She was only fourteen when she worked at the nursing home as a nursing aid. Her boss told her to feed Mrs. Jones with a slice of stale toast.  Discreetly, she hid the stale toast in a brown paper bag, took a slice of fresh bread, smeared some jam on and passed it to Mrs. Jones. On her way home, she threw the bag out. Next day, her boss found out what she had done and fired her.

She has held many different jobs in the service industry. But she has always drawn back to being a nurse. So she eventually enrolled and completed a nursing program.  Now she works as a registered practical nurse in a nursing home.

She tells me she is impressed how nursing home has changed over the years. She used to observe blatant abuse and neglect daily and now there is a zero tolerance for it. She tells me her passion is palliative care. She describes how she enjoys her job, how she gets to know the residents really well, knows exactly what medications they are on, residents she has to keep an eye on for falling and residents who may be deteriorating and needs a call to the doctor for assessment.

She voices her opinion of how there are many areas of deficiency in our health care system but is happy to work with the imperfection. But she will not tolerate neglect to residents or tardiness of staff that can compromise care.

She is the perfect nurse in my eyes. She cares. She has compassion for people. She will speak up for her patients. She has high ethics. We need more nurses like her.

Happy National Nurses Week! #NNW2016