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Valérie Plante

Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur de Montréal
Valérie Plante, headshot
Valérie Plante, headshot
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About me

I was born/raised in: Laval, Québec

I live in: Montréal, Québec

I did my training or studies in: Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from UQAM, DESS in Major Risk Management from UQAM, Bachelor's degree in Nursing from the University of Montreal

What I do at work

Being a nurse means using your scientific and human skills to the fullest. I use my knowledge of the biology and physiology of the human body to assess and monitor sick people. When you administer medication, you have to understand the impact of these drugs. We can never forget the person behind the illness. My life skills, experience and knowledge are all essential. Being attentive to the distress and emotional pain of patients and their families is part of my responsibilities. In the training courses, we get to learn and practice with all kinds of tools. This helps us build our skills and knowledge so we will able to take on our responsibilities as nurses. However, we never forget that we work as a team. We know we can rely on our colleagues without being worried.

My career path is

I have always loved science, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. Ever since I was little, I have been told I'm curious, an eternal student... I didn't think too much about that when I applied for a biology degree. I loved doing my Bachelor of Science.  I met extraordinary people. Human interactions are very important to me.

After my bachelor's degree, I still had no idea what to do. I traveled by bike around Europe. It gave me some ideas. Back in Quebec, between jobs, I did some volunteer work. I did an ecology internship, I volunteered at the hospital, and I volunteered in community sports. I also experienced a layoff, which had never happened to me. That was a hard blow!

All these experiences allowed me to build an idea of what was important to me and for my career. I realized that I wanted to use science for the benefit of people. I also learned that while I enjoy teamwork, I need some professional independence. I registered everywhere (CEGEP and university) to begin my nurse training. I took the first option that accepted me. I love what I’m doing now!

I am motivated by

In the ICU, I never know what to expect. Sometimes, it's relaxed and sometimes I'm constantly running! I love that many decisions are made based on my assessments. Everyone in the professional world around my patient wants my input and my observations. To be successful, I have to understand what is going on with my patient. I also have to be thorough in my assessments. I like to be active and see the benefits of my work almost immediately. I find my work very gratifying.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I save lives, help people feel better or make painful moments a little less painful. I make a big difference to the families of patients. They feel listened to, informed.

Outside of work I

I am an avid reader (novels or manga). I like to spend as much time as possible outside.  I like climbing, and playing ultimate Frisbee. I also like to bike/ski/hike. I enjoy going to the theater.

My advice to others

Before jumping into the vast world of nursing, do an internship (and not just in a hospital).  You could also watch the videos such as Day in the life: Nursing Internship.


When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • History
  • Science
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Math
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned Best by Doing
  • I always wanted to participate in activities with my friends. It was way more important than my notes, so I was studying at the last minute.
  • I wanted to have responsibilities; to be heard. So I was also the class president (a little bit of power but not too much).

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