Local Nurse Receives President’s Nursing Award
Sister Jane Booth, Paediatric Nursing Specialist at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, was recently awarded the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa’s President’s Nursing Award, the highest accolade awarded by the Society, in recognition of her outstanding service to critical care in Southern Africa.
The Critical Care Society of Southern Africa (CCSSA) is a non-profit organisation for professional doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals in Critical Care Medicine, and was founded in South Africa in the late 1970s.
Booth was nominated by members of the CCSSA Executive Council and the award was unanimously bestowed upon her in recognition of her outstanding contribution to paediatric critical care, particularly related to the Breatheasy Programme at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital of which she was a founding member in 1989.
The Breatheasy Programme is assisting parents to look after their technology-dependent children at home. (These patients require technology to prevent death or further disability and a technically-skilled carer to look after them). The multi-disciplinary programme, a nurse-led initiative co-ordinated by Booth, trains parents to take over the care for their technology-dependent children from the medical team at the hospital; empowering them to take care of their children at home.
The programme also improves the child’s quality of life and their developmental needs, and prevents the psycho-social complications of long-term hospitalisation. They feel safe and secure growing up within their families, integrated into their own communities and eventually will be able to contribute to society at large. What makes this programme unique is that the parents (families) have to take complete responsibility for the care of their children at home, because as yet there are no paediatric home-based carers in the community.
“On behalf of Western Cape Government Health, I would like to congratulate Sister Booth. Her commitment to the public service speaks volumes. We are especially proud of her dedication and hard work. Healthcare workers in the public service often work under severe pressures, and we commend her for this prestigious award. This technology speaks directly to innovation that has been identified as another core value within the Department,” said Minister Nomafrench Mbombo.
The Breatheasy Programme was also recently part of a BBC series showcasing health innovations across Africa and was one of only two health innovations from South Africa that was featured. The series focused on how these health innovations in Africa are making a difference to the lives of patients, their families and communities. To watch the inset, visit bbc.in/1IFIUvF.
Prof. Brenda Morrow, Chairperson of the Western Cape Branch of the CCSSA, said: “Sister Booth has always gone above and beyond the call of duty in her support of these technology-dependent children and their families. She often works extended hours, and is freely available to parents at all hours. She has also influenced practice elsewhere in South Africa, and even inspired people globally to follow her example. Sister Booth is a true altruist, a leader and an exceptional clinical nurse.”