Blog Posts

Blog Post #1 - 7 lessons from my 7 years of nursing

July 12, 2020

7 lessons from my 7 years of nursing:

1. Holding someone’s hand when they are going through emotional turmoil is sometimes more profound than any words you could say to provide comfort

2. Mama/papa is the universal language of calling someone you care for, regardless of what language they speak. This also serves as a reminder to be a healthcare provider that you would want your own parents to have if they were ever in the hospital

3. Your team turns into your family, especially with all the time you spend with them at work. They are with you through your highs and lows and can make all the difference in your day, regardless of how tough your patient assignment might be

4. Everyone is scared, especially when there’s so much uncertainty. A nurse however still has to show up and maybe put themselves at risk, in order to care for another. And I’ve been privileged and humbled to see this on a daily basis - my fellow colleagues never don’t show up, just because they were afraid of the impact this pandemic could have on them or their families. Selfless care, and being brave are attributes I strive for.

5. Patience is a virtue - whoever said that was not kidding, especially when you’ve been spat on, pooped on, punched, and yelled at. It can get hard to remember why you’re here in the first place. This is why self-reflection and building coping mechanisms is so important, remembering why you decided to become a nurse in the first place. These stories also make for great dinner conversations

6. A smile goes a long way, and a mask is no excuse, you can always smile through your eyes - it’s a thing, you just have to smile extra big lol

7. Every patient comes through different walks of life. Illness impacts every single person. Taking the time out to have an actual conversation with a patient as an individual can be meaningful, you never know what you may learn.

I’d like to wish all my nursing colleagues a very happy nursing week! I’m so proud to stand along these heros, who make a difference everyday🏼• special shout out to my mom who provided me my first glimpse into nursing #nursingweek2020 #superheroswithoutcapes

  • Shamshah

Blog Post #2 - Nursing During the Time of COVID

July 12, 2020

Nursing During the Time of COVID

There has been no time like the present where the Nurses are being appropriately revered as the backbone of the healthcare system. But as Nurse, this admiration and professional responsibility does not come without significant pressure and fear of the unknown. It is now more important than ever to be mindful of the current context and manage your practice to mitigate risks to yourself and others. These can be categorized into three areas:

1. Your Own Health + Well-Being

As a Nurse, you understand the risk you pose to your patients if you work while unwell. However, you may feel compelled to attend work. If you are not well and have physical symptoms, you should stay home. Your physical health is not the only consideration you need to make. Mental health is equally as important and is often forgotten. Your ability to focus and provide adequate care may be compromised if your mental health is in question. A few strategies that can be offered to ensure that your overall health and well-being are being maintained include:

Setting Goals – They may be big or small but you need to make steps achievable and realistic

Being Intentional – What you decide to do is very important. Intentionality in making your plan, deciding what to do and when, enhances your feeling of control

Having Purpose – When typical patterns are interrupted, purpose becomes essential. Purpose provides meaning as well as structure

Seeking Assistance if you need it – Recognizing signs of disrupted sleep, erratic eating, anger, depression, anxiety or difficulty focusing might mean you should talk to a professional

2. The Assessment of Risk and what is Reasonable to You in the Circumstances

It has become clear that Nurses may be asked to work under conditions that may result in personal risk to them. As a Nurse, you need to assess the risk to yourself and your patients. A few strategies to consider:

Consulting – If possible, consult with educators, trusted advisors, your union or legal counsel

Document – If you are deployed to an area that you are unfamiliar with or asked to engage in practice that you don’t feel skilled to perform; be responsible for practising in accordance with standards and guidelines established by your regulatory body. Consider documenting the steps taken when making decisions and identify the circumstances you are working under

Be Accountable

• Perform activities you are competent to do and ask for help with those you do not know how to perform

• Understand your learning needs specific to the new practice setting and consider ways you might address them

• Initiate discussions with your employer about your needs

• Seek advice and collaborate with the health care team to uphold safe patient care. If you are working independently, this may be difficult to do. Consider reaching out to your professional association, accessing practice support resources in your jurisdiction or connecting with colleagues to seek their input

• Keep good records. Ensure you note if care was provided by someone else for patients that you were responsible for

3. Being mindful of different ways you may be working as result of the pandemic

As the pandemic evolves, remote services allow isolated patients to connect safely with their care providers, without the risk of spreading the virus. Fundamentally, regardless of the way care is being delivered, the professional/patient relationship is established, and all standards of care would apply. These new ways of working may have an impact on privacy and protection of personal health information and maintaining confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Consider the following:

When using Mobile Devices

• Use passwords and auto-locking features

• Use portable storage devices such as USBs that are password protected

• Keep your software up to date

Communication about Personal Health Information

• Avoid discussing personal health information in public areas and avoid using social apps to share personal health information

• Use email accounts designated to the workplace

Storage of Paper Files

• Set up file storage in areas that are accessible to professionals who need access and use locked cabinets if necessary

For a more detailed discussion about this topic, listen to the podcast Medical Malpractice discusses/id1499718332?i=1000475893295

Farah Ismail is a Masters prepared Nurse-Lawyer and Executive Consultant. She is the Founder and Principal of