The week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians. We would like to take this opportunity to send a message of appreciation to all nurses.
National Nursing Week provides an opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you to all nurses and nursing students across Canada, and with another wave of the pandemic surging, that recognition is even more important.
We recognize that our nurses are going above and beyond for their patients; to build a stronger health care system, to improve the health of Canadians and to strengthen the medical profession. As we celebrate National Nursing Week from May 10-16, CANNT recognizes and celebrates each and every one of you!
CANNT and the Renal Administrator Leaders Network of Ontario (RALNO) have partnered together to recognize nephrology nurses across the country. We are happy to acknowledge the amazing nursing teams below who submitted tributes for nursing week. A new tribute will be featured each day!
- May 10 Feature – Humber River Hospital
- May 11 Feature – Dialysis Management Clinics and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- May 12 Feature – Royal Jubilee Hospital and Kingston Health Sciences Centre
- May 13 Feature – Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Partners and William Osler Heath System
- May 14 Feature – Thunder Bay Regional Heath Sciences Centre and Western Memorial Regional Hospital and Panorama Community Dialysis Unit
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
COVID has come with nothing but change. Change to practices, change to PPE, change to the way and where we provide treatment. Our renal team has really been adaptable and accepting of all changes along the way. In the beginning lack of PPE and conflicting messages and policies on what to wear when added to high stress levels. Our team was able to work through anything put in place be adaptable and flexible and understanding to trying something one day only to have it changed the next. Our first positive COVID renal patient saw us implementing in hospital unit hemodialysis treatments on the COVID unit. This was a new and scary experience for most but patient care came before fear and now it is the new norm. I commend these nurses for coming to work everyday in the face of the unknown and providing the best patient care possible as well as emotional support to such a vulnerable patient population. I have the daily reward of managing heroes and I couldn’t be prouder of the care they are providing. Our team worked together it is hard to recognize just one professional team from the HHD, MCKC, Dialysis aides, Biomed, in centre RN’s and PDU RN’s and the many interdisciplinary team members they all came together to support each other. They deserve a huge shout out and round of applause!
Western Memorial Regional Hospital
Throughout the past year dialysis nurses have overcome so much adversity due to the changing and challenging times of covid 19… however we’ve overcome these challenges that we would face daily and have been there to care for and protect our patients every step of the way … our team at the WMRH Dialysis Unit has come together throughout this pandemic supporting each other every shift. We will overcome this!!!
Western Memorial Regional Hospital
Panorama Community Dialysis Unit
A Tribute to my Colleagues, Nurses and Friends by Glo Hunt RN.
I would like to honor this tribute to all PCDU team- my friends, colleagues and my educational advocates. I first worked @PCDU 2008 new building and I remembered we are only operational 3x week M-W-F. Now we are operating hemodialysis Mon-Sat in full capacity.
I would like to share with you that PCDU became my family who has influenced me greatly, my social and my home. It is because that I carefully consider to choice this as my second beloved home knowing I can dramatically affect the lines of my pt through the choices and characteristics of my team. All the nurses and the team sacrifices their time, energy and professionalism for others was quite authentic, they was never trying to gain anything for themselves. The dynamic of this team is phenomenal.
How did your nephrology nursing team answer the call? It’s easy— Respectful, Professionalism, Accountability and pt. centered conversation.
Trillium Health Partners/ Credit Valley Hospital
COVID -19 Pandemic situation has placed a great amount of challenges among frontline staff. The Renal team at CVH has shown a tremendous amount success in overcoming this challenge on a daily basis. Team work environment is displayed through out this difficult time.
The team has shown a shift in mindset from “I” to “we” when caring for patients with Kidney disease. Rather than thinking “I will do x, y, and z for this patient today,” as is typical when using the primary nursing care model many of us are used to, the team has taken nursing as to “We will do x, y, and z for this patient today,” while defining exactly who will be responsible for each of those actions.
Its an amazing feeling to be a part of this great team. As always we say “Renal Rocks!”
– Anitha D’souza CNeph(C)
Credit Valley Hospital
Trillium Health Partner Renal Dept. is a huge group, nurses doctors renal assistant technician pharmacist dietitian about 200 people to work as a team.
Every day we have a lot unpredictable situation. Need to do acute dialysis in CVH or Mississauga hospital, need to do dialysis in the ICU , ER. 2B. 1 C 6J , need to train patient to do dialysis at home, need to call 911 in satellite dialysis unit and help to prepare patient transfer to hospital, need to help patient prepare for kidney transplant, need to do education night for PD or home HD. and so on. And also need to do dialysis for Covid-19 patient. Our team is leaded by our director manager, supervisor. CN. We every day work so hard as a great team to make patient safe and satisfy.
Last year October, Epic system was launch, we face a lot of new challenge, our manager, supervisor and super user all nursing staff working diligent to learn and make this system to doing good for our patient’s safety.
Sometimes we skipped our break time in order to work smoothly. Patient’s safety, effective treatment and timely care is always our priority. When short of staff, our lovely nurses once received a call from scheduling team, will just come to work for our dialysis patient, work for our team without any delay.
Sometimes we also have some complaints, but regardless complaint, when we in the patient’s bed site, we show our passion, we use our professional skills and judgement and we provide the best of care to renal patient.
It is always in our mind: Renal, we are the family.
We rock, renal team.
Credit Valley Hospital Renal Team
Credit Valley Hospital Eleanor Lau RN Renal Dept.
- Compassionate toward patients and demonstrate outstanding nursing skill and communication skill to handle stressful situations.
- A excellent bedside manner, An excellent teaching skill to the patient and nurses.
- Analytical, and problem-solving n skills in daily clinical practice.
- Working very hard. Using her own time to resolve problem during Epic working computer system changing time, as a super user, she is very patient to her colleagues.
- Her smiling face, her positive attitude influence our working department.
William Osler Health System
The Region of Peel is among the hardest-hit communities in Ontario by the COVID-19 pandemic. The William Osler Health System renal team continues to demonstrate their dedication and resilience as we provide life-sustaining renal therapy to a susceptible and at-risk population. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our hands to adapt and identify innovative ways to provide the care that our patients require safely. We are proud of each member of our Renal team and commend their ability to prioritize the needs of our patients. The William Osler Health System Renal Program thanks all members of our Nursing team. We are proud of your achievements during this difficult time and appreciate all your hard work. Thanks for all that you do and Happy Nurses Week!
William Osler Health System
Royal Jubilee Hospital Hemodialysis Unit
On November 26-27th our amazing hemodialysis team hosted “Beach Days” for our hemodialysis patients who had been on heightened vigilance regarding covid recommendations/restrictions and were feeling the effects of social isolation and engagement. However, this event also helped to give our team a fun venue to ALSO acknowledge the lack of travel and frivolity, and the benefits and joy this event brought were felt by much more than just the patients.
Details of the day:
- COVID-19 measures were adhered to (social distancing, masks, no additional staff/visitors, etc.
- Hemodialysis unit sign and front entrances decorated
- Hemodialysis patients offered a Hawaiian lei upon entry to the renal unit plus a polaroid photo in front of our beach scene as a souvenir (this was a huge hit for most, adding nostalgia for many of past trips to hot places)
- Unit staff were dressed up in Hawaiian shirts with leis – even our housekeepers got into the spirit. A few staff also had grass skirts who were part of the “cabana crew” who handed out tropical beverages (all approved by our renal dietitians) with umbrellas and fancy tropical straws
- Many patients dressed up in tropical clothing and even brought decorations for their bed and side table
- Patients offered Tropical beverage recipe ideas from our renal dietitians (see attached document)
- Patients offered tropical temporary tattoos – these were a huge hit!
- Our hemodialysis nurses baked individually wrapped tropics-themed sugar cookies to distribute
- There were door prize draws for each patient group (handy first-aid kits and radios for their emergency disaster kits plus a few other donated items)
- Staff played the ukulele and there was tropical music on the cabana carts when the crew came through the unit
- TV in waiting room had hula contest and “Blue Hawaii” Elvis movie
Quotes from the patients:
“Thank you goes out to all the staff in renal for the wonderful Hawaiian day on Thursday. What a kind gesture to brighten up the day!”
“Thank you so much for our morning in Hawaii! It was very enjoyable. It made our day a lot brighter. A job well done nurses. It was very appreciated. Thank you, you guys are the greatest!”
“This has meant more to me and helped my morale more than I can say”
“Can we do this every month? Next time – Mexican fiesta?”
Quote from staff RN:
“I was basically in tears describing what an amazing sparking shock of joy it was in the midst of some dark times inside and out of the unit. Both the patients and the staff were loving it!”
“We all needed this – patients AND staff!”
Entrance Tattoos and Cabana Carts
Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Throughout the pandemic these teams have come together to help support patients requiring dialysis to promote a “Transplant and Home first” cultural change. To take on a cultural shift during the pandemic was no easy task, the team has worked through the pandemic challenges along with the challenges that occur day to day in Renal care. We have refreshed our “Transitional Care Unit” to better support the transition to RRT and are integrating targeted education for patients receiving care within this space. We are also working with our Perioperative and other internal colleagues to increase PD Catheter success rates and improve access to body access procedures.
Dialysis Management Clinics
This is a tribute to our resilient team of registered nurses at Dialysis Management Clinics. We have countless examples of ways our nursing team has stepped up through this pandemic and wanted to share but a few of those stories from our three community dialysis sites:
- On average, our sites transfer in 1-2 new dialysis patients per month. In wave 1 of the pandemic our nursing team saw a 7x increase in transfers. In under a month they quickly transferred in 16 new patients from a local hospital program. Their action helped to ensure that hospital could free up space for isolation stations and improve distancing between stations.
- Every five years our sites undergo mandatory inspections and accreditation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. These inspections happened to be occur during the pandemic. In spite of all the stress from the pandemic, our nurses still managed to thrive and shine through the inspections, including through their practice observations and chart audits. We were so proud of them.
- During wave 2 of the pandemic, our Markham team decided to proceed with a major renovation at our site. The renovation would increase dialysis capacity for the region and increase space between our dialysis stations. The process of renovating the unit during a pandemic added a layer of complexity and challenge that was handled exceptionally well by our team. The team grew stronger and closer through the pandemic, and thanks to one of our support staff now even share a special team outfit!
- Most importantly, our nursing team has shown real leadership through this pandemic. They have adapted in the moment, stepped outside their comfort zone, covered for one another and always made our patients and families feel welcome and safe. We captured the words of our patients, and what it meant to be in the care of our nursing team through this pandemic. The words still ring true and remain to this day in each of our clinics featured in piece of framed word art.
A special thank you to our team of registered nurses at our Markham, Pickering and Peterborough sites. We are all deeply grateful for who you are, what you do and the impact of your care.
Here’s hoping next year for a pandemic free nursing week.
Working as a System to Support our Dialysis Patients
Special Team Dialysis Nurse Outfit!
Voices of Our Patients in Word Art
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
The Sunnybrook Hemodialysis Team has set an example of resiliency and professional dedication in caring for our 300+ chronic hemodialysis patients.
The team was at the forefront of this pandemic and continues to lead by example as we surpass the one year mark.
As with healthcare professionals throughout the world, The Sunnybrook Dialysis team have adapted to rapidly evolving information and changing environments to keep their focus diligent in caring for a highly vulnerable patient population.
Social and psychological support for our patients has shifted from companions, and volunteers to our dedicated team as restrictions removed these important forms of support.
Each of our team feel the stretch in caring and managing our patients current needs and at the same time grieving for patients we have lost and grieving for routines in our professional settings that have been altered.
In addition, each member of the Sunnybrook Dialysis team has come face to face with COVID19 worrying about what they may acquire and what they may bring home.
Our team has had members that have experienced COVID19 requiring intensive care admission impacting their well-being.
The team rallied around these staff members showing them heart filled support as they encouraged their speedy recovery.
The staff are tired and scared but continue to push to provide the support and care they whole heartedly know to do for each other and for each of our patients.
Despite all these challenges our team has persevered and will continue to be positive and persevere.
Our renal leadership team is proud to pay tribute to each member of our team from our technologists, technical assistants, patient administrative assistants, patient support personnel and our nurses for their ability to meet the demands required of them during this past year.
Sunnybrook Hemodialysis Team
Humber River Hospital CRU Dialysis Team
We are entering the third wave in this pandemic and lockdowns have become the norm. We continue to live in fear behind our masks and take care of countless COVID patients and our families daily. While looking at the agony our world is currently facing, it is often difficult to feel grateful and blessed during this stressful time.
When I reflect on everything that has happened this past year, I realized that I have a great group of people around me to help and support each other.
The Nephrology Program Director Mr. Vlad was the strong pillar that kept us all together, and his dedication and compassion has been inspiring to all of us.
Nurse manager Kunjal has been tirelessly working hard to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff members and our patients.
All the great Nephrologists in our department have also been a constant source of information and support. The entire team including nurses, resource personnel, administration team, house-keeping, social workers, DAs, pharmacists, dieticians, and many others come together to tirelessly work against this war.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard during this difficult time, and I extend my sincere gratitude for all the love and support I have received. We are all 6 feet apart from each other, but we are a family in this together.
Humber River Hospital LTC Dialysis Team
Since COVID hit the world, nurses have been called heroes. The countless sacrifices and hard work nurses are committing is the reason why they are recognized as the most trusted professionals. Ramsi William once said, “To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, despite all we go through; that is to be a nurse.”
We, at Humber River Hospital, are grateful for the dedication our nurses demonstrate on the front lines. The immense sacrifices nurses’ had to make over the past 18 months is astonishing and honorable.
From the beginning of the pandemic, our dialysis nurses implemented vigilant precautions to safeguard against the spread of COVID. Our patients attended 30,000 safe treatments since March 2020 under attentive care. A dedicated group of nurses pioneered our outreach dialysis program in Long-Term Care (LTC) Dialysis Program to improve the quality of life for our patients.
With the courage and dedication of our nurses and multidisciplinary team, Humber River Hospital has demonstrated true equity in making home dialysis accessible to anyone and anywhere. To date we have supported 29 patients in 10 LTCs and RHs. We have witnessed many advantages for patients, their families and the healthcare system at large. Our patients report feeling safer and happier as they are no longer inconvenience travelling between facilities and waiting hours for transportation. None of this could have been possible without the work, support, and courage our nurses took caring for these patients and their ambitious professionals who come together and made a truly positive change.
Margaret Mead said it best: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Our team of nurses are a living example of this brave and creative spirit at work.
We pioneered the provision of dialysis in LTCs and RHs in 2020 and provided dialysis to 29 patients in 10 LTCs and RHs. We are witnessing so many advantages for patients, their families as well as the broader healthcare system.