Learn By Doing | How one RPN went from student to teacher at ParaMed Home Health Care
Pamela, ParaMed Registered Practical Nurse in Toronto
Since arriving in Canada, Pamela has been working at ParaMed Home Health Care – first as a nursing coordinator, then as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) – in Toronto’s East End. Pamela says it was the nurses she encountered as a coordinator, that fueled her passion and determination to train as a nurse herself. It was always something she wanted to accomplish, and so she took the leap and enrolled in the RPN program.
“I started talking to some of the nurses and they gave me good feedback, saying ‘Pam don’t worry, we’ll teach you everything you need to know right in the community.”
Once Pamela graduated and became certified as an RPN, she quickly became a trusted RPN and friend in her community. And what Pamela found, was that her colleagues would continue to push and support her to learn more and do more for her patients. Pamela recalls a time years back when the College of Nurses of Ontario expanded the scope of practice for RPNs to include IVs. She was nervous about this new skill and wondered if she would be successful in the ParaMed IV training course.
“My clinical supervisor at the time said, ‘Pam, you can do it. Come in for the training – I know you can do it!’ I went in, and right on – I got the veins and did everything right! So, I started going and building up my skills, and now I can safely do IVs. It’s second nature for me.”
Pamela says her leadership team understands that supporting a team member means more than just helping them do the job they have. It means challenging them and helping them grow into new roles, both personally and professionally. The type of comradery shared between Pamela and her team is one of high trust and integrity.
“Once you have the backing of your team, the comfort level is there, and you know they are there to support you. So, you go full blast into everything because you know you have the support.”
Pamela has been with ParaMed Home Health care for almost a decade, and she’s now in a position to pass on her own expertise and knowledge to new team members as a mentor. What’s her advice to prospective nurses looking to work in home care?
“Take advantage of the training. Anything you may not be familiar or comfortable with, ParaMed will provide the training. You may start off performing tasks slower, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be confident in no time!”