With almost 1,000 nurses, Tallaght Hospital sees it as the right time to recognise their dedication
By Mary Dennehy
TALLAGHT Hospital’s nurse-force of nearly 1,000 will be recognised and celebrated this May 12, as the local health facility marks International Nurses Day.
Growing up in Raheen, Evonne Healy has been a nurse at Tallaght Hospital since it opened in 1998 and is now the lead assistant director of nursing at the busy, ever-growing hospital.
A former student of St Mark’s primary and secondary school, Evonne looks after non-surgical patients who come in, for example, through A&E, have acute illness or are receiving specialised treatment.
Evonne, who last appeared in The Echo when she won an under-9’s swimming medal in the Community Games, this week spoke about Tallaght Hospital marking International Nurses Day for the first time – and the need to recognise the hard work and dedication of the local workforce.
“We have just come out of a period of recession and nursing staff have emerged a little bruised”, Evonne said.
“Nursing staff right across the country have had to do more with less and are constantly expected to hit targets [set by the HSE and HIQA] all the time.
“No-one was being replaced however, that has now changed and for the past year and a half we have been trying to recruit nurses for Tallaght Hospital.
“This poses new challenges for hospitals as there is a worldwide shortage of nurses, so we are working hard to recruit nurses back that left Ireland for work and I’m just back from a recruitment drive in the Phillippines.”
She added: “Here at Tallaght Hospital we are trying to get our nursing numbers over the 1,000 mark and while we do that we want to recognise all of the hard work and dedication of our nursing staff – who make up the largest workforce in the hospital.
“Our nurses bring kindness and compassion to the patient experience and also contribute to better care and a better journey through the hospital.
“Nurses do drive change in the hospital and we want to acknowledge that and say thank-you.”
Evonne also stressed how Tallaght Hospital is investing in advanced nurse skills and practices, which will see nurses encouraged to learn specialised skills and training in a particular area.
This will give nurses a defined career path.
A number of in-house initiatives will be staged on International Nurses Day this May 12 and anybody in the community who would like to provide any feedback on the care they or a family member received from a nurse at Tallaght Hospital can email, firstname.lastname@example.org