Commitment to patients priority for Emma

clinical nurse consultant Emma Nugent was a winner at the Brian Prince Emergency Services Outstanding Service Awards

by Angela Norval

For Clinical Nurse Consultant Emma Nugent a typical day in the Bundaberg Hospital emergency department can start as fairly routine supporting her team on the department floor and become more intense in a minute dealing with a critical care patient.

It is this drive and determination to do the best by her patients that continues to motivate Emma each day, but this passion was given an extra push recently as Emma was a winner at the Brian Prince Emergency Services Outstanding Service Awards on Saturday 19th September.

The awards which recognised local heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty, honours those frontline workers and personnel from the local Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, and Queensland Health – in particular the Emergency Department at the Bundaberg Hospital, and volunteers from Queensland Surf Life Saving, SES, Rural Fire Service and Volunteer Marine Rescue.

Emma said while for her, her role was about doing the best job she can and implementing effective change.

“When I heard I was nominated and then received the award on the night, I was proud to receive this recognition from my peers in the department and the support of the Rotary Club of Bundaberg Central; it is definitely fuel to keep going,” she said.

“While there has been much discussion around a role such as mine during COVID-19 for me it has still been about showing up every day and being part of a team.

“Although when it comes to decisions and procedures there have been many other people involved in our COVID-19 response.”

Nurse unit manager of Bundaberg Hospital’s emergency department Suzanne Smith said the team had nominated Ms Nugent because of the key role she had played in helping the department respond to the various challenges of COVID-19.

“We realised very quickly that we’d have to change some of our procedures, including patient flows and implementing zones within the ED,” Ms Smith said.

“Emma took on the role of being our COVID champion, rolling out the changes and providing a lot of education and support to our team to embed them and make sure they were applied consistently.

“In the beginning, the predictions were pretty dire and our organisation had to react quickly and decisively on many levels – so it was really important to have people like Emma taking over that management on an ED level and making sure our whole team understood what it had to do.

“She’s been a cool head and steadying influence, and everyone has had complete faith in her.”