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International Nurses Day: Honouring Nurses Across Canada

This year more than ever, nurses deserve our praise, support, and gratitude. In celebration of International Nurse Day, we’d like to honour and recognize nurses across Canada, and around the globe, for their lifesaving efforts and personal sacrifices during these unprecedented times. Here, six nurses across Canada share words of wisdom and compassion, along with moments that gave them a sense of hope.

Jed Perez, Emergency and Trauma Registered Nurse, Toronto

“The ongoing love and support I get from family and friends have been a motivation for me to keep going to work and fight the fight. Seeing people practice social distancing in public gives me hope and hearing the loud noises from the balconies every night is very comforting.  In addition, I have heavily relied on my colleagues. This has unified our team in a unique way. We look after each other, and they have become my second family. We have this shared experience that not a lot of people will understand. We have been through the good and the bad.”

Sandra D’Angelo, Registered Nurse, Toronto

Photography by Christian Patrick

“I think the most hopeful act is seeing this awesome shift in people working together to help their neighbours and small businesses within their communities.  During a time where we are all social distancing, COVID-19 is unifying us in beautifully humane ways.”

Kylie Elyse, Registered Nurse, Toronto

“I think individuals, especially in healthcare and especially in the United States, often find themselves in a position where they’re choosing between speaking up or experiencing unjust and obvious or subtle forms of discipline in retaliation. As a result, people have felt alienated from their own power for some time now. I think that’s changing. Individuals are more involved in the political process and the public conversation even if by way of social media—especially young people. It’s an anxious time but it’s also a powerful moment in time. We’re seeing that when enough people come together and speak their truth about certain issues, things can change with enough pressure. Injustice is everywhere and if this momentum can be carried forward into ordinary days, I think we will continue to see the makings of a world that is safe and equitable for everyone.”

Chloe Van Landschoot, Registered Nurse and Actor, Toronto

“This pandemic has ignited public insight and shed light into what our profession does that people may not have been aware of before. I think there is a greater understanding and appreciation for frontline workers in a general sense and the amount of physical and emotional labour that can be involved. A lot of us (including myself) got redeployed to other units, so we are learning a new job and a new department in the middle of a pandemic. Have the confidence and trust to know that we are here for you and have your back, but also understand that we are also taking it day by day and are sometimes just trying to just stay afloat! We are all in this together.”

Sahar Bayat, Float Nurse and Founder of Torreh, Vancouver  

“I want to people to recognize that we are one of them. We are all humans and all of us are doing our best considering the circumstances. We all need to follow the guidelines, so we can flatten the curve. It is a very strange feeling when we put on PPE to walk into a COVID positive room—I can’t describe the feeling! We all feel it, yet we put our PPE on, knock on the door and enter. If that’s not brave, I don’t know what is. I am proud of what I do, and I am grateful for the heroes I work with side by side.”

Marianne Rivard, Emergency Clinician Nurse, Montreal

“In the Locked Pandemic Unit at our hospital, seeing other nurses and beneficiary attendants taking their time to help elderly patients contact their families with their own private phones is always moving. These health care workers are always trying to provide peace of mind and support, even finding ways to make patients smile for a minute in their difficult time.”  

Join the social media celebration using #InternationalNursesDay