Local nurse Wendy Van Der Wel has been awarded an Enrolled Nurses Excellence Award for 2016 at the Excellence in Nursing Awards held on Thursday and Friday at the Novotel Wollongong.
The awards recognise nurses for their excellence in practice and for the significant contribution they make to their professions, their teams and the community through their practice, leadership and research endeavours.
Wendy has worked for Parkes Health Service for more than 20 years.
Her colleague and friend Debbie Abela (Enrolled Nurse Special Grade) nominated her for the award.
Debbie said Wendy is a compassionate nurse providing excellent general nursing care to her clients and support to their families and friends.
“Wendy trained as a nurse's aide more than 40 years ago and has spent her career working between nursing homes and hospitals,” Debbie said.
“Over that time she has developed a professional association and friendship with colleagues and many of her patients and their families.”
Wendy has taken a special interest in Palliative care and is passionate in providing a comfortable end of life for her clients.
“She has attended many courses and conferences to support her interest in Palliative care - the majority of which have been self-funded and attended in her own time,” Debbie said.
“She always brings back the latest advancements and ideas to share.”
Wendy has been a member of the Enrolled Nurse Professional Association (ENPA) since her early days.
Debbie said Wendy presented a paper at the Liverpool ENPA conference on diversity and strength.
“She discussed the differences in our area health service that enrolled nurses are faced with in a rural setting on a daily basis.”
Another of Wendy’s colleagues and friends, Katrina Mulligan (Acting Health Service Manager of Narromine and Trangie Hospitals), describes her as welcoming and supportive.
“She embraces new staff and students and is always happy to share her knowledge of nursing care - an often forgotten skill in these days of high technology,” Katrina said.
Wendy has embraced technology and is proficient in EMR (electronic medical records).
“She is often heard discussing the local health district facebook page!” Katrina said.
“And of course online mandatory training is now a constant requirement within NSW Health.”
Katrina said despite reaching the twilight years of her career (having just turned 65) Wendy is willing to work double shifts when often there is no one else willing to do so.
“She continues to work a rotating roster with more than her fair share of night duty,” Katrina said.
“There is no evidence of a slowdown pace.”
This year Wendy has successfully completed Medication Endorsement which has further enhanced her job satisfaction as well as increasing job demand.
She was also involved with the planning, setup and move into the new Parkes Hospital.
“All her colleagues at Parkes Health Service are inspired by Wendy’s positive attitude and are very happy to continue working with this dedicated nurse.”