Back to Top “When I felt alone, they were there”: Celebrating National Nursing Week - The Ottawa Hospital

“When I felt alone, they were there”: Celebrating National Nursing Week

A group of nine nurses wearing face masks

A team of nurses in our Offload Medicine Transition Unit (OMTU) take a moment out of their busy day for a photograph to celebrate National Nursing Week.

This year during National Nursing Week, we reflect on the resilience of our nurses as they continue to feel strain and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these difficult times, the nursing team at The Ottawa Hospital continues to go above and beyond to provide the best possible care to our patients.

Our annual Nursing Team Awards is one way the public has shown their appreciation for our nurses. When this year’s call for nominations went out to families and former patients, heartfelt submissions poured in. They were full of stories illustrating care that exceeded the call of duty.  

Many nominations explained how the nursing teams helped patients and families maintain their composure and sense of control even when they were feeling helpless.

As one patient described, Every dignity in my normal world was gone for several weeks, but the nurses always treated me with respect.”

One nomination from a grateful family member described how the nurses’ attention to detail supported her mother’s well-being:

“Even with the often demanding and challenging daily professional requirements, the nurses always took the time to ensure that my mother’s hair was combed, her gown was fresh…and this always made her feel better mentally and physically.”

In another, a former patient praised a nurse for her impressive commitment to privacy:

“I randomly saw [name of nurse] when I was out with friends, and she never approached me until I said hi because of her respect for the patient/nurse relationship. I respect her so much for that.”

A group of five nurses wearing face masks
Thank you to our nurses, including the nurses in our Neurosurgery unit (above), for their ongoing dedication and commitment to patient care. 

Another theme that emerged from the nominations was how nurses took the time to help patients and families understand the treatments or medications as well as the patient’s progress and next steps.

“The nurses helped me to understand the chart reports,” one patient wrote, “and then they would help my family over the phone as well to explain and reassure them.”

They also took the time to carefully listen and respond to patients’ concerns:

“Never did I ever feel that my dark moments were silly or unwarranted…there was always a nurse there letting me know that it was okay to feel this way; not saying that everything would be okay when it wouldn’t, but just acknowledging my feelings.”

There were plenty of examples where the nurses gave extra encouragement and support when patients needed it:

“When I needed a push, when I was scared, when I needed strength, when I felt alone, they were there. The high-fives meant the world to me.”

And another wrote, “It was the nurse’s reactions to my concerns that got things rolling and saved my life.”

The theme for National Nurses’ Week 2022 #WeAnswerTheCall, refers to the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. Despite all the challenges nurses at The Ottawa Hospital have faced, they have never lost their commitment to our vision to provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion we would want for our loved ones.

It’s often difficult to put into words the level of excellence our nurses show every day.  But  one family member described it this way: “24/7, seamlessly, despite shortages, pandemic and demanding policies, they carried out their duties with unfailing professionalism, compassion and commitment to excellence.”

Happy National Nursing Week!


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