Rachel Thibault is a registered nurse based in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH). She has been with HHS for 21 years including stints as a nurse in the emergency departments at WLMH and McMaster University Medical Centre.
She recently won a WLMH Quality Award for customer service focus.
What does an ICU nurse do?
We care for a wide range of health issues among our adult patients. Our team of nurses works in conjunction with a doctor of internal medicine as well as the patient’s family doctor.
The community model of care we have at WLMH provides patients with an integrated system that allows the family doctor to be responsible for their patient’s care throughout their time in the hospital. Our patients are often our neighbours and we share a common bond of loving our community.
I stay motivated by the fact that every shift is different. As nurses, we are versatile.
What keeps you motivated at work?
I think I stay motivated by the fact that every shift is different and I, along with my colleagues, can be called upon to do various tasks to ensure we’re providing the best care. We are versatile, as nurses, and use a variety of skills to get the job done.
Sometimes we lend a hand to other units who may need help with IV initiations and respiratory care. Being part of HHS has allowed our staff to have greater access to resources that help us do our job.
Who inspires you?
The umbrella driving force in my nursing career is that I honour God in my practice. This includes treating others better than myself. These convictions are with me when I am at work and at home.
I am most inspired by my husband, Daniel, and my family. We have eight children, all of whom were born at WLMH. Each birth experience was amazing with five of them delivered by our family doctor and three by midwives. It was a little strange to be a patient at the hospital where I work but it only made me love this place even more.
Now, one of our daughters is thinking about pursuing a career in nursing. What an encouragement!
Some of my most memorable moments have been at the bedside with patients during their last moments.
Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.
One of the greatest privileges as a nurse in our ICU is helping patients in their time of need.
We have several patients who are in great pain or are near the end-of-life stage. Some of my most memorable moments have been at the bedside with patients during their last moments. I am supported by a great team and look forward to working here for many years at this great hospital.