Researcher Nominated for Excellence Award
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine Researcher, Dr Susan Slatyer, has been nominated for an Excellence in Research award at this year’s Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards, which are coordinated by the Department of Health.
Dr Slatyer did her PhD on pain management in hospital, and now holds a joint appointment with Curtin University and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which ensures her research is informed by the clinical experience of her medical colleagues and the families who utilise the health service.
“I am very close to the clinical nurses, the patient problems, the needs of patients’ families so the research I am able to do here is really clinically relevant,” Dr Slatyer said.
Dr Slatyer has a particular interest in how palliative care is delivered in an acute setting, and was instrumental in working with the palliative care team to establish The Lotus Room at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which offers a private and tranquil setting for patients to be with their families in the last days of their lives.
“It is a large room with fold-out couches, recliners, a small fridge, a kettle, you can have whole families in that room staying day and night,” she said.
“We have done an evaluation on how that helps the staff to be able to care and how it helps the patient and their families. There is a lot of satisfaction, it is a very calming environment for everybody including the staff. When someone dies in a high dependency area, because of the nature of the environment they can only have two people at the bedside but in this room…the whole family has been able to be there and the staff member steps outside and it’s their space. It is a concrete improvement and innovation.”
Dr Slatyer is also researching the transition of older people in acute care back to the community, especially those with dementia. Other areas of research interest include the wellbeing of nurses, and a post discharge phone service for older people who come out of short stay care.
The winner of the Excellence in Research award will be announced in May 2016 by the Department of Health.