Debra Vickers moved to the Western Isles in 2007, taking up her first community based post as the lead nurse for cardiac services. Given there is no cardiologist or cardiology team for support, her role expanded quickly.
She redesigned the cardiac rehabilitation service so that it is now able to deliver more effective and evidence-based care. It is the only cardiac rehabilitation service in Scotland open to those at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The service her team provides is unique across Scotland, delivered in the community by a strong multidisciplinary team comprehensively managing their patients. She says that establishing multi-disciplinary working was the greatest challenge, but is now key to this service.
She sees the Queen’s Nurse title as an opportunity to influence and empower nurses to deliver care which enables patients and their families to take ownership of their care and conditions. Her vision has Queen’s Nurses as role models, encouraging nursing colleagues to have tenacity and resilience and sending the message ‘you can do this’.
Her project introduces a means of reducing the time to treatment for patients suffering a heart attack.
Kathleen McCulloch, Lead Nurse Community
These demonstrate Debra’s resilience and tenacity in adapting and delivering bespoke services which are unique to our local needs.