Home option for ankle fracture patients sees young nurse win award

3 May 2017 | Improving Leadership & Capability

Tauranga Hospital registered nurse Leigh Youngman is the latest recipient of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Open for leadership awards.

Ms Youngman was nominated by the Bay of Plenty district health board for her initiative which allows patients with a fractured ankle who meet specific criteria to go to their homes while they wait for their operation, rather than spend that time in hospital.

‘Because I work in orthopaedics I wanted to do something specific to that. One of the areas I saw for improvement was allowing patients to go home prior to surgery. Those with ankle fractures usually spend 5-7 days in a ward because their swelling means they have to wait to be operated on,’ she says.

‘I talked to patients who were in the ward while I was developing this, and a large majority said they’d prefer to be at home.’

The new process means patients who meet certain criteria can spend time at home before their surgery. The criteria include living close to the hospital, having support people at home, having a physio assessment which shows they can be mobile and use crutches, and having the ability to manage their pain with medication.

Ms Youngman developed the programme while completing her Masters in Nursing with Honours. She says the news she had won the award was a surprise.

‘I didn’t actually know I’d been nominated, so I felt totally privileged when I found out,’ she says.

‘I was a little bit shocked but I’m absolutely stoked.’

Ms Youngman received a trophy, and will be able to attend a future Commission event of her choice.

For more information on the Open for leadership awards and to view other recipients click here.

Last updated 22/05/2017