February 13, 2024

We are Northern: This is Ward 16

Ward 16 is a 32-bed Medical Surgical ward, and it is located at Northern Hospital Epping. The Ward has been adapting to various changes in recent years, including a current configuration with 16 beds dedicated to medical patients. The adjustment in bed allocation reflects on the response to the ever-growing demand for medical patients in the hospital.

The team in Ward 16 currently consists of 55 staff members. The workforce is predominantly composed of fairly new staff, most of whom have been on the ward for almost a year. The significant turnover of staff experienced last year has resulted in a relatively young and novice team. Despite this, the team has been actively addressing the challenge by prioritising upskilling initiatives and fostering an environment that builds confidence among staff. Their aim is to provide comprehensive care to patients, ensuring patient-centred approach aligned with their specific needs.

Patient cohort in Ward 16 are surgical colorectal patients, patients with gastroenterology issues and medical patients dealing with multiple complex health issues. The diverse patient population requires a specialised and multidisciplinary approach to address their unique needs.

Recently, one of their staff members, Bilgin Kocaburak, Registered Nurse, has made a significant contribution for the early diagnosis of patients experiencing delirium post-surgery. As part of his post-graduate work, he developed an informative poster which helps to effectively identify delirium in post-operative patients. This initiative has gained popularity and recognition, leading Mr Kocaburak to join the Delirium Committee.

“His expertise in the early identification and management of delirium patients is now being shared with other wards across the organisation,” said Jeena Katuwal, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward 16, Northern Hospital Epping.

In another uplifting development, Ward 16 has been the recipient of a generous $3500 donation from a deeply grateful patient, who, after nearly six months under their care, successfully overcame his health complications and returned home. The donation serves as a heartfelt token of appreciation to the entire staff of Ward 16.

“The generous donation served as a testament to the impact and quality of care provided by our dedicated team. We are grateful for such positive feedback and committed to maintain this highest standard of patient care,” said Ms Katuwal.

After the pandemic, Ward 16 transitioned back to a surgical ward, however during that time, they faced a notable lack of stability in leadership and staffing. Recently, the team has taken significant strides towards restoring cohesion and harmony within the unit. With a renewed focus on upskilling and safety, they are actively working to enhance their capabilities and maintain a secure and proficient workplace.

In 2024, we are committed to achieving excellence in patient care. Our primary goals include delivering high-quality patient-centred care, by fostering a positive and supportive workplace culture, and face challenges with a positive attitude as we continue to grow. Our focus is on continuous improvement and ongoing training and development opportunities for our wonderful staff,” said Ms Katuwal.

Featured image: Staff at Ward 16, Northern Hospital Epping.