2022 Our Alumnae Endowment Fund Impact Report

An Update from Erin Vandeven, Associate Chief of Nursing Practice

In the 2021 Impact Report Erin Vandeven talked about the landscape of nursing in the time of the COVID pandemic. She noted that nurses went from being the unsung heroes of health care to being widely celebrated.  This year, 2022, Erin was asked to reflect on a changed landscape in health care since then. In summary, she notes that although we hear a very strong narrative about nurses burning out and mass resignations, in fact there is a huge workforce of nurses that have chosen to stay.

Erin also reflects that painting nurses as super heroes during the pandemic, although it felt good at first, did nurses a disservice.  They are not heroes, they are human beings. They are passionate and dedicated but also vulnerable people who need sick days and sometimes burn out. This placed a heavy burden on nurses. She says that the hospital knows more after a year about what isn’t working and what needs to be put in place to ensure the environment allows staff to do the work while staying healthy and happy.  This is the way patients do well.

2021 Project Reports

1. Assessing The Health Care Transition Needs of Parents/Caregivers of Adolescents With Congenital Heart Disease

The Cardiac Transition Program was developed by Navreet Gill and Sandra Aiello to educate teens about their medical histories and to develop self-management and self-advocacy skills. The program also focuses on supporting parents and caregivers during their child’s transition from Sick Kids to adult services. They are the ones who have managed care to this point but to successfully transition, a shift in responsibility from parent to adolescent is required.  This can cause great anxiety for caregivers. To quote their report, “As one of the very few cardiac transition programs in Canada, our program is innovative, collaborative, and strives for excellence” to help ensure a successful changeover for adolescents and their families.

2. Development of an Emergency Preparedness Champion Program

Katherine Cheung and Michelle Kerrigan saw a gap between frontline staff and clinical leadership teams on emergency preparedness (EP) and related competencies. They proposed a clinical champion program to bridge this education gap and empower frontline staff. The program aims to build nurses’ knowledge, competencies, and resilience in their responses during a colour code event. It also provides an exciting point-of-care leadership opportunity within SickKids to further the staff’s leadership and critical thinking skills. The EP champions provide a unique perspective that will improve the organizational response to colour code situations and thus enable safer and more efficient care for patients and families. Furthermore this project advances a culture of collaboration and communication and removes hierarchical barriers that impede staff psychological safety.

2022 Nursing Award Winners

Critical Care Medicine Nursing Ethics Symposium – Mary Campbell

Optimizing Family Caregivers’ Access to and Experience of Interprofessional Virtual Care Through the Use of Hands-free Devices – Stephanie Chu, Ashley Graham, Francine Buchanan, Robin Deliva, Jessica Esufali, Maggie Harkness, Marketa Maj, Krista Keilty