February 4, 2020

A great place to work: Unit 3 Broadmeadows

Unit 3 at Broadmeadows Hospital manages aged care patients with acute medical issues, as well as dementia and delirium and gets them back to a stage where they can go back home or into Residential Aged Care.

Lucia Bento, Nurse Unit Manager explains how Unit 3, a  28 bed ward has implemented a quality improvement activity called ‘diversional therapy’. This project has been developed to provide patients with activities to help keep them occupied, as well as assist in managing behaviours of concern.

“We have introduced things like colouring and doll therapy, which helps anxious or agitated patients,” Lucia said.

As part of the GEM (Geriatric and Evaluation Management) service, the staff also look after patients from the community who need multidisciplinary care with an allied health clinician. These clinicians come from a multi-disciplinary team and are made up of social workers, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists, just to name a few. The aim of this program is to return patients to as close to their baseline function as possible and promote their independence with a view to returning home where possible.

“We have a lot of good stories with patients. For example, the team works hard to find the long-stay patients an appropriate place to go. We had a patient who was with us for a few months and we got her a guardian and found her a nursing home. That was a good achievement and we have numerous stories of successfully getting our patients back to their community,” she said.

One of the success stories Lucia and the team are proud of is getting a seventy year old patient back to eating regularly at home.

“We had a patient who was in and out of hospital. She was on nasogastric feeds and the team here worked hard to get this patient to a point where she could eat and get back home. That was a great outcome for the family too. The family gave us a lovely thank you card to show their appreciation of the care and support,” she said.

The team works in a challenging environment but is very well trained and great at what they do.

“We do aggression training and numerous study days, especially with dementia and delirium. The staff work as a team – we have introduced a buddy system on the ward through a quality project. Nurses know who they buddy is and they work together,” she said.

Lucia is proud that people want to come and work in the ward and that graduates who come to work there want to stay.

“It’s a good place to work,” she added.

Grant Taylor, Director of Nursing and Operations at Broadmeadows Hospital agrees with Lucia and speaks highly of the work that Lucia and her team of nurses and allied health clinicians undertake every day.

“Unit 3 is a dynamic, challenging and rewarding place to work. The care that the Unit 3 team provides on a daily basis, assists patients and their families greatly and helps our aged care population recover after an acute illness and get back on their feet,” he said.

Thank you card from a patient family
Thank you card from a patient family
A warm card from a thankful family
A warm card to staff from a thankful family

Featured image (left to right): Nurses Lorraine Pearson, Jian Huo, Ann Lotrionte, Shine Kurian and the NUM Lucia Bento.