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Year of the Nurse: Meet Jesse, a dedicated ER nurse who expanded his career to work with MSF/Doctors Without Borders


Continuing our highlight of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) nurses, we caught up with Jesse, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department (ED) and the Short Stay Pediatric Unit at Richmond Hospital (RH).

"My favourite patient assignments are triage, resuscitation, and pediatrics," says Jesse. "I love how team-oriented the ED is at collaborating to provide the best care possible for our patients and how each day is so different from the next."

Jesse moved from Ontario about six years ago to enjoy the West Coast lifestyle. When he started at RH, Jesse recalls being met by a remarkably welcoming team. "They encouraged me to grow out of my comfort zone and into the world of adult ED nursing," he says. "I really appreciated being sponsored to go back to school at BCIT for my Emergency Nursing Specialty Certificate and continue to gain nursing competencies."

An inspirational life-saving moment

As a nurse in the ER, there are many moments that stand out. Jesse remembers a time where as a team, they successfully resuscitated a one-month-old baby boy after 45 minutes of CPR.

"He comes to visit us every year on his birthday. It was incredible to see how our team pulled together from across all departments including the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatrics when we needed each other most," he says. 'Casey the Brave', as he is known, and his family continue to inspire and humble the team at RH with their strength and resilience.

Expanding his nursing career to overseas

VCH aims to provide a supportive team environment and encourages employees to expand their career skills. For the last 10 years, Jesse has yearned to work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders. With support and flexibility from VCH, Jesse was able take on a casual role in order to pursue a Diploma in Tropical Nursing at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and made various travel nursing contracts to strengthen his professional portfolio to work for MSF.


"I was so appreciative that my manager allowed me this flexibility," he says. "I feel very supported working at VCH."

Last year, Jesse returned home from seven months in Helmand, Afghanistan at an MSF project called Boost Hospital.

"I was the NICU/PICU Nursing Team Supervisor of 67 amazing national staff whose hard work for their people continue to inspire me daily," he says. "I'm super grateful not just for the flexibility my manager gave me, but to be welcomed back so warmly by the team in the Richmond ED."

How Richmond Hospital embodies the VCH Values

Jesse recognizes how he and the team at RH demonstrate the VCH values (We Care for Everyone, We Are Always Learning and We Strive for Better Results) in their everyday work.

"For me, culturally sensitive care at the bedside is imperative for all front-line, health-care workers to answer the calls to action as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)," he says. "I find that honestly reflecting-in-action helps me to continually challenge my own perspectives, privileges, judgements and attitudes to become more sensitive to my patients' needs."

He enjoys being part of a team that is continually looking to strive for better results and create a culture of quality improvement.

"Our team at Richmond has demonstrated this in a number of ways, including being the first general ED in B.C. to pilot what is normally an inpatient Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS)," says Jesse. This tool monitors pediatric vital signs that is especially helpful for clarifying inter-professional communication.

"I was one of the initial PEWS champions to help get buy-in for implementation in our department, and I'm proud of how far our team of clinical educators and physicians has gone with it."

SOURCE: Year of the Nurse: Meet Jesse, a dedicated ER nurse who expanded his career to work with MSF/Doctors Without Borders ( )
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