A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)

Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

A global pandemic has underlined the ways that nurses have been not only health-care providers, but also health-care heroes.

This week, May 10-16, is National Nursing Week and Island Health is taking the opportunity to tell some of the stories of how nurses are answering the call in unprecedented times.

Kathy McNeil, Island Health president and CEO, said in a press release that “there have been many shining examples” of nurses showing perseverance, resilience and teamwork. She said it’s important to remember that through it all nurses have not only fought the virus in the workplace, but also faced pandemic challenges in their personal lives.

“Now, more than ever, nurses deserve recognition and nursing week presents the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for the nurses in your life,” McNeil said.

Lizzy Hannah, a registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, said in the release that early in the pandemic, nurses “watched in horror” at the case numbers and deaths in other parts of the world and were terrified about what might happen on Vancouver Island.

“There was the fear of catching the virus ourselves, questioning whether we were wearing adequate personal protective equipment, praying we were not bringing the virus home to our families,” Hannah said.

While the Island hasn’t been as hard-hit by the virus as many other places, it has not been immune to critical illness and death. Nurses have been the ones who have provided comfort and care, Hannah said, holding the hands of intubated patients and facilitating “heart-breaking” goodbye Zoom calls with their family members.

“Despite the unease, moral distress and exhausting work, I believe that our team has risen above and beyond,” Hannah said. “Our leaders, physicians, and nurses have continued to show up despite the fear and fatigue, providing the same level of excellent care we always do.”

READ ALSO: Celebrating our Nurses – National Nursing Week 2021

The Canadian Nurses Association’s theme for National Nursing Week this year is ‘We answer the call,’ meant to represent the many roles that nurses play in patients’ health care. An example of answering the call, noted Saanich public health nurse Jen Slade in the press release, is the immunization program that has brought nurses out of retirement to administer vaccine doses.

“The life-long role of the nurse as mentor, teacher and advocate for health … exists beyond nursing practice,” said Slade. “These attributes translate into our every day and do not leave us when the shift ends or with retirement.”

Diane Maille, a public health nurse in the Cowichan Valley, answered the call as well to work at an Island Health immunization clinic, pivoting from her regular duties providing breastfeeding support, newborn and post-partum assessments and immunizations to babies and children.

“It feels good knowing in a time of uncertainty that I can contribute in my role as a nurse to help my community stay safe,” she said in the release. “The best part of being a nurse is knowing I have helped someone.”

Island Health expressed in the press release a wish to celebrate nurses and honour the “profound contribution” they make to health and wellness. Krista Allan, Island Health’s chief nurse executive, said this week is a chance to honour the work and dedication of nurses.

“All of us have a role to play in supporting and advocating for the health of our communities, and in supporting all nurses everywhere, “ said Allan. “Nurses are the backbone of our health system.”

READ ALSO: Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Health

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read