22 Jan 2022

Medical breakthrough at Limerick hospital 

UHL team make medical breakthrough 

Nora and Sheila Ryan pictured after completion of their first implantation

TWO advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) have become the world’s first nursing team to carry out a groundbreaking procedure. 

The UHL ANP Older Person team of Nora Cunningham and Sheila Ryan have carried out a procedure involving the surgical implant of a tiny monitor which enables enabling stroke or syncope (sudden temporary loss of consciousness) patients to have their heart rate and rhythm monitored from their own homes.

The duo are among the first nurses qualified to conduct the procedure, which previously had to be performed by cardiologists.

Nora and Sheila have spent most of the past two years researching and training, after they proposed that a nurse-led service could relieve pressures on cardiologists in the hospital’s busy cardiology department and significantly reduce wait times for patients in need of the implant.

Nora said: “I’m delighted to be able to lead out on this service and to be the first Stroke Nurse in the world to take on this role. It will facilitate a fantastic service for patients at UHL, and it represents the future for our health service through innovation and the passion for change.

“None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of Senior Nurse management and our Medical Consultants.”

Sheila added: “As ANPs, it’s great to be able to play a key role in the journey of patients through UHL.”

Mairead Cowan, Director of Nursing for Medicine at UL Hospitals Group, said: “I’m so proud of Nora and Sheila and their fantastic achievement. This is a very exciting example of the transformations and innovations in patient care that have been made possible through investment in Advanced Nurse Practitioners at our hospitals.”

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