ONE of the leading figures behind a ground-breaking acute pain service at the Sick Kids hospital in Sciennes is to retire.
Linda Buchanan, a clinical nurse specialist for pain management, helped pioneer the treatment of acute and chronic pain in children at the Edinburgh institution beginning in the 1990s. The decision by the 60-year-old from Morningside will mark the last chapter in 40 years as one of the hospital’s longest-serving employees.
Her dedication to patients has led to her becoming the latest nominee for the Sick Kids Heroes awards in the category for “a member of staff who has made the ultimate difference”.
The awards aim to shine a light on some of the region’s most courageous patients, along with talented and caring medical staff and supporters. Linda started out in the hospital’s operating theatres, but her most significant contribution is the acute pain service.
The specialist nurse said: “It was developed from a group that looked at pain throughout the hospital and recognised, as many other hospitals were recognising at the same time, that they needed a specialist team that dealt with pain patients.
“My role was to set up and improve training for the nurses in pain management, to see what numbers of acute pain patients we were getting and to see whether this was a useful role for nurses to monitor the child’s pain throughout their stay and take action.
“Now all the major children’s hospitals in the country like Glasgow and Aberdeen have pain management teams.”
Linda said acupuncture and massage were among the more unusual techniques used to help children cope – although it was often easier to distract a young child and take their mind off any pain thay have.
She said: “If I can help a child in pain – even if you can’t remove all the pain as sometimes it’s not possible but you can make it to a level they are comfortable with – you do get a lot of job satisfaction from it.”
Colleague and nominator Mandy Sim said Linda would be a “huge loss”, adding: “She is so dedicated to the patients and always goes that extra mile to ensure that they receive the best possible care.
“Linda is always available to support her colleagues.”
Nominations for the Sick Kids Heroes awards must be in by Friday’s deadline at www.edinburghsickkids.org/events/nominate, by phoning 0131-668 4949, or by sending in our coupon. The winners will be announced at a ceremony and three-course meal at the Caledonian Hotel on May 10.
Tickets are £40 each and can be booked by e-mailing Linda Cameron on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling SKFF on 0131-668 4949.