Nursing - Written portraits

Caroline Ball

Perinatal Nurse

Meet Caroline Ball, a Perinatal Nurse at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

It was while taking care of her grandmother where Caroline learned the needs of the elderly, and that she wanted her career to focus on helping to heal and support those in need. When she decided to register for a course to become an orderly, she has already spent several months caring for the elderly, and knew that this path would lead her to her future as a professional.

Caroline received her DEC in Nursing from Dawson College, and at first, she considered working in geriatrics. However, after a 12-week internship in the Family Birthing Centre at the JGH, she quickly realized that was where she wanted to be.

As soon as she graduated, she was hired by the JGH. Combining full-time studies with weekend night work at the Birthing Centre, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Perinatal Nursing. She is also awaiting certification in Perinatal Nursing by the Canadian Nursing Association.

The Birthing Centre has given Caroline an opportunity to perform a multitude of tasks. In addition to caring for and providing support to mothers, she and her team ensure that babies are healthy and safe. They also triage patients, are present in operating and recovery rooms, and help in treating high-risk pregnancies. This requires Caroline and her colleagues to use their technical skills and her critical thinking in a unique and highly challenging environment.

“I must have cried for my first 50-100 births I assisted. Life is beautiful and we get to be a part of the most wondrous event in a family’s lives.”

Fannie Bourgeois

Nursing Advisor

Meet Fannie Bourgeois, Nursing Advisor for the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Service. After earning a Bachelor of Nursing degree at McGill University, she completed a graduate microprogram in IPC at Sherbrooke University. She is currently pursuing a DESS in IPC in preparation for  Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec | OIIQ certification.

During her studies, Fannie undertook several internships at the Jewish General Hospital. After five years in the Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit, she turned to IPC. Work/study balance allows her to keep her knowledge up to date and improve her practice.

Fannie now works in the care units of Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare Centre, where she identifies potential cases of nosocomial infections and the risks of transmission. "IPC in a long-term care setting has several particularities and is in line with the philosophy of the Living Environment," she says. She also monitors surgical site infections for cardiac surgery.

Advisors who specialize in IPC are significant resources for any healthcare facility. Providing daily advice, Fannie works to review and draft new policies and procedures, educate and train,

manage outbreaks and participate in various committees. She also interacts and collaborates with a number of stakeholders (Pharmacy, Hygiene and Sanitation, Physical Facilities, and Occupational Health and Safety). "This aspect of our work requires a lot of coordination, but is so rewarding," she adds.

"What I prefer in my work is the autonomy and the variety of the activities that need to be carried out, while keeping in mind the safety of users and the continuous improvement of our practices."

Sandrine Chauveau-Sauvé

Nurse Clinician

Meet Sandrine Chauveau-Sauvé, a Clinical Nurse in the Surgical Services Unit (K9) at the Jewish General Hospital.

After embarking on an academic path in theatre and the arts (unusual for a future nurse), Sandrine made a major course correction and earned a Bachelor's degree in Nursing. She graduated in 2017 and chose to come to the JGH, because of the enriching diversity of its staff and patients. “It was also important for me to work in a high-quality university centre, with its abundance of stimulating research projects,” says Sandrine.

As might be expected, a typical work day keeps Sandrine very busy on the ninth floor of Pavilion K. Her team might be involved in administering chemotherapy, providing palliative care, preparing a patient for surgery, receiving a post-operative patient, or admitting a patient who came through the Emergency Department.

Sandrine and her colleagues primarily work with five teams of surgeons who specialize in urology, gyne-oncology, and hepatobiliary, colorectal and general surgery. “This environment is very stimulating,” she adds. “I have to be resourceful and autonomous, and my clinical judgment is essential.”

Sandrine loves her team, which consists of an exciting combination of experienced and novice nurses—people from around the world, with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. “When a patient is not well, the team gathers its strength and we work together,” she says. “It’s this solidarity among nurses that makes our work so enjoyable, regardless of any obstacles that may arise.”

"I chose to be a nurse because I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. I wanted to campaign for social justice and it is a profession that gives me the means to do so," concludes Sandrine.

Senait Alemu Meskele

Clinicial Nurse

Meet Senait Alemu Meskele, a Clinical Nurse in the Birthing Centre at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

After completing her university studies in biophysics, Senait decided to reorient herself and pursue a career in nursing. And she is almost finished her studies in management of health and social services.

At the same time that she takes her courses, Senait is working at the Birthing Centre, where she is involved in a variety of tasks, each of which fascinates her—for example, triage, stabilizing a high-risk pregnancy, participating in a birth and being present in the operating room during a caesarean section.

“I really enjoy the environment and all of the knowledge that I’m able to acquire on a daily basis”, says Senait. “On difficult days, I can always rely on my colleagues for help. I love the team spirit, the patient-centred care, the openness to technology and the continuous innovations that are visible throughout the hospital.”

For Senait, nursing allows for greater human contact, interaction with people, patient empowerment and a positive impact on their lives. “It always feel good to develop unique bonds with patients,” she adds. “Attending the birth of a newborn baby is a unique moment each time. I feel privileged to participate in each of them.”

Victor Uscatescu

Nursing Education Consultant

Meet Victor Uscatescu, a CIUSSS West-Central Montreal Nursing Education Consultant for the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Emergency Department.

Born in Romania, Victor moved to Montreal at the age of 18. Having a keen interest in health, he enrolled in Health Sciences at Vanier Cégep, and went on to study nursing at McGill University.

For Victor, “a nurse should be able to evolve in their career and the JGH Emergency Department really encourages and promotes its employees.”. In the Emergency Department, I learned to provide nursing care to diverse patient populations requiring a myriad of specialized skills and advanced knowledge. I have had the opportunity to assume charge nurse responsibilities as well as welcoming and orienting new nurses to the department. Recently, I have been nominated to the role of Emergency Nursing Education Consultant. Through this new role I have become a member of the nursing leadership team and I have since, continuously, been working on perfecting my leadership skills. "

Victor says he has gone full circle – from being a nurse that went through orientation to now being a nurse orienting new nurses at the JGH. He is happy to give back to and is grateful to be working in the busiest emergency in Quebec.

Ioana Voicu

Nurse Clinician

Meet Ioana Voicu, Nurse Clinician in Orthopedic Surgery at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH). Having received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Montreal, Ioana is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Nursing Administration, while working part-time.

Given the popularity of the JGH, as well as the quality of its treatment and offered, Ioana has always wanted to work there. She appreciates teamwork, collaboration among patients and healthcare professionals, and the autonomy that she can exercise as a nurse.

Ioana has chosen to work in Orthopedic Surgery, because it gives her an opportunity to guide her patients along their process of recovery, while supporting and encouraging them if they lose confidence in their ability to recover. “As a Nurse Clinician, I assess the condition and progress of my patients, in terms of their mobility, pain management and daily activities,” she explains.

In addition to the help they provide to orthopedic clients, Ioana and her team value the multidisciplinary approach that also enables them to care for patients in such specialties as family medicine, urology, geriatrics and gynecology. Daily activities revolve around assessments, pre- and post-operative interventions and patient mobilization.

The team works closely with physicians, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, orderlies, social workers and dietitians to provide the best possible care—not to mention collaborating with patients' families, who are usually very involved in care.

“My team is undoubtedly the one that every nurse wants to have,” Ioana says. “When I think of my colleagues, three words come to mind: dedication, support and harmony. I never feel alone, because the whole team is ready to help. Teamwork is definitely our strength.”

Eleni Zimiantis

Candidate for the profession of nursing

Having herself been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Eleni has an intimate understanding of the invaluable work that nurses perform. This is why she’s so eager to help others through her work at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH). “I began my career as a unit agent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and in the operating rooms, which is where I really discovered the world of nursing, along with my deep desire to join their ranks.”

Since then, Eleni has received strong encouragement, as well as in-depth insight into the profession, from colleagues in the Surgical Unit on the 8th floor of Pavilion C. The high intensity of an operating room complements her character and matches the direction in which she wishes to steer her career.

Not only does she appreciate the hard work of her departmental colleagues, but the way they accomplish so much as a team. “In nursing, we’re constantly supported, never alone. As well, my team on 8 West is probably the most helpful and supportive that I’ve ever encountered. This has
made it possible for me to get through some tough days.” For Eleni, nursing is a constant process of innovating, plus the endless challenge of learning.

The past five years at the JGH have helped Eleni to develop close working relationships with other nurses, physicians and multidisciplinary staff. “I want to continue my career here, because I believe deeply in the hospital's mission, which is in sync with my own values.”

In September, Eleni begins working toward her Bachelor’s degree in nursing at McGill University, “with the ultimate goal of obtaining a Master’s degree in nursing and becoming a nurse practitioner.”

Let’s send her our congratulations for the nursing license that she will obtain from the  Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec on September 23.

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