PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. – At the Dr. Charles L. LeGrow Health Centre in Port aux Basques, National Nursing Week 2018 began Monday, May 7 with some cake and a reading of The Nightingale Pledge by nurse Annette O’Quinn. After the cake cutting, O’Quinn and a couple of her colleagues gamely answered a few questions about nursing.
Q: What’s the best part of being a nurse for you?
A: Kristy Coleman: It’s very rewarding, even though it’s very challenging on a lot of days, but at the end of the day you always touch somebody’s life, or they touch yours.
Q: What’s the most challenging part?
A: Annette O’Quinn: The changes. There’s higher expectations than there used to be. People are expecting so much more out of you, I find, than they did let’s say 10, 15, 20 years ago. And families sometimes are really challenging, like when you’re dealing with family members, if there’s a conflict in the family then that spills over to you.
Q: Why did you choose nursing?
A: Kristy Coleman: It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, right from (when) I was six-years-old. I always wanted to be a nurse.
A: Annette O’Quinn: I did two years general studies and was going to go do social work and then decided on nursing for whatever reason.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish people would have told you before you decided to become a nurse?
A: Annette O’Quinn: That I would have these work mates at LeGrow! (Laughing) No, that’s the best part about this. I don’t know. Nights are a killer. I don’t do nights anymore.
Q: Is it more difficult than you thought it would be?
A: Sheila Munden: Not just physically either. It’s a lot harder. Mentally it’s very hard. Emotionally it’s challenging some days. It’s hard on your home life. Very, very difficult on your personal life.
Q: Is there something you wanted to mention about Nursing Week?
A: Annette O’Quinn: It’s a great time to recognize what we do, not that we’re looking for recognition, but some days you go home, and you just feel that everything you just did was for nothing. But it’s times like this when everybody comes together and recognizes that makes it worth it.
A: Sheila Munden: And no matter how hard it is, there’s always satisfaction. Even on your worst day there’s something that’s satisfying.