Cardiology nurse from Quebec says “Oui” to joining HHS staff
Matters of the heart – both personal and professional — convinced Quebec registered nurse Tamara Di Sano to relocate to Ontario and work at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
Personal, because her boyfriend was accepted into the neurosurgery residency program at HHS. And professional, because Di Sano wanted to care for cardiology patients, and HHS’ Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) is the regional cardiac centre for south-central Ontario.
“It’s a fast-paced environment here with a lot of responsibility. You have to be ready for anything.” — Tamara Di Sano, HHS registered nurse
“I was always fascinated by the heart,” says Di Sano, who was nursing in Quebec before joining the team at HGH’s cardiac care unit in mid-August. “When I saw that HGH had a cardiac care unit and a cardiovascular care unit, I was immediately drawn to that hospital.”
Change of pace
Di Sano had worked in cardiac care in Quebec. “But it was a smaller hospital so I didn’t get the full cardiac care unit experience until moving to Hamilton,” she says. “It’s a fast-paced environment here with a lot of responsibility. You have to be ready for anything.”
In order to practise nursing in Ontario, Di Sano needed to meet the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)’s registration requirements, which included applying for registration with the CNO and meeting criteria such as educational requirements, language proficiency and professional experience.
In Hamilton, her learning curve included working with the new HHS Epic electronic health record system for tracking and sharing patient information. In Quebec, the hospital she worked at used a paper-based system. “Epic was new to me, but I was able to learn to learn the system fairly quickly.”
Thorough orientation prepares new staff
Di Sano credits the HHS critical practice orientation for helping her prepare for her new role. Critical practice orientation is for incoming staff and doctors new to areas of the hospital including emergency departments; intensive care and coronary care units; selective units within the perioperative program and selected step down units; heart investigation; burn trauma and cardiology inpatient units.
Her orientation involved one month of classes at HGH, as well as exams. “It covered every aspect of what I needed to know in order to work in the cardiac care unit,” says Di Sano. “It really made me feel prepared and comfortable to start caring for patients.”
Di Sano also appreciates HGH’s team-based approach. “The doctors consider nurses’ opinions, so it feels like a partnership in providing care,” she says.
“And everyone is willing to help, no matter how busy they are. It’s reassuring as a new nurse to have this support because you’re never really alone, even when working one-on-one with a patient.”
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