However Mackay mum Amy Forrester wanted to see the nurse her family has come to rely on get the recognition she deserves.
She nominated Dionne, a clinical nurse who co-ordinates care for children with the most complex needs, for our People’s Choice Award and it was the winning nomination.
“Dionne has been my daughter Juliet’s Connected Care nurse for a few years now and she has always been there for us,” Amy said.
“Juliet has a disability and has been through so much.
“It’s tough trying to co-ordinate all of the appointments and specialists that Juliet sees but Dionne’s input has made it easy.
“She takes away all of the extra stress.
“She goes above and beyond … and is always in the shadows just making things happen and making it easier for us.
“She’s a genuinely caring and beautiful woman that is very passionate about her job and her patients; we would be lost without Dionne.”
Dionne always wanted to be either a nurse or a police officer.
She chose nursing and completed her degree at JCU in Townsville.
It was there that she developed her love of caring for children.
“I did a placement in paediatrics and I just loved it,” Dionne said.
“And that’s when I knew where I wanted to work.
“I love that you know when the kids are sick, because they don’t want to be sick.
“So as soon as they are well again, they’re ready to go.
“Unfortunately, the problem is when they are sick, they go down very, very fast, so you have to be ready for it.”
Dionne was offered a post graduate position in Mackay and started in our children’s unit in 1999.
She took on the position of Connected Care co-ordinator about four years ago, and currently oversees the care needs of 54 children aged from 0 to 17.
“These are children with complicated, very complex needs,” Dionne said.
“To be put on the program they have to see at least five different specialties.
“They’ll have appointments in Brisbane and that’s where I step in and co-ordinate.
“It’s huge work for the families to get the kids down to Brisbane with their wheelchairs and equipment; it’s a lot for the parents and kids.
“And they might find they’ve got one appointment in May, one in June, one in July.
“So then I’ll coordinate it so they are all within a few days.
“I can also check if some can be telehealth appointments and save the family the difficulties of travel at times.
“A lot of parents will also call me and say ‘I’m a bit worried about this’.
“Depending on what the concern is, I am able to discuss it with whoever it may apply to, whether it be the dietician, physio, OT, paediatrician or any of the specialists at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
“Everyone’s great; I can just walk in and get an answer and then I’m able to call the parents back.”
Amy said that the bond Dionne has developed with her daughter has made all the difference for their family.
“It’s already stressful enough caring for Juliet, who was born with a missing chromosome,” Amy said.
“But she loves Dione; she loves coming to the hospital; she never used to.
“Dionne is not allowed to leave; we absolutely love her.”