A team of innovative colleagues at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust have been shortlisted for a national award for introducing a new therapy which helps patients suffering from nausea and vomiting.
Acupin therapy is a form of acupuncture which works by inserting a small pin, which looks like a tiny, almost invisible plaster, into a patient’s wrist. This has had a huge impact on patients undergoing surgery, particularly those having hysterectomies or knee and hip replacements, and also women experiencing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
The Acupin therapy has had such an impact on patients at Rotherham Hospital, that Ruth Roddison, the Trust’s Lead Specialist Nurse for Acute Pain Relief, has been shortlisted for the Innovations In Your Speciality Award at the Royal College of Nursing (RCNi) Nurse Awards
The awards reward nurses who have developed new ways to enhance patient experience and transform nursing practice. The Innovations In Your Speciality Award is for nurses who have initiated projects which have a made a real difference to the lives of the people they care for within any specialty.
Ruth said: “Nausea and vomiting is a well-recognised complication of surgery and many patients tell us it is worse than the pain of having surgery.
“After completing an acupuncture course, I decided to look into using acupuncture as an additional method of reducing nausea and vomiting after surgery. We wanted to do this mainly from a caring and compassionate perspective because it makes patients feel better, improves their recovery, and allows them to return home more quickly.
“We’ve had some amazing feedback from patients, with some saying they had always suffered from post-operative nausea and vomiting and were amazed by the effectiveness of the Acupins.”
To introduce Acupin therapy, Ruth was supported by colleagues Gillian Handley, Karen Ford, Susie Lusby, Suzanne Elliott and Dr Amanda Blackburn. The team galvanised support from nursing and medical colleagues in Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Anaesthetics, Day Surgery and the Theatre Admissions Unit.
Ruth trained nurses to use Acupins and, along with other members of the Pain Team, created an information leaflet for patients to help explain the process and benefits of having an Acupin inserted. With the help of her colleagues, she visited the theatre admissions unit and relevant wards every day to identify suitable patients, insert the Acupins and evaluate the results.
The evaluation of 80 patients showed the incidents of post-operative nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing hysterectomies was reduced from 30 per cent to 7 per cent. Patients with nausea and vomiting after knee or hip operations also fell from 48 per cent to 18 per cent.
With the help of Ward Manager Karen Charlesworth, Ruth has also successfully introduced the Acupins on wards B11 and the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit for women suffering severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
Midwives working at the hospital, at Greenoaks Clinic and in the community have requested Acupin training. The Pain Team will also soon provide Acupin training to the Chemotherapy, Haematology, Rheumatology and Palliative Care Teams. Ruth has been invited to share her experiences with GPs in March at an education event at the New York Stadium.
Ruth will join other key figures within nursing and healthcare at the RCNi Nurse Awards on Friday 5 May at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London, where the winners will be announced.
“We feel very pleased and privileged that the RCNi feel our work is something worth recognising nationally. We’re really proud that we’ve managed to get so many colleagues throughout the Trust on board with introducing the Acupins so quickly because it is having a significant impact on our patients. We’re really looking forward to the ceremony,” Ruth added.
Gemma Carr, a Nurse Practitioner for the Trust’s Sexual Health Service, is currently 14 weeks pregnant and benefitting from Acupin therapy after suffering from severe vomiting and nausea for the past six weeks.
She said: “Feeling sick at work was really debilitating. Nausea in pregnancy is horrible because it stays with you all the time. A colleague suggested I try Acupin therapy and I jumped at the chance. It’s been wonderful. After just 24 hours I stopped being sick and felt less nausea. Those feelings went completely within two days.
“It’s been fantastic for me because I can now function well at work and I can run around after my 17 month old girl Caoilinn.”
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