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Emergency Room Nurse Talk with Teresa Berdusco
Teresa Berdusco, is an Emergency Room Nurse and a UNA member. She has volunteered to provide medical aid in many countries that have suffered natural disasters or conflict. Most recently she volunteered to provide aid in Ukraine.
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors’ offices, clinics, community agencies, companies, private homes and public and private organizations or they may be self-employed.
In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.
The analysis of key labour market indicators such as job vacancies and employment growth as well as the unemployment rate suggests that the number of job openings exceeded substantially the number of job seekers in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.
For Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 191,100 , while 154,600 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
The labour shortage conditions seen in recent years is expected to persist into the 2019-2028 period, and could even become more acute as the projected number of job openings is expected to be substantially larger than the projected number of job seekers over that period.
Completion of a university, college or other approved registered nursing program is required.
Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing.
A master’s or doctoral degree in nursing is usually required for clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurses, nursing consultants and nursing researchers.
Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces and territories.
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Complete Episode Transcript
That’s one thing about the nursing profession that if I could tell anybody anything is that your options and your doors are endless.
You can go all over the world with it and now standardize for the most part.
So like before where you have to write a separate exam in the States and now we don’t.
and so it’s so flexible whether you want to be a part time, a full time, you know, just a casual whenever you can.
Like there’s every option under the sun with this job.
The Job Talk Podcast shares stories from people who are passionate and love what they do in their careers.
Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.
We are putting together a career crisis ultimate Interview series.
We are asking experts to give their best advice and guidance around work anxiety, career pressers, career goal setting, and ultimately career transformation.
To learn more about this special interview series and get notified when it’s available, please visit our web page at thejobtalk.com/help Today’s guest is Teresa Berdusco.
Here’s our Job Talk with an emergency room nurse.
Teresa, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.
And I think this is really timely because I have a daughter who’s in grade 12 and she just recently told me that she’s going to apply to nursing school.
So I’m excited about that.
And she looks relieved.
Where did you take your nursing education? I took it.
First I started at Grant Macewan and I started in two year program there, and then I transferred over to the University of Alberta.
And what is the nursing program? Is it.
Do you start with a Bachelor of Science and then go into nursing or how does it work? No, it’s right out of high school.
You can do a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
So you start with your sciences and then you specialize in the nursing field.
So you do like nursing statistics and nursing research and you get all the important stuff for towards nursing.
And did you enjoy your time when you went to Macewan? McEwan’s great.
It’s a smaller school, so it’s and now it has the four year degree.
You can just stay there.
So that’s a great option.
Not even like the UofA you’re used is bigger, but it was a good experience.
I was also older though I wasn’t young and so I was older and so was a little bit different.
But no, I loved I loved every minute of it.
That’s really interesting to me because were you in another career before you went into nursing? I was I was in the military before.
You were in the military.
I didn’t know that.
What were you doing in the military.
As a basic soldier? I was in the infantry.
I won’t dig too far into your military career.
So you decided to go into nursing.
And when you’re going through nursing, what are the specific courses that you’re taking when you’re going through that? When you start out, you take your pathophysiology and pharmacology and all the human anatomy and all the things that you need to learn.
The basics of the human body, the foundation.
And then you start specializing in going into like practical courses and practical training basically.
So you do, you do your how do I say this? You do your theory part first and then you do your lab part.
So you go to the lab and you practice on your partners or on mannequins or whatever, and then you put it to test.
So right in your very first year you go, you end up in a practicum at long term care and learning how to work in a long term care facility.
And so that’s your first step in the doors of nursing.
This is your first year, so you find out real quick whether you like it or not.
But it’s great.
It’s great to keep you there because you everybody wants to go be a nurse.
But you don’t know how yet, but you don’t want to spend four years just reading books.
So it’s really it’s a really great way that they slowly introduce you into it.
And then as you as the years go on and the more knowledge you get in, the more theory behind everything, and then the practice in the labs, and then then you get to actually go and do it on surgical patients and medical patients.
And then then by the time you get your fourth year, you get to specialize in where you do your final practicum.
Like if you want to do it with babies or an emergency or wherever you get to kind of pick.
So it’s a it’s a great way that they’ve laid it out to keep people not only interested but like stimulated.
We want to see we want to do you.
Everybody wants to get their hands dirty.
So it’s a it’s a great program.
How how intense is it? And you went into nursing as an adult student.
Do you think you were more successful being an adult student, or do you think you could have handled that education at 18 years old? Both.
I think as an adult, they had some preconceived notions that probably weren’t good, you know, and these kids come in.
I was with mostly kids in my class and not kids, but younger adults.
And they they just they just do, you know, and they they’re used to the studying already.
They’re used to the pace and all those kind of things.
And so it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s not, it’s, it’s a hard program, but it’s not hard to come out of school to go straight to it.
I think at any age you can be successful at it.
So what was the first question? I was just thinking if you’re more successful being a student as an adult and no.
I don’t think I think any any any age you could be successful.
Why don’t you just it’s a grind.
It is hard.
It’s one of the I think I remember statistics saying that we have the most exams out of any normal four year degree program because you are just getting tested on everything all the time.
And I mean, the human body is a very amazing thing.
And so there’s lots of stuff to learn and it’s, you know, from 0 to 500 in 4 years, right.
Like you, you go from knowing nothing because there’s no prerequisite is not like, you know, medicine.
You do a degree first or most things.
You start in a different a smaller degree and then you work your way up to it.
And this is just, you know, you learn everything in your four years.
When you’re going through studying to become a nurse, the majority of people are they just focused on their studies or are you able to have a part time job while you’re going through it as well? Um, if you got good study habits and you were good time management, I think you could do a part time job.
It’s harder when you start doing your practicum because your practicum is a full time job, because you follow nurses rotations.
So you do Monday to Friday day shifts or Monday to Friday evening shifts, 3 to 11.
And the time before those shifts or after the day shift is spent researching for your next day, because you got to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
And, you know, if you’ve made a mistake, you’re learning stuff and so it might be during the practical part of it might be a little bit difficult, but I wouldn’t say it’s impossible.
So you graduate, you said it’s a four year program.
What was your first experience like when you left university? I went straight into emergency.
And right into the emergency room.
I went straight into the emergency room and is fantastic.
I mean, I think I think people who go into emergency nursing are a little bit oh, they need the stimulation, they like the hectic part of it and that’s exactly what it is.
You get what you wish for.
It’s never the same thing every day, and even if it is the same thing, it’s a different person, so it presents differently or whatever.
So it’s very fast paced and quick learning on your feet and yeah, it’s is you just going to roll with it, but it’s definitely a fun place to work.
Well, I was going to ask you your day to day and you just mentioned that it does change quite often.
Can you talk about some of the things that you’re doing on on a shift? Sure.
For the most part, like you just I mean, there’s always people I always think of it like a TV show, you know, like Gray’s Anatomy or, you know, the E.R., those shows and stuff like that.
And those might be at once, you know, once in a while.
But for the most part, you see sick people every day.
And so people come in and the hard part is, is they’re usually it’s their worst part of their day.
You know, it’s they’re at their worst for whatever reason, whether it’s them sick or their family sick.
And for me, it’s a job.
You have to feel that empathy towards people because you’re not in their shoes or anything.
I do this every day and you become I don’t want to say used to it, but you just become, you know, able to to just roll with it.
And people you deal with people at the worst parts, worst points in their life sometimes.
And so that gets a little bit hard.
But people are usually very grateful.
And so it’s it’s very rewarding that you do get to help someone that’s having a horrible day or, you know, super sick and you get to have an impact on their lives.
And it’s the emergency room.
So you’re dealing everything with car accidents, gunshot wounds.
Guns, match stabbings, overdoses.
Just generally sick people.
They have the flu.
They have, you know, they’ve got other illnesses, co-morbidities that, you know, they’re they’re diabetic and they have something wrong with that or, you know, they have an infection somewhere or they’ve fallen off a ladder and broken they leg like there’s from one extreme to the next.
There’s their a little baby.
Some lady come in pregnant.
Just a baby, you know, and and you know, it just it just you never know what you’re going to get.
It just walks through the door and the ambulance brings it through the door, and you just got to go with what shows up.
And so yeah.
So you’re you’re on your toes all day.
Do you think your time in the military prepared you to handle stress? I think so.
Yeah, I think so.
Yes, I think so.
I mean it not all nurses, emergency nurses have been in the military, though.
And so I think I just think it’s the type of person you need to be able to handle fast, unknown, unpredictable.
And I think the reason why a lot of nurses have the longevity of their career is because they’re able to handle the stress, you know, like we don’t I mean, there’s burnout and all those those kind of things.
But for the most part, nurses that have 20, 30, 35, 40 year careers is they learn to somehow how to just deal with it.
You know, whether it’s, you know, working out or their family or whatever, you know, everyone has a coping mechanism.
And so nurses usually figure it out fairly easy on how not to bring it home with I don’t bring it home.
I leave the doors at 7:00.
And I don’t, I can’t because if I did, I think I don’t think I’d be a nurse for this long.
Is it fair to say that you’re a team so you have various different occupations working together for the best possible outcome? We talk about the environment that you’re working in for sure.
We have everything from, you know, the highest up on my list in my department is my physician.
You know, he’s the one making all the calls and all the judgments and, you know, those kind of things.
And then there’s nurses and there’s a wide variety of nurses.
There’s nurses with 20 years experience right down to the nurse who was became a nurse yesterday, you know, and so they might not do some of the stuff, but they’re in there, they’re learning, they’re watching.
They’re they’re trying to figure out what’s happening.
And then we have clerks, we have service aides, we have X-ray and MRI.
Like there’s a whole gamut of people who are trying to save your life or make it better.
You know, for whatever reason you’re there.
They’re trying to do everything they can to make whatever the problem is better or go away.
Are you constantly moving when you’re on a shift? Or Yeah, you never have a moment.
We’re just like, Are? Well, I wouldn’t say never.
I mean, we do have I mean, we have coffee, we go, we order the washroom, you know.
But there are days when you don’t.
There are days like for the most part, we I mean, we’re like anybody else.
We have to eat, we have to have a drink and, you know, those kind of things.
And and we do get those.
But some days we don’t.
Some days I’ve gone from 7 a.m.
to 7 p.m.
I can’t remember going pee and I didn’t have anything to eat that day.
You just don’t you just it’s just crazy.
And there’s not very there’s not always like that, you know? But when they are, it’s it’s a good day.
My good day is your bad day.
Yeah, my I have billets that live with me and they’re constantly like when I talk about it, I like get all excited and I’m like, Oh my God, I got to see this today.
And they’re like, Oh, that’s awful.
And I’m like, No, no, no.
That’s like, that’s like my bread and butter, you know, like, that’s the fun part.
And they’re, I’m like, Yeah, for them, it was awful.
But for me it was great.
So we’re just.
We just came through a global pandemic.
Thank you so much for doing what you do because you were absolutely on the front lines.
How was your experience throughout the pandemic? You know, in the beginning, it was actually fabulous, even though when it first hit we thought it was like Ebola.
We had no idea what this was going to be like.
If we were going to exposed to it, we’re going to drop dead, you know, like it was so scary because it was so unfamiliar.
We’d never been through any sort of pandemic in our world right in in North America.
We’ve never dealt with anything like this in my lifetime.
And so people were fantastic.
You know, they were out and cheering on the streets and banging pots and dropping off food.
And, you know, it was great.
And then people got really tired of it.
And that’s when it changed for us.
You know, we still had to go to work everyday and I’m not even talking to anything to do with COVID.
I’m just talking about regular, everyday, sick people.
I still had to take care of them, but for some reason everybody hated us now and it really turned the, the, the, the view on health care by the third or fourth wave or whenever the majority of people started to become very frustrated and COVID exhausted, basically with every new mandate and rule and all that kind of stuff, it really changed how people looked at health care.
And I think that’s the part that and I can honestly say we’ve lost many, many nurses and physicians because of that attitude, not because we were burnt out from working hard.
It was because people thought we were trying to hurt the people that we were like doing stuff that was against their their right and their whatever, you know, the political part of it.
And we are only like nurses, really.
All we want to tell people, you know, and we follow rules because we’re fairly, you know, rule following people.
And so and we just do what’s best, what we thought was best.
And so that was the hard part.
Yeah, I know.
It probably felt like everyone was against you, but I think we live in a world now with social media where the lunatics have a voice and have an audience.
I personally, I was shocked at the anti-vaxxers that that was a complete surprise to me because when the pandemic started every every morning, like right off the start, I was doing searches for vaccine development.
And I thought that was our that was our silver bullet.
And I did not see the anti-vaxxers coming.
And it’s it’s so funny, like and I still even though I’m immersed in it and I listen to it from every side and every angle, I still don’t understand where it came from and how it came about.
You know, like we had a very, very small percentage of population who was quote unquote anti-vax for a long time, you know, from from the sixties and seventies, you know.
But they were also people who didn’t access health care in a normal way.
They were very reserved and very old fashioned in the way they treated things and very more her moralistic and that kind of belief basically.
But but the anti-vaxxers from this time period, this pandemic, it’s we’re talking people who access you’re on chemo drugs, but you won’t get a vaccine.
So you want me to cure cancer or fix your broken leg or, you know, those things, but you won’t take the vaccine like and for people to see that we’re purposely that part that I think hurts the most and that affected health care workers in the worst way is that the the people believing that we were actually trying to hurt people like like knowingly like I don’t know.
I’m not saying I’ve never made a mistake.
Clearly, I have in my life, you know, and I’ve maybe, you know, made some mistakes in my nursing.
And I know doctors, everybody makes mistakes, but not purposely.
And there’s no way in a million years I would ever recommend anybody to tell somebody to do something.
If I knew it was going to hurt them.
So that’s the part that was the worst for sure.
Okay, enough with the pandemic.
No, you have an amazing career.
And through talking to you before we actually started doing the interview, I do know that you volunteered.
You have volunteered around the world and I think it’s an important it’s something important that we should talk about because you’re using what you do professionally to go around and actually make a difference in the world that we live in.
Can you talk about some of the places that you’ve traveled to and what you were doing? Yeah, for sure.
So, I mean, I’m so fortunate.
Not only do I have the medical training to do it, but I have like the ability, you know, I have a husband who supports me and I with the ability to go and stuff.
And so my job lets me go.
So it’s, it’s great.
And my first one was actually in Japan after the earthquake.
In the tsunami in Japan, I volunteered for this company called CMAT.
It’s a Canadian medical assistance team.
Is this NGO that when a disaster happens, they just put out a call and they literally everybody on their mailing list gets an email and says, hey, who’s who’s available to go, you know, can in.
And so you just volunteer.
And my very first time was going to Japan and the only is funny my husband is a physician and so he’s obviously smarter and a lot more educated than I am.
However, the one time that I was quote unquote more qualified than him was because I had this course from when I was in the military called CBR.
And he is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear trainee.
And so I was able to go to Japan because I had this course that I took many years ago.
And so so that was my first taste of it.
And it was it was great.
You know, like you go over and you help as much as you can.
And we set up, you know, we did these roving clinics in Japan, was very well prepared.
They actually probably did not need a lot of help because they’re a first world country with many resources.
But we were there and so we helped where we could.
So that was my first taste.
And then, yeah, I went to Haiti and the Philippines and Nepal, and my last one was the Ukraine.
And so I literally my husband actually was the first person.
He literally texted me and said, Did you see your email? And I was like, No, not yet.
And he I opened it up and his his question was, when are you leaving? You know, like he knew I was going to go.
He just knew.
And it was I just took a team over there and I ended up being the team lead when I got there.
And we set up a clinic and got it up and roving in and yeah.
And we spent I think about six months there.
I was only there for just over three weeks.
But we just change out.
We change out often because it does get hard.
You’re away from your family and your job and stuff like that.
So they’re usually 2 to 3 week deployments.
And yeah, you go and you, you help someone.
We help a different country, different population, different people in a different walk of life.
But they’re still human, right? We’re all still human.
We’re all still have those same basic needs.
We have basic food and water and health care.
And yeah, so people think you have to be special to do it, but you don’t.
You just got to go.
And I’m just lucky I have the ability to go.
So have the medical training and I have the ability to go.
So I think everybody would I think almost everybody in the world would do it if they could.
Well, you have the military training as well.
Were you literally in Ukraine or were you nearby? No, no, you’re right.
We were in Ukraine.
I mean, we made runs into Kiev to get some supplies.
We dropped off some medical supplies into some hospitals there.
We’re right on that.
So we transported ourselves back across the Polish border every night because the couple of times we stayed in the Ukraine, the just the air sirens and the that the air alert, incoming air missile bomb, whatever you wanna call it, alerts would go off and you’d go to a bomb shelter.
And then you just you don’t get any sleep.
Interest rates, you never know.
And so it was much safer and productive for us to go into the Ukraine, work there for the whole day, and then come out at night.
And so then our nightshift would take over.
So we would switch off and a nightshift would go in and run our clinic.
And we were right on the this border crossing.
The the interesting thing about the Ukraine was that airspace was closed.
So all these people were leaving the Ukraine, but they all had to leave by foot or like on car, in car.
And so that all crossed the land border.
And so there were clinics and stuff set up and where we ended up being on one with the Ukraine and Polish border and like hundreds and hundreds of people every day walking right past our clinic.
And so we could do one of two things.
They would come and talk to us and be like, Oh my God, I feel this, you know, X, Y, Z.
And we’d be like, Oh, well, your blood pressure to the roof or your diabetic and your sugar or whatever, we would do what we could.
And the other part is because we were able to sit there and watch them walk through, we could actually look and most of us are fairly experienced.
You know, we’ve got years and years under our belts.
And you can look at someone who they didn’t look at and you go and actually grab them like, Hey, come with me for a minute, let me check on you.
Let me just look at you.
And it was very it was much different than any of the other disasters I’ve been to, because the other disasters were a natural disaster that had resolved, and this one kept going.
And so usually by the time we get to natural disasters in like these foreign countries, they’re far away.
The risk and the threat is gone and people are just trying to rebuild and recover here.
They were still fleeing and they didn’t care.
They didn’t care that they’re sick.
They don’t care that their sugars are high or their their blood pressure to the roof.
They just want to get across the border.
So, you know, you try and do your thing as fast as you can and you’re trying to convince them to stay for 20 minutes, you know, let me do this.
And so it was it was it was very rewarding for sure.
And very yeah, it was it was hard to be there.
It’s hard to watch.
So men are conscripted.
So 18 to 60, they have to stay.
And I don’t know how many times I watched a car pull up to that border and the husband get out and take his kid and his wife and basically shoo them across the border and then drive back home.
And I can’t imagine what that would feel like.
Did you rely more on your nursing training or your military training when you went over to Ukraine to volunteer? Definitely military.
It was more of a continually watching what’s happening and what’s going around.
Where are we safe? And that’s my job as the team leader over there is to ensure that for my team, you know, like where do my putting us, how are we getting out if something goes wrong? Those are the things that I think of.
You know, it was like, where’s our vehicle? How are we get across the border? Who’s where are we going to go if something bad happens, who’s going to take care of them? You know, we always had a doc American nurse team together because they all bring a different skill set.
And so, you know, I want I don’t want to be too you know, we can put two docs together on one shift and two medics on another, but that’s not really a good complement.
And so it’s really you’re thinking of your surroundings and what could go wrong.
The nursing comes naturally, right? That just you just do you do it for 25 years and you’re good at it and it just is normal everyday.
And so it was more of the what happens if something goes wrong? How do I how do I keep my team safe, number one, and how do we get out here? And so we had we had a bomb shelter right beside us, like because it’s Eastern Bloc Europe.
They have lived through this, you know, through world wars and stuff like that.
So a lot of these buildings had actual bomb shelters like we don’t have a bomb shelter in Edmonton, I don’t think maybe at the base, but you know, like not down the road from my house, but here like every other big building had a bomb shelter in it.
And so whenever we had our air raid sirens go off, we would just run, run.
And that’s what you do.
And so but no, it was I think military training kicked in a little bit more so than the nursing there.
Is that the only war zone that you’ve been to have all the other volunteer? Has that been natural disasters? Yeah.
And how is your security insured on a trip into a war zone in Ukraine? Do you have the support of the military going with you? Is it a convoy? No, we just go.
That is amazing.
Thank you for doing that.
That’s your profession is allowing you to actually make a difference in this world.
It’s that’s one thing about the nursing profession that if I could tell anybody anything is that your options and your doors are endless.
Like you can you can go from infants to one day old to geriatrics to 100 days old.
And you never have to see anything in between.
If you don’t, you just have to go to school.
You have to do your four years of schooling.
You have to do med search, you have to do certain things.
However, once you’re done and you find that niche where your your passion and your love is, you could deal with babies for the rest of your life and never have to look at an adult again, or vice versa.
And you could do it here.
You could do it in the States.
You could do it in England.
You do in Austria.
You can go all over the world with it and now standardize for the most part.
So like before where you have to write a separate exam in the States and now we don’t.
And so your, your options are endless.
You can work on a cruise ship.
You could never set foot on land to get you’d like anything you could think of almost where you want to work in a different like not just country but even environment, whether it’s like a school or a hospital or a daycare or or home, you know, everywhere there’s so many options and so it’s so flexible whether you want to be a part time, a full time, you know, just a casual whenever you can.
Like there’s every option under the sun with this job.
And I think and I alluded to it earlier, that my Grade 12 daughter has decided to apply to nursing school and her end goal is to become a doctor.
And from what you’re saying, I’m I’m thinking that it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a career in medicine and then just decide where you want to go from there.
It’ll definitely tell you whether you like it or not before you make that commitment.
Right? Because literally in year one, you’re in some long term care facility taking care of some elderly patients, and you’re going to find out really quick if this is something you want to do.
Before you make a four year investment.
So it is good that way.
It’s a it’s I wouldn’t say it’s a guarantee into a medicine roll, you know, because it’s still get into medicine is super difficult and you have to do a whole bunch of other things other than just a nursing degree.
But it definitely can give you a bird’s eye view of what it’s like because you work so depending on where you work.
So in an emergency, I work with all different types of physicians.
I have cardiologist come down and see an orthopedic surgeons bone.
Doctors come and see I have my emergency doctor, I have the ICU doctor.
So I see what these guys do and I’m the difference, you know, the surgeons and and the family medicine and all the different types of doctors I work with every single one of them.
And so, yeah, it’s a it’s a great place to to make those decisions, whether you want to actually make that commitment or you know, I would say now I was older, I was in my thirties.
So that’s a different well, maybe late twenties, but I, I, I found that, you know, a lot of people say they want to go to nursing, then they want to be a doctor, but then they find that nursing is enough.
It’s not, you know, people used to always say, oh, I’m just a nurse.
I’m not just a nurse.
I am honors.
And I do a lot and I, you know, take care of people.
And do, you know, different than the physician does.
But it’s definitely a team approach.
And and and I think being a nurse is just as rewarding as being a physician.
And I agree with you completely, and I hope you didn’t.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
But I just I know that people think that also we I have four of my friends who were nurses who then went on to be physicians, you know, and I have to grind like that’s that’s great.
I don’t have anything.
Well, I was going to ask.
So I started this podcast because I made a mid-life career change.
When you when you see new nurses coming in, are they usually around the same age or do you get a lot of mature nurses coming in as well when they’re starting.
Now, they’re usually young.
Are they? They’re usually 22, 23 years old, coming out of high school.
They do their four year degree and then they come in third for the majority.
We did have a really big influx probably in like 2000.
Then I think was like 2006 or 2007 when we had a very high nursing shortage and they introduced this 18 month fast FastTrack program basically is what it was and it was a diploma nurse, which is now no longer you can’t be a diploma.
There’s there somewhere.
You have to have a degree to enter.
But at that time there was a two year diploma nurse and then a four year degree nurse.
And so they actually when we had this staffing crisis, they introduced this 18 month program and we did see a lot of slightly older nurses coming out of that because, you know, they had already maybe they were doing something.
Also, if you know what, I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and now I can actually commit most of them are moms.
You know, it’s it’s it’s really hard to go to school for four years if you’re a mom, you know.
And so, yeah, but since then, I haven’t seen a lot of older nurses.
You’ve alluded to it through talking about being a nurse, but what do you love about being a nurse? So for me, it’s the variety.
It’s never the same.
Even if it’s the same thing, it’s never the same person.
It presents differently, you know, whether it’s, you know, young or old, you just differences can be the same disease or the same broken bone, but it’s different.
And this is going to sound bad.
But in all honesty, with emergency, I don’t I don’t I don’t have to see for a long time.
I don’t get to know you.
I don’t I don’t have to.
You know, I, I totally look up to and commend those bedside nurses that are up on the floors that have the same patients for days, weeks, months, maybe even years, sometimes long term care facilities where you you get attached to these people and you you you get to know them and their family and everything.
And I don’t know if I could do that.
I love the part.
I love the craziness and the be able to say hi, bye, I never want to see you again.
Leave my emergency and I usually don’t see them ever again.
Very rarely do I ever see you again.
And so I like that.
And I think that’s why I’ve been able to do it for so long, is because I, I just I leave it at the door and I don’t I don’t take it home.
I don’t I mean, there’s obviously there are cases that hit hard, harder than others.
And we all have those issues, whether it’s, you know, maybe it’s children for you or, you know, someone who’s lost their spouse.
And next thing you know, there’s there’s all those triggers that we have bad days.
But for me, in emergency, it’s the biggest thing is that it’s a revolving door and I get something new every day.
What are some misconceptions about nurses that you would like to clear up? So we do for the money, you know, we do get paid.
Well, I won’t say we won’t.
I won’t say we, but we also work hard and it’s a lot of schooling, it’s a lot of stress and it’s a lot of responsibility.
At some point you really have someone’s life in your hand, and I don’t think you can be anywhere near ever too much for that, you know? And so it’s, I don’t know, a single nurse that goes into it for the money they go into it for a career is a great career.
Yes, they are.
You know, we have great benefits and we have great pensions and, you know, all the things that everybody else provides, you know, into their workplace.
And so we go into these careers because it’s a great career.
But there’s also more because you don’t stay in that.
If if you don’t love it, you can’t.
It would be it wouldn’t be fulfilling the paychecks, a paycheck.
But here you were dealing with people and sick people is and it’s a cliche to say it’s a calling, but it’s more of a and a lot of people might start it.
But you don’t stay if you don’t love this or you don’t love actually helping people and wanting to make a difference in whatever field you’re in, you might move to a different field, you know, type of thing.
Might take a little while to find your little niche, but you don’t do this career for 20 years for a paycheck.
What can you say to the person that just got accepted into nursing school? What kind of advice could you give that person as they move forward into it? Stick it out.
It’s really hard.
I mean, it’s there’s it’s a lot of information.
It’s it’s it’s tough.
It’s hard work.
It’s, you know, there is a lot of studying and a lot of exams and that kind of stuff.
But and sometimes, you know, I’m actually trying to convince one of my daughters to go into nursing as well.
And she’s like, I don’t like blood.
I’m like, four years.
You just got to deal with a little bit for four years.
And it’s not four years straight.
It’s like two months of year one, you know, three weeks twice a year and your two and your three, you know, and then six weeks and so it’s not every day for four years, but once you get through that four years, you could do anything with it.
And it’s so it’s so portable and so rewarding.
And wherever you decide to go that I would say just if this is what you want to do, stick with it.
Find a buddy and, you know, commiserate in your misery of four years and then just but keep going because it’s it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Well, thank you so much for doing what you do.
Thank you for all of the hard work and what you had to put up with throughout a global pandemic and COVID.
And probably most importantly, thank you for volunteering your time around the world to to to help people.
We really appreciate it.
No, I have one little thing.
I always say this all the time.
I said, you know, we won the lottery being born in Canada and we just have to be a global good neighbor, you know, like if we can go help and it’s even our job, right? Even just in nursing, right? Just try and be a better person and and help you can.
Thank you for tuning in to The Job Talk Podcast.
For more information, please visit us at the thejobtalk.com Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.