May 10, 2023
Care from Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital nurses inspires patient’s own nursing career
As registered nurse (RN) Naomi Janzen and Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) maternal services team help bring life into the world every day, she’s reminded of her own delivery within the same walls and how much the care she received has impacted her life.
Naomi always knew she wanted to be a mom and was overjoyed when her and her husband were expecting their first child in 2021. Naomi was a brand-new nurse working in long-term care while she was pregnant, but six months into her pregnancy, Naomi started to have some complications and had to take time off work.
“I was in and out of the hospital for a couple days, trying to control the complication that I was experiencing, and then trying to treat it at home,” Naomi said.
With those complications, Naomi would be induced early at Saskatchewan’s JPCH. Even though she knew it was what was best for her and her baby, she says she couldn’t help but feel guilty about it.
“I remember just thinking, ‘I’m not even very good at being pregnant. How can I possibly be good at having a child and being a mother?’ I think as women and especially as moms, we internalize and we carry a lot of blame when things go wrong,” Naomi said.
Although Naomi was scared and feeling uncertain throughout her labour, she says the environment at JPCH, along with the empathy and confidence of the maternal services nurses, made her feel like she was capable.
“I remember my nurse Danielle grabbed my hand and helped me. She coached my husband on how to help me too. Some of it’s a blur, but I remember vividly that Danielle was right there with my husband counting my contractions, pushing me forward and telling me I could do this,” Naomi recalled.
After her daughter Callie was born, there was a brief moment of joy before Naomi felt a shift in the room. Naomi was losing a lot of blood and she remembers seeing all hands on deck as the maternal services team was potentially preparing to bring her to the Operations Room.
Fortunately, Naomi’s bleeding stopped and she wouldn’t require surgery. It was in this moment that Naomi saw how seamlessly JPCH’s maternal services nurses worked together. She was impressed that they were steps ahead and ready for anything, and she knew she wanted to be part of it one day.
Six months after Callie was born, Naomi joined JPCH’s maternal services team as an RN. The same team who played such a vital role in Naomi’s journey to becoming a mom, are now her colleagues and friends.
“It makes me smile. It just tells me I’m in the right place and doing the right thing,” said Danielle McTavish, JPCH Level 6 Maternal Services RN.
“Patients might not remember your name but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. That’s what I love about being someone’s delivery nurse.”
Naomi never forgets the rollercoaster of emotions she felt being a patient and keeps that with her as she cares for moms-to-be at JPCH. She knows how it feels when patients feel guilty, fearful or uncertain at times, and strives to give the same empathetic care she received.
“If I can make a woman feel half as safe as my nurses made me feel, I’ll know I’ve been successful,” Naomi said.
“I think that it really says something about our unit that Naomi wanted to come work here after her own birth experience. She’s seen both sides and I think that’s a very valuable perspective to have,” Olivia Barber, JPCH maternal services RN said about her colleague.
There can be challenges when juggling motherhood with her career, but Naomi takes pride in being part of a team that she knows makes a lasting impact on patients. She continues to be inspired by her fellow nurses, and is working towards becoming a Level 6 RN, just like Danielle.