A Portlaoise nurse, who revolutionised local management of blood transfusions at a Sydney hospital, has won a top Australian business prize.
Sinead Keane scooped the Young Professional award at the third annual Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
She was presented with her ward at the organisation’s Gala evening in Sydney by Irish Tanaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D.
“It is not often that a nurse wins a business award,” said Sinead. “But I felt that it was necessary to show that we do so much more than just caring for patients.
“If I am going to so far away from my family, then I have to make it count.”
Through an initiative led by Sinead, St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Sydney reduced blood wastage by 24% in three years.
Sinead, who is Associate Nurse Unit Manager in Anaesthetics and Recovery at St Vincent’s, took the lead in developing and implementing the Massive Blood Transfusion Protocol across the facility. In 2016 St Vincent’s reduced its blood wastage by 24.6% from 2014.
This involved Sinead overseeing a team to research best practice in patient blood management during an emergency and communicate this information and gain consensus with all stake holders in the multidisciplinary team.
This led to the development and implementation of a protocol, data collection form and auditing tool and has improved practice related to Massive Transfusion right across the facility.
Sinead’s sister, Tracey, who is Vice Principal and Director of Sixth Form at Ark Academy in Wembley, said: “It’s really well-deserved and we’re all delighted for her.
“She rang my mum and dad who were at a cousins wedding in Ireland, and word spread from there. I found she’s won via our family WhatsApp chat group. I’ve since skyped her and she’s over the moon at having won.
“Her whole reason for going for the award was to show that nursing is much more than just patient care, and they’re not often recognised for that. So it was nice for her to get recognition for the profession.
“There’s so much more to being a nurse manager than patient care. You run the ward like a business and try to save [money] where you can. The whole end point is to make it a much more enjoyable stay for the patients.
“Once she was nominated for the award, she had to go through quite an arduous application process to be a finalist, so it was a lot of hard work. But she wanted to put out there what nurses really do as a profession.”
The awards aim to celebrate innovation and best practice in the Irish Australian business community.
Addressing Speaking at the event, attending by the heads of Ireland’s leading business government agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D. said: “Irish business people – whether they are based in Ireland, Australia or elsewhere – are rightly renowned for their innovation, ingenuity and intelligence.
“I have been extremely impressed by those members of the Irish-Australian business community whom I have met this week during my trade and investment mission to Australia.
“The commercial vibrancy and energy that I have witnessed bodes well for the future and I am excited about the prospects for Irish-Australian companies.”