May 8 – 14 is National Nursing Week. The theme for 2023 is Our Nurses. Our Future. This theme is meant to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health care journey, and to shine a light on the courage and commitment shown by nurses throughout the pandemic, and each and every day that they go to work.

We are proud to highlight SEIU-West member Amy, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) working at a Long Term Care Facility in Southern Saskatchewan. Amy graduated from her LPN course in 2011 and has taken continuing education courses over the years in a variety of topics from foot care to dementia.

A typical workday for Amy includes caring for the elderly residents at her facility. She assists with medication, wound care, feeding and assists with personal care. She originally wanted to work with children, driven by a desire to take care of people; however she fell in love with long term care. Her favourite part of her job is talking to the residents, learning about their past and all the wonderful things they have done in their lives. Amy comments “It’s so nice to be a part of their lives and be able to help them when they aren’t able to help themselves anymore. It’s very rewarding.”

We asked Amy to share a memorable moment with us and she told us of a time when she was having a very busy day, and feeling a bit frustrated at work. As she was assisting an elderly lady in the restroom, she bent over and the resident leaned in and kissed her on the forehead, telling Amy she was such a sweet girl. It reminded Amy why she loves her job, and it melted her heart.

Working through the pandemic has been tough. Amy and her coworkers are often dealing with worker shortages, leading to everyone feeling tired and burned out. In addition, many residents didn’t have access to their family or social support systems, and it was difficult to see them struggle.

LPNs combine skilled patient care, with a high degree of organization and a healthy dose of compassion and humanity. The work that they do and the care that they provide is invaluable. To Amy, your co-workers, and all of the hardworking LPNs out there, thank you for all that you do!

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