​​Image of Cindy Dickson
Sue DeVries, PMCC Nurse Practitioner (left), and Bertha Hughes, Nurse Practitioner from St. Michael's Hospital (right) nominated Cindy Dickson, PMCC Vascular Nurse (centre) for national vascular nursing award. (Photo: Canadian Society of Vascular Nursing)​

Cindy Dickson, a Clinical Nurse in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre has won the prestigious Marge Lovell Award given out annually by the Canadian Society of Vascular Nursing (CSVN), and which recognizes excellence in the area of Vascular Nursing, Research, Education or Clinical Practice.

"This award demonstrates Cindy's commitment to clinical excellence and professional development," says Sue DeVries, a Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the PMCC and one of two individuals to put forth Cindy's nomination. "Being the recipient of this award reflects highly on the leadership and commitment by members of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre." 

The CSVN is the only Canadian Society dedicated to Vascular Nursing in Canada. "It is a great honour for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre that one their staff has received this national nursing award," says Cindy. "Patients with vascular disease are often facing a very difficult time in their life. Besides providing the physical care patients require, I provide emotional support to the patient and their family. To be recognized by the CSVN is a great professional accomplishment." Dickson received the award during the CSVN conference in Toronto in September.  

Dickson's career at the University Health Network (UHN) began in 1991, when she worked in Cardiovascular Surgery on the in-patient unit as a staff nurse.  In 2006, she moved into the   outpatient vascular clinic. Along with the clinical support Dickson provides for her patients, she has created educational resources to support their care, developing and revising numerous pamphlets.

Individuals with vascular disease comprise a vulnerable patient population requiring specialized care. As a wound care expert, Dickson supports patients who suffer from Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), a common complication for those who suffer circulatory problems in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. For patients with the most severe cases of PVD, skin ulcers, non-healing wounds, or even gangrene can occur. As a result, Cindy is often consulted by physicians and nurse practitioners to assist with wound management.

"Vascular Nursing is challenging because the patients have complex medical issues that sometimes require creative patient care plans," says Cindy. "I work closely with surgeons and I learn something new every day; it is very interesting. We have a great team and I enjoy working with them." 

Developing relationships with patients, helping them and their families through difficult times and seeing their health improve are what Cindy cherishes most.

"When I am able to help make somebody's life a little better, to heal a wound, to help that person cope with a difficult time in their life such as amputation – these are the moments that I find the most rewarding,"  says Cindy. "Over the years I have developed very special relationships with my patients, and for that I am very grateful."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Division of Vascular Surgery at Toronto's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is a world-class tertiary academic referral unit renowned for delivering care to highly complex cases through advanced diagnostic and surgical interventions. The division encompasses both clinical and basic science research activities.

The Canadian Chapter Society for Vascular Nursing was formed in 2000 to meet the needs of the Canadian Vascular Nurse. CCSVN was under the umbrella of The Society for Vascular Nursing, an international organization dedicated to professionalism and excellence in practice. CCSVN was incorporated in 2004.

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