THE search is on for nurses who demonstrate an innovative and caring approach to their work and show outstanding levels of commitment to patient care that puts the people they look after at the heart of what they do.

The South Wales Argus Health & Care Awards’ ‘Excellence in Nursing Care’ category, sponsored by the Royal College of Nursing, replaces the ‘Special Recognition Nursing’ accolade won by Sarah Truman in 2020.

To nominate someone working in health and social care who you think deserves recognition click here

Sarah, who works at the Meddygfa Cwm Rhymni practice, describes her career as “her life – not just a job or vocation.”

Her current role involves working at an advanced level during which she triages, diagnoses and treats patients with long term and acute conditions. In addition she teaches and mentors junior staff and medical students.

In her work, Sarah acts as a patient’s advocate, providing holistic medical and social care while recognising both mental and physical health needs and the impact they have on each other.

South Wales Argus:
Indeed, her diverse role mirrors that of a general practitioner, apart from seeing pregnancy-related conditions and signing death and sickness certificates.

“Sarah anticipates the challenges of a diverse practice population and treats and cares for the patients as individuals with care, skill and compassion,” the person nominating her stated.

“Her patients are helped to understand their illness and treatment and Sarah is the kind of nurse who goes that extra mile to ensure this.”

Sarah’s 30-plus year career started with a student nurse position at the Nevill Hall Hospital and she’s worked on an acute medical ward. She was the first practice clinical nurse partner in Gwent.

“I have found that over the years, patients have been unsure of my role and feel I can’t diagnose and treat them as well as a doctor, but they soon change their opinion and feel they are able to speak more openly to a nurse as there are fewer barriers than with a GP, especially the older generation,” she says.

Sarah has described the pandemic as ‘a tough time’, with both an extra workload and a number of constraints on staff, but says everybody has worked hard and supported each other and shared the highs and lows.

“Work has continued to be challenging over the last year due to Covid, but I work with an amazing team who all go the extra mile for their patients and support each other,” she says.

“We’ve had to deal with a lot more over-the-phone triaging, and anyone we see has to be in full PPE.

“We’ve also been in the forefront of administering the Covid vaccines to our patients and care home staff.

“Alongside the increased pressures of Covid patients and post-Covid complications, as well as the usual day to day workload we’ve always had, we’ve had the sadness of losing patients to the virus.

“It was amazing to win the ‘Special Recognition Nursing Award’ and feel appreciated for my hard work. It made the last hard year that bit easier knowing I made a difference to whoever nominated me.”

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