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Local grandmother cleans up

Published: 27 Sep 2012

Bunbury grandmother of four, Teressa Normington has been awarded a prestigious accolade for her service to hospital sterilisation services.

The 2012 Nita Perry Award recognises significant contribution to sterilisation services and was awarded to Teressa in acknowledgment of her 12 years of service and commitment to national and international research and best practice.

Teressa’s 35 years of clinical experience has led her to represent Australia on an international committee setting the standards for the training of clinical and non-clinical staff on hospital instrument sterilisation processes.

Not long after leaving school, Teressa started her nursing training in Albany and stayed a country emergency and theatre nurse for over 20 years. Hospital sterilisation was never a speciality Teressa considered but when offered the opportunity to try a different health field she decided to give it a go. Little did she realise that 12 years on she would be employed by Serco as the Sterilisation Manager for Fiona Stanley Hospital working with the South Metropolitan Health Service to design and develop the sterilisation processes and standards for what will be Australia’s leading health care environment.

“Fiona Stanley Hospital is an exciting opportunity. It’s a project of massive scale and is the first public hospital to be built in WA in a long time. There are innovations everywhere.

“We have worked very hard to make sure the instrument sterilising processes are user friendly for the staff and of the highest standards for patients.

“For instance, in the new hospital there will be tens of thousands of surgical instruments and there will be a tracking system that can tell us where each of those instruments have been or are at any time of the day.

“There are also designated clean and dirty instrument lifts to take the instruments to and from the operating theatres which will improve infection control.

“Being nominated for the Nita Perry award is of personal significance to me. Nita Perry was such a lovely lady and a good friend. She actually introduced me to the Sterilising Research and Advisory Council, of which I am now the WA President.’

Teressa is the WA president of the Sterilising Research and Advisory Council of Australia and the Australian representative for the International Standards Committee for Sterilisation.

Nita Perry was the sterilisation services manager for King Edward Memorial Hospital and had worked tirelessly to improve sterilisation services throughout Australia.