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Get to know #TeamQHC

Quinte Health Care is comprised of ultra-talented and dedicated people with a diverse set of interests and skills. Get to know them better in this monthly highlight of #TeamQHC members!

Meet CLAIRE HUTTON

Registered Nurse - ED - PECMH 

What is your role here in the ED at PECMH?

I'm a registered nurse and I was part of the new grad initiative here in Picton Emerg. I was trained upstairs on 2 South as part of the initiative and worked there, but now am mostly here in Emerg.

How long have you been at QHC?

It'll be a year in June, so about 11 months now.

How are you enjoying your position here?

I like the Emerg a lot more than I was expecting. I wasn't as much of a fan of Medicine and feel that it's not my forte, so I thought I would try the Emergency Department. I was a little nervous at first, but I really like it. 

I started in the summer and everyone told me summer is busier than the other times, but then during the winter I really noticed how much busier the summer is. Last weekend was busy, this weekend will probably be busy, and the following weekend will really hit us.

What do you enjoy about your role and working with your teammates?  

I like the teamwork aspect and, with me being new, everybody has been super helpful. When I ask questions, they're always really good to come with me and show me how to do things. They're really supporting me as a new learner. 

Where did you go to school? 

I went to Nipissing University in North Bay and did four years there. I grew up in Stratford, went to school in North Bay and am here now, so I'm a bit of a traveller.

For many on the teams, these past couple of years have been super stressful. How have you been able to care for yourself or stay positive during this time?   

I like to work out and go for runs. I played hockey in college so I like to get out in the winter and go skating. I joined a soccer team in the county so that starts next week.

Do you live in the area?   

I live here, but am renovating a house with my boyfriend, who lives in Kingston. 

What do you like about this area?   

It's beautiful. I had never been here before and when I Googled the area, it looked like a small town. But when I came in July I was like, wow, what's this! It's so nice being 10 minutes from the beach, all the wineries and tourism activities. It's really nice in the off season because you get to enjoy it without the crowds. 

Do you have any other hobbies?   

With renovating a house with my boyfriend, that's taking up the majority of my time, and we're doing it all ourselves since he's an electrician. His friends are helping us out as well. 

If you were to talk to a student or someone about why they should do what you do, what would you say?   

It's a great job. With 12 hour shifts we usually only work three or four days out of the week, so it's nice to have that time. I also like not living in a bubble. After working in healthcare, and especially Emerg, you learn the realities of our community, its systems and the people. So it makes you feel more a part of the community. 

You also learn to laugh at things that most people wouldn't laugh at, that's kind of a coping mechanism I guess though.

Any secret skills or hidden talents?   

I received the nursing award in my university for the highest average. But in terms of party tricks, I don't think I have any. I did play hockey in college though. 

 

Meet EMILY KAVANAGH

Registered Nurse - ED, IPU - NHH

What is your role here at NHH? 

I'm just a team member among the nurses working together. I work in the Inpatient Unit and in Emerg here.

How long have you been at QHC? 

It'll be three years in July.

How are you enjoying working here?

I really like it. I love all the nurses and the team members I work with, it's a really nice spot to be in, it’s like a close-knit family. You get to build close friendships. My mom works here too, she's mostly in Emerg, she's a patient care lead here. I love working with her.

For many on the teams, these past couple of years have been super stressful. How have you been able to care for yourself or stay positive during this time?   

I think just doing lots of stuff that you enjoy doing on your time off is important. I like reading, running, being outside and playing with my dog. All of the relationships here among the nurses help as well; they help me get through stressful times. If you're having a stressful day at work, but you're with your friends, it makes it a lot better.  

Do you live in the area and what do you like about it?  

Yes, I do. I grew up here and after going to school at Trent University, I came back. I like the area and my family is all here.   

Do you have any hobbies?   

I like being outside and running, there's lots of lakes in the area to enjoy. I also like walking around the area, shopping at all the local stores.  

If you were to talk to a student or someone about why they should do what you do, what would you say?   

This is a great job and I really enjoy what I do. I would say if they were interested in working in an emergency room it's really nice because you have a variety of patients that you take care of, all with a variety of issues, so it's always interesting. You're always learning and there are always opportunities to get more certificates and build up your skills, plus you learn stuff everyday.

Working in a small town versus working in a larger centre, there are pros and cons. I think nursing roles differ working in a small hospital compared to a larger centre –  there's just not as many resources, but we figure things out. Same with the Inpatient Unit, there is a variety of patients with various health conditions, so it's very interesting.

Any plans on travelling this summer?   

I'm getting married this summer, so I probably won't do too much travelling before that, but I definitely want to go somewhere south and hot sometime soon!

Meet MacKenzie McArthur

Interim Clerical Team Lead - Diagnostic Imaging - BGH

What is your role in Diagnostic Imaging?

I'm the Interim Clerical Team Lead. It's a temporary position that was created to provide structure, traffic control and support during recent staff and leadership changes.

I was previously working here as a full-time employee doing MRI bookings and support in the main DI clerical office. Now I'm doing a little bit of everything, payroll for the department, making sure that schedules are okay and are posted for staffing levels, schedules for the RATS, and supporting the techs with technical clerical support. So I do a little bit of everything down here. It's a very busy spot and we do a lot in a day.

How long have you worked at QHC?

I've been in this department since 2018 and with QHC since 2004. In a matter of days, I'll be here 17 years!

What do you enjoy about your role and working with your teammates?

We have one incredible team down here. The care and concern that each employee legitimately has for their coworkers, I think that's why we’ve managed to thrive through COVID. We have kept that care for your fellow co-worker and the compassion to help. Everybody can have a bad day and we're here to support each other. To know that it's not all just on you, if something happens and if you're behind or something like that, you can ask for help and the rest of the team just says “where” and “how” and moves to accommodate that. I can't speak highly enough of my coworkers down here. They have made my transition easier. That's why I love the team.

For many on the teams, these past couple of years have been super stressful. How have you been able to care for yourself or stay positive during this time? 

I like to dabble in photography, so my self-care literally means leaving civilization. My ideal is packing a backpack and getting lost for an afternoon, and that's been the way that I've dealt with it.

At the beginning of COVID I met my husband and last September we got married. Photography is one of the things we share. Being previously divorced and now with a blended family, with my kids and his kids, things are busy. Our de-stressor is to go and find the things that are beautiful in this world that maybe not everybody sees at times, things that people take for granted, things that are right there under our nose, and find those little moments. That's the thing I'm always searching for. It's a good way to take your eye off your job and look for those aspects.

Through COVID, it's changed how I've worried about my older parents, and it's made me think about what's important at the end of the day, and what isn't. It doesn't matter what car you drive, it doesn't matter what your house looks like, it's the people that you care for. Are they okay? Are they safe? It's not physical things, it's those relationships. It challenged us since we're a species that's not meant to be isolated. It tested people on multiple levels with isolating, and in a good way and in a bad way, it affected people differently. I think we all cherish things a little bit differently and don't take things for granted as much. We've all gotten closer as a work team and as a work family.    

Do you live in the area? 

I've lived in Belleville my whole adult life, but I grew up in the beautiful little town of Bloomfield. 

Besides photography do you have any other hobbies?  

I sing a bit. In 2017 I made a movie with a local production company about Bigfoot, I played a very dark and twisted Park Ranger in it. It's called The Woodsmen. We had our own red carpet event movie premiere and it went on to be in several different film festivals, and won a bunch of awards. It was a cool thing to be a part of. It was all filmed locally in Stirling and Prince Edward County. The fur used for the bigfoot costume is from the same company that provided the fur for the original Chewbacca. It's a 20-minute short film and it was fun to participate in.

The character I played is the exact opposite of what I am as a person, so it was a bit of a joke at the premiere when people saw the character and then saw me as the total opposite. I've also been part of productions for the Pinnacle Playhouse and I love to sing and do theatre. So that's my hidden talent.

If you were to talk to a student or someone about why they should do what you do, what would you say? 

For the clerical side, learning any of the hospital level medical terminology is a great way to get your foot in the door. It puts you in things like clerical jobs in DI, but that's also the UCC's, clerks, the main clerks on the floors, patient registration and other types of registration jobs. So those are great assets to have. Or you can do the full course and get a diploma.

For the technical side, anybody who is interested in the fascinating world of being able to take images and help people heal and become well, it's greatly needed right now. It's an interesting field. When I worked in MRI booking, I would constantly ask them lots of questions and was fascinated to see images inside somebody's head. If I was younger, I would definitely be rethinking about going back to school. We just had upgrades done and have a brand-new X-ray suite, and are prepping for the second room to be done. It's amazing to see how beautiful this new piece of equipment is and all the things that it can do.

 

Meet JANET NELSON

Registered Nurse - Diabetes Clinic - TMH

How long have you been at QHC? 

I'll have been here five years in December. I started mainly in Belleville, but am now in Trenton most of the time.

What does an average day look like for you at the clinic?

Right now with COVID, we're talking to a lot of people by phone via appointment, but some people are coming back into the clinic now, which is nice too. We usually see a few people scheduled in the morning and in the afternoon, and then I'll be answering phone calls or talking with people. I also work with a dietician here and collaborate with them.

How are you enjoying your position here?

I am really enjoying working here, everyone is so friendly and helpful. It's a team atmosphere, but I also have a bit of independence. It's nice getting to meet all sorts of different people of all ages. I've also developed more of a long-term relationship with some people too because you stay in touch with them for years. Seeing people getting diagnosed with diabetes can be pretty overwhelming, so meeting with them and seeing them build confidence to kind of manage their disease over time a bit more down the road, it's nice.

Initially we’ll meet with patients more often, but when people are managing well on their own and their blood sugars are on target, we'll spread out the appointments more. Six months is the longest that we'd go, but it depends on what the patient wants as well. But it's nice to keep in touch with them.

How has the technology changed for glucose monitoring?

Oh gosh, there's so many different things now, there's a Libre system where a patient puts it on their arm and they can scan their blood sugars, which is now covered if people are on insulin. Then there's a continuous glucose monitor, the Dexcom. That one isn't covered under private insurance, so it depends on people's coverage, but it’s really nice. They can continually see what their blood sugars are, and they'll often check it more often than you would if you had to poke your finger several times a day. 

In general, it's getting a lot easier and more convenient for patients. 

For many on the teams, these past couple of years have been super stressful. How have you been able to care for yourself or stay positive during this time?   

I feel like I kind of missed out on the first part of it. I was on maternity leave until last June, so I kind of missed a lot of it. When I came back in June, some of my coworkers had been redeployed. There were a lot of changes and when I came back we were talking to most people by phone, whereas before, pretty much everyone came into the office and you could see them. I guess it was also getting used to a bit of the tech. I don't think I've ever really used Zoom or anything like that before I came back.

My de-stressor is to spend time with my family and I've been trying to get back into swimming. We try and get outside as much as possible and we find that relaxing.

Do you live in the area and what do you like about it?  

I live in Belleville and I moved from Ottawa, so I like that it's nice being closer to my family since they're here. I have a little two-and-a-half-year-old now, so we're exploring lots of parks and green spaces. 

Have you visited any of the splash pads with your son yet? 

A little bit last year, but I think he'll really like it this year.

Do you have any hobbies or plans on travelling?    

I enjoy swimming, running and reading books, but I haven't really done that too much yet, though I probably should for stress relief. My husband is from Newfoundland, so we're going there for a couple of weeks and we’ll see his family, so that'll be really nice.

Any superpowers or hidden talents?    

I was talking to my co-worker about it and she said that being kind to people is my superpower, but I don't know if that's really a superpower.

 

 

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