National Nursing Week


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Helping burn patients takes dedication and team work By Jim Timlick - For the Free Press Tricia Carta will often say she has two families — one at home, and one at work. C arta is a clinical nurse specialist for the burn program at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre. A big part of her job is coordinating the efforts of a multidisciplinary team of nurses, surgeons, social workers and therapists in helping burn patients through their journey of recovery, a recovery that can take as long as 10 years. Because she is involved in nearly every step of their journey, Carta spends countless hours with patients throughout their recovery. And while parting can be sweet sorrow, nothing brings a bigger smile to her face than when a patient is ready to go home and resume everyday life. "When you see patients every day for six to eight months or longer, you become part of their hospital family and become an important part of their recovery," she says. "It's very rewarding when you finally get to see them go home and lead a happy, productive life again." Carta is a graduate of the nursing program at the University of Manitoba and has been working in the field for 20 years. She has been in her current role as a CNS for 10 years and has been working with burn patients for the past 15 years. She was inspired to become a burn nurse by one of her professors at the U of M who had worked in the same role. After beginning her nursing career in the surgical intensive care unit, she soon determined she had more to offer and switched to the burn program. "I just knew it was the area I was interested in and wanted to pursue it," she recalls. "It's a very holistic approach to care. You are not just dealing with the physical scars but the emotional ones as well. It really requires a collaborative care team to meet the needs of the patient." In addition to coordinating the burn program team, Carta lends her clinical expertise to research projects, provides solutions to issues such as wound care, helps facilitate an overall plan for patients, and assists with patients' transitions from critical care to acute or rehabilitative care. "I'm often the constant for them throughout their healing process," says Carta, who provides her expertise to all areas of the HSC. Still, Carta stresses she is but one small part of the burn program team at the hospital. The team includes everyone from nurses, critical care nurses, plastic surgeons and burn surgeons to occupational and physical therapists and social workers. Carta says one of the most rewarding parts of her job is being part of such a tightly- knit group. Coninued on page 2 >> Commitment to Care Nursing isn't just a career. It's a calling. P at Benjaminson, president of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, has been a registered nurse for 32 years. She knew at a young age that she wanted to spend her life in nursing. "My mother was a nurse, and she was very proud of it. I grew up knowing there were vulnerable people who needed care," Benjaminson says. "I became a nurse's aide at 15 and I just loved the work." National Nursing Week is celebrated during the week of May 12 each year. Florence Nightingale's birthday was May 12, and the week is an opportunity to reflect on the value of the work nurses do every single day, in hospitals, clinics, workplaces and social agencies. "It's important to celebrate the work nurses do. Nurses play a critical role in our health-care system — they're making contributions to our health-care system all the time," Benjaminson says. "It means a lot to nurses to be able to celebrate each other." This year's theme is Nurses: With You Every Step of the Way. "Nurses truly are with patients every step of the way, from birth to death. They're the backbone of the health-care system," Benjaminson says. "It's important to educate the public and let them know everything we can do." There are many different kinds of nurses, including licensed practical nurses, psychiatric nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. "It's hard to define what makes one nursing group different from another. A lot of nursing overlaps among the scopes of practice," says Christy Froese, president of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses. "Nursing is a great profession. You have a lot of opportunity to work in various practice settings." Registered psychiatric nurses work in many different health-care areas, including hospital emergency departments and urgent-care clinics. "We get to see a side of people that isn't always as evident in other forms of nursing. It isn't always as evident as a broken leg or belly pain," says Debbie Frechette, president of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba. "We're able to really develop relationships with people that get to the heart of why a person is struggling. We need to develop a rapport with our patients." Nurses are on the front lines of the health-care system and they often initiate and develop programs that improve patient care and outcomes. They are researchers, educators, administrators and innovators. Nurses are some of the busiest people on the planet. So busy, in fact, that finding the time to plan and organize National Nursing Week activities can pose a challenge. "You're already working at a certain hum, and it really ramps up for Nursing Week. Quite often we're so busy with other tasks that we don't take the time to pause and celebrate," Frechette says. "Nursing Week gives us time to stop and reflect on the great work we do and provides an opportunity for nurses to collaborate with each other. When the week is over, we realize it was rejuvenating." As Canada's population ages, the demands on the health-care system continue to increase. Benjamin says the responsibilities and duties of all nurses are constantly evolving to meet the new demands. "The College encourages registered nurses to practice to their full scope. It increases the capabilities of the health-care system and patients get the care they need when they need it," she says. "Nurses want to be there for their patients. We're very proud of nurses and the work they do." Most nurses say that the best part of their job is being able to help the people who need care. "One of the most challenging parts of being a nurse is finding enough time to spend with each patient. We see so many people everyday," Benjaminson says. "We get people and their families the information they need to make a decision about their health care." ● The Heart of Health Care Celebrating the work nurses do every day By Holli Moncrieff – For the Free Press FlinFlonCommunityCancerNetworkNursingStaff CancerCareNursingStaff Thankyou tothemanynurseswhocarefor cancerpatientsacrossManitoba. Yourcare,compassionand commitmentaregreatlyappreciated. A S U P P L E M E N T T O T H E W I N N I P E G F R E E P R E S S | S A T U R D AY , M AY 9 , 2 0 1 5 | v I E W O N L I N E A T w i n n i p e g f r e e p r e s s . c o m / p u b l i c a t i o n s NURSES NATIONAL NURSING WEEK MAY 11 - 17, 2015 With you every step of the way Carta and other members of the burn program team help patients deal with physical and emotional scars. Photo by Darcy Finley Nurusing May 9, 2015

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