So it’s National Nursing Week here in Canada.  A week to celebrate all things nursing.  Although I am no longer registered, I can still call myself a nurse (just not a RN) and to quote an amazing doctor who after asking me what I do and I responded with “I used to be a nurse” he said, “once a nurse, always a nurse”.

Heather working in the neonatal unit at the Brighton-Sussex University Hospital

Nursing is an art, it is a science, it is a personality, it is highly skilled, incredibly intuitive and possibly the best/worst job in the world! (Not to mention the oldest profession in the world).  These are all skills I had to perfect and then transfer to a new career.  So for the last 6 years I have worked in the Home Health Care and Rehab Equipment world.  Oddly enough, it is very parallel to nursing in many aspects and working at Tango has reignited team approach working.

Provision of specialized rehab equipment has its joys, successes and failures.  Working with clients who require this equipment remind me of nursing in ways that you never know what the needs of the individual will be, there are no assumptions that can be made on how your day will unfold, no cookie cutter that offers us an easy workday, science and technology move so rapidly it can feel impossible to remain up to date and each and every individual’s condition can change on a dime throwing all your best laid plans out the window.

I hate hearing about the growing problem of nursing shortages, shortages that are starting at the education level.  In NB we cannot fill all the positions but we do not even have enough graduates to fill those positions.  Burnout is real.  Nurses are in an industry where if they say no to covering shifts, they know that they add to the problem to inadequate care and difficult shifts for their colleagues. Such a vicious, emotional cycle. (check out Heather’s blog on the importance of self-care )

So as we celebrate Nurses Week, I encourage everyone to be aware of the unique issues to this profession, and thank all of the wonderful people that work in this field – Personal Care Workers (PCWs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners.  Bring them healthy snacks, remind them to drink water, remind them to have a break, give them a hug/high five/fist pump, encourage self-care, and when you do all this, just remember they probably have not had a bathroom break their whole shift!!

We at Tango, appreciate all that nurses do, the unique sills they bring to the table, the expertise they offer to their clients and patients, and how they always help us do our job in a much more efficient manner.

Heather after graduating from the University of Brighton with a BSc Nursing in 2006

Now I will sit back and wait for hugs from my colleagues!!!

– Heather Yates, Clinical Care Advisor