CNF COVID-19 People of Colour Award
When my family relocated to join me in Canada in August almost twelve years ago, I became discontented with my field job which took me away from home for weeks at a time. It was time for a career change but the catalyst for choosing Nursing as my new career was a sudden interaction with the healthcare system which brought exposure at a personal level to the crucial role of nurses in our healthcare system.
Our sons became ill upon arrival in Calgary and suspecting malaria, at the Alberta Children’s Hospital I informed the medical staff that they had just arrived from a malaria endemic country. Blood tests subsequently confirmed malaria but once the physician conveyed this news to me, all else was left to the nurses who provided care and treatment until discharge. Meanwhile, the stress of her long trip to Canada sent my pregnant spouse into labor at about the same time necessitating a caesarean section delivery.
I shuttled between hospitals but everywhere I went, nurses represented the face of the great service we received. Team after team, nurses followed up on the health of my spouse and baby. They linked us with community resources that I was unaware existed and followed up with home visits for many months thereafter. Nurses helped me break through the barrier of access to healthcare common to new immigrant families who possess little knowledge of the healthcare and support systems. Becoming a nurse is my way of paying forward by helping others.