OUT OF THE STARTING BLOCKS Poorna Rodrigo meets a sports fan who is in the vanguard of an emerging specialty Traditionally sports medicine is the preserve of doctors and physiotherapists, but the 2012 London Olympics and next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have inspired nurses to become involved. The RCN is investigating the possibility of running a recognised sports medicine course for a multiprofessional audience. More than 700 nurses have applied to be volunteers at Commonwealth 2014. Michelle Rudd, an emergency care nurse consultant in Lincoln, is one of the successful applicants. She was a team leader at the

Michelle Rudd in her element at the Olympic stadium, and inset with colleagues

Branches of nursing where skills are transferable to sports medicine


 School nursing – experience in managing sports injuries.  Cardiac nursing – familiar with exercise tolerance testing.  Emergency nursing – skills in resuscitation and assessing injuries.  Nurse practitioners – physical assessment skills.

London Olympic and Paralympic games, helping with planning health care for the events and medical staff training. Ms Rudd will take on a similar role in Glasgow. She has a Commonwealth track record already, having been venue medical manager at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. A year later she helped at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham. She has also worked at the London Triathlon for the past seven years, and at many Olympic test events. ‘The buzz and atmosphere of a big event is amazing,’ says

Symposium This year’s Rosa Parks symposium will be held at the University of Bradford on December 13. It will mark 50 years since Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. The event is a platform for exploring social equality, diversity and inclusion. There is no charge, but participants need to register in advance. tinyurl.com/RPSUoB Research The Paul Polani research award supports research and innovation in paediatric neurodisability. Up to £7,500 is available to enable teams or individuals from any discipline to pilot, undertake or complete research projects in the specialty. The British Academy of Childhood Disability administers the award and recommends the winning applicant to the Royal College of Paediatrics and

Ms Rudd, adding that she is an avid sports fan. ‘It is great to be a part of that.’ She says that being a nurse in a tournament setting brings a particular type of challenge: ‘If an athlete is injured on the track, the team must assess and remove him or her safely with minimum fuss in front of a packed stadium and millions watching on TV.’ The experience staff gained at the Olympics last year has helped to develop the specialty. ‘Until then, sports and exercise nursing had evolved in an ad hoc manner,’ says RCN adviser on acute, emergency and critical care JP Nolan, who worked as a

Child Health. The deadline for applications for the next Paul Polani research award is February 14. For details, go to www.bacdis.org.uk/awards Mentors The latest issue of Policy+ from the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London asks whether all nurses should be mentors. It points out that becoming a mentor is an important step in a nurse’s career and often an essential criterion for promotion. But the authors then suggest that it is time to consider alternatives to the way in which most nurses become mentors. The views of higher education institutions and service personnel were obtained as part of a recent project and are presented in this policy summary. tinyurl.com/PolicyPlus-41

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medical services manager at the Olympic Park. ‘Sports nursing demands physical examination skills, life-support skills above the basic level, and care experience in the pre-hospital environment and public places,’ he says. ‘It is also essential to have up-to-date first-aid skills’ (see box and resources). As well as working at major championships, there are opportunities for nurses to work in university or college-level sport. However nursing roles are limited at major football clubs, with many never using the services of nurses at all. Ms Rudd, however, is optimistic that more paid sports nursing work will be available in the future. ‘The work is out there,’ she says. ‘We just need to create the opportunities to add to an established team’ NS Poorna Rodrigo is a freelance journalist RESOURCES Rugby Union first-aid guidelines and courses tinyurl.com/RFU-First-Aid British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine www.basem.co.uk School and Public Health Nurses Association www.jfhc.co.uk/saphna

Catharine Sadler meets a palliative care specialist nurse

In recognition of excellence When asked why she was recently awarded an MBE for services to nursing, palliative care nurse specialist Irene Logan is modest. ‘Probably because I have been nursing for so long. My colleagues said they were nervous in case I retired before they submitted my award nomination,’ says Ms Logan of Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales, who began her career 46 years ago. She gained a wealth of ward sister experience in various specialties before moving into end of life care. ‘While working with a Macmillan nurse, I found great satisfaction in making terminally ill patients comfortable. After all, if nurses can ensure this is a pain-free experience for patients, it makes a huge difference to their relatives’ bereavement process. ‘People associate palliative care with terminal cancer, but some patients may be living with incurable illnesses and experiencing pain and nausea or psychological problems.’ Ms Logan’s responsibilities include patient assessment, pain and symptom control, supporting patients and families, and advising ward staff. ‘We ask patients where they would like to spend their final days and then support that decision,’ she says.

Scholarship The Worshipful Company of Barbers clinical nursing scholarship 2014 enables clinical nurses to undertake further education, research or a clinical project. Up to £7,500 is offered for fees or subsistence to a nurse undertaking a taught master’s programme that is relevant to nursing or research in an academic department, either in the UK or overseas. Applicants should submit a 500-word outline of the course, research or project and a CV to [email protected] by February 28. Learning awards The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence shared learning awards recognise and reward examples of how NICE guidance can be put into practice in local authority, NHS and voluntary sector organisations.

‘Since I started in 1967, the options for pain control have certainly improved, as has our awareness of dying patients’ psychological needs. For example, some people may need reassuring that they will not die in pain as their parents might have done.’ Ms Logan thinks that changes in patient demographics – they are older and more acutely ill – should trigger more palliative care training. ‘All nurses should be competent in this area of care. They will need support from specialist nurses to help them manage difficult clinical problems,’ she says. Ms Logan hopes her award will raise awareness of palliative care and help her team to feel valued. From next year she will work part-time. For younger nurses hoping to specialise in this kind of care, Ms Logan recommends gaining a background in general nursing before embarking on a palliative care career. ‘But it truly is a privilege to care for patients at the end of their lives,’ she says NS Catharine Sadler is a freelance journalist RESOURCES National End of Life Care Intelligence Network tinyurl.com/mo3kj84 Palliative care in Wales wales.pallcare.info

NICE is particularly interested in examples that demonstrate improved patient care and how guidance has been used to enhance quality and save resources. The awards are presented at the NICE conference. Those who submit shortlisted examples receive free conference tickets, have a platform to present their work and a chance to win the top prize. The deadline for submissions is January 17. tinyurl.com/NICESLAs Eye care The International Glaucoma Association annual research awards are run in collaboration with the RCN and offer up to £30,000 for research. Funding criteria are based on the quality of the application and the expected benefits for patients. The association encourages research on improving the management of glaucoma. The deadline for applications is February 28. tinyurl.com/bn39g5q

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Out of the starting blocks.

Traditionally sports medicine is the preserve of doctors and physiotherapists, but the 2012 London Olympics and next year's Commonwealth Games in Glas...
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