Nursing scholarship supports patient recovery at the RCH

The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship is a unique opportunity for nurses in Victoria, and plays an important role in The Royal Children’s Hospital’s (RCH) vision to lead the way in paediatric health care.

Each year, the Scholarship of $50,000 allows one outstanding nurse to develop skills and experience by exploring innovative practices and models of care across Australia and internationally.

Dame Elisabeth generously gave her name in perpetuity in support of this Scholarship and the advancement of nursing at the RCH.

Dame Elisabeth’s commitment to the care, health and well-being of the children of Victoria was an inspiration to many including her daughter, Janet Calvert-Jones. Janet shares her mother’s incredible passion for the future of children’s health and graciously agreed to be Patron of the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship Luncheon.

2018 recipient: Tania Ramos

Thanks to the Scholarship, Tania is embarking on ground breaking work in the RCH Recovery Unit. The Unit provides one-on-one care to children post-surgery, when they are at the greatest risk of severe complications and their most vulnerable. Tania is leading the charge with her peri-operative colleagues to change practice and reduce the risk of post-operative recovery complications.

She proposes to do this by researching and standardising several care measures including post-anaesthetic delirium, unplanned intensive care visit admissions, post-operative nausea and temperature control around surgical admissions. Her current focus is temperature control, as children whose temperatures fall below 36 degrees are at a higher risk of infection, transfusion, and extended hospital stays. By researching the positive effects of a warmer body temperature pre and post-surgery, Tania is helping to lessen the clinical impact not only on sick children, but on their families.

“This Scholarship has allowed me to explore opportunities that are not normally open to nurses. I’m currently the only nurse sitting on an international committee about patient recovery, which is such an honour. It’s also allowing me to meet overseas colleagues, see how their patient recovery works and benchmark the RCH against them so I can develop best practices around peri-operative care. Through these best practices we can improve the care delivered to children and their families around surgeries. This is an incredibly vulnerable time for families, as they entrust their children to us, and improving the family experience and impact is critical,” said Tania.