Jessica Almeida is the former interim Charge Nurse on level two at Providence Transitional Care Centre (PTCC), a rehabilitation and transitional care hospital geared to enhance the level of function for older adults with a focus on getting them home. Jessica has been a working nurse for about three years but says her connection to Providence Care extends much longer.
“When I was in grade ten I became a summer youth volunteer,” explains Jessica. “I started in the position as a way to get my volunteer hours and I ended up really enjoying it. I volunteered the following summer too and then I moved into a paid position as a patient assistant.”
Volunteering in the health care setting inspired Jessica to study Biology and Health Sciences in university. She had an interest in pursuing occupational therapy or physiotherapy, two fields she had a lot of exposure to during volunteering. However, it was during her time as a patient assistant while in university, that Jessica’s interest started shifting to a career in nursing.
“As a patient assistant I started learning more about nursing and seeing what it really looked like. I got to see that you do a little occupational therapy and physio with your patients as a nurse under the recommendations of the therapist. Most of all, I really liked getting to know the patients and spending more time with them and that is why I started to lean toward nursing. I graduated with a minor in Health Sciences and then did a fast track nursing program after I finished.”
Jessica remembers the patient who helped inspire her desire to become a nurse all those years ago well.
“This patient had been in an accident but was so determined to get well. They were motivated but couldn’t do a lot for themselves. I helped in the beginning with a lot of their daily activities of living. After a few weeks they got stronger, healthier, and seeing their rehabilitation was huge for me. Helping them reach their goals was when I realized I wanted to become a nurse.”
Jessica covered a parental leave contract as the Charge Nurse at PTCC and very recently has transitioned into a Charge Nurse role at Providence Care Hospital. She says a big part of her job is facilitating communication between all members of the care-teams.
“I look at everyone’s needs, solve problems and come up with new ideas about how we can make patient-care better. I also look after the workflow and make sure the day-to-day runs smoothly.”
While Jessica helps operate the unit skillfully and successfully, she is one of hundreds of nurses across Providence Care in hospital, long-term care, hospice and community programs, who like her, focus on family-centered, high quality, compassionate care.
“Our nurses treat the most vulnerable with the highest levels of dignity and respect,” says Vice President of Patient & Client Care and Chief Nursing Executive, Darcy Woods-Fournier.
“Providence Care nurses are teammates, mentors, patient advocates and leaders. They continue to accomplish so much all the while supporting one another through extremely challenging times.”
For Jessica, working with the team is one of her favourite parts of her job.
“We have a really good group of people who are innovative, creative, hardworking and passionate about health care. I like coming to work and I’m happy because I get a lot of inspiration from my colleagues.”
And it’s not just from her colleagues where Jessica draws inspiration. Like most nurses, Jessica says watching the wellness journey of her patients fuels her.
“I will never get tired of watching the transformation of someone becoming stronger and healthier.”
Our nurses at Providence Care are the friendly faces that guide our patients, clients, residents and their families through some of the hardest and most challenging times of their lives. They guide each of the people they serve through the ups and downs of wellness and recovery, making space for them on the hard days and motivating them to reach their highest potential on their best.
To all our nurses across Providence Care, thank you for working so hard and caring so deeply.