An outpouring of solidarity

Taylor Greenstein, nurse at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH), tells her experience of solidarity with the people of Saguenay


“On December 7th, I received a phone call from my head nurse,” says Taylor Greenstein, nurse at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH). “She had a most unusual request. She asked me if I was willing to go to Chicoutimi, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.”


The MUHC was looking for employees—nurses, licensed practical nurses and PABs— willing to provide critical support, for a period of two weeks, in the Chicoutimi and Jonquière regions that were experiencing an overwhelming nursing shortage caused by abundance significant rise in positive patients as well as a large number of staff either in quarantine or falling ill. Special compensation and benefits were offered to those who volunteered.


Taylor didn’t hesitate: “I dropped my things and packed my bags. The next morning, I was on the road for six hours on my way to an unknown city, along with two colleagues of mine, for which I was very fortunate to have with me for this experience.”


Taylor was assigned to the orthopedic trauma floor at the Hôpital de Chicoutimi. The first few shifts were difficult as she had to adapt to a new environment and quickly learn hospital guidelines.


However, Taylor felt very fortunate when the staff greeted her with open arms—of course, maintaining the two-metre distance—and always offering help. “Some of the staff were tearful when they found out we had travelled from Montreal to assist them. They were grateful to us for stepping out of our comfort zone.”


As a MCH nurse, it has been less than two years since Taylor had cared for grown up patients. Getting reacquainted to adults also came with its challenges, but also it brought with it a great opportunity to be in a different hospital setting and different type of nursing.


Taylor is grateful for the experience: “I can personally say that I felt extremely supported by those both in Chicoutimi and Montreal. With today’s technology, I was able to keep in contact with work, friends and family as if I were still home.”


She was also able to get to know a new area of Quebec, a region she had not visited before. “Less than a kilometre away from the hotel, I could enjoy the beauty of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean by going for nature walks and decompressing while watching the sun set on the snowy mountains.”


And now? “The integration back to work on B8 was easier than expected—as we are now receiving adult patients. I feel the ‘refresh’ that I had in Chicoutimi is now coming in very handy at the Children’s!”


Thank you, Taylor Greenstein, and all the volunteers who answered the call and demonstrated the MUHC’s solidarity with our colleagues. Bravo!