I was born/grew up in: Toronto, ON
I now live in: Toronto, ON
What I do at work
I help stroke and dementia patients with their activities of daily living. I also help them to reach or maintain their best possible health results while they wait for placement in a long term care facility.
I use technology to monitor vitals, blood glucose levels, and residual urine not evacuated from the bladder. My knowledge of human biology is a key factor in recognizing when there are changes from what is normal or from the patient’s current condition.
Making decisions about care activities is done in discussion with an interdisciplinary team. This team contains nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers. The ethnic diversity of the interdisciplinary team allows us to recognize and cater to the variety of languages and cultural practices of our patients.
My career path is
If you told me as I high school student that I would end up being a nurse, I would have laughed in your face. In university, I majored in biology and English. After graduating I taught yoga and group fitness for almost 10 years. At this time, I realized that I had the skills and characteristics necessary to be an excellent care provider. I attended Centennial College where I completed their practical nurse program. Falling into this field was a wonderful accident. As other doors closed, the door to nursing opened.
I am motivated by
I get excited when I see my patients regain their enthusiasm for life, and when I see them smile. My work can be very messy and not at all glamorous. It is rewarding when my patients recognize the caring and compassion that motivates my performance and they express their sincere gratitude. This career is right for me because I am the kind of person who likes to make honest connections with people. While at work, I get to step outside myself for a little while and invest my energies into preserving life and elevating others.
How I affect people’s lives
Many of my patients are incredibly vulnerable. Often they have suffered many difficulties. It can be hard to maintain your identity as in individual once you become “a patient.” I give my patients the care they need while giving them as much self-determination as possible. I do this by including them in goal setting and in the carrying out of their care activities.
Outside of work I
I am very active in Toronto’s kundalini yoga community, and I enjoy working out and building my physical health. To relax, I enjoy walking my dog and spending time outside. Lately I have been stepping out of my comfort zone by being part of different stage productions, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes.
My advice to others
You have to love people, and be able to forgive their behaviours. I find the greatest reward is the opportunity to truly step outside of your own ego and do what needs to be done to help another human being.