HAMPSHIRE Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust healthcare assistant Elaine Cooney was named a highly commended finalist at the Nurse Awards 2017.
Elaine, who works in the critical care department at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, was shortlisted for the Healthcare Assistant Award at the Royal College of Nursing’s Nurse Awards 2017, which were held in London earlier this month.
The Senior Healthcare Assistant was nominated by a former colleague for the work she does to ensure that cancer patients about to undergo major surgery are prepared for what they will encounter when they wake up in the intensive care unit.
Elaine said: “It was an amazing night and I had a great time. It was an honour to be there and I could not believe it when I heard them say that I was highly commended. I was really pleased.
“Two of the judges were sat on the table with me. They said that they don’t normally announce a highly commended finalist, but that it had been a really difficult choice between me and the winner.”
Basingstoke hospital is one of just two centres in the country to carry out surgery on pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare form of cancer that requires a major operation. Elaine does all she can to ensure that patients about to undergo surgery know what to expect, regularly giving up her own time to introduce them to the intensive care unit in advance of operations.
Elaine, who is 56 and lives in Andover, said: “Helping to prepare pseudomyxoma patients for their time on the intensive care unit ahead of their operations is something that is really important to me.
“It’s a big, long operation and the thought of going into intensive care can be frightening. By showing them around, hopefully I can take that daunting element away.”
Elaine carried out an audit on the positive effect that these visits have on patients and relatives and was invited to showcase her findings at the International Congress on Peritoneal Surface Malignancies in Washington DC.
Elaine’s dedication does not end there though. She gave up more of her own time to redecorate the relatives’ room in the intensive care unit, making it more a comfortable and pleasant place for patients’ families to be.