Richmond Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Sheila Salonga is recognised for her leadership, after being nominated as a finalist in the 2019 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards. Celebrating with her fellow colleagues in Seattle as part of their Nursing Leadership Experience.

Sheila is recognised for her leadership as acting Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) building an inclusive team culture that led to improved patient care outcomes in the Epworth Hospital intensive care unit.

Identifying that team members could work together more collaboratively, Sheila sought out to build more inclusive working environments for her staff, by introducing a number of employee recognition programs that recognised and rewarded their work.

These include a Pay it Forward initiative encouraging staff to lend each other a hand, a staff member of the month award and cultural days to celebrate the teams diversity. Sheila also encouraged staff to share ideas and provide feedback on how the delivery of care to patients could be improved.

The introduction of these initiatives led to a decline in employee sick days, greater staff retention and an increase in staff engagement. These programs also had a positive impact on patient care, resulting in a reduced number of patients experiencing injuries.

"I feel truly humbled to be nominated and chosen as a finalist for the Hesta Nurse of the Year Award," Sheila said.

"I'd like to give this back to my previous department, the ICU team, who have allowed me to empower and engage them to become the most amazing clinicians that they are right now. I am proudest to carry the name of Epworth, an organisation that has given me all opportunities to develop into the kind of leader that I have become."

Epworth Executive Director Richmond Nicole Waldron recognised the contribution Sheila has made to her patients and within her workplace.

"We're thrilled and proud that Sheila has been recognised for her leadership which really recognises the contribution she has made to build an inclusive team culture and improve patient care outcomes at Epworth Richmond," she said.

"By leading with example, Sheila created employee recognition programs for staff that rewarded their work with the delivery of care to patients always front of mind."

Our nurses, including Sheila are currently in Seattle as part of their Nursing Leadership Experience and have been supporting Sheila in her nomination.

The program sees 10 leadership nurses, and two leaders, Executive Director of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer Paula Stephenson and Group Director Patient Experience and Clinical Service Improvement Sheila Daly to travel with the group to the US for roughly two weeks.

The 10 participants will attend an international conference and training workshop with built in site visits. The experience will allow the group to further explore their role in ensuring a positive patient experience and have the ability to translate their learnings and plans within their retrospective departments.

The Nursing Leadership Experience, as part of the scholarship program, is made possible with thanks to the Epworth Medical Foundation. 


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