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“What makes VGH Operating Room (OR) an exciting place to work is that every day is different," says Kelly-Anne, Head Nurse responsible for daily operations & staffing in the OR at VGH (pictured third from the left). "Yes, we have an elective slate and make plans for it but we also have unpredictable emergency work that takes place every day.  Some days it’s what we think of as our ‘basic work’ but other days bring unknown demands and challenges.  It never ceases to amaze me how well we can come together as a team to meet these challenges and help save lives.” “Over the past 30 + years I have had experience working in all services, including Neurosurgery, Trauma, Orthopedics, and Transplant.  When I first started working in the OR at VGH, we were truly an elective OR doing such cases as elective plastic surgery, simple gynecological case, hernias, cataracts, closed urology cases and had only one OR dedicated to emergency work.  Today we only do very complex elective work, such as Whipples, Composite Resections with Free Flaps, complex Spinal surgeries.  We look after the sickest patients in the province.”
An inspirational and exciting moment for Kelly-Anne was when a group of organ transplant recipients visited the hospital to deliver popcorn as a thank you to the staff – this has since become an annual event. “When they first started doing this it was my first time speaking to people who were alive because of the organ they had received and the work we had done.  OR nurses are rarely able to follow up with patients that we care for.  It was an honour to meet them (many of whose names I recognized) and to see how well they were doing.  Needless to say there we many happy tears on both sides,” says Kelly Anne.
“I am lucky to be part of a large Leadership Group.  We work collaboratively with good patient outcome and staff satisfaction being our goals.  Every day brings new challenges and we have developed routine daily huddles and debriefs to foster communication and team problem-solving.”
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#Nurse #RN #OR #VGH #Vancouver
Kyle first began his career at VCH as a plumber and recently started a new role as a Mechanical Supervisor at Lions Gate Hospital (LGH). He really enjoys being able to help clients, contractors and patients with plumbing requirements and needs. “It feels good being able to come to work and give back to the community,” says Kyle. 
Originally from Ontario, Kyle saw the VCH career opportunity online and it was an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up. “I wanted to move to the west coast to enjoy life in the mountains, snowboarding and kiteboarding. Working at LGH has been a great opportunity and has allowed me to move across the country and accomplish my life goals.” An exciting moment for Kyle includes installing a domestic hot water re-pipe with another plumber at LGH. “It was a lot of work and we pretty much spent all night at the hospital. The sense of accomplishment after achieving that task was very rewarding.”
“The team at LGH is very supportive. Anytime there is an emergency, whether it’s plumbing, or electrical related the team comes together no matter what trade or professional background they have,” says Kyle.
Kyle lives in Squamish and enjoys split boarding and kiteboarding in his spare time – he really embraces the west coast lifestyle!
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#Plumber #VCHStaff #NorthVancouver #LGH
Work shifts, make friendshifts! This is true for Misung (left) and Alice (right) who are both RNs at George Pearson Centre (GPC) in Vancouver. They enjoy working in residential care, getting to know the residents and helping them have a better quality of life every day. 
Misung is an international nurse who completed her student practicum at GPC. She was motivated to apply for a job at GPC because of the support she received from colleagues and staff: “People working at GPC are very welcoming and warm-hearted and I feel like I am taken care of. My colleagues respect and support me and share a variety of knowledge and nursing skills – we’re always helping each other no matter what.” Alice volunteered at GPC for almost a year before she started working: “I enjoyed the environment at GPC while I was volunteering. I like the range of nursing I get to experience. For being a residential facility there is still semi-acute care for adult residents of all ages. Also, the 8-hour work shift allows you to enjoy the rest of the day!”
Misung and Alice share a love for helping others and have built a great friendship while working together at GPC!
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#RegisteredNurse #RN #ResidentialCare #GPC #Vancouver
“I love being out in the community and meeting people in the places where they live. I get to learn so much more about what their strengths and challenges are by seeing them in their homes,” says Fraser, Community Health Nurse.
Fraser relocated from Toronto for a full-time job in community health and the 8 week training program: “I knew I wanted to work in the community and not in hospital, and the same opportunity to be trained in community health was not available for me back east.”
“So far the most inspirational moments have been around end of life and palliative care support for clients who are dying at home. Supporting people to face the end of life with dignity and with their priorities and preferences front and centre has resulted in some really powerful moments of connection and makes me really proud to be a nurse,” says Fraser.
A supportive team is important, especially as a new grad – Fraser agrees: "I think I really find a lot of support from the great team around me. I felt really supported when I began my role as a new grad nurse with a special regional home health education program. The support and training helped me better understand how nurses practice outside the hospital.”
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#YesThisIsNursing #NursesWeek2018 #MyVCH #VCHStaff  #RN #Community #HomeHealth
“I have been a casual LPN at VGH since 2011 and I love the flexibility and variety associated with the casual role. I have the opportunity to work on multiple units which allows me to always be learning,” says Kyle, LPN at VGH. “Shortly after being hired, I made the decision right away to get trained on as many floors as possible at VGH. It makes work a lot more fun and challenging as opposed to what I like to say ‘being stuck’ on one unit with the same patient population and succumbing to burn out or complacency much faster.” “I was placed at VGH during my preceptorship and loved it immediately. VGH is a teaching hospital, so they take pride in ensuring staff are educated on what is necessary. I enjoy the fast-paced environment and the challenging patient needs. The amount of support that I received was reassuring as a new grad in an acute care setting. From the RN’s on the ward to the unit educator and doctors, no one made me feel stupid for not knowing the next right move. The staff was supportive and taught me along the way. Because I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many units at VGH, I’ve built relationships with numerous managers and staff across the hospital.”
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#YesThisIsNursing #NursesWeek2018 #MyVCH #VCHStaff #LPN  #VGH
Kim is a Registered Nurse working in the Burns, Trauma, High Acuity Unit (BTHA) at VGH. “What I enjoy most about this role is learning new theories and skills every single day and seeing them have a positive impact on patient care. I also love the variety that nursing offers. If you’re interested in a particular area of health care there is probably a training opportunity/job that specializes in it…you may even come across opportunities you didn’t know you were interested in! It keeps the job exciting because you can work in many different fields over the course of your career,” says Kim. 
Kim’s first job as a RN was on a surgical unit at VGH where she was able to develop a great nursing foundation. “After about two years I was eager to further my training and work with a more acute patient population. The BTHA unit at VGH always intrigued me and when I was looking for jobs in a high acuity area I found a training opportunity for BTHA. After researching the unit a bit I knew that BTHA was somewhere I was going to learn TONS and couldn’t wait to apply!” “The most exciting moments while working have been seeing the concepts that we learned in our training come to life, and understanding the mechanisms behind them. Further, being able to stabilize patients using equipment and medications reserved for the high acuity setting made these moments even more satisfying,” says Kim. “I have felt supported working on BTHA. Our training started with two months of high acuity training at BCIT and a month of unit based orientation on BTHA. BCIT and the unit based orientation both provided us with theory followed by a clinical/practical component (including a SIM lab for each). This was an effective way for us retain the information we had learned. As for post-training, the entire BTHA team has been incredibly supportive - people are always willing to help, answer questions and provide teaching in their area of expertise.”
When Kim isn’t at work she loves being outdoors all year round. Skiing Whistler, paddle boarding up Indian Arm, and hiking the many trails in BC are some of her favourite activities!
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#YesThisIsNursing #NursesWeek2018 #MyVCH #VCHStaff  #RN #BTHA  #VGH
How many nurses can say their unit is their home away from home? At VCH, we can say at least one for sure!
Jyotika, LPN at George Pearson Centre (GPC) describes GPC as her “home away from home.” She says “My role includes working in collaboration with the entire care team and we support each other in our day to day work. I enjoy the atmosphere and we have a great bunch of nurses on the floor and some amazing residents. I applied to work at GPC because it was a great learning opportunity to gain more experience in residential care.”
“I have built special relationships with a lot of the residents and most of the staff – we take care of each other. For example, anytime I stay for over-time shifts, my colleagues share any extra food they have – you’ll never go hungry here!” says Jyotika. 
She has many inspirational moments at work, but the most inspirational part of her job is the residents at GPC. “I’ve learned that you need to make the most of life in spite of any disabilities.”
“I’ve always felt supported at VCH through the constant care and support I’ve received from management and colleagues alike. Something really great about GPC is that although the work can be quite heavy, it is a happy workplace and the staff always find a reason to smile and laugh. Most staff and residents have a great sense of humour – some would even make good stand-up comedians!”
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#YesThisIsNursing#NursesWeek2018 #MyVCH #VCHStaff #LPN #ResidentialCare #GPC
To kick off Nurses Week, we met with Ashley, a Registered Nurse currently working in the Operating Room at VGH to learn about why she loves being a nurse. “I am a recent graduate of the RPEP (Regional Perioperative Education Program) at VGH and have enjoyed every minute of my new role in this specialty. I love the teamwork in the OR and the patient-focused care we provide. Everyone’s goal is patient safety and ensuring the best outcomes for our patients.” “When I was in nursing school there was a limited amount of time in the OR, but when I did get the chance to go I thought it was so interesting. We get to make a huge difference in our patient’s lives, and can see the impact that we are making.” Before working at VGH Ashley was working in Alberta, and was looking for a way to come back to her hometown, Vancouver: “When the opportunity opened up for 100% employer-paid training in the city that I wanted to live, it was a no-brainer for me.”
Ashley shared what she finds exciting about the OR: “I think the most inspiring and exciting thing about the OR is consistently hearing about new developments that are being made and new techniques used that better our patient outcomes. Being at such a large hospital we get to experience new things every day - I love the idea of constantly being able to learn and grow as a nurse.” A supportive and functional team is essential in the OR, and working as a team to support each other is vital for procedures to run smoothly. “Going through the training program I met so many other supportive nurses that are willing to answer questions and help when needed. I have learnt so much in my new role, and am excited to continue to learn.”
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#YesThisIsNursing #NursesWeek2018 #MyVCH #VCHStaff #RegisteredNurse #RN #OperatingRoom #VGH