Year of the Nurse

Submitted by McGill Ingram School of Nursing
October 24, 2020

Online Art Installation: It’s the Year of Nurse and the Midwife

My name is Victoria Cools, I graduated nursing school from John Abbott College in May 2020. Barely a week later I started working at the Jewish General Hospital on a hematology/oncology unit. I was paired up with a preceptor who trained me, showed me around the unit and taught me about the types of patients I’d have on the unit and the best way to go about assessments and mediation administration. She also taught me the unit’s floor protocols and introduced me to the rest of the team and other members from the multidisciplinary team as well. Beginning my nursing profession, mid-pandemic was not the way I imagined it at all. Being a new nurse, you’re already faced with obstacles but starting while there’s a pandemic going on, really changed the course of my introduction into the profession of nursing. Although my floor was not occupied with any COVID-19 patients, we still had to take precautions as our patient population on our floor are heavily immunocompromised. We wear our surgical masks and goggles or face shield during the full shift. We were also required to work full time, during the first wave of the pandemic. Although it could be stressful for some, I feel like I still learned to my full potential and my preceptor was extremely thorough and the team was very welcoming. Even at first, I felt like I was being “thrown into the fire”, as this was not the way I imagine myself commencing my nursing career. Looking back, I feel like I gained just as much as I would have if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. I’m thankful for the team I work with, as they made my transition easy and welcoming.