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Edinburgh nursing graduate honoured for caring skills

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A nursing student from Edinburgh Napier University has been recognised for her outstanding caring skills.

Emma Livingstone has received the Simon Pullin Award, an honour established by the university to recognise the human side of nursing.

“The respect and compassion shown by all the professionals involved will always stay with me and motivate me”

Emma Livingstone

The award was created in memory of senior nurse Simon Pullin, who played a key role in Edinburgh Napier’s compassionate care programme until his death from cancer in July 2011.

The programme encourages nursing and midwifery students to go further than just looking after the health of the patient and emphasises the benefits of responding to needs not necessarily related to illness.

Ms Livingstone, 32, received £250 in prize money at her graduation ceremony on 8 July at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

She said: “To receive the Simon Pullin Award is such an honour. I always try not to be disillusioned by the workload put upon staff nurses. Instead, I make sure I keep my eyes wide open to fully observe patients’ needs.

“This helps me to realise opportunities to learn from colleagues expertly skilled in compassionate care in both every day and acute situations and to help deliver patient-centred care.”

Ms Livingstone, now a theatre nurse at Livingston’s St John’s Hospital, recalled working in intensive care there when a 26-year-old girl who had died from a brain aneurysm was flown in.

She looked after the patient during the diagnostic process, end of life care and retrieval of her organs for donation.

Ms Livingstone said: “This was a particularly moving experience for me… It was the care and dignity that was shown to the patient throughout the entire process and the thoughtful acts performed for her family that inspired me. 

“We made coloured handprints that could be framed for her loved ones, and cut a lock of her long hair to be braided on to a card to be given to her two-year-old daughter when she was older,” she said.

“All of this felt like such a privilege, and the respect and compassion shown by all the professionals involved will always stay with me and motivate me,” she added.

Dr Stephen Smith, who is the university’s lead nurse in compassionate care, said: “Emma, who has shown outstanding person-centred compassionate skills, is a worthy winner.”

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