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Posted by admin, May 16, 2011 9:00 am

Three Bundaberg Hospital nursing staff members have been awarded nursing scholarships to undertake advanced training which will lead to higher nursing qualifications and ultimately help improve the well being of local patients.

The Winnie May Scholarship is co-ordinated by the Bundaberg Health Services Foundation, in honour of nurse Winnie May who devoted her life to nursing. Ms May was the niece of Dr Thomas May who was the founding father of Bundaberg Hospital from 1879.

The scholarship is funded by Dr May’s descendents.

Foundation chairman Mrs Janet Tallon said that patients would be the ultimate scholarship ‘winners’ when the studies were completed and implemented to further improve patient care.

The three award winners received their scholarships a special presentation at The Old Bundy Tavern on Saturday night (May 14).

Tracey Devine and Lisa Watson will each receive $3100 and Mandy Zweedyk will receive $500.

Ms Devine, a nurse with 22 years’ experience as a registered nurse and endorsed midwife, is currently working as a clinical nurse diabetes educator at Bundaberg Hospital.

“Diabetes is a significant health issue and is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease,’’ said Ms Devine who will study a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes.

“I aim to utilise my knowledge and skills to enable and empower our clients to understand what is happening in their body and provide education and support in the area of diabetes self-management,’’ Ms Devine said.

Lisa Watson has been a registered nurse for the past 17 years and is working in the Wound Clinic at Bundaberg Hospital. She plans to undertake a Graduate Certificate in Wound Care.

“My goal in wound care is to indentify wound issues and implement strategies to optimise wound healing which should reduce unnecessary hospitalisation,’’ Ms Watson said.

Mandy Zweedyk will use her funds to complete the second part of a Transition to Practice Nurse Education Program in Renal. She currently works within a multidisciplinary team at the renal unit to improve the health status and quality of life for people with chronic kidney disease.

“All three areas, diabetes, wound care and renal disease are significant health issues for our growing and ageing population,’’ Mrs Tallon said.

“By assisting these nurses in continuing their professional development, the scholarships are helping ensure that optimal care is delivered to patients,’’ Mrs Tallon said.

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