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Emergency Nurses - In their own words

Nurse wearing mask with arms crossed stands in front of the word emergency painted white on a red wall.

Emergency Nurses Week, October 10 to 16, is a time to recognize those on the frontline of emergency medicine. This year’s theme is “grit", a quality our Emergency Department (ED) nurses exhibit every single minute of every 12-hour shift.

Amy Baker: We never know what’s coming through that door next. I once heard a nurse say that the ED is “an environment of constant learning filled with great and awful moments” and I couldn’t agree more.

Jenna Turner: No one quite understands the nature of the job like those that are in the trenches with you. Without supportive colleagues and having each other to debrief and destress with, I am not sure how we would cope.

Lyndsey Gallant: My mom worked in emergency as a nurse for 35 years so I feel like it is in my blood to help people.

Kurt Brothers: Our biggest challenge right now as an ED is coping with the sudden increase in patient volume over the past few weeks. With children returning to school, respiratory viruses are of course on the rise.

LG: Covid has created a whole new problem in health care and I am not only referring to the increased demand on the system. It has also created this anxiety/fear in people where they have forgotten to be kind. We are used to seeing people at their most stressful time and people can get heated and usually we are the target of their stress but Covid has taken things to a whole other level.

Nicole Evanson: We aim to recognize the most ill patients and get them to care first, but that usually means someone else is disappointed. And that's hard.

JT: I cannot imagine myself doing anything other than being a nurse; being able to provide and care for my patients and their families brings me so much fulfilment. If it was not for how I feel when I know I made a difference for a child and their family, I do not believe I would have continued in this profession.

NE: I always felt a calling toward pediatrics. Even when they are having the worst day, children are looking to smile and laugh even just for a moment. Those moments are the goal.

KB: It’s the little things that keep me going. During a busy triage shift recently I had a mom stop me while I was trying to reassess patients in the waiting room. She said, “I can see how much you’ve been running around since I’ve been waiting, thank you for all that you do”, and that made an otherwise hectic day worth it.

AB: Although the work is hard and exhausting, every time I head out the door to another shift my family chants, “take care of those kids Mommy!” giving me the extra boost I need!