The 13th Distinguished Merit Nurses Award – Mrs Seckin Erdal
The winner of the 13th Distinguished Merit Nurses Award is Mrs Seckin Erdal, President of the Turkey EBMT Nurses Group and nurse in charge of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit at Altunizade Acibadem Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.
Q: Congratulations on this award Seckin. How does it feel to be recognised by your peers in this way?
A: I am very proud to receive the award and being appreciated by my peers this way.
Q: Take us back to the start of your career. What made you choose nursing as a profession?
A: I must admit that I chose nursing without really knowing what I was entering into! But I stayed on when I felt that there is no other profession where one can feel human love better.
Q: Your early career included positions in emergency nursing, internal medicine nursing and oncology nursing. What made you decide to move into haematology?
A:.In the hospital where I first started my career, junior nurses were obliged to work in the emergency department initially, and then choose another department. I chose internal medicine, and during this period I realised that I very much enjoyed haematology.
Q: You worked as nurse in charge at the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit in Marmara University Hospital, in Istanbul in 1989. How exciting was it to work in this, the first bone marrow transplant centre that opened in Istanbul?
A: Very exciting. I felt privileged to get to know the rapidly changing new developments and practices, making a huge difference for the lives of our patients.
Q: How did you first become involved in the EBMT, and then become President of the Turkey EBMT Nurse Group?
A: I first became a member of the EBMT in 1994 and the same year I attended the meeting with a poster presentation in Harrogate. I enjoyed it very much and attended as many meetings as possible during the following years.
In 2015, I was appointed as a local nurse in the 41st EBMT annual meeting held in Istanbul. Following the meeting myself and my collagues decided to establish the EBMT Turkey nurses group and we did. Then I took on the task of group president.
Q: What would you say makes haematology nursing so special?
A: There are many factors. It would be true to say that, physically and psychologically, we sometimes spend more time with our patients than our own family during long and difficult treatment processes. What makes haematology nursing special is the complex and complicated environment where risky drugs and treatments are used, unexpected complications occur, and moods of the patients change during these complex situations. Hence one has to take on many different roles for patients, and not just nursing. I feel haematology nursing is the best place where one can feel job satisfaction.
Q: Do you have any remaining goals for the rest of your career?
A: I wish to share my experiences with junior nurses and make haematology and bone marrow nursing more popular. I also aim to carry out studies and hopefully develop effective nursing interventions for patients.
Thanks so much Seckin, and congratulations again on your award.