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"It's like family"


Loretta Bartley (left) helps colleague and long-time friend, Gail Babiuk (right) celebrate her 40 year anniversary as a nurse at VCH.

​Gail Babiuk, Registered Nurse (RN) in the urology/gynecology/plastics unit at Vancouver General Hospital, has spent her entire career as a nurse at VGH.

She recently celebrated her 40 year service anniversary at Vancouver Coastal Health, and shared what has kept her here over the years.

“A welcoming sense of family, where staff have a caring and positive approach," says Gail, “This is a very encouraging environment, and the patients are a big part of that. There are so many stories. How many other places can you go to meet so many different people every day?"

Gail graduated from the VGH School of Nursing, and in 1978, started in the general surgery department at VGH. Going through the School of Nursing, living in the Nurses' Residences with fellow students, taught her the value of community, which she was able to bring with her to the floor. 

Nurses have so much more to learn today, but without the technology that we have now, it was much more difficult back then, Gail recalls. What she quickly learned, and something that still applies to this day, was that she was never by herself; it truly was a community. With so many specialities at VGH, there are always people you can call upon for help and support.

Colleague and long-time friend, fellow RN, Loretta Bartley, agrees.

“It is a very collaborative environment, not just between nurses, but with all staff." Says Loretta. She was in the last graduating class of the VGH School of Nursing before the program ended. “I felt confident on my first day on the job, thanks to the support from staff."

Both attribute their success as nurses to their preceptors, experienced nurses who were role models and helped guide and mentor them as young nurses. In turn, they hope that they can in some way provide guidance and support for other young nurses who are starting out in their careers.

“Nursing is such a rewarding career and the more you put in, the more you get out of it," says Loretta, “Being able to help patients and families, and getting validation from their excitement of seeing you again makes it worth it."

Gail also feels a sense of purpose by being a nurse. “The best reward at the end of the day is when someone thanks you and asks if you will be their nurse tomorrow. That is why I haven't retired yet." ​

Special greetings

In honour of National Nursing Week, we invite you to watch this special​ video with greetings, congratulations, and a message of appreciation to all nurses across Vancouver Coastal Health from Dr. David Byres, DNP, RN, CHE, Chief Nurse Executive and Associate Deputy Minister, Clinical Leadership, Ministry of Health. (5:32 minutes) ​

Dr. Byres also provides a status update on The Nursing Policy Secretariat's Priority Recommendation Report 

SOURCE: "It's like family" ( )
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