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Constant career diversity

Nursing: The sky's the limit

Lorraine Avery is the Regional Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Cardiac Sciences Program
Lorraine Avery is the Regional Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Cardiac Sciences Program
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Video: Constant career diversity

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Friday, May 12, 2017

During a lengthy and successful career in health care, Lorraine Avery has seen a lot of changes within the nursing profession.

"I've been a registered nurse for 30 years," she says. "Nursing has grown leaps and bounds during my career. There is so much opportunity and diversity, so many different areas in which you can practice. The sky is really the limit."

In her current role as the Regional Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Cardiac Sciences Program, Avery is part of an interdisciplinary team of health-care professionals dedicated to improving patient and systems outcomes.

"Really what I'm trying to do is to support nursing care, and help implement the best and latest evidence-informed practices at the bedside," she says. "The health care environment we live in now is a challenge. We have to maximize efficiency and resources while providing the best care we can. You have to be creative and innovative to help support that important work."

Even after 30 years, Avery finds her enthusiasm for nursing has yet to wane.

"I'm still really motivated and interested in what I do," she says. "The constant diversity of my role - it's never the same thing, it's always changing. What helps me is that we have a very strong leadership team in Cardiac Sciences; we're transparent, we communicate well with each other, and I feel very much supported. But at the end of the day, we're here for patients. They are definitely my priority."

Avery says she is fueled by a desire to constantly learn and grow, by a thirst for knowledge, by her drive to excel at what she does, and by her ongoing aspiration to help others.

"Patient care has become more complex," she says. "We've gone to an interprofessional, interdisciplinary model, where every health-care professional brings their own expertise and competencies to the table and all are equally valued. From an individual perspective, we're dedicated to improving health outcomes and improving the lives of the people we serve. I know I'm part of that work, so that makes me feel very successful."

While Avery has no intention of retiring just yet, she does have some advice for new nurses entering the health-care system.

"For new nurses, one of the most important things to remember is that nurses are viewed by the public as one of the most trusted health-care professionals, and that is certainly a privilege," she says.

"We have an absolute privilege of being part of patients' lives, sometimes in their most vulnerable period. It's important to learn the scientific knowledge and to keep pace with the latest technology and research, but always remember that there's a human being on the other side, and that caring, compassion and empathy are really important parts of nursing."

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