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Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Care


 

The award

This prize has been introduced to share excellent practice among Nursing Professionals in the field of cardiovascular care.

It aims to reward nurses and allied professionals who have submitted the best clinical cases for EuroHeartCare following a reviewing and grading process.

The winner receives a prize of 2 000 Euros, a diploma and free registration to next year's EuroHeartCare congress.

The persons who have submitted the best clinical cases will be invited to present them at EuroHeartCare. The prize is awarded during the Closing Session of the EuroHeartCare congress.

Who can apply?

The CCNAP Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Care is open to all nurses and allied health professionals.

An un-published clinical case must be submitted and accepted for presentation at the EuroHeartCare congress.

The clinical case can be in any area of cardiovascular care with a focus on quality of care, patient and/or carer engagement, clinical or patient reported outcomes and the translational aspects of this case.

Rules

To apply for this award:

  • Submit an un-published clinical case for EuroHeartCare
  • Those cases selected as finalists will be allocated for oral presentation.
  • The applicants must attend EuroHeartCare Congress and present their clinical cases.

Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Care Winner 2016

Ciara Rice (Ireland)

Ciara's case entitled "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach - a case of swallow syncope." was selected as winner of the Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Care 2016.

Interview with Ciara Rice

Mary Kerins, Chairperson of the CCNAP National Societies Committee, met with Ciara Rice at her work place to find out about her work and what it meant to her to have won this prestigious award.

Hello Ciara, can you tell me a little about your work and the pathway you took to get to this position?

I work in the Falls and Syncope Unit in St James’s Hospital, Dublin as a CNM 3 (Clinical Nurse Manager).  St James’s is the largest teaching hospital in Ireland and the Falls and Syncope Unit provides a national service and sees over 4,000 patients annually. I first trained as a General Nurse (RGN) in St James’s Hospital and have worked in the Syncope Unit for the last 8 years. Prior to that I worked in cardiac research and clinical cardiology, and before that I worked as a staff nurse on a cardiology ward.  I specialised in cardiology in 2008 undertaking the Level-9 Post Graduate diploma in critical care/cardiovascular nursing, I was one of the leads in developing the first Diploma in Syncope and related disorders worldwide and was the first of two nurses worldwide to receive the Diploma in Syncope and Related Disorders from the Royal College of Physicians Ireland.  I am currently finishing my MSc in Cardiology and Stroke from the University of Hertfordshire, UK. 

Your case study “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” was a very novel presentation focusing on swallow syncope, tell me a little about that.

Swallow syncope is an uncommon condition that is not fully understood. Though generally considered a benign condition, it can cause significant impairment in quality of life and result in significant injury, however it is a treatable disorder.  The pathophysiology of swallow syncope is not completely understood and several different mechanisms may exist.  The common innervation of the oesophagus and the heart by the vagus nerve has been postulated to play an important role. 

Tell me about the role of the syncope clinical nurse specialist (CNS):

The Syncope clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a varied and important role.  The syncope CNS must have the expertise to deal with a wide range of conditions while always acting as the patient advocate. The role of the syncope CNS includes a full assessment, performing diagnostic tests to determine the mechanism of syncope, providing education to patients and their families. The role of the syncope CNS also incorporates audit and research to ensure the most up-to-date evidence-based practice and the syncope CNS is instrumental in the development and training within and outside the Syncope Unit.  The development of the CCNAP Core Curriculum provides an opportunity to develop and standardise the role of the syncope CNS across Europe.  It provides a framework and a foundation to develop and maintain skills to work safely and effectively. 

I attended EuroHeartCare in Athens in 2016 for the first time and I would highly recommend this conference not only for education and professional development but also for the opportunity to meet people from across Europe and develop professional links.  Syncope specialism is an emerging sub-speciality in cardiology nursing and it is so beneficial to meet and learn from other specialists in this area.  I was lucky enough to win the prize for best clinical case and I would urge others to submit to and attend this session as we can all learn so much from “real-life” cases. 

So what was the take home message of your presentation?

The take home messages were:

  • Importance of history taking including a witness account.
  • Determine the mechanism of syncope.
  • Capture a “real life” episode.
  • Out rule any potential secondary causes.
  • Appreciate the impact syncope can have on a person’s quality of life, including driving and vocational restrictions.

Ciara, what does it mean to you to have won this award?

I was thrilled! It was a great sense of achievement for me to win this award. I think that so much can be learned from clinical cases. This session at EuroHeartCare is a great idea.

Finally, Ciara, on a personal note, what are your hobbies and what do you do to relax in your busy life?

Yes, working full time and studying for a MSc does lead to a busy life but it’s important to still make time to relax and have fun. In my spare time I like to read, travel, do yoga, socialise with friends and family, and spend time with my nephews.

Thank you Ciara.

You can read Ciara's original abstract here.