The blizzard of the year is upon us, and I am reminded of the reality for hospital workers all across the northern hemisphere. I was one of those, working as an RN at Sudbury’s Laurentian Hospital years ago. I lived 45 minutes east of the hospital, in a rural area, and I worked evening shifts much of the time. And so, when winter conditions reached this point, the inevitable decisions were being made on every unit of our busy hospital.
“Can you do a double?” or, “Can you stay an extra 4 hours – Mary can get in by then?”
Since I was probably was risking life and limb by attempting the drive home, I often took the double or the 4 hour extra shift. However sometimes, I experienced a treat. If enough staff was coming in, and yet my road home was dangerous, and if I was working with a certain “Sister Rita”, a nursing Nun of the Grey Nuns Order – or rather “Les Soeurs Grises de la Charite”, I might be offered a bed for the night at the Mother House.
I fondly remember the sparse yet cozy atmosphere, the single bed and milk and pastries before calling it a night – usually 1 am or more by then. In the morning, it was a light healthy breakfast, and off we were back to work, or not if it was an off day. It sure beat staying on some hard TV lounge couch at the hospital. Merci, Soeur Rita (who calls me every year on Christmas Day from the Mother House in Ottawa) 🙂
For all you health care workers figuring out how to provide all the care your patients need tonight, thank you!
Have a great week!
Gisele Guenard, Principal – VisionarEase & associates
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