02 August 2012

Hospital staff awarded prestigious USA scholarship

Hospital staff awarded prestigious USA scholarship

A nurse and an occupational therapist from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have been awarded prestigious scholarships to learn more about healthcare in USA.

Nurse Laura Hailes and Occupational Therapist Becky Williamson will be ambassadors on the Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship.

The Scholarship gives 21-30 year olds who live or work in Nottinghamshire the opportunity to travel to the USA as British ambassadors, to develop their profession, trade or area of expertise.

Both Laura and Becky had clear ideas on how they would improve communication and best practice in their professional fields which, if successful, could be adopted by other NHS practices throughout the county.

Becky Williamson

26-year-old Becky Williamson, from Ruddington, works as an Occupational Therapist at the City Hospital. She will be travelling to the USA in November for one month.

She said: "It is a great honour to receive this scholarship because my mum Patricia Williamson (nee Blackburne) was also awarded The Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship in 1982, when she was a physiotherapist at the City Hospital.

"She always speaks so passionately about her experience and how it has had such a positive influence on her life and career.

"This is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting new people and making friends, and strengthening the ties between Nottinghamshire and the USA."

Talking about her role in the USA, she said: "I am looking into the role of Occupational Therapists in Major Trauma Centres in the USA, particularly with individuals who have had a brain injury.

"As an occupational therapist I am fascinated by people, their roles, lives and functional abilities in daily life and in wider social communities."

Laura Hailes

25-year-old Laura Hailes, from Mapperley Plains, works at the City Hospital's Oncology and Radiotherapy department as a nurse. She will be travelling to the USA in late-September for three months.

She said: "I am delighted that the Scholarship organisers liked my idea and am looking forward to my trip.

"My goal is to champion and learn more about 'Shared Governance' to improve communication in hospital wards.

"Shared Governance is about empowering staff by changing the existing work culture, so that frontline staff work more closely with their managers. This will give staff more power to make decisions that affect their practice."

She added: "We don't use the Shared Governance approach yet but I am hoping to pilot it on my return to work because studies have shown that it improves patient outcome and increases staff empowerment and satisfaction."

Laura and Becky will travel across America - including Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia - to develop their ideas and talk to other healthcare professionals about best practice.

Some of their trip will include staying with local families to learn more about American culture. They will also get the chance to meet Franklin Roosevelt's grandson Haven, who supports the Scholarship.

The Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship

The Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship was set up in 1945 by the then Lord Mayor Francis Carney, in gratitude to former President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) who died just a few weeks before the Nazi surrender.

Mr Carney's goal was to cement the ties between Nottinghamshire and the USA by sending local people to America to learn new skills to enhance their careers, whilst spreading friendship and goodwill.

For further information about the Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship, visit www.rooseveltscholarship.org/

NHS Nottingham University Hospitals
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