From May 7 to 11 - The MUHC celebrates National Nursing Week

Again this year, the McGill University Health Centre is celebrating National Nursing Week. The event takes place from May 6 to 12 and honours the year-round work and commitment of our 3000 MUHC nurses. To highlight their achievements, many activities have been planned throughout the five MUHC facilities. Award ceremonies will also be held during the week.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of our nurses,” said Dr. Arthur T. Porter, MUHC Director General. “Please join me in showing our appreciation to those who stay by patients’ bedsides twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and who, through their management, research, educational and advising skills, assure the health of us all!”

“Nurses are at the heart of our health care system,” confirmed Ms. Diane Borisov, MUHC Director of Nursing. “Their role within our health system and hospitals has diversified over the years, and this trend will continue. In fact, the need for qualified nurses will only grow in the years to come. We must therefore encourage young women and men to pursue this stimulating career path.”

Here are three profiles of MUHC nurses who work in new or little-known fields:

Jane Chambers-Evans combines nursing and bioethics in the first person singular
Right away, Jane Chambers-Evans states that she is a wearer of many hats. “I have two master’s degrees: one in nursing and the other in bioethics. I am therefore a nursing consultant for clinical personnel and a professional nurse and bioethics consultant,” she explains.

As a nursing consultant, she has played a key role in the application of Bill 90 and the reorganization of systems in order to develop, renew and approve clinical nursing practice throughout the MUHC.

Ms. Chambers-Evans is president of the adult clinical ethics committee and a clinical ethicist with the MUHC clinical ethics service. She teaches ethics at the School of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and also within the MUHC Nursing Department itself. “I love helping nurses identify and resolve ethical dilemmas,” she adds. She is also involved in many projects at the MUHC that deal with “end-of-life” care and has collaborated to develop many policies and programs surrounding this kind of care.

What advice does Ms. Chambers-Evans have for anyone considering this career path? “We are looking for people who have a passion for helping others, who appreciate team work, who have critical thinking skills, and who have the desire to learn and discover. The field of nursing is so diverse and there are many ways you can make a huge difference in the lives of patients and their families,” she concludes.

Philippe Lamer: a nurse practitioner specializing in neonatology
Philippe Lamer is a nurse practitioner who has specialized in neonatology since September 2006. “Everything started in 1996 with a pilot project in partnership with the Collège des médecins and the Ordre des infirmiers et infirmières du Québec. Today, there are five of us in Quebec who practise in this field: four of us at the MUHC and one at the Hôpital Sainte-Justine,” Mr. Lamer explains. He received his master’s in specialized science in neonatology at the State University of New York in 2000.

Under the law, a neonatal nurse practitioner can order diagnostic tests; prescribe medications or medical treatments; and perform invasive diagnostic techniques or invasive medical treatments.

Mr. Lamer says that it was his interest for new things and his drive to surpass his limits that pushed him to choose this new career. “I was ready to go further and I wanted to broaden my fields of knowledge,” he says, adding that attending to patients’ bedsides is the most important nursing job of all.

Gillian Taylor works with children suffering from arthritis at the Montreal Children’s Hospital
Gillian Taylor is a nurse clinician who specializes in rheumatology and has twenty years of service in the outpatient clinic at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. “I am a product of my environment. I love working in a multidisciplinary team and sharing my expertise with people from different disciplines,” she explains. Ms. Taylor has a master’s degree in nursing from McGill University and has worked with juvenile arthritis patients for fifteen years. She follows 400 cases with the help of a part-time colleague.

Juvenile arthritis is a little-known disease that affects one young person out of one thousand. “Families tell us that people are surprised when they explain their child has arthritis. We have a lot to do in order to raise people’s awareness and understanding about this disease,” adds Ms. Taylor, who likes to help parents in their concerns.

For four years, thanks to the Arthritis Society and the Department of Rheumatology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, young people aged eight to sixteen who are diagnosed with arthritis have had the chance to attend a summer camp that is adapted to their physical condition. “It has been a great success. Our colleagues and the three other Quebec rheumatology centres participate in the project. All of the children who go to the camp have arthritis, which means that no one is isolated,” Ms. Taylor emphasizes.

Ms. Taylor advises young people to pursue this type of career if they are looking for a gratifying work environment where they will be called upon to perform multiple roles. “It’s wonderful to work with children and their families. Our job is to innovate and find new ways of doing things. What’s more, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the MUHC are internationally recognized and respected institutions,” she concludes.