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‘Real’ nursing at its best


Meet UBCH periop nurses Frannie Villanueva (left), a six-month newbie, and Kathy Bailey, a 40-plus-year veteran. 

​“People used to say perioperative nursing wasn’t ‘real’ nursing’,” says Kathy Bailey, “but nothing could be further from the truth.” 

With more than 40 years on the job, Kathy should know.​

Perioperative nurses care for patients before, during and after surgery, and Kathy has been doing just that at UBC Hospital (UBCH) since it opened in December 1980. The following month she participated in UBCH’s first surgery.

Over the years, Kathy has seen program and service changes, but her love for working at UBCH hasn’t waver because of its size and community. 

“The team is so cohesive; it has always felt like family,” she explains. “On days when we’re short on staff, people step up. It’s serious work but we have time to laugh and support each other, and we always make the time hold a patient’s hand or stroke a forehead to provide comfort.” 

“My dream job in my dream city”​

Frannie Villanueva is new to the ​UBCH family and she’s beaming.

“When I was studying nursing, I wanted to be in the OR — I thought it was such a cool job,” she says with a smile. ​

Warmly welcomed by her new UBCH family, Frannie is six months on the job and confident she’s made the right choice. “I always wanted to move to Vancouver, so it’s my dream job in my dream city.”

Exceptional care for everyone ​

The UBCH surgical team completes 30 to 40 cases a day, including hip and knee replacements, but also oncology, gynecology, plastics and urology. In fact, the hospital’s periop nursing team supports most surgical services, except cardiac and transplants.

Hyper focused on the patient, ensuring physical and emotional comfort, Johanne Turcotte says “the team doesn’t miss a beat.”​

“Patients love the extra special treatment they get here. They feel the nurses go above and beyond — and I agree,” says the patient services manager.

Thank a periop nurse today! 

Perioperative Nurses Week is November 10 to 16.


UBCH perioperative nurses care for their patients through every step of the surgical process.  ​​​​

SOURCE: ‘Real’ nursing at its best ( )
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