Move from hospital to homes sets nurse on path to work security app

December 1, 2021

A change from hospital nursing to community work at a hospice has seen one health–care professional branch out into security technology.

From left, Tōtara Hospice staff, Andrea Lawrence, charge nurse manager, Neekita Narayan, associate charge nurse, Emma Beard clinical nurse educator, Hayley Colmore-Williams, nursing director, and Cecilia Sovincet, associate charge nurse.
From left, Tōtara Hospice staff, Andrea Lawrence, charge nurse manager, Neekita Narayan, associate charge nurse, Emma Beard clinical nurse educator, Hayley Colmore-Williams, nursing director, and Cecilia Sovincet, associate charge nurse.

An Auckland hospice has turned the humble cellphone app into a piece of modern workplace security for its community nurses.

The change in technology came after a change of nursing pace for one of its staff.

Tōtara Hospice has launched a safety app for all of its community workers, with the help of one of its nurses.

Clinical nurse educator Emma Beard, said after working in an acute hospital setting, she shifted into community nursing to make a difference for people living with palliative conditions.

Novel experiences in job

In her role at the hospice, Beard found herself visiting patients in their own home – a novel experience after her hospital work.

‘I was concerned about being in different environments with so many unknowns – meeting a patient for the first time, not knowing who else might be in the home.’

“I was concerned about being in different environments with so many unknowns – meeting a patient for the first time, not knowing who else might be in the home and the impact of this on the clinical interaction.”

Tōtara had already developed an alert system that could be used if staff felt their personal safety was at risk.

Beard thought the system could be improved.

She said her charge nurse was “incredibly supportive” and encouraged her to investigate what options there were out in the community for isolated workers.

“I wanted to set out some assurance that my charge nurse knew when I entered and exited a house. I wanted to feel confident that if I needed support urgently, I could activate an alarm that would get my manager’s attention straight away.”

Works starts on app

She said she worked with management to research, buy, and then implement a safety app for all of the hospice’s community workers. “Among the many improvements this process resulted in, we were able to develop a new technology to support the safety app.”

Beard said they also partnered with the police community prevention team to support staff as well.

The change from a hospital to working in the community with the hospice had been a complete contrast, she said.