Career advice

‘Winning an RCNi Nurse Award increased my self-confidence and inspired me to do more’

Paediatric emergency nurse Drew McDonald won the Child Health category in the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017 for his project developing a sepsis recognition tool for triage. He talks to Elaine Cole about the positive effect that winning the award has had on his practice and his personal development

Paediatric emergency nurse Drew McDonald won the Child Health category in the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017 for his project developing a sepsis recognition tool for triage. He talks to Elaine Cole about the positive effect that winning the award has had on his practice and his personal development


Mr McDonald’s sepsis tool for nurses 
takes 20 seconds to complete.
Picture: Newsline

Winning an RCNi Nurse Award can be a tremendous boost. When your name is called out at the ceremony, it is a cause for celebration, an exciting end to a great evening and recognition for all the hours and hard work you have committed – often in your own time – to improving the care of your patients.

This recognition can have a lasting impact on the winner’s nursing practice. Often humble about their achievements, it can give them the confidence to take their projects further and their skills into new areas.

Raised awareness

This has been the experience of paediatric emergency nurse Drew McDonald, who won the Child Health category in the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017.

The senior staff nurse developed a sepsis recognition tool for triage, successfully implementing it at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital in Scotland.

‘The RCNi Nurse Awards was a great experience,’ he says. ‘The whole process, from receiving the shortlist to attending the ceremony, was one I will never forget. Even if I hadn’t won, the experience would have still been amazing.’

With Mr McDonald’s passion for improving sepsis care, one of the benefits of winning has been the platform it has given him to raise awareness of his project and its importance nationally.

He has linked with colleagues in other trusts, and honed his presentation skills by regularly presenting his project, including hosting a popular session at RCNi’s recent Nursing Children and Young People conference.

‘Many centres have got in touch and we are helping in any way we can,’ he says. ‘Trying to improve sepsis recognition and management is so important to me. The award has helped me gain the strength and confidence to spread the word faster, from Scotland’s western islands to London.’

NHS Grampian chief nurse Caroline Clark, who is Mr McDonald’s manager and nominated him for the award, has also seen the benefits of his success.

She put him forward after being impressed by his dedication, commitment and enthusiasm.

‘He often came in on his days off to present at meetings, and much of the work was carried out in his own time,’ she says. ‘Drew has become a more confident practitioner and his achievements have had a positive impact on the nursing team.

Values and culture

‘Having our nurse leaders present successful project work nationally and internationally is a fantastic reflection on NHS Grampian and the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. It ensures we are at the forefront of improvement work, as well as telling its own story about the positive values and culture within nursing and nurse leadership in NHS Grampian.’

Since winning the award, Mr McDonald has started working with improvement groups for other clinical areas, such as deterioration, and local award groups.

‘Winning the award has increased my self-confidence, inspired me to do more and to get others to try and achieve what I have.’


Elaine Cole is managing editor, Nursing Standard 

To enter the RCNi Nurse Awards 2018 click here

 
 
 

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