Recent News

Recent News

Celebrating VHA Nurses: Changing Lives and Shaping Tomorrow

May 3, 2024
Nursing team standing together in the office

Held every May around the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, National Nursing Week falls on May 6-12 in 2024. This recognition week is an important opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the countless contributions of registered nurses (RNs), registered practical nurses (RPNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) across the country.

The 2024 theme, Changing Lives and Shaping Tomorrow, reflects on the profound impact nurses have on individuals, communities and the future of health care. Their compassion and expertise make a difference in the lives of their clients and caregivers, their advocacy ensures the best possible care, and as educators, they are influencing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

With this theme in mind, at VHA Home HealthCare (VHA), we want to recognize the tremendous role our nurses play in the lives of clients and families and the healthcare system as a whole. VHA nurses support clients in a variety of care settings and across the lifespan—from children with medical complexity to seniors experiencing challenges with aging. By providing specialized, quality care in a wide range of situations, VHA nurses make our clients’ lives safer and health challenges more manageable.

To help us celebrate Nursing Week, we connected with a few dedicated VHA nurses to learn more about why they work in home care and the most rewarding part of their jobs. Meet Dean, Adrian, Priscilla and Vilma.

VHA Voices

RN Dean Sanichar

Dean Sanichar, RN

Dean Sanichar, Registered Nurse

“There are so many reasons why I love being a home care nurse in palliative care, but there’s one reason that stands out more than the rest. Being able to comfort an individual and their family during such a difficult and emotional time creates a sense of honour unlike anything else. This work is not easy, but even on my most difficult days, I feel a sense of pride that motivates me to see nursing not just as a career but a duty.

I’ll never forget when a very ill client became a grandfather right around the holiday season and was so motivated to meet his new granddaughter. He inspired me to do my very best to make this happen. I made all the necessary arrangements so he could spend Christmas Day with his grandchild and entire extended family. Unfortunately, my client passed away after the holidays, just a few days into the new year. During a bereavement visit with the family, his wife shared a holiday photo with my client front-and-centre, granddaughter in his arms, and all of his family around him. Not only was it rewarding to know that I helped facilitate his wish, but I also saw the comfort that this memory and photo now provides his wife and family. One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to help others. I am so lucky to be able to make this gift my profession.”

RPN Adrian Domiclong

Adrian Domiclong, RPN

Adrian Domiclong, Registered Practical Nurse

“The best part of working in the home care sector as a nurse are the people I encounter every day—the clients, their families and my colleagues. It’s so gratifying to work together as a team to support older adults and clients with complex medical conditions in the comfort of their homes.

I know first-hand how important it is for families to have access to home care services when a loved one needs support. My dad received in-home services before he was transferred to long-term care. This support really alleviated some of the stress that went along with the changes in his health and I love being able to be a part of that relief for others.”

Priscilla Washington, Registered Practical Nurse  

RPN Priscilla Washington

Priscilla Washington, RPN

“What I love most about being a nurse in home care is that I can take care of my clients in the place where they feel the most comfortable—at home. When they’re in a familiar place and feel safe they can focus on their health and recovery. It’s so rewarding to work with my clients to help them achieve their goals.

I remember doing a home visit with an older client who lived alone and had never had home care services before. She was nervous and apprehensive and wasn’t even sure that she needed the help. During my visit she opened up and we were able to figure out her needs and create a care plan that she felt comfortable with. Afterwards, she thanked me for sitting with her and just listening to her stories. She said that she doesn’t have a lot of visitors and talking to someone felt so good. She told me that I must love my job and I said, ‘When you love what you do it’s not a job—it’s your passion.’”

Vilma Richards, Registered Nurse

RN Vilma Richards

Vilma Richards, RN

“Families can experience a lot of stress when a loved one is hospitalized or their care needs change and planning the next steps can be very overwhelming. I love being a home care nurse to provide these families with a sense of relief through these challenges. There is no better place to heal than in the comfort of your own home.

Home care nurses are self-motivated, skilled problem solvers and tireless client-advocates. It is so fulfilling to have the flexibility and autonomy to provide care that meets the needs of each of our clients so they can remain as independent as possible. Happy Nursing Week to my team, colleagues and nurses across the country.”

Throughout National Nursing Week and every day, VHA celebrates our nurses and their commitment to the health and wellbeing of our clients, families and team members.

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