Limerick woman is public health nurse of the year

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Bernie Long, Broadford, public health nurse of the year
GOOD primary care, just like in parenting, is all down to teamwork according to the Broadford woman who has just been named public health nurse of the year.

GOOD primary care, just like in parenting, is all down to teamwork according to the Broadford woman who has just been named public health nurse of the year.

Bernie Long, a mother-of-three herself, works as part of the Cois Abhann primary care team in Athea, also covering Glin and Carrigkerry.

And Bernie’s work around west Limerick in the past six years saw her nominated for the awards ceremony in Dublin last week, hosted by Maternity and Infant magazine and sponsored by Baby Elegance.

Public health nurses are involved in caring in the community from the cradle to the grave, including caring for the terminally ill.

But cutbacks to community midwifery services in recent years have seen them increasingly relied on by new parents. And Maternity and Infant magazine has recognised the role of the public health nurse in its awards.

“They are national awards with different categories all to do with babies and children. We had grandmother of the year, the best mum, sibling of the year, miracle babies, paediatricians, obstetricians, public health nurses, pharmacists and the list goes on, all being recognised,” explained Bernie.

“It was of course a great honour even to have been nominated. But it’s not only me as I work as part of a team, with physios, GPs and all the other staff. We all help and without everyone’s input, nothing would be done. Everybody works together and in primary care that is what makes it work. So the award I think recognises everybody.”

Bernie was nominated by a west Limerick mother, whose family and loved ones she has been involved in caring since she began practising at Cois Abhann.

Bernie and husband Ned O’Reilly have three children of their own to care for - Roisin, Clodagh and Darragh.

The awards were hosted by TV3’s Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King and presented at the Double Tree by Hilton in Dublin last Friday. They seek to “recognise inspirational people and outstanding childcare service providers, as well as commending the very best products and services for parents and babies in Ireland”, said a spokesperson for the awards.