As a nationally recognized expert in renal nursing, Richard Luscombe has helped pioneer innovative methods that have improved the care of patients requiring vascular access treatments, and empowered them to become more involved in their own care. Thanks to his tireless efforts to educate others, his influence is felt around the province and across the country.
Richard has honed his skills as an educator for many years. He is involved with British Columbia Institute of Technology’s CTF nephrology course, supporting RNs in the classroom and in clinical settings. Through teaching theory and clinical practice behind vascular access, “he supports nurses to develop excellent cannulating skills, critical for working in a hemodialysis unit,” says Providence Health Care (PHC) Clinical Nurse Educator Luisito M. Sera Josep.
Richard doesn’t just adhere to best practices that have been developed elsewhere, but provides solutions of his own design. As an expert in vascular access, Richard’s method of teaching and using the ultrasound machine for arteriovenous fistula mapping and cannulation is an innovative way to solve the problem of needling difficult arteriovenous fistulas.
Richard has presented at many conferences focusing on renal care in Canada and the United States, such as BC Nephrology Days and the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists (CANNT). “Throughout Canada, Richard is acclaimed for his extensive presentations on different topics of vascular access care,” says PHC Clinical Nurse Educator Leilani Ocampo. At the same time, Richard has had a great impact on a one-to-one basis mentoring nurses in the nephrology certification program of the Canadian Nurses Association.
Richard doesn’t just teach his specialty, he also personally ensures that renal care capabilities are improved through better programming, training and care delivery. For instance, Richard helped organize and establish one of PHC’s community dialysis units in Powell River CDU. He co-founded the Provincial Vascular Access Service Team and the British Columbia Vascular Access Educator Group that is developing consistent approaches, guidelines, assessments and standards for the province. He also helped establish the Vascular Access program at St. Paul’s Hospital and the provincial vascular access database, improving care across the province. In addition, he co-developed the provincial initiative, “Save the Veins”, which helped raise awareness of vascular access care to all health care providers, whether in a hospital or community setting.
While building capabilities in his fellow health professionals is paramount, Richard has never lost sight of the importance of involving patients in the process. Working with the Kidney Function Clinical team, Richard developed patient education material about the care of fistula and graft. Efforts like these have helped ensure patients contribute to their own healing—and ultimately improve recovery.
Richard started out as a bedside nurse, delivering compassionate and comprehensive hemodialysis therapy to patients. Gaining decades of experience since then as a hemodialysis nurse and vascular access nurse clinical leader, Richard has helped share his specialized knowledge with countless health professionals. He has made a positive difference to many patients’ live and continues to inspire his colleagues in his pursuit of nursing excellence.