RN takes us along for her shift at Powell River General Hospital.
In celebration of Nursing Week, nurses from across Vancouver Coastal Health are taking us along for their shift — 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.
Robyn MacLaine is a registered nurse (RN) at Powell River General Hospital (PRGH). Born and raised in the community, working at PRGH feels like home.
Robyn recently took us along for one of her night shifts — documenting her day to give us a behind-the-scenes look at her role. Here's what she shared:
Arriving to work at Powell River General Hospital. Powell River is my hometown, but after living and nursing in Victoria and Edmonton for a decade I never thought I would be living back here. Now, I can't imagine living anywhere else!
I'm part of a team of nurses cross-trained between medical-surgical acute nursing and obstetrics. This is part of the team caring for labouring moms, post-operative patients, moms and babes getting ready to go home and patients awaiting residential care placements. It's a lot of variety!
Report time! We have a very short time to learn about our patients, their care needs and health goals. After we get handover from the off-going shift, we present our patients to the rest of our team so that we can collaborate and support each other throughout the day. We're a very tight-knit work family and we really come together to support each other through new and challenging situations. We have to wear many hats working in a smaller, rural hospital, and so we really have to rely on each other and each special thing that each of us brings to the team.
We work really hard on night shifts to help our patients get a good night's sleep as this is so important for their health! One of the other jobs we do during night shifts is checking through all of the charts and paperwork to ensure nothing has been missed and that everything possible is prepared for the next day shift. Day shifts are very fast-paced with lots of conversations happening between health-care team members, so checking charts and orders is an important piece of taking care of everyone. We also check and re-stock supplies, ensuring everything is in its place and ready to be used at a moment's notice.
In rural nursing, we take on many different roles so that we can work as a team to care of all types of patients. On this particular night, one of our patients needed one-on-one nursing supervision, so another nurse and I took on this role. In nursing, we spend a lot of time and effort trying to prevent emergencies, so this often looks like a lot of check-ins and re-checks so that we know everyone is safe and cared for. When I arrived back at PRGH, I noticed little lanterns that we carry around to check in on our patients. It reminds me of Florence Nightingale, the "Lady of the Lantern," walking among the patients in her early hospitals. I have always loved the fact that I can help people in a practical way by being a part of a group of people absolutely dedicated to being helpers, all the time, on every single day. Our doors are always open to anyone who needs help.
Be sure to follow our Nursing Week campaign on on our social media channels as we profile new nurses across the regions every week during the month of May!