Ms Chan’s Grade 1 students are learning about Community Helpers, and they recently had the opportunity to hear from one such helper when SCS Alumnae Laura Power ’15 stopped by virtually. She talked with the class about her work as a registered nurse in the Transplant Unit at Toronto’s SickKids hospital.
“I take care of people who aren’t quite as healthy as you and me,” she said. “When one of their organs isn’t doing quite what it’s supposed to, I help by taking care of them, and monitoring them to see if anything changes.”
Laura explained that there are many different types of nurses. “Nurses do lots of things in the same role,” she told the Grade 1 class. “I work in a hospital, but you also might see a nurse who works in a school. Or, you might see a nurse who works to make the hand washing poster next to the sink at a school.” She also described nurses on the Transplant Unit who assist the community by informing them about transplants.
When Coco L. ’32 asked who Laura works with, she responded that in addition to patients – who may be anywhere from newborn babies, to 18 year old young adults, and their parents – she also works with a lot of other nurses as well as doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians, social workers, and environmental service professionals who help keep the hospital safe and clean.
“Do you wear a uniform at work?” Sisley S. ’32 asked.
“I’m not at work at the moment, but I put it on just for you,” Laura said. “At SickKids, our uniform policy is a bit more relaxed because we’re hanging out with kids; we get to wear t-shirts. I’m wearing a SickKids t-shirt, but I also have some fun ones that I can wear as part of my uniform, like superhero t-shirts!”
She also explained that she has to wear an identification badge with her name and photograph on it as well as her job title and the floor on which she works. “It lets me into rooms where there are things that not everyone can access, like medicine,” she added.
Lila M. ’32 wanted to know what tools Laura uses in her job.
“My most valuable tools are my five senses; however, I also use this stethoscope,” she said, holding it up to the camera for the class to see. “I use this to hear what’s going on inside patients’ bodies. I can hear their heart, their lungs, and even their stomach.” Laura added that she also uses a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, needles for injections, and even a small flashlight. “I use the light to look into people’s eyes, and also when I am working overnight, I can use it to see in dark places.”
All too soon, Laura’s virtual visit concluded. However, if the questions that were asked and the enthusiastic thanks she received at the end were anything to go by, there was no doubt that her time with the Grade 1 class provided a very informative look at one type of Community Helper!