomes, Cathy said both doctors and nurses worked together to provide a seamless experience for patients; ranging from chronic diseases planning, to conducting home health assessments for those aged 75 and over, to flu vaccination clinics at workplaces.

“It’s great that we can offer a wide range of services by fulling using the skills of practice nurses. For example, it saves our patients a ten-week wait for an iron infusion in hospital or a long wait in emergency for stitches,” said Cathy.

“It gives me so much satisfaction knowing that I help make positive changes in people’s lives each day. And kudos to my medical practice that recognises the value of primary care nurses and the importance of lifelong learning.”

The clinic’s holistic approach has enabled Cathy to be involved in its participation in Monash University’s ‘Anxiety in Later Life’ and the Cancer Council’s ‘Bowel Cancer Screening’ research projects. It is also joining the GP registrar training program for the next generation of GPs coming through.   

But Cathy’s work doesn’t stop here as she also plans to return to tertiary education to become a Nurse Practitioner.

“I love providing an accessible link between patients and doctors which is an important part in their wellbeing. I’m great at developing and maintaining relationships with patients and their extended families.”

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