Angela Tsang named a Canadian nursing hero
Angela Tsang is a humble hero.
“It feels surreal,” she says, referring to her win in a nation-wide contest sponsored by the magazine Hospital News. “I know how many phenomenal nurses there are – even just at VGH. I see them; I work with them, so to be nominated is pretty exciting.”
Angela works in VCH-Vancouver’s Spine Research Program as a research nurse and as an OR nurse at UBCH. She recently won third prize in the contest searching for Canada’s best nurses.
“I’m proud to call her a colleague and I’m very honoured to have been able to nominate her – our very own nursing hero,” says Allan Aludino, research program manager at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre.
Supporting patients through difficult circumstances
In her research role, Angela is instrumental in conducting clinical trials and her patients often require complex and specialized medical care.
In addition to following patients with acute spinal cord injuries, her research involves those suffering from chronic back pain and people with a spinal cord injury who’ve passed away and have donated their spinal cords for research.
“Angela is a truly exceptional nurse in the operating room, on the ward and in the clinic,” says Dr. Marcel Dvorak, orthopaedic spine surgeon and ICORD investigator.
“She is responsible for examining patients and asking for consent to participate in clinical trials – often initiated within hours of devastating spinal cord injuries,” he continues. “You can imagine that it would take a particularly compassionate, informed and delicate communicator to discuss the participation in a clinical trial that involves withdrawing spinal fluid from patients following acute spinal cord injury.”
Angela’s empathetic approach has been invaluable to her patients, their families and the research team. “She’s mastered the role of talking to families in this time of crisis and providing them invaluable information about their spinal cord injury and related research,” says Allan.
Dr. Brian Kwon, orthopaedic spine surgeon, ICORD investigator and a Canada Research chair in spinal cord injury agrees, adding, “Angela has been an outstanding resource for patients and their families. In so many ways — both clinically and in research — she has gone far and above her call of duty and is an inspiration to many.”
Supporting patients through their journey
Angela sees many patients as they go through the continuum of care from admission to VGH to their rehabilitation and community reintegration.
“I feel blessed to be able to follow the patient’s journey, not only in-hospital, but six or twelve months later,” she says. “It’s phenomenal when I see someone who is able to walk again. I’m almost more excited than they are!”
Though it’s an emotionally tough role, Angela enjoys the work she does and she always looks for the positive side. “I hope we can make people’s quality of life better despite their devastating spinal cord injury,” she says. “Our work centres around trying to change practice for the better, and if we can make a breakthrough that can help more people walk again, it would be phenomenal.”
Congratulations Angela and thank you for your continued dedication to patient care.