To all our nurses: thank you for everything you do!

During Nursing Week, which is celebrated every year throughout Canada during the week of Florence Nightingale’s May 12th birthday, we recognize the year-round devotion and achievements of the Montreal Children’s Hospital's 650 nurses who contribute enormously to the well-being of our patients and their families.

Cindy McCartney, Nursing Resource Manager

Ever wonder how the hospital runs smoothly after hours? During evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays the Children's calls upon Nursing Resource Managers to make sure patients and staff are well looked after. 

Cindy McCartney has always loved a good challenge, which is why she felt drawn to her current position as a Nursing Resource Manager (NRM) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. “When I started teaching nursing at McGill, I realized how much I enjoy problem-solving and being the go-to person,” she says. “So I started thinking of different ways to make this part of my daily life.” In June 2012, after working on 7C1 for eight years, Cindy decided to apply for an NRM position. She got the job and now works mostly evenings from 3:15 to 11:15 p.m., a shift she says works extremely well for her young family. She also rotates between night and weekend shifts with the rest of the NRM team. 

Cindy’s main objective is to make sure the hospital runs smoothly after hours. “I talk to all the nurses on each floor to make sure they have everything they need, and I constantly have a pager or phone by my side,” she says. “I don’t always have an answer for everything, but I make sure I get the information needed,” she says. “I never come across the same problem twice, which means I’m learning something new every day.”

Serge Soucy, Nursing Resource Manager

Serge Soucy has been working at the Montreal Children’s Hospital for the last 30 years, and has spent eleven of those as a Nursing Resource Manager. His previous experience as a float nurse, surgical nurse, neonatal nurse, and emergency nurse, has helped tremendously with his current role. “I know this hospital inside and out, which helps when I have to make tough decisions,” he says. “I always focus on what is best for our patients and families, which allows me to prioritize myself on very busy nights.”

In certain cases, Serge must decide whether to move a patient to a different unit in order to accommodate a new, more critically-ill patient. He looks at the impact this decision would have on the unit and its staff, as well as the patient’s safety. “At the end of the day, it is not about how many patients we have, but about the quality of care we provide,” he says. “If something is in the patient’s best interest, I will make that call.” 

Mylène Poirier, Emergency nurse

Mylène Poirier is a great example. In a Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) setting, there can be countless variables at work at any given time. But whenever Mylène, a 12-year veteran pediatric emergency nurse is working, she makes sure to keep two things constant: a positive atitude and a smile. 

“I don’t have any kids of my own yet,” she says, “but I make a conscious effort to treat every one of my patients in the same way I’d hope my child would be treated by their nurse.”

Sometimes that means inquiring with staff members on other units once a patient has been admitted to see how they might be doing. Other times, it’s by passing on her knowledge and experience as part of her role as an Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course (ENPC) Instructor. What’s clear above all is her loyalty to providing the best care for patients and families in the Emergency Department. 

Working a part time schedule of 4 evening or day shifts a week offers Mylène enough time to unwind with her boyfriend outside of work as well. A self-professed adrenaline junkie, she enjoys mountain biking, downhill skiing and is an avid Cross-Fit enthusiast as well, which she credits in helping her unwind after a particularly busy work week. 

And while the hustle of the job can sometimes be exhausting, Mylène insists it’s also incredibly gratifying. “The best moments of my day are when a patient or a parent expresses their gratitude for the care they received. It’s amazing.”

To all our nurses: thank you for everything you do!