Thank you for supporting the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship

The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship (DEMNDS) was created in 2009 by the Auxiliaries’ Executive Committee to advance the fine talent of nurses at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and to ensure that the hospital continues to be at the forefront of world-class practice.

Dame Elisabeth generously gave her name to this scholarship in perpetuity. Each year, the scholarship allows one outstanding nurse to enhance his or her skills and experience by exploring innovative practices and models of care.

The virtual fundraiser is supporting the continuation of this important scholarship for nurses at the RCH.

Congratulations to the 2021 scholarship recipient Jenny O’Neill, an outstanding Nurse Consultant at the RCH. With your generous support, Jenny will use the scholarship to advance the leadership of nurses in clinical ethics so they can contribute to making informed ethical decisions in challenging situations.

With your generous support, $68,486 was raised! This will help ensure nurses at the RCH will have the opportunity to excel and advance the care of patients through integrated research for many years to come.

Download the event booklet

 

About the virtual fundraiser

The virtual fundraiser was a live event via Zoom Webinar on Monday 10 May 2021 and featured an interactive hypothetical discussion with experts the Children’s Bioethics Centre and presentation from the 2021 scholarship recipient, Jenny O’Neill.

In the interactive hypothetical discussion, Professor Lynn Gillam and Professor John Massie introduced the ethical idea of deciding with children and young people, rather than ‘for’ them. The discussion drew on a specific case study about a 13 year old girl with cystic fibrosis who is admitted to the hospital and is refusing to have a port (implanted venous access device) inserted. The hypothetical discussion explored the role of nurses as advocates for the patient, the model of patient and family centred care, patient autonomy and respect.

Watch the presentation below. 

 

The following guest speakers featured on the panel:

Professor Lynn Gillam
AM  BA Hons, MA, PhD
Professor in Health Ethics, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Professorial Fellow, Dept of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne

Professor John Massie
MBBS, FRACP, PhD, GAICD
Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, RCH. Professorial Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne. Honorary Fellow, Infection and Environment, MCRI

Jenny O’Neill
2021 DEMNDS recipient, Nurse Consultant, Department of Nurse Research.

 

2021 Speakers

 

Professor Lynn Gillam
AM  BA Hons, MA, PhD

Professor in Health Ethics, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Professorial Fellow, Dept of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne

Lynn is the Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre. She is an experienced clinical ethicist, originally trained in philosophy (MA, 1988 Oxon) and Bioethics (PhD, Monash, 2000). Lynn is also a professor in Health Ethics at the University of Melbourne, in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Lynn has extensive experience in clinical ethics case consultations. She also provides policy advice and leads research into a range of issues in paediatric clinical ethics – including end of life decision making, management of differences of sex development, information – giving to children, and parental refusal of treatment.

 

Professor John Massie
MBBS, FRACP, PhD, GAICD

Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, RCH. Professorial Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne. Honorary Fellow, Infection and Environment, MCRI

John is the Clinical Director of The Children’s Bioethics Centre. John is a clinical ethicist and paediatric respiratory physician at the RCH. Dr Massie looks after children with neuro-disability requiring ventilator support. He also works in the RCH cystic fibrosis clinic. John has published a number of papers and book chapters of ethical issues relating to paediatric respiratory medicine and the medical humanities. John is the host of the CBC podcast show, Essential Ethics.

 

 

2021 DEMNDS Recipient: Jenny O’Neill

Congratulations to Jenny O’Neill, 2021 recipient of the DEMNDS. Jenny is a multidisciplinary and highly skilled Nurse Consultant in the Nurse Research Department and has been caring for sick children at the RCH since 2000.

With the support of the DEMNDS, Jenny will develop her leadership in clinical ethics and pilot a program that aims to empower nurses across the hospital through education in clinical ethics. Working in conjunction with the RCH Children’s Bioethics Centre (CBC) which provides support and advice to RCH staff for complex decision-making, Jenny aims to increase nurse participation in this process.

“Nurses face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis, with questions on the autonomy of children with disabilities, end of life care, families refusing medical advice and holding children for procedures.”

​“Nurses have a really unique position at the patients’ bedside in terms of advocating for the family and I want to optimise the nursing voice in difficult positions and discussions,” said Jenny.

Part of the scholarship will fund Jenny’s Masters studies in Bioethics, while the remainder will be used to set up the Clinical Ethics Nurse Liaison Pilot Program. Jenny was able to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 by adapting her scholarship project. Instead of international travel to learn from global leaders in nursing ethics, Jenny will be connecting online with children’s hospitals in the United States of America to learn from global leaders in nursing ethics. She will draw on their resources to develop the tailored program for RCH nurses, which will be the first of its kind in Australia. Jenny’s aim is that after the scholarship year, the program will become self-sustainable and run annually.

By educating nurses on the best way to work through difficult decisions, the program will not only help individual nurses, but the hospital as a whole. With her own further study on clinical ethics, Jenny hopes she can continue to work closely with CBC and aims to be a nursing leadership voice in clinical ethics.

“I’ve been at the RCH for quite a long time and I’ve watched a number of projects arise from the support of the RCH Foundation and the Auxiliaries. This scholarship is such a unique opportunity for nurses and I am so grateful for the support that the RCH Auxiliaries have given me,” said Jenny.

“Nurses face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis, with questions on the autonomy of children with disabilities, end of life care, families refusing medical advice and holding children for procedures.”

 

 

 

 

 

The DEMNDS Committee thanks you

Thanks so much for joining us for the 2021 DEMNDS virtual fundraiser.

Following the success of our 2020 virtual event, we’re thrilled to be able to come together online for this important and interactive scholarship fundraiser which supports the advancement of nurses at the RCH.

As you may be aware, each year we aim to raise $50,000 for the DEMNDS which allows one outstanding nurse to enhance their skills and experience by exploring innovative practices and models of care. This scholarship would not be possible without your selfless support.

It is our absolute honour to announce that the 2021 scholarship recipient is Jenny O’Neill, a highly skilled Nurse Consultant at the RCH. With your generous support, Jenny will use the scholarship to advance the leadership of nurses in clinical ethics so they can contribute to making informed ethical decisions in challenging situations.

Please donate so that we can continue Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s legacy and the wonderful work of nurses at the RCH. Your contribution will make a difference and will be greatly appreciated.

Our deepest thanks to you all, especially the RCH Foundation team for their hard work, dedication and support of this event.

Dr Miriam Weisz, Barb Nicoll, Lila Kemlo, Marcia Bacon, Annie Tsourlinis and Lauren Daly

 

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L-R: Barb Nicoll, Lauren Daly, Dr Miriam Weisz, Marcia Bacon and Annie Tsourlinis. Insert: Lila Kemlo.

 

A message from our patron
Mrs Janet Calvert-Jones AM

It is an absolute pleasure to warmly welcome you to this wonderful virtual fundraiser, and sincerely thank you for furthering the impact of this treasured scholarship in support of nurses at the RCH.

My mother, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, had a deep commitment to the care, health and wellbeing of the children at the hospital, and we as a family are proud that her legacy lives on to this day. She generously gave her name to the scholarship in perpetuity to promote the advancement of nurses at the RCH. I share her passion for the future of children’s health as Patron of the DEMNDS.

Each year, the scholarship recipient embodies the values that my mother held in high regard, and this year’s recipient is no different. Jenny’s commitment to empowering nurses to make the best ethical decisions for patients is truly remarkable, and it’s an honour to support her work in this field.

I am delighted that the DEMNDS fundraiser can still continue again in its online format as ensuring nursing excellence is more important than ever for the care of Victoria’s children. I thank you for your support in these exceptional times.

 

Impact of our previous scholarships

2020 – Bianca Devsam

Bianca is developing pain management guidelines for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her revised project timeline is from November 2020 to November 2021.

“This project will improve the care we deliver to babies and their families by clearly outlining the pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies that staff, parents and families can utilise to treat and manage pain in the NICU. The guideline is being developed in collaboration with national and international neonatal experts who will be consulted via Zoom, in addition to our own internal stakeholders at the RCH. The revised scholarship plan now includes funding to develop education videos to demonstrate how parents and families can be more involved in neonatal pain management by providing positive touch, skin to skin contact, breastfeeding, containment and non-nutritive sucking with a sweet solution to their sick baby in the NICU. These educational videos will ensure the longevity of the project interventions.”

2019 – Sonja Elia

Sonja developed a culturally appropriate immunisation program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children.

“I worked alongside the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to launch the Bubba Jabs campaign in Victoria, which had previous success in Queensland. We developed immunisation brochures and learning resources and distributed them in various areas of the RCH, including the Wadja Aboriginal Family Place and the Immunisation Clinic. Since the work in this area began in 2019, we have seen immunisation rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at the RCH improve by 8% for scheduled vaccines on the National Immunisation Program and influenza vaccination rates improve by 25%. Additionally, more than 2000 Bubba Jabs brochures have been distributed across Victoria with little promotion, which is extremely encouraging and shows us how important these resources are.”

2018 – Tania Ramos

Tania developed best practices to minimise postoperative complications in children.

“The DEMNDS has enabled me to develop and implement the Emergence Delirium policy which guides both Medical and Nursing staff to provide best care for our patients. This policy is now being implemented across New South Wales and multiple centres across Victoria. Furthermore, the scholarship has resulted in a parent information fact sheet, implementation of an assessment tool, changes to documentation and alerts as well as regular clinical audits. As a result of the DEMNDS, Perioperative Hypothermia rates have decreased in recovery. We are now able to actively warm all children who require post-operative warming in the unit. This has led to better postoperative outcomes such as a decrease in recovery time.”

2017 – Amy Johansen

Amy researched the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes and quality of life follow-up programs for cardiac and extracorporeal life support (ECLS) patients.

“Thanks to the support from the DEMNDS, this project is ongoing and evolving, incorporating large scale collaboration. My research has grown beyond ECLS, with the recognition that long term follow up is important for a number of key high risk patients groups. We are now building on current practices to develop a robust and sustainable long term follow up model that meets the needs of patients who have been critically unwell.”

2016 – Donna Eade

Donna developed the Clinical Nurse Consultant role to provide world leading care to transgender children and young people in the RCH Gender Service (RCHGS).

2015
Catherine Fox

Catherine advanced the role of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner within neonatal emergency retrieval and care.

 

2014
Melissa Heywood

Melissa researched ways to improve communication with families about palliative care.

 

2013
Sally Lima

Sally expanded the RCH Nursing Competency Framework.

2012
Dr Sharon Kinney

Sharon created patient monitoring and alarm safety practices.

 

2011
Lisa Takacs

Lisa expanded the Procedural Pain Management program across the hospital.

 

2010
Sharon Downes

Our first scholarship recipient Sharon researched the Pierre Robin Sequence in children.

 

 

 

Thank you to our Principal Partner

 

This wonderful scholarship is made possible thanks to our Principal Partner BankVic.

BankVic exists to strengthen the communities in which we serve. Our aim is to build healthy communities that are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable. It’s these beliefs that drive the work we do every day. That’s why we’re about people before profits.

 

 

 

 

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, 1965. Photo courtesy of The Herald Weekly Times Library.​