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Senior nurse recognised as a shining star by staff and patients

Frankie holding her award outside the hospital next to her team

A senior Swansea Bay nurse has been recognised as a shining example by her colleagues and patients alike.

Frankie Thompson is the lead nurse within vascular access and outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) services in Morriston Hospital.

As well as leading a team, her role involves inserting and monitoring vascular access devices, which are used for repeated or long-term access to the bloodstream.

Her team also oversees the delivery of intravenous (IV) antimicrobials to patients so they can be discharged to receive their treatment at home instead of in hospital.

Pictured: Frankie Thompson (centre) with her colleagues Cassie-Jo Layzell and Elizabeth Partridge.

Frankie has now been presented with a Cavell Star, given to nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who shine bright and show exceptional care to their colleagues, patients, or patients’ families.

Run by Cavell Nurses’ Trust, the award is the result of a nomination by colleagues that is supported by the charity’s panel of judges.

Frankie has been credited for her dedication to service improvement, delivery of patient care and excellence as a manager and mentor.

Her colleague Cassie-Jo Layzell, senior vascular access nurse, put her name forward for the accolade.

She said: “Frankie does a huge amount for our team.

“People see us doing the line insertion element on the wards, but they don’t see the effort that goes on behind the scenes as well.

“From a managerial point of view, Frankie supports the whole team. There are three of us and she is the rock of our team.

“Frankie embodies the speciality of vascular access, and her dedication and passion are unparalleled, so I thought it would be a perfect way to acknowledge that.”

While her managerial skills have been praised by the team, Frankie’s exceptional care towards her patients has also been noticed.

“Frankie is phenomenal at treating every patient as the individual that they are and very much tailoring their care to what they need at that time,” Cassie-Jo added.

“It can be anything from somebody who is very eager to go home, so it could be her joining them in their excitement.

“But it could also be the other end of the spectrum with a patient who is scared of the line insertion, so it would be calming them down and reassuring them.

“Frankie is very good at judging and assessing people almost at a moment’s notice to be able to change her manner according to what a patient needs.

“She is really good at adapting to give them that tailored experience.”

One patient who was cared for by Frankie and her team is John Hislop, from Neath, who needed to have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line inserted.

The 74-year-old said: “I went to have the PICC line fitted and that was the first time I met Frankie.

“From the moment I stepped through the door there was an atmosphere that put me at ease.

“From them on when they were explaining what they were going to do, they did so in a way I could understand.

“I had the PICC line inserted into my upper arm, and she told me ‘the only pain you’ll feel is when the needle goes in’ and I didn’t feel a thing.

“The banter between the team put me at ease too. It was a very happy camp.

“The amazing professionalism and their bedside manner was top. The service was first class.

“I had to go back a second time as it got slightly blocked, so I had to have another one put in. I haven’t got it anymore but if I did have to go back I wouldn’t be apprehensive.”

Speaking of receiving her award, Frankie insisted it is down to a team effort.

She said: “I was lost for words.

“I love what I do and I’m very passionate about it. I can’t do it without my amazing team, it’s not just me, it’s everybody.

“They are what keep me coming into work and what keeps me going because they have the same dedication and passion for this field, and it makes such a difference to the patients.

“It makes a difference to how you work as a team if your team are all on the same page. It doesn’t matter that I wear a badge with ‘lead’ on it, I am there with them and wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.

“I value my team so for this award to come back the other way to me, it rendered me quite speechless.

“We support each other in any way that we can.”

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