In celebration of Nursing Week, nurses from across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) are taking us along for their shifts — giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the important work they do, alongside their interdisciplinary teams, to care for our patients, clients and residents.
Ren Flores, is a Registered Nurse at Vancouver General Hospital's (VGH) Emergency Department (ED).
Ren recently took us along for one of his night shifts — documenting his day to give us a behind-the-scenes look at his role. Here's what he shared:
I take my four-year-old golden girl, Reiko, for a walk around my neighbourhood. Being outside helps clear my mind so that I'm the best version of myself when I come into work. I then drop her off with my parents before getting a little caffeine boost before my 12 hour night shift.
Just as the world is going to sleep, my day is just beginning. You never know what you're going to see when you come to work in the ED. No two shifts are ever the same and that's what makes it exciting!
A component of emergency nursing is being proactive rather than reactive. When a patient is discharged or admitted, we take this opportunity to prepare our rooms for the next potential emergency.
This includes ensuring our bedside monitors work, preparing suction equipment, priming IV lines, having blood work organized and prepping cardiac leads.
Emergency nursing requires good communication within the healthcare team so everyone involved is aware of a patient's health-care plan. A plan for a patient can include further imaging (such as a CT scan, MRI, X-ray), admission to the hospital, consults with specialties within the hospital or determining if they can be safely discharged home.
In the ED, we work with a variety of healthcare professionals. Each team member plays a very important role in caring for our patients. Teamwork is essential to our success.
Things happen quickly in the ED, so part of my job is to be able to prioritize, plan and be proactive in emergent situations. Here, I am reconstituting antibiotics in the medication room and preparing our rapid transfuser in the trauma bay.
A quick break outside to get some fresh air. Even though moments in the ED can be very serious, we always take some time to de-stress and enjoy. Break time is a moment we use to catch up with one another.
I'm incredibly lucky to work with amazing nurses in the ED. The team fosters a strong teamwork culture, respect among all staff and a positive work environment. It's inspiring to witness hard working and dedicated nurses who advocate and go above and beyond for their patients. These nurses show me what it means to be leaders.
Although I'm physically exhausted from an all-nighter, I'm incredibly proud of all the hard work that my colleagues and I do.
Working during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge and we have had to adapt to complex and constantly changing situations. And although it can be frightening at times because we don't know what will come through our doors, we tackle these situations together as a team and that's what makes the emergency department so special. I am proud to call myself an ED nurse.