We look forward to hearing from you!
1 Belvedere Crt-1207
Brampton, ON Canada
May 20, 2020
Chris Kebbel: Hello, everyone. Welcome to, now our third, nursing chat. I'm Chris Kebbel. I'm an associate with donnerwheeler. I'm a nurse and my background is in critical care, but, right now I'm doing a lot of nursing informatics, along with, information technology work, at University Health Network here in Toronto. and I'm here with Michelle Cooper.
Michelle Cooper: I'm Michelle Cooper and , I've been an associate with donnerwheeler for more than 15 years. it was really excited to be part of this. I'm living in Dundas, Ontario, and work, in my own business, and along with Mary and Gail too sometimes, and, doing consulting work.
Chris Kebbel: These nursing chats are really an opportunity for you to talk about what your life is like right now.
Of course, with the pandemic, lots of things have changed, seemingly overnight, although it's, it's, it's hard to imagine actually a few months in now. but we'd like to hear from you , I've asked each of you to introduce yourself, . What are you doing? right now? And, once we've done the full round, Michelle launched into some of the discussion points. Ayman. If we can start with you please.
Ayman Aldin: Hi. My name's Ayman I currently reside in London, Ontario.
Pre pandemic period. I was, working at the General in Hamilton in medicine. and then, just before things escalated to the restrictions in quarantine, I moved back home. And right now I'm working in retirement. we just got out of outbreak yesterday, so, positive positive stuff here on this end.
Chris Kebbel: and We'll move right over to Holly.
Holly Byrne: Hi everyone. I am in Waterloo, Ontario. I'm working at st Mary's hospital in Kitchener, pre pandemic. As Ayman said, I was also working in medicine and then moved into a clinical educator role, as of March 30th. So not even a full two months yet in that role, but, yeah, lots of learning.
Chris Kebbel: Excellent. and now, on to Kim.
Kim English: I, so I am from originally when I'm not located here, a small town near Peterborough area. I have been teaching in the Trent Fleming school of nursing for 18 years now. my background previous to that was acute care and, so I'm still teaching, but I had an opportunity to come do a locum in Attawapiskat and, decided to take the leap and do that.
So that's what I'm doing right now.
Chris Kebbel: Excellent. Sounds exciting. and Vicky?
Vikky Leung: Hi everyone. My name's Vicky Leung. I work at Sick kids in the emergency department. I've been a nurse for over eight years, and I also am faculty at Centennial college as part of the Ryerson, George Brown. and Centennial program.
Chris Kebbel: Okay, wonderful. Welcome. And finally, Sarabeth.
Sarabeth Silver: Hi everyone. I am Sarabeth. I'm also from Toronto. I'm actually a classmate of Vicki, so, so great to actually get to virtually connect with her. And I'm going to, and embarass her right now and say it's actually her birthday today. So happy birthday to Vicky.
And I'm so glad that she's able to actually spend her birthday with us. but a little bit about myself, I work at Mount Sinai hospital. I'm a clinical nurse specialist in an inpatient surgical oncology unit, which specializes in ENT oral surgery, gyne, gyne-onc and ophthalmology. Right now we're currently a medical unit because of the overflow of medicine patients.
I also worked at Toronto Western hospital as an administrator on site. So. Two very unique organizations that are doing a whole lot of different things. It's an interesting time to say the least.
Chris Kebbel: Wonderful. It's certainly a a full conversation at this point. I'm gonna turn the mic over to Michelle to lead the next section.
Michelle Cooper: That's great. Well, thanks about it. I love this variety of expertise and background and, and the, and distance. So recovering a bit of the province and farther North. So that's, that's wonderful. So what we wanted to start with is, thinking about now that you're in this COVID experience, what has changed for you and how are you doing.
Holly Byrne: I've been at st Mary's about a year, and, that was a relocation.
And, I was previously in a leadership role, prior to that. So I went back to the bedside for about a year when we moved. and then moved into this. Educator role. So it was like leadership, admin, bedside, and now back to leadership admin. so I was super excited for this opportunity and then kind of when the pandemic hit, there was this guilt, I guess, about being excited about a new role.
And then also grief and mourning about what this role I felt like should have been for me. In terms of the role, it certainly wasn't at all what I expected. it's a clinical educator title, but our hospital is onboarding a gagillion staff, so it's really more HR, staff, onboarding. than education, I mean, it's education in a way, but it's way more onboarding than I had anticipated. and then the units that I happen to support our medicine and chest. So for st Mary's, that's, four floors, which is close to 60%, actually, of our inpatient units. So I'm new to the role, new to pandemic.
I mean, everyone's new to pandemic, no surprise there. but also have the largest staff population with the largest amount of onboarding. So, it's been a really sort of interesting experience and to maybe. connect a little bit with what Ayman has been going through in terms of outbreak. two of the units that I'm responsible for were on outbreak.
We had a third unit on outbreak that was, cardiology and cardiac surgery. But, one of our outbreaks lasted almost five weeks, with a lot of staff affected. so concerns for their mental health. As well and trying to support them. And our outbreak for them just ended last Wednesday, and a lot of the staff are starting to come back to work this week.
Michelle Cooper: Wow, that's a, that's a lot. Grief, excitement, grief, excitement to, yeah, that's, that's pretty amazing. And you know, how are you doing at this moment now? You've been, you've been through this up and down.
Holly Byrne: I think it changes, I would say from day to day, depending on what comes up for us. I think it's starting to settle in.
If you can say that to somewhat of a new normal, and I'm seeing some heads nod in the chat and it feels like people are also feeling that, but things can change from day to day. So, I'm feeling. Okay. Now, kind of like I've settled in, but now thinking in terms of the staff onboarding piece rather than managing the. upscale , thinking about a sustainability plan. how to support our current staff who are training all these new folks and then dealing with the change in their dynamics. Cause we almost have more new folks than original folks. which of course changes the culture in a unit.
And then, how does it continue to support the new staff because their shadow shifts are dramatically reduced. Everything is changing on their units all the time. They're all new, right? Some of them are agency staff, so it's a big transition for them. And how do we continue to support them from a clinical education perspective as they integrate with our team.
Michelle Cooper: Oh, thanks Holly. That's a, it just makes me want to take a big breath. There's a lot going on and I can imagine is all the excitement for the staff. Just those two are experiencing there. They've got a new job and there's all of the other things, the fears, the outbreak, the learning, all of that too, so thank you.
I'm going to take it over to Kim, if we could. So you've got more than one change happening.
Kim English: I do. and, and similar to Holly, it's been a mix of emotions. So I think at first it was, I had to, within days take my courses from in-person with 240 students to completely online, and support them because they were all very stressed out as to what was happening.
so I think the first kind of. Month of the pandemic was a blur, for me because of all of that. but then it's that, that mixed feeling of getting through, and excitement, as Holly said too, and kind of guilt. So the guilt for me came from knowing from feeling like I was just sitting at home when I knew that I had former students and colleagues who were on the front line and thinking, how can I just be sitting at home.
knowing that this is happening and was putting my name forward for a lot of the RNAO calls. And, it turned out that Weidibaco was one of the calls. And this is an organization that I've been working with, with students, in supporting placements. And I thought, I have a relationship with this facility.
I have a relationship with this organization and I just felt like I had an obligation in a sense to, to come, which is a huge leap for me because I've not been in practice for a while. so it's, it's the whole range of guilt, excitement, scared out of my pants, for some of what I'm doing. and then also that I've left my family behind.
So there's that sense of , what if something happens and I'm away from my family, and then also, what if I brought the illness to this community, which has been locked down on, touch wood I have, not because my swab is negative. so it's, it's a lot of that's mixed, emotion for me because of that.
Michelle Cooper: Wow. So that there's that theme there of grief and we heard that before from some of our other participants that that sense of. I ought to be doing something.
Well, maybe we'll talk to you in a couple of months and see how you did. So Vicky. Can I take it to you?
Vikky Leung: Sure, yeah. Not too much has changed in the sense then like in terms of the role that I play as a clinical nurse, I'm still at SickKids. It's the emergency department.
At work, of course a lot of things have changed in terms of PPE and things are changing almost sometimes on a daily basis. some of the biggest challenges is working in trauma-resus in terms of how to, , be efficient and organized, but also being safe. I think that personally for me, the hardest thing is that, it's like that saying there is no emergency in pandemic where in the sense that you really have to put yourself and your team safety first before you go in and help someone. that's really hit home to me a couple of times and it's a bit of a challenge to overcome cause it's becomes like a reflex when you're, , in that review on it, put the oxygen on, you want to start suctioning. But no, you have to make sure you have all your proper PPE before you do all of that. and the whole, and the one other, actually there is a new role that's kind of enrolled on, I think a lot of hospitals haven't noticed a safety officer.
And I found that a really intriguing role. And that's also a challenging role to be in sometimes. Because you want to do patient care, but no, your role is to make sure that everyone is safe and you are like minimal inpatient care because anytime the trauma recess rolls in, you have to be the first one there to ensure that everyone is safe before they step into that room.
And then with teaching, I'm thinking about the future a lot, and I'm really worried for the students who are putting themselves in very vulnerable positions because he could also want to answer the call. And they also want to help. I see quite a few of my students, , working in longterm care facilities as PSWs and I. Have a overwhelming sense of concern for their safety and their wellbeing. I think it's amazing they're going to get this wonderful experience, but I'm very worried for them. And also for fall, I'm worried again, I've a lot of worry for the teaching kind of thing. I guess because my students are kind of, I hold them really close to my heart and , I'm worried about them.
I don't know what's going in the fall, there's a lot of uncertainty in terms of the practical side of school.
Michelle Cooper: That's great. And, , how have you been feeling in yourself ,
Vikky Leung: It's a little surreal sometimes, some days and some days it's, it's been fine. Fortunately this, COVID 19 hasn't been impacting the pediatric population as much. So census and volume wise, we're not overwhelmed at this point.
There are still challenging situations and for sure, mental health is a huge aspect. I do see more anxiety rising, across the spectrum of, the pediatric population that we do see.
So I'm feeling lucky. Otherwise I feel like I just need to, be there for everyone and, try to keep, then take care of myself because I truly believe I can't take care of other people unless I take care of myself first.
Michelle Cooper: Well thank you for Vicky. And so I'm going to take it over to Sarabeth.
Sarabeth Silver: Okay. So, well, I probably echo a lot of the comments that have been made so far. For me, it's sort of what hasn't changed. and it, when is it not changing? Change is a constant. the second we're trying to roll out new education, there's a new policy on top of that that's just completely, taken over what you've just educated the staff on.
So it's, it's overload, tenfold, beyond what I'd ever anticipated. The biggest challenge. Particular to my clinical nurse specialist role and the unique population of the head and neck cancer group is their vulnerability in around, PPE safety with aerosol generating medical procedures. So there's been a whole lot of debate about what PPE to wear when you're suctioning a trach.
What the union is telling the nurses to do, what the CDC and what, all sorts of Canadian and our resources are telling our staff to do. So we're trying to .compete with all these things that are going on at the same time and, understand where the nurses are coming from. So it's, it's definitely been a big challenge.
Another sort of new thing that I never really thought I'd see myself doing is being involved in simulations. So I've had to help create and facilitate mock protected code blues for our staff, which has been quite an experience to say the least. because it is quite different than your typical code blue, where you're all rushing into the room, you really actually have to limit who comes into the room and for your own safety. And so. driving those messages home and doing those mocks. We actually had one fantastic mock and one horrific mock. So it was kind of great to see that the dynamics with both of those events. the challenge with my other organization in that there had been six outbreaks at Toronto Western, you've probably heard about it in the media.
Four which were their GIM units, one surgical unit and their emergency department. And. Because of that, I haven't actually been able to take a shift there because of our organization's policy and not going between two different organizations. And one in particular that outbreak, I haven't been there, but I've been catching up on my emails.
I pass through there sort of everyday cause it's my method of transportation and the shuttle bus. so I do still see what's going on. And you know, it's just the contrast between what Mount Sinai does and what Toronto Western does with PPE. And. Masks. They shields. It's, it's very different and it's, it's surprising in some ways because we're so connected in many other ways with a lot of the partnerships we have with UHN and Sinai, but yet they're doing a lot of things very differently.
and lots of people are always coming to me being like, are you okay? What's wrong with Toronto Western? What are they doing wrong? How are they failing? So I get a lot of, sort of. Blame our questions about that and why things are failing, but it certainly multifactorial and that's something I've appreciated.
in terms of how I'm doing personally, it's sort of a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt. I actually have to take my first week of being senior nurse on call at Sinai, right around the crux of, the Easter long weekend. Just after that had finished, I was terrified. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and didn't know the types of calls I'd be getting.
Thankfully, wasn't too bad, but I did not sleep for most of that week, and I ended up having to go in for an entire day to help with some of the issues that were happening at that time. So, certainly a great experience, but, Not one I ever anticipated having to do, and I've also been asked to join the after-death committee.
You never thought I'd have to be part of that or put something like that on my resume. But it's been quite a unique experience to not only explore the practices following COVID 19 but also. recognizing some of the big gaps we have in preparing for the after death experience for any patient. So , we've been working every day for the past two months, and we've really fine tuned some of our processes.
So it's been quite an experience.
Michelle Cooper: There's all those things you don't think about it. Wow. Thank you. I have a million questions, but I want to let everybody have it. I can think of quite a few, but I'm going to pass it on to Ayman.
Thank you. .
Ayman Aldin: I'm just like you, Michelle. I have so many things going on in my brain. So many things I want to ask. I think it's really interesting, that we have, participants from the admin side. I've been on the forefront, working with, patients. So I think to have that contrast and experience will be really beneficial.
the things that have changed for me, like I said. Previously worked at, in an acute setting on a medicine floor just before things escalated and then, went back home. And similarly , that guilt of, not being able to contribute the way that you normally would have been able to.
and so I only lasted, I think like two weeks without, without work. And so I started putting my name out there and. I kind of snagged the first thing that came back. And, like I said before, I'm in retirement now, which is very different than what I was doing before. And, unfortunately when I started, most of the staff had been wiped out.
Most of the senior staff were no longer able to work. we had, a couple, positive, residents, positive for COVID 19. And, I kind of just hit the floor running. . Things are better now, but when I first started the beginning of April, yeah, a lot of chaos, a lot of new staff, a lot of agency staff like Holly mentioned.
And, I found myself having to become, I guess a leader, a very quickly feeling as a newbie myself. but, that was challenging in its own ways. And, The challenges can go from helping orientate new employees, new agency staff to, putting on PPEs. And as I continued working, we started getting more positive, residents and staff.
And, something as simple as a med pass that would normally take an hour and a half was now taking three and a half hours. and just because you'd have to don and doff constantly. and, we've run into a lot of challenges, but. I think, I think we're on the flip side now, and I'm doing okay. I think I'm doing okay for now.
Michelle Cooper: All I'm thinking of is there's a lot of courageous people in this call, and I'm, and you know, if it's a reflection of what we know is happening out there, all around, it's, it's pretty amazing. , you said you had a question. What's one question you would like to ask your colleagues?
Ayman Aldin: Well, the question would probably be, towards the Sarah Beth, , I think one of the challenges I've had is, Keeping uptodate with all the nformation. We're working very closely with Middlesex health unit, their public health unit, in London. and their recommendation has changed honestly, day to day. And so, what's it like their beds to get questions and not always have the answers or to get the answer and then , it changes the next day.
Sarabeth Silver: I think honestly, we just take things day by day and we recognize that we're human and we're not going to have the answers. And what tends to happen is a lot of our staff and yourself and everybody in this call here has the best questions that most of the time, the policymakers and the people who come up with these new practice alerts just don't think about.
So we take those questions, we table them, we try to either. See if we know the answer ourselves or we bring it up to higher level leadership to give us that answer. And we get questions every day. And that's probably not going to change for some time. But I think if we sort of take that approach and I think our staff can appreciate, and everybody knows we're human, we're not going to know everything.
Oh, we're going to what we can to find out and make sure that that sort of grounds into practice.
Michelle Cooper: Thank you. Would either Holly or Kim or Vicki like to add anything to that?
Vikky Leung: I think that on top of like a lot of us asking a lot of questions, we are also getting a lot of, updates. And I do appreciate that from a lot of the leadership teams that I do work with. . One of the things that's changed since this pandemic has started is we've been getting a lot more emails, like you're like, and there's constant emails, updates.
And I think as inundated as we are with these emails, we do appreciate it and we do keep each other in a loop. I think that we should never stop asking questions.
Holly Byrne: When Sarah, Sarah Beth was talking, it sounds like we're doing a lot of the same things, in terms of mock codes and practice alerts and policy updates and that kind of thing. not having the answer or having the answer and then having it change, has been really difficult.
You want to give reliable information. and sometimes I think the, practice that I've been working on is being comfortable with being like, we don't know, or, yes, that changed and that sucks, but we're gonna move forward from there.
so it's kind of like sitting in that place of, of not knowing really. is what I've been trying to work on.
Michelle Cooper: Okay. Thank you. We've hearing a little bit about what you've learned, but if you reflect on what you've learned what advice would you give to other nurses about building your resilience and keeping going in this environment.
Kim English: In terms of, of what I've learned, it's probably things that have solidified, what I think I knew from my career already around, the important role of nurse when it comes to leadership and advocacy and , being the ones who are out there saying, here's what we need to do our work.
And making sure that voice is heard. It's always been a frustration for me because throughout my career, I've not seen that happen. and so I think that this pandemic for me has just , reiterated the need for us to be very clear about , what it is that we bring and the importance of our role.
What I would say to other nurses about building the resilience is to find a way to maintain connections. I mean, I think what I've heard from colleagues is about those relationships and support for one another, and an opportunity to debrief and talk and, kind of share what it is that you're feeling.
And I think that is the most important part, which is also very difficult if you're not. Able to connect with people in the same way. So isolation has kind of created a bit of a challenge around doing that. but I think it's, it's both, recognizing what it is we do and what we bring, and also thinking about how we continue to facilitate those relationships with one another to support each other.
Sarabeth Silver: I think this experience is really teach us a lot about the fundamentals. I'm really a big person on fundamentals. If you ask me about things like oral care, that's actually my biggest interest, and that's a big fundamental of care.
So if you think about the root of transmission when it comes to COVID 19 or other communicable diseases, it's all about. The basics of what we do as nurses around hand hygiene. So I think we always want to bring the conversation back to those key things. We actually, we do our e-monitoring tracking on the unit, so we saw a huge increase in our numbers all the way up to like 180% which is fantastic.
But I think that initially happened because of the anxieties around COVID 19, but we've seen that dip a little bit. So we were trying to bring everything back into that context again and, keep that momentum going for staff. and just, I think in terms of building resiliency amongst everybody is, in making sure that we take that moment to check in, to have reflection, to see how people are doing.
We did daily huddles on our units, and then what we moved back to was our routine of weekly staff meetings and, and sort of huddles a couple of times a week because we just wanted to get back into our normal again. With staff. and then I think sort of even on a personal note too, the benefit of technology that we have today with things like this conversation, zoom.
I had to have my Passover dinner with my family through zoom and it was fantastic, but zoom really allows you and enables you to connect with people. And, technology has been a fantastic platform even for patients who haven't been able to connect with family members because of visitor policies.
So, speaking to what Kim mentioned with the, the importance of our connections and, keeping those connections, going through technology and through other ways so that we can all get through this together.
Michelle Cooper: Oh, thank you. Vicki, how about you?
Vikky Leung: I think with the resilience piece really like that self care piece is huge right now. and then I really like, it echoes and reaffirms that we're all kind of going through the same thing together. I think that, there's definitely a lot of, anxiety and uncertainty going on. And the biggest thing is just kind of focus on the now and, and just being aware of what we're feeling and when we do need to take a break, , be able to speak up
Michelle Cooper: self care is a great theme. That's a, when you look at the, the theory on resilience that storytelling is one, and the relationships is another end. Self care is a biggie. That, you know, being aware of how you're coping is, is really something. So I thank you.
Ayman Aldin: What have I learned?
Really to take a moment and give ourselves a Pat on the back. I, did not know, my capacity to endure this much change and this much work. I've never worked so hard ever, in a clinical setting before. I think, we can all do it as long as we're well and healthy enough to,
My advice for, other, nurses is, First and foremost to know yourself, and your own limits. I think as caregivers and as being part of a caring profession, we still want to help, help, help, help, help and we really have to take a step back and examine our own limitations. and, you know, ask, am I pushing myself too far? .
Michelle Cooper: Thank you, Holly, how about you?
Holly Byrne: In terms of, sort of building resilience, I certainly echo, I think it was Kim that was talking about those connections. What I heard from the staff on my units when they started to go into outbreak, and actually even before that, when anxiety started to escalate ,was that they really wanted to feel supported and know that they were supported. so we implemented a couple of things right away to support their mental health. And the first thing that we did was, St Mary's being a sisters of St Joseph Catholic hospital, we have chaplains, but our chaplains are also registered psychotherapists. so we started to implement our chaplains to come at our daily huddles every day. Sarah, Sarah Beth was talking about huddles as well. So they would come and, offer some kind of blessing or reflection or poem, at huddles to sort of set the tone.
And then we also had members of senior leadership come to our huddles. So our directors and our, IPAC folks from infection prevention and control. And, managers, occupational health, everybody. So huddles were kind of like a big deal. and, they certainly, took a different tone. And then we also implemented nighttime calls, for night shifts.
So the on call chaplains would call the units, at night and check in with staff to see how they were doing and what kind of support the chaplains could provide. And then we also implemented weekly zoom calls, for our staff on who were on outbreak so that the colleagues at work could lay eyes on their colleagues who were sick at home cause they were really worried about their coworkers.
I mean, we know that nurses spend lots and lots of time with each other almost sometimes more than our actual families and work family is. Family. So, it was being able to see their colleagues, hear their experiences, know that they're OK, despite being a COVID positive, for example. And, that has been tremendously well received.
I think. we also had some of those zoom calls facilitated by our employee and family assistance program provider, which is Homewood health. So, we sometimes had, PTSD counselors from Homewood health come on those calls and facilitate some of their concerns. And so what I've learned, and the advice that I would give for other nurses would be, to develop a generous listening for what people need. And it might not be more information or the answer or clarity on something. It might just need to be this idea of solidarity, that we're in this together and that we can support each other and we can get through it as a team.
Michelle Cooper: That's some great advice from all of you. I was thinking about all those things that lead to resilience, and I think you've covered them all off really well.
So as we start to get closer to the end, I was. Wondering if you could take a moment and think about if we, as we move into the future and making, we've been giving advice to nurses, but if we're going to give advice to the system, to the politicians, to administration, what would you recommend for the future that would help you to better do your job?
And I think I'll start with Vicki if I can.
Vikky Leung: Well, as I work in emergency I feel like I see quite a range of very variety of kind of cases coming in. And the biggest thing always for me is just, I wish there was better education to the public in terms of , basic health care. . Really, I think that if I, if I had it my way, I wish there was, some kind of thing in a curriculum that teaches the general public on hygiene, on basic first aid.
When is it necessary to visit the emergency room? Of course, if you're absolutely worried, come, but if it's a small thing, like a stubbed toe, perhaps that could wait.
I feel like that could make such a huge difference in terms of even like what the public could do in advocating for proper PPE in longterm care facilities.
And just preventing the spread of, nevermind COVID 19 but the flu, like things like the vaccine, like I can go on and on, but there are so many things I feel like that the public could be much better educated on. I feel like education could be such a huge piece that could be integrated and if the politicians could listen and implement that.
Michelle Cooper: Thank you. how about , Holly, I'll go to you.
Holly Byrne: Sure. I think, what I've been noticing and feeling is that. In these times of uncertainty. we need more than anything is, really honest and transparent communication.
There's this perception of, and especially initially less so now a perception of mistrust almost. I've heard from so many nurses on the floor that if senior leadership, for example, would just say that they don't know or that , it's not going well. and those kinds of things rather than like either withholding information or waiting for information to be perfect or to have a right answer.
Michelle Cooper: Right. Thank you. That's it saying you don't know it. I think that's the hardest part about leadership is being comfortable with not knowing and saying you don't know that that's gotta be a big one.
That's great. I'm going to take it to Kim, please.
Kim English: What I would say to probably everybody in terms of, all levels of government, the public, our leadership, our peers would be to simply listen to us. I think for me as a nurse who has lived through SARS and H1N1, and it just feels like the same cycle again. I just feel like we, we've had these lessons presented to us before. We have raised the concerns and we have not been listened to. So, and I hear that, whether it's in Canada, whether it's the United States, I guess my message would be to simply ask us to engage with us and to listen to us.
Michelle Cooper: Sarabeth
Sarabeth Silver: I'm building off what Holly said with transparency. so in contrast to your experience, Holly, we did have messaging go out with, , "we're sorry that we can't actually do our nursing week celebration, but. we're here for you. We thank you for everything you're doing, especially now." However, we could have had more visibility from senior leadership and executives, you know, what struck me actually just a couple of days ago is they did actually put together a very nice nursing week video from your organization with a message from our chief nurse.
And when we showed this to our nurses, they had no idea who this was. They had no idea who our CEO was. So just that fact we really nice to see our CEO come down to the units. Gowned and PPE. If they shield maybe in 95, maybe not for conservation reasons, but you know, something to that effect would be quite nice, I think.
Also, I think we have some lessons that we've learned from our colleagues in longterm care facilities. in particular, the ask from the ministry for. Acute care facilities to start redeploying staff to support them. And certainly that's been quite a challenge. but the fact that they didn't have structures like a human resources department or an IPAC department, or just those basic things that we take for granted in the acute care side, but that these facilities don't and, should have, could have made the world of a difference for, I'm sure, a number of different private facilities.
So something I think some food for thought for our politicians for sure.
Michelle Cooper: Thank you. Ayman.
Ayman Aldin: I really got a vouch for longterm care in retirement settings.
Our vulnerable population or geriatric population was a hardest hit. And, but it's also telling, that, You know, for example, we have the most amount of outbreaks in those longterm care environments, retirement environments. and then more so, that outbreaks tend to be in, private, institutions rather than publicly funded.
I think there's a lot of information out there in these reports that our politicians need to take a look at. I think, there came a point where we literally had. Three nurses in our home, one of which was our DOC, and she had to come to the front line. And so, when you, Sarah Beth, when you mentioned, taking for granted certain resources you have at the hospital?
we needed them. And luckily we had, we had community support that eventually came. but for, for a time it was, it was very scary and it's not safe. for the residents, but the workers, when, there's these major gaps in care. you know, at the end of the day, I'm only one nurse and I've only got two hands.
and there's only so much you can do. but I think, moving forward, I'm really, really hoping that we learn from, from the mistakes we've made, from, the successes we've had and, be able to take those things and bring them with us moving forward.
Michelle Cooper: When you were giving this advice, I could really feel your passion behind all of this.
So we'll just open it up and whoever would like to, if you have a question or you have a comment or something you'd like to share, something you'd like to ask, or if you have any piece of advice for one of your colleagues here on the, on the call, please go ahead.
Kim English: I wanted to go back to a point that Vicky made, and just to acknowledge her concern about her students. I think that we are forgetting about our future generation and I know, in my own workplace have felt very unsettled and raised my feelings about that a number of times when, the sort of the leadership decision was posed that what a great learning opportunity for students.
And my comment was, perhaps, but. Is this the learning opportunity one we want to give them? And how can we in all good conscience, put our students in a position where staff just don't have the ability to engage with them. I appreciate with big what Vicky is saying, I think it's very important that we not lose sight of the fact that, this is not the best time to educate. our future generations to throw them into that and that we need to continue, not being pressured by the need to get more people, more bodies out there working because we have to think about how we protect them.
Holly Byrne: Yeah, I echo that as well. Kim and Vicky, I think, from my perspective, a lot of the staff that we're onboarding are very new. They're each either agency staff or new to Canada, and it is their first job. So, they're just like freshly out of school and they're like, Oh my God, I only get four shadow shifts and then I'm expected to take an assignment.
And, I've been thinking, very similarly to Vicky about how we are supporting new nurses and novice nurses and students, how it's going to impact, the recruitment and retention in the profession, which is already struggling. So, That's kind of, I don't, that's not really, an answer.
I guess it's more of a question or a concern than anything, but, that certainly, on the front of my mind as well.
Michelle Cooper: Thanks. Sarah Beth, go ahead.
Sarabeth Silver: So, one of my favorite quotes, and I don't know actually who said this, but it's, we live in the stories, not the statistics, and I think that really holds true with everything each of you have said tonight.
And I think we need to keep in mind, our opportunity for research and innovation. And, I think I'll put a little bit of a plug for the RNFOO and their, nursing innovators grant. I think there's opportunities for plethora of funding to really learn from our experiences. And, I know our team in particular is looking to find ways to integrate technology to support our, our head and neck populations and provide some education that they normally would have if their, if their families or caregivers are with them.
Holly Byrne: I think if there's anything that we've learned in addition to what we said is also that nurses are, expert problem solvers and innovators, man. Like we are super MacGyvers if there's a problem, for a patient or for our colleagues, I think, we will pull our collective resources and try and figure out a solution.
So, I'm really proud of that.
Michelle Cooper: I am humbled. And you. The stories have touched me deeply, and, it, it just makes me proud to be part of this profession with you. So thank you. And I'll turn it to Chris.
Chris Kebbel: Just to echo that again, , you have such passionate and compelling, authentic stories. It's, it's incredible. All your stories constant change, some of the stories around working to exhaustion, and at the same time, taking some time to make sure you're taking care of yourself.
And, and I, I think what I heard is, is such the value and, and increasing, need to learn lessons of the current situation myself, having worked through SARS on the front lines, it's, it's somewhat disillusioning to see some of the same mistakes being made, but at the same time, lessons learned, did, take hold. And, you know, and I think I also hear the, optimism and hope and, just thank you guys for participating, and bringing your stories. it was a privilege thank you all again.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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