ESTEVAN - Regardless of when someone is at St. Joseph’s Hospital, there will be a dedicated contingent of nurses eager to serve the public.
Cheryl Harrison, the director of patient services at St. Joe’s, said there are approximately 70 nurses who work at the hospital. The past couple of years have been challenging for the nursing crew and the hospital’s staff, but everybody has stepped forward and worked as a team.
“It’s just been great,” said Harrison. “In this community, we have a lot of people who step up and help, and our nursing team has been outstanding.”
Nurses work in all different areas of the hospital: emergency, dialysis, medical, close observation, obstetrics, surgery, ambulatory care, chemotherapy, long-term care and the addictions treatment centre.
Since the hospital is open around the clock, some nurses have to work during the overnight hours.
“Almost all of our departments are 24-hour departments,” said Harrison.
The nurses have done a good job of navigating through the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been lots of demands made of them, including workload and changes in protocol for infection control.
“We’ve dealt with all types of patients, as we always do, and they’ve had to adapt to the different requirements for infection control with the pandemic and still care for all of the patients in our community. It’s been quite demanding but they certainly stepped up to that and been very resilient during that time,” said Harrison.
There have been recent changes in public health orders that have brought the hospital closer to normal, such as with visiting, which is now back to its pre-pandemic level. Other areas might not return to normal.
“I’m just really thankful for the nurses. How do we care for everyone without them?” said Harrison. “It’s great to have their compassionate faces at the bedside.”