An internationally trained nurse stands in portrait in front of the ICU

Introducing… an internationally trained nurse

Dreams do come true. Othman Mansour’s career as a nurse started 12 years ago but what he really wanted was to provide his family with better opportunities.

Starting out in Jordan before working in Saudi Arabia, Othman wanted to continue his path onto Canada. The next steps for him posed a challenge.

“Like many in my position, I worried about getting my credentials,” says Othman. “Then I knew I had to focus on developing effective therapeutic relationships with patients and their families that foster open communication and trust.”

Othman is an internationally trained nurse working in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) Hamilton General Hospital. He cares for patients suffering from various forms of trauma, surgery and other diagnoses that require critically trained nurses for respiratory support on ventilators.

Othman is the first to come out of the Internationally Educated Nurse program and land in the ICU.

Internationally Educated Nurse project

Internationally trained nurses are part of a culturally diverse workforce at HHS. Since 2009, the Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) and English as a Second Language Nurse Integration Project initiative helps nurses fully integrate into the Ontario healthcare system.

An internationally trained nurse works on an IVOthman is the first registered nurse to enter the IEN project and land in the hospital’s ICU.

After completing his degree, Othman worked in the surgical unit at King Abdullah University Hospital while working on his master’s degree before serving as the charge nurse for eight years.

When Othman arrived in Canada in 2017, he participated in the IEN project while waiting for his nursing license to be processed that would allow him to work here full time. He worked as a health care aide with another organization to make ends meet in the meantime.

Mentoring key to ICU nurse’s success

His colleague Tami McKenzie was excited to work with Othman once he got his license. She was in charge of his training in the ICU at Hamilton General.

 

“Training Othman was a new experience for me,” says Tami. “He had the knowledge about critical care, but he lacked the knowledge base with respect to our equipment and IV medications.”

Othman’s many years of experience working outside Canada were beneficial to him.

After two shifts with his mentor, Ravinder Multani, it became apparent Othman needed more guidance. While very knowledgeable and an avid critical thinker, Othman found the equipment and some processes challenging. There were key differences compared to what he saw back home.

A brief introduction later and they both jumped right into IV infusions. Othman’s many years of experience working outside Canada were beneficial to him. But there were still early setbacks.

His team created a new strategy for Othman that would set him on the path to success, which he ultimately realized.

“He picked things up very fast,” says Tami proudly of her new trainee. “We had IV bags spread across the table and we systematically looked up IV monographs as we went down the line.”

“It’s hard to express how thankful and lucky I am for the IEN office and their endless support,” says Othman. “Tami and the rest of the team in the ICU were amazing throughout my long journey to this point.”

“They made my dreams come true.”

 

With contributions from Tami McKenzie

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




A home total parenteral nutrition coordinator administers a needle to a patient

Introducing… a home total parenteral nutrition coordinator

Jane Plant is a registered nurse and a home total parenteral nutrition (TPN) coordinator for our digestive diseases clinic. She has been with Hamilton Health Sciences for 14 years but is fairly new to this role.

The home TPN program accepts a certain number of patients from across the region each year. It sets people up to live at home with intravenous (IV) feeding, which is also called total parenteral nutrition.

What does a home total parenteral nutrition coordinator do?

My fellow clinicians and I care for 25-30 home TPN patients per day who all live at home. These patients infuse total parenteral nutrition every night through a central line.

We help patients decide what central line will work best for them and teach them how to start and stop IV nutrition safely. I also work closely with the radiology department to have lines inserted in addition to constantly communicating with other care providers.

What keeps you motivated at work?

It’s really easy to stay motivated at work because the impact of what we do is so significant for the patients. We have an amazing team who are all very supportive and encouraging.

I have a young family. Moving to a position within a clinic has really helped me to find a work/home balance. There is a lot of flexibility and understanding, which is key for a positive work environment for me.

a home total parenteral nutrition coordinator stands in portrait

Who inspires you?

I’m a very family-oriented person; I find inspiration from them.

My dad is a hard-working farmer in addition to having a 40-hours-a-week job outside the farm. I’m inspired by his work ethic and problem-solving skills.

My daughters, Ellie and Rosie, inspire me to keep learning and growing. I strive to be the person they see through their eyes.

What made you enter your field of work?

Nursing to me is way more than a career choice. It really feels like being a nurse is a huge part of my personality.

I love interacting with and caring for patients while facilitating therapeutic relationships. Nursing was also appealing to me because there is such a wide and varied scope of what a nurse does and flexibility to take a different path.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




A labour relations lead stands in portrait

Introducing… an employee and labour relations lead

Tiffany Roblin is the employee and labour relations lead on Hamilton Health Sciences’ human resources operations and labour relations team. She has been with HHS for one and a half years.

Before she came to HHS, she spent 10 years in the post-secondary education sector.

What does an employee and labour relations lead do?

I work closely with a team of specialists, coordinators, business partners and our union partners to champion our strategies and collective bargaining initiatives.

I’m also responsible for providing labour relations and human resources advice throughout HHS on both union and non-union issues. This typically includes labour management concerns and employee/labour relations issues that escalate to our department.

These can be either informal consultations or done formally through the grievance/arbitration processes outlined in our collective agreements.

I’m responsible for providing labour relations and human resources advice.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that my role gives me the opportunity to support front-line health care workers, support staff, leaders and others across the organization who can make an impact on our patients’ experience.

Our team is privileged to provide them with an effective and efficient means for dealing with their human resource concerns.

What keeps you motivated at work?

I am motivated each day by the people around me, both within my department, as well as our staff, leaders and physicians.

I always viewed HHS as an employer of choice.

Each level of this organization inspires me to learn new things and strive for continuous improvement in the way we deliver employee and labour relations advice to the HHS community.

Why do you choose to work at HHS?

Throughout my career in post-secondary education, I always viewed HHS as an employer of choice.

Being an academic teaching hospital and a world leader in health sciences research are huge advantages.

Getting the opportunity to join HHS, I thrive in knowing that a portion of what I do on a day-to-day basis supports our vision of best care for all. It enables our staff and physicians to provide excellent health care for those in the community I work and live.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




An ICU nurse stands in portrait

Introducing… an ICU nurse

Tami McKenzie wanted to experience nursing beyond her regular role.

When an opportunity came to join Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) Nursing Quality Council (NQC), she jumped at it.

“Last year, I felt an urge to see nursing through a new set of eyes,” says Tami, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Hamilton General Hospital. “What I love most about my role on the NQC is that I’m in a position to make change.”

The NQC meets regularly to see what processes impact the over 4,000 nurses employed at HHS and makes recommendations to improve the quality of care they provide.

The drive to learn and develop

It’s a group Tami was inspired by to help her grow as a nurse.

Learning, and the drive to lead in this area along with research and innovation, is a key pillar in HHS’ strategic plan.

“The chance to expand my role, while continuing my day-to-day activities is important.”

Last spring, a new committee was formed to educate nurses about palliative care, adding to the many communities of practice available across the hospital system. HHS also has long-standing partnerships with Mohawk College and McMaster University, which provide more opportunities for health care staff.

“The chance to expand my role, while continuing my day-to-day activities is important,” says Tami, who has worked at HHS for 12 years. “Outside of the bedside care I provide, I’m involved in many development initiatives.”

Tami’s focus on learning and development not only helps her as a front-line ICU nurse, but it also leads to experiences that motivate her to do more.

Recently, Tami became a clinical instructor at McMaster University and represented HHS at a career fair.

She also took advantage of a professional development workshop offered at the hospital called Grow Where You Are. This spring, she starts her master’s degree.

“What I learned about healthy work environments is that to be meaningful, recognition must be linked to specific accomplishments.”

With HHS’ new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Management System, nurses at HHS are also encouraged to get involved in solving problems at the unit level to make things better for patients, families and staff.

A key part of CQI is a daily huddle amongst team members to discuss any improvement opportunities and recognize accomplishments.

Inspired to recognize her fellow nurses

During one of her shifts early in her career, when a patient suffered from a cardiac arrest, Tami administered chest compressions for the first time. The patient’s vital signs returned as a result.

The senior medical resident acknowledged her critical role, but it wasn’t until later she understood the true value of recognition.

“What I learned about healthy work environments is that to be meaningful, recognition must be linked to specific accomplishments, delivered by someone meaningful and timely,” says Tami. “This physician provided me with that level of recognition and it still resonates, inspiring me to recognize others.”

Tami continues to learn and develop through her NQC role, helping to select nursing excellence award winners at Hamilton Health Sciences.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




A hand hygiene coordinator stands in portrait.

Introducing… a hand hygiene coordinator

Beata Mostowiak is the hand hygiene coordinator in Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) infection prevention and control program. She has been with HHS for close to three years.

Before working in this role, Beata volunteered as a hand hygiene auditor. This introduced her to the importance of hand hygiene as it relates to patient safety.

What do you do?

I work with staff across HHS to review whether we follow our hand hygiene standards.

I prepare reports for leaders that outline key indicators so they can address them at their team huddles as they talk about new improvement opportunities. I’ll sometimes attend those huddles to discuss opportunities and their strategies to improve hand hygiene.

Working with members of our infection prevention and control team, we create educational material that supports our staff and patients. I also oversee students, volunteers and staff who help audit our sites.

It’s rewarding to know I can influence our patient safety standards.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my role is each day brings a new challenge or experience.

Working at all HHS sites allows me to connect with staff from various programs and patients from a variety of backgrounds. It’s rewarding to know I can influence our patient safety standards.

What made you enter your field of work?

I had an interest in patient safety while completing my undergraduate degree in public health. This led me to take a course in infection prevention and control course, which ignited my passion to prevent patients from getting healthcare-associated infections.

As auditors, we take pride in being a helpful resource for staff.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

I think my role can be misunderstood. The auditing process is not punitive, but rather it’s to collect data that identifies areas for improvement. It’s not meant to be covert or for disciplinary purposes.

As auditors, we take pride in being a helpful resource for staff.

I’m also more than just an auditor. I connect with our staff and physicians to identify barriers and create unit-specific strategies to improve the way we clean our hands.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




An IT service agent stands in portrait

Introducing… an IT customer service agent

Carmela Pagliaro is a customer service agent for Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) Health Information Technology Services (HITS). She has been with HHS for close to 30 years.

HITS customer service agents work across all HHS sites while the main Helpdesk is based at our Wellington St. offices beside Hamilton General Hospital.

What does a customer service agent do?

My role varies from day to day depending on where I am scheduled. Sometimes I work on the Helpdesk and other days I am scheduled at another HHS site.

On the Helpdesk, which is the primary point of contact for technology inquiries, I answer the phones with a team of at least 10 service agents. Calls come from across our sites as well as our external partners.

I take all sorts of calls related to hardware or software issues, as well as service requests to set up devices.

When someone calls the Helpdesk, we log the details in our ticketing system, begin troubleshooting, triage and provide them with a tracking number if the issue is not resolved over the phone.

I take calls ranging from hardware, software and connectivity problems to permission and access issues. There are also service requests to set up and move devices, install software and deploy equipment.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my role in the HITS department is that your day is never the same.

We work both as a team and individually. I am always learning something new, and I enjoy helping people with their devices to make sure they work properly.

Technology is always changing and therefore, we are always changing to keep up with these new advancements.

What keeps you motivated at work?

My motivation comes from doing a job in a field I absolutely love.

Technology is always changing and therefore, we are always changing to keep up with these new advancements. I’m faced with new challenges all the time.

The newest and most interesting challenge I’m currently facing revolves around our Digital Health Plan. It is comprised of a series of projects to upgrade our software, devices and infrastructure. We are enabling technologies that will result in the best care for HHS patients and providers.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS

Being part of a great team is really rewarding. Throughout my HHS career, I have been given various opportunities to be part of major capital projects such as the Juravinski Hospital rebuild and the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre build.

I have also taken part in professional development opportunities so I can continuously strengthen my skills as a service agent. I take great pride in being part of a great workplace, working not only with HITS but all departments across HHS.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




A dietitian stands in portrait

Introducing… a home parenteral nutrition dietitian

Suzanne Hansen is a registered dietitian who divides her time between the home parenteral nutrition program (HPN), various gastroenterology clinics and the adult cystic fibrosis clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) McMaster University Medical Centre. She has been with HHS for 27 years.

The HPN program accepts a certain number of patients from across the region each year. It sets people up to live at home with intravenous (IV) feeding, or what’s called total parenteral nutrition.

What does a HPN dietitian do?

In the HPN program, we care for up to 30 patients with intestinal failure. They have issues resulting from short bowel syndrome or bowel obstructions secondary to an underlying cancer.

Managing patients in this program is a bit like looking after a ward in the community. We teach patients and families how to start and stop the IV nutrition safely. We closely monitor their clinical status, central line status and response to total parenteral nutrition.

The HPN program sets people up to live at home with IV feeding, or what’s called total parenteral nutrition.

It’s our job to make sure we liaise with other care providers on a regular basis regarding necessary adjustments to a patient’s care plan. We also determine whether they need to continue with this program.

For the other half of my role, I manage patients with a wide range of digestive disorders that interfere with their ability to eat and drink, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

What do you love most about your job?

I work in a number of different clinics. When patients tell me a particular nutrition care plan has improved their overall quality of life, it is very gratifying.

HPN patients are often with us for several months or years. In the beginning, they are usually malnourished. When I see them gain weight and become physically and mentally stronger, it warms my heart. Some of them cry tears of joy over their progress.

These interactions and the relationships I develop with my patients and colleagues makes me enjoy coming to work.

HPN patients are often with us for several months or years.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Working with a devoted team of doctors and nurses keeps me motivated. They trust and support my abilities and allow me a certain amount of autonomy. We are all dedicated to delivering quality care to our patients.

Who inspires you?

I have always been inspired by my mother.

My father passed away when I was young and my mother was left to raise seven children. Despite limited finances, she encouraged all of us to pursue our career choices.

My mother was a hard worker and a great cook, and I like to believe this inherent love of food helped guide me to become a dietitian.




portrait of a 93-year-old volunteer

Introducing… a 93-year-old volunteer

Madeline Cook has been a volunteer at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) for over 20 years and has contributed over 3,600 hours of her time. Despite being visually impaired, she makes her way to St. Peter’s Hospital on a monthly basis. She plays piano for an interactive sing-along as part of the therapeutic programming for patients. Madeline recently celebrated her ninety-third birthday!

Madeline playing piano for the patients at St. Peter's Hospital

What do you do?

Over 20 years ago, a friend of mine had wanted to start volunteering at Hamilton Health Sciences and asked if I wanted to join her. We were looking for something to do where we could help people. When we went into the volunteering office, I was asked about my interests. I talked about how I love music. Ever since then I’ve been playing the piano in the hospital. I started at McMaster Children’s Hospital, but since the patients were so young and unfamiliar with the songs I was playing, I switched St. Peter’s Hospital.

I love knowing I can make an impact in people’s lives.

What do you love most about your role?

I love playing at St. Peter’s Hospital because the patients know the songs and can sing along. Although all music is therapeutic, it has a greater impact when you’re familiar with what you’re listening to. I love knowing I can make an impact in people’s lives. As long as one person is enjoying listening to me play or I’ve been able to make someone smile, it’s worthwhile.

Madeline playing piano as part of the therapeutic recreation programming for patients

Tell us about a gratifying experience at HHS.

A patient that I often see seemed particularly down one day so I told her how much I liked her hat that she’d worn the last time I saw her. When she left, I was worried I may have upset her, but next thing I knew she was back with her hat on and a big smile on her face. That was the first time I ever saw her smile and I’m so glad I could help make it happen. Those moments are what make volunteering so rewarding.

What keeps you motivated?

Music keeps me motivated. I sing in a choir and we meet and perform regularly. We are by no means professional singers, but we love what we do. I guess you could also say we motivate and inspire each other too. We not only love to sing, but we love to make people happy with music.




A nutrition associate stands in portrait

Introducing… a nutrition associate

Sheri Schuur is a nutrition associate based at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC). She has been with HHS for close to 30 years including stints as an environmental aide in various units at MUMC.

What do you do?

I mostly work in the maternal feeding room at MUMC, where I prepare formula for babies born at our hospital. I work closely with my fellow nutrition associates, supervisors, dietitians and dietetic assistants.

A nutrition associate pours infant formula into individual bottles.

The room undergoes strict sterilization procedures to ensure every feed is prepared in the safest way possible. It has a special fume hood that only allows my arms to reach within to measure, weigh and mix about 28 feeds per day.

Tell us about your first day at HHS.

I was almost 19 when I started working in nutrition services at MUMC. Right away, I worked with a bunch of great people, which definitely helped me in those early days.

On my first day, I recall how young I was and remember how excited I was to work in a hospital.

What do you love most about your job?

I love working in health care. Before I became a nutrition associate, I used to work in the emergency department as an environmental aide. I loved being in a fast-paced role with such great people. Now, I enjoy the fact I provide nutrition to our newborn patients in a safe place.

Our doctors, nurses and environmental aides are also an important part of what I do. They keep me coming back every day.

I measure, weigh and mix about 28 feeds per day.

Who inspires you?

Early in my career, I ventured over to an environmental aide position working mostly with elderly patients. I was inspired by a former health care aide that worked with me. She was always so happy around patients and loved what she did as a health care professional.

If you were in a bad mood, you wouldn’t be for much longer after spending a few moments with her.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




Portrait of Davis Dos Santos, a chiropractic specialist

Introducing… a chiropractic specialist

David Dos Santos is a chiropractic specialist and the practice lead for the Musculoskeletal Central Intake and Assessment Centre for patients with lower back pain. He joined the complex care and orthopedics program at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in October and is based at Hamilton General Hospital.

Before joining HHS, David worked at a regional health care provider where he examined patients about to undergo back surgery. He assessed and treated conditions related to nerves, muscles and the skeleton.

What does a chiropractic specialist do?

Patients with lower back issues see me and my team after they are referred by their family doctors. If it looks like a patient may need surgery, I evaluate them and work with our spine and neurosurgeons to screen for potential issues that could come up during surgery.

I also provide solutions for helping patients manage their pain and improve their mobility.

The most appealing part of my job is to work within a shared-care model of patient care.

What do you love most about your job?

The most appealing part of my job is to work within a shared-care model of patient care. I enjoy partnering with community-based practitioners and primary care providers to offer this model throughout a patient’s journey, which may take them to meeting a spine specialist or their preferred surgeon for a potential operation.

What surprised you the most when you first started working at HHS?

What surprised me the most was the high level of organization at HHS, and the smooth on-boarding process. I am impressed with the level of competence with the management team and their ability to make new employees feel valued.

My goals are to make this new program one of excellence that creates a high level of confidence and satisfaction with patients.

Why do you choose to work at HHS?

I worked with surgical professionals in the past and was impressed by the leadership that was demonstrated. I also wanted to work in a hospital with a high quality university affiliation, which is the case with McMaster University.

What do you hope to accomplish while at HHS?

My goals are to make this new program one of excellence that creates a high level of confidence and satisfaction with patients, primary care providers and surgeons.

I hope to advance the reputation of HHS as a health care facility providing exceptional patient care.

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.




Portrait of Dr. Katherine Morrison

Introducing… a pediatric endocrinologist

Dr. Katherine Morrison is a pediatric endocrinologist in the Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Within this centre, she is the medical director of two clinics, the Growing Healthy Weight Management program and the Pediatric Lipid clinic. She has been at McMaster Children’s Hospital for 18 years.

As a pediatric endocrinologist, what do you do?

As a physician and clinician-researcher, I have the opportunity to do a number of jobs! In the Growing Healthy Weight Management program I help families of children who are overweight and in the Pediatric Lipid clinic I work with families with abnormalities in cholesterol, many of which are genetic. I also conduct research that is closely related to my clinical work and work with trainees in pediatric clinical training and in research.

research was something I wanted to incorporate into my clinical work

What do you love most about your job?

There are many things I love about the work I do, so it’s hard to choose. I am very privileged to have a position where I can care for families, work with an amazing team, have the joy of interacting with clinical and research trainees and have the opportunity to research unanswered questions that I come across in my clinic. But, what I think I would say I love the most about my job is interacting with the wonderful people that I work with.

What made you enter your field of work?

I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician since I was in high school. When I studied Biochemistry at McMaster University as an undergraduate student, it became clear that pediatric endocrinology was my target career direction. In my fellowship, I decided that research was something I wanted to incorporate into my clinical work to try to help more children than just my own patients. It was also during my training that I became interested in understanding the pathways that lead to how we use energy and consume nutrients, as well as how the body handles sugar and fats. I have incorporated this in my clinic and in my research!

My vision is that my research will help us better understand why some children have challenges with energy balance which result in health problems and to develop better treatment programs.

What do you hope to accomplish while at Hamilton Health Sciences?

My first priority is to do everything I can to help the families who come to our clinic. However, I also want to help children with similar problems elsewhere. I hope to accomplish both by continuing to grow and develop with the amazing team of professionals in the Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre and through my research. My vision is that the research I do with others at the Centre for Metabolism, Obesity and Diabetes Research will: help us better understand why some children have challenges with energy balance which result in health problems and to develop better treatment programs.




A cardiac registered nurse first assistant stands in portrait.

Introducing… a cardiac registered nurse first assistant

Faye Browne is a cardiac registered nurse first assistant (RNFA) in perioperative services at Hamilton General Hospital. She works in the hospital’s cardiac surgery operating rooms and has been with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) for over 34 years.

Faye received the Margaret R. Charters Nursing Bursary in 2012. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society and the Registered Nurse First Assistant Network of Canada.

What does an RNFA do?

During an operation, I use a technical skill set to assist our cardiac surgeons with handling tissue, using surgical instruments, suturing and knot tying, providing hemostasis (the act of preventing excessive blood loss) and harvesting conduit to create a new blood flow connection across the heart.

On a typical day, I also handle preoperative physical assessments and plan for selective cardiac surgical patients. The cardiac surgery team has many roles within it. We collaborate in the post-operation phase to evaluate selected patients and their outcomes of perioperative nursing care. This includes, for example, positioning, wound healing, surveillance of surgical site infections and bleeding.

I also teach surgical techniques to medical and nursing students as well as residents.

I enjoy being part of a surgical team that has a significant impact on a patient’s well-being through altering and increasing life expectancy.

What do you love most about your job?

I am proud and privileged to work at HHS in one of the RNFA roles. I enjoy being part of a surgical team that has a significant impact on a patient’s well-being through altering and increasing life expectancy.

Our team is dedicated, efficient, effective and financially responsible. We’re committed to our program, the cardiac patient population, research and innovation now and beyond. I like paying it forward to the benefit of others.

What made you enter your field of work?

So many reasons to choose from. I’m fascinated with the amount of leading edge technology, continuous education, problem solving, innovation and constant change in this area.

I also wanted to advance nursing practice. In the 1980s, the RNFA role was identified as one to advance perioperative nurses practice. I knew then this would be my long-term goal because at that time the RNFA role was just being developed in Canada.

This is a technically challenging skill of artistry that takes time to learn.

After completing my registered nurse first assistant certification in addition to a Master’s of Science in Nursing and Education, my dream became a reality thanks to HHS and our cardiac surgeons.

I practice a unique role providing leadership, excellence in perioperative nursing care for the cardiac surgical patient and family through the components of expert clinical practice, consultation, specialized education and leadership. I feel I am an ambassador and assistant to all of my professional colleagues.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

One aspect of the cardiac RNFA role is to harvest vein, which is used as the conduits for the coronary artery bypasses.

This is a technically challenging skill of artistry that takes time to learn. People are both surprised and impressed by this aspect of my role. The general comment is “how cool is that!”

 

Is there a staff member, physician or volunteer you want to recognize for their outstanding work? Send an email to share@hhsc.ca with their name, role, site, department and why they should be recognized. We may feature them in our weekly series.