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Estevan nurses enjoy practising at St. Joseph's Hospital

Nurses are proud to practise at their hometown hospital.
Madison Daoust, left, and Chelsea Meyer are two of the dedicated nurses at St. Joseph's Hospital.

ESTEVAN - Nursing can be a tough, stressful and demanding profession, but Madison Daoust and Chelsea Meyer are proud they opted for a career that allows them to help others.

Daoust, who has been a nurse for four years, and Meyer, who is 12 years into her career, spoke with the Mercury and SaskToday as part of our special for Nurses' Week, which runs from May 6-12. Both are originally from Estevan and are pleased to be practising at their hometown hospital of St. Joseph's.

"I'm thankful that I chose to become a nurse," said Daoust. "I'm thankful for the opportunities that it's providing me, and the people I've met along the way. It has been rewarding."

Daoust is finishing up her tenure as a charge nurse in Unit A, and she will soon be floating between Unit A and the emergency room. She selected nursing because she wanted a career in the medical field, but she wasn't sure what. She applied for nursing school, enjoyed it and knew there would be a job opportunity for her at St. Joseph's Hospital once she graduated, since Daoust knew she wanted to return home after her schooling.

Nursing is in her background, too. Her aunt Tara was a nurse who worked at St. Joseph's for years, and is still practising as a nurse. But Madison Daoust didn't know nursing was for her until later.

Meyer works in St. Joe's emergency room. Her family had some experience in health care as well, and she was really inspired by the nurses she knew. She first entertained the idea of being a nurse when she was in Grade 6.

"I thought it would be a great way to help people, and I wanted a career where I would always be learning something new," said Meyer.

Nursing is an ever-changing profession, they said. No two days are the same and there are opportunities to learn.

"I love my co-workers," said Meyer. "Coming to work is fun when you have a good group of co-workers to work with. I love interacting with my patients and the physicians. It's a nice environment to practise in."

"Some of my best friends in my life are my co-workers," added Daoust. "It's nice to have a family environment when you come to work. The learning opportunities are endless. I've only been here for four years, but every day I feel like I learn something new."

They described themselves as avid learners, so nursing is a great career for them.

Nursing is also rewarding. Daoust said it's nice when they get to see their patients recover or feel better before they are discharged from the hospital.

"Estevan is a smaller community, so you know a lot of people coming in, and it's rewarding to hear out in the community the experiences that people had with specific nurses or with you personally. In a bigger centre, you likely wouldn't get much of that," said Daoust.

While it can be a wonderful profession, Daoust cautions people that nursing can be more than someone might have bargained for. She recommended shadowing a nurse for those considering the career path, so they can see what the job is all about.

Both of them had good, experienced nurses to learn from when they first started out in their careers.

"I think, in general, we are quite a young staff," said Daoust. "There's lots of new staff and lots of younger bodies, so we do really value those that have more experience. Even I feel like I've relied a lot on Chelsea, and I feel like, in a way, you [Chelsea] mentored me in some ways, too, because it's nice to have somebody that has experience that you can rely on and ask questions," Daoust said, thanking her friend for the guidance.

Meyer responded with thanks to Daoust.

"We're constantly learning from each other," said Meyer.

The hospital has become busier, said Meyer, with more people in the ER, while the medical floor is almost full.

"Patients' needs are becoming more complex," said Meyer. "There's always something to learn, something new presenting."

Both expect they will be in nursing, and practising at St. Joseph's, for the long term. They have family in the area, and there are always new opportunities to expand their training and try different departments.

"If you're feeling like your job is becoming redundant, which it usually isn't in nursing, there's lot of different places you can go and different things you can try, so that's nice," said Daoust.