The North Shore News captured City of North Vancouver Mayor and 30-year paramedic Darrell Mussatto checking on recovering patient Shannon Gaudette’s blood pressure as nurse clinician Pat Macdonald looks on. Mussatto shadowed nurses at Lions Gate Hospital as part of Nurse for a Day, a campaign to thank nurses for the work they do. Photo courtesy Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

Local paper highlights work of North Shore nurses in feature on National Nursing Week

National Nursing Week made the local paper on the North Shore this week with two VCH nurses featured in the Wednesday edition of the North Shore News.

RN Christie Warren (LGH pediatric nurse) and Wendy Lea, a Home Care nurse, shared their stories on what their role entails and the hard work their peers put into caring for their patients.

“It’s a lot different than what we see on TV,” says Christie in the story.

Part of the story is also reprinted below with permission from the North Shore News:

Making the rounds with Lions Gate Hospital’s nurses

By Ben Bengston/North Shore News

“Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” – Anonymous

From birth through death, they’re there.

They care for those in pain, dispense life-saving advice, and act as the mediator between doctors, patients and families. Compassion is part of the job, too. Sometimes it’s the part those in care remember most after being discharged from a hospital, hopefully with newfound health.

It’s a hard job. Those in the industry acknowledge its challenges. They love the work nonetheless. They’d like to point out that depictions of their profession in the media or on TV are many things – but accurate isn’t necessarily one of them.

One thing that is accurate: It’s National Nursing Week across Canada until May 14.

The hashtag #YESThisIsNursing is being touted as a way to celebrate the work Canadian nurses do and raise awareness for the multifaceted and often surprising roles that they play in order to fulfill their mandate.

“I think it’s just a really good time to celebrate the hard work the nurses put in to care for the community,” says Christie Warren, a nurse with Lions Gate Hospital’s paediatrics department.

Although it’s nursing week, life in the hospital carries on at its rapid pace, as it always does. There might be time for some celebrating this week, but nurses will continue working fastidiously.

When pressed on the ins-and-outs of their working life, they’d rather focus on the patients. “Our focus is still 100 per cent patient care,” Warren says.

While people familiar with the trope of the selfless nurse wouldn’t be wrong in that assessment, other stereotypes – the ones doled out by a generation of hospital dramas on primetime networks – tend to sell the profession short.

“I think it’s a lot different than what we see on TV because our job is so broad,” explains Warren.

“It’s such a multifaceted job that TV, with the nurse in the white dress and cap taking the temperature, is not all that we do. We do a little bit of everything and we do it well.”

Direct patient care, bedside care, administering medications and patient assessment are just a sprinkling of the duties nurses perform.

Lions Gate’s paediatrics department is on the hospital’s third floor, complete with many private rooms, a couple of lounges and a kitchen. Warren also mentions the department’s “amazing toy room,” a necessity when you’re helping to treat sick kids and youth.

Because she deals with youth, Warren says one of her main duties as a nurse is education – teaching young patients and their families effective care plans for when a patient is discharged.

“You’re often seeing people in the worst days of their lives,” she says, adding it’s largely a nurse’s job to make that day a little easier.

Another nurse, Wendy Lea, paints a picture of nursing in broad yet inspiring strokes. As part of Vancouver Coastal Health’s home care nursing program, she provides care to patients suffering with everything from chronic diseases, infections, to patients in post-operative situations, and she does it all in their homes.

Providing palliative care for those ending their lives in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by loved ones, is an increasingly large part of the job as well.

“I think we help people live the best life that they want to live,” Lea explains. “We don’t follow formulas. We have to find out things that work for the individuals and for families.”

Click here to read the full story.


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