Yo­het­sor O. Har­goe


Reg­is­tered nurse, Sun­ny­brook Hos­pi­tal, ed­u­ca­tor at Hum­ber Col­lege

I work in the emer­gency de­part­ment full-time at Sun­ny­brook and also teach in Hum­ber’s emer­gency nurs­ing and car­di­ol­ogy pro­gram.

My re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clude clin­i­cally eval­u­at­ing our pa­tients’ sta­bil­ity, mak­ing sure they re­main sta­ble and en­sur­ing they have a fam­ily- cen­tred ex­pe­ri­ence. In­ter- pro­fes­sional col­lab­o­ra­tion is im­por­tant: not only do we work with other nurses, but with other health care pro­fes­sion­als, too, to en­sure we have pos­i­tive client out­comes.

We’re a trauma cen­tre, so Sun­ny­brook nurses are dif­fer­ent than other emerg nurses be­cause our pa­tients are very high­acu­ity. We have in­creased skills in terms of be­ing able to mon­i­tor car­diac, stroke and trauma pa­tients and pre­dict a tra­jec­tory know­ing what clin­i­cal as­sess­ments to per­form and treat­ments to ad­min­is­ter.

I went to Ry­er­son and com­pleted my bach­e­lor of science in nurs­ing there. Af­ter that, I com­pleted my mas­ters in nurs­ing, health pol­icy and ed­u­ca­tion at Ry­er­son Univer­sity as well.

When I started at Sun­ny­brook, I was part of the acute care re­source team. I en­joyed work­ing with high-acu­ity pa­tients, and af­ter do­ing a few shifts in the emer­gency de­part­ment I re­al­ized this is the place for me. As part of be­ing hired here, em­ploy­ees go into a spon­sor­ship pro­gram with Hum­ber Col­lege. All the new hires were en­rolled in the emer­gency nurs­ing cer­tifi­cate pro­gram, which lasted four or five months. That was such an en­gag­ing and pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

There was a the­o­ret­i­cal and a clin­i­cal prac­tice com­po­nent. We learned real-world ap­pli­ca­tions through crit­i­cal case study. We worked with para medics to see what they did, and af­ter­wards our pro­fes­sor pre­tended to be a triage nurse while we clin­i­cally eval­u­ated a sit­u­a­tion based on the paramedics’ re­port.

The pro­gram also sparked my love of teach­ing and ed­u­ca­tion. My pro­fes­sor be­came my men­tor. I re­al­ized that con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant for re­main­ing com­pe­tent in the field. Af­ter tak­ing that pro­gram, I com­pleted my teach­ing ef­fec­tive­ness cer­tifi­cate at Hum­ber Col­lege as well.

I love it when I’m able to clin­i­cally eval­u­ate pa­tients’ sit­u­a­tions. When they come in, they have no di­ag­no­sis, but you have a bunch of clin­i­cal clues. It’s re­ally dif­fer­ent from when they ar­rive at another part of the hos­pi­tal. I en­joy putting to­gether that in­for­ma­tion and com­ing up with a clear pic­ture of what’s hap­pen­ing, and from there tak­ing lead­er­ship to fa­cil­i­tate the med­i­cal team.

In emerg nurs­ing you have to have strong as­sess­ment skills and must find the strength to ad­vo­cate for a pa­tient to make sure they get the best care.

You have to be an ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tor. You need to be out­go­ing. You must be will­ing to deal with chaos. You have to be non-judg­men­tal about re­li­gion, cul­ture, gen­der, lan­guage – ev­ery­thing – be­cause if you aren’t, you can pre­vent that person from ac­cess­ing health care in the fu­ture.

I’m not gonna lie: we love get­ting su­per- crit­i­cal pa­tients. Emerg nurses are to­tally like, “Bring. It. On. We’ve got this. We know ev­ery­thing about hemo­dy­namic sta­bil­ity. Bring on your tough­est sep­sis case. A sick pa­tient is well in our hands.”

The pro­gram sparked my love of teach­ing and ed­u­ca­tion. My pro­fes­sor be­came my men­tor. I re­al­ized that con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant for re­main­ing com­pe­tent in the field.

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