A registered practical nurse stands in portrait.

Introducing… a registered practical nurse in acute medicine

Michelle Lee is a registered practical nurse in Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) acute medicine unit at Hamilton General Hospital. She has been with HHS for three years, starting in a pre-grad placement before earning her license.

In 2018, Michelle won the Preceptor Award of Excellence given out by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario. The award recognizes mentoring of learners in the nursing profession.

What do you do?

I work with a team of nurses who care for people in the acute medicine unit. We look after patients who are acutely ill and who may have chronic health issues.

Part of my role is to assess patients on a daily basis, provide medication and help with routine tasks like bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom. I assist patients with their day-to-day activities and care for them based on individual needs.

Patients and families deserve to receive the kind of care they will always remember.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love most is to interact with patients and their families. I look forward to developing their care plans and sitting down to set realistic goals. I like to find creative ways for them to achieve their goals.

Ultimately, we want to bring their loved one home or provide compassionate care in their final moments.

I also enjoy working with a dedicated group of people, each with an important function. Patients don’t just see me, they visit with nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and dietitians, among others.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.

There are many gratifying experiences in acute medicine, it is hard to narrow it down to just one.

A highlight that stands out is my time as a preceptor for a Mohawk College student named Natasha who had specific learning requirements. Natasha is hearing impaired, which presented a unique opportunity I was privileged to experience.

I watched Natasha build therapeutic relationships with patients and be part of their journey. To be part of her educational program and equipping her with her own nursing skills is something I will always remember.

I look forward to developing their care plans and sitting down to set realistic goals.

What do you hope to accomplish while at HHS?

I am just at the beginning of my career, but I hope I will use my full scope of practice in my work. Patients and families deserve to receive the kind of care they will always remember.

I also have an interest in projects. Working on a Continuous Quality Improvement unit gets me involved in many exciting changes happening in our program.