Six international nursing talents have been announced as winners of the 2020 Queen Silvia Nursing Award. Brooke Tamble of the University of Washington School of Nursing, Karolina Adomavičiūtė of Lithuania, Linda Smit of Germany, Radosław Romanek of Poland, Inka Häkkinen of Finland and Lisabet Lindbäck of Sweden have been recognized for their COVID-19 related ideas and contributions. 

The 2020 theme of the Queen Silvia Nursing Award focused on COVID-19 care in healthcare environments with special merit given to ideas or solutions that could elevate the quality of life for older people and people with a dementia diagnosis. 

THE WINNING CONCEPTS 

“Wait, I Remember! Dementia Software Application” – Brooke Tamble, University of Washington School of Nursing, USA

Brooke is an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) student at the University of Washington, School of Nursing. Brooke’s idea is inspired by her personal circumstances in which her mother-in-law who is living with both dementia and Parkinson’s disease, will soon be moving into Brooke’s home to ensure better care. Brooke’s submission is the creation of an app called “Wait, I Remember!” The 3-part app would compile patient information such as appointments, self-care, medications and allergies; provide descriptions of caregivers, doctors, family/friends, and the personal history of the patient supported by photos and videos from the past; while allowing gamification using familiar photos to stimulate brain activity and reduce isolation during COVID-19. 

Voice Letters” – Karolina Adomavičiūtė, Lithuania

Karolina is a nursing student currently studying at Vilnius University. Her winning idea is to develop a mobile application and related system in COVID-19 units and other healthcare facilities to ease communication between isolated patients and nurses via voice letters. Patients and nurses would be able to send short voice messages to each other using simple recording devices, their phones, or computers.  Karolina was inspired by the regular use of voice mail in connected societies, and found possibilities in using this technology to facilitate easy, safe and socially distanced communication in care environments. 

“Stirring Cannula,” Linda Smit, Germany

Linda is a nursing student at Ammerländer Ausbildungszentrum für Gesundheitsberufe. Her aim is to maximise one-on-one COVID-19 patient needs in the intensive care unit by saving time with antibiotics preparation. Linda’s idea focuses on the development of a sterile stirring cannula that can ease the workflow of nurses when dissolving antibiotic infusions. The pandemic has led to an increased amount of infusions, particularly for older populations. Linda’s desire is to secure a safer and faster method for nurses to dissolve powdered antibiotics in busy care environments in efforts to shift the focus back to patient care.

“Community Nursing Care for Convalescents of COVID-19”, Radosław Romanek, Poland

Radosław is a nurse at Leszek Giec Upper-Silesian Medical Centre of the Silesian Medical University in Katowice. His suggestion is to regularly monitor  people who have recovered from COVID-19 in efforts to improve understanding about the virus on human health. Radosław cites evidence of recovering COVID-19 patients at a higher risk of having a strokes, thrombosis, and short-term memory loss. As a pilot phase, he proposes regular check-ups of medical staff recovering from COVID-19 at the hospital where he works. In the next stage, Radosław plans to extend the monitoring to include nurses in different regions of Poland. His hope is that this initiative would create a nationwide program of control tests to improve medical knowledge of the coronavirus as well as provide future developments for therapeutic management. 

“FinnHELP,” Inka Häkkinen, Finland

Inka is a nurse at Kymenlaakso Central Hospital. Her application is based off of her volunteer work at the FinnHELP counselling service for healthcare professionals in Finland. FinnHELP offers free, short-term crisis assistance operated by volunteer mental health professionals to help fellow healthcare workers address stress and exhaustion. With the COVID-19 pandemic, FinnHELP assistance has moved increasing online and is focused on reducing lead time to maintain the mental health and resilience of Finland’s healthcare professionals.  FinnHELP’s efforts will also be the basis of a handbook for healthcare professionals with guidelines on how to work through extended pandemics. 

“My Way,” Lisabet Lindbäck, Sweden

Lisabet is a nurse at Sundsvalls Hospital. Her idea is to allow her patients in isolation to revisit familiar environments and neighbourhoods through 1st person videos. These virtual and interactive walks would allow patients to see and listen to places from their past from the safety of their care facility. Lisabet’s videos would be created based on the individual’s interest and history, with a special focus on dog walking videos if relevant.  Animals  are well known for their therapeutic benefits in fighting loneliness, isolation, and high blood pressure. Her hopes is that these videos would help her patients by reducing anxiety, lifting spirits, and rekindling memories.

THE QUEEN SILVIA NURSING AWARD

The Queen Silvia Nursing Award was established in 2012 by Swedish Care International and the Forum For Elderly Care to highlight the role of nurses in global societies, as well as the need for skilled nursing in older people and dementia care. The Award is under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and is currently available in six countries.

As per tradition, the scholarship  winners are announced on Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden’s birthday, the 23rdof December every year.

The winners were selected from hundreds of applications in participating Queen Silvia Nursing Award regions. This year’s applicants submitted ideas or solutions to address COVID19 care in healthcare environments, the theme of the 2020 award. For the first time since its establishment, the scholarship welcomed submissions from both nurses and student nurses alike. 

Each winner will receive a €6000 scholarship as well as individually-tailored learning opportunities with national or international partners of the Queen Silvia Nursing Award network.

HER MAJESTY’S ENGAGEMENT

Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden is actively engaged in the dementia cause as Her late mother lived with a diagnosis in her later years. Her Majesty has lent Her name and patronage to a number of Swedish initiatives including Stiftelsen Silviahemmet which provides dementia care training and certification programs; and Dementia Forum X, a biennial summit gathering top stakeholders to commit to the impact of dementia in global societies. 

PARTNERS

The Queen Silvia Nursing Award is made possible with Main Country Partners Addere Care of Lithuania; the University of Washington School of Nursing in America; St. Anna-Stift Kroge of Germany; Medicover Foundation of Poland; and Swedish Care International and the Forum For Elderly Care in both Sweden and Finland.